2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graphic by Sheroog Kubur

FROSH 2023: What is the Students’ Union?

By Eula Mengullo, September 5 2023—

The Students’ Union (SU) at the University of Calgary provides a host of services for students. Most significantly, the SU represents student voices and advocates for their quality of education, student life, as well as the affordability and accessibility to university education. The Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) is the SU’s highest governing body as per Section 95 of the Post-Secondary Learning Act. This gives SLC the authority to create bylaws and policies on matters that are important to students such as governance structure, meetings, membership fees, the acquisition, management and disposition of property, and appointments to committees. 

The 81st Student Legislative Council is currently made up of 25 student members including the five executives of the SU. SLC is also comprised of 20 Faculty Representatives that are elected by undergraduate students in their respective faculties and thus have the primary role of representing their interests and addressing their concerns. 

SLC Executives

SLC members are elected annually in the General Students’ Union Election held in March. For positions that still remain vacant, a bi-election is consequently held in October. 

President: This year’s SU President is Shaziah Jinnah Morsette. The president is in charge of leading and taking charge of the direction of the Students’ Union. Additionally, they maintain official relations with the university, oversee the work of the Students’ Legislative Council and vote on the Board of Governors. 

Vice President Operations and Finance: This year’s VP-OpFi is Arlington Santiago. The VP OpFi portfolio is responsible for the Students’ Union’s budget, SU policy, as well as the fiscal operation of their businesses in Mac Hall. The VP OPp-Fi also chairs various SU committees. 

Vice President External: This year’s VP External is Mateusz Salmassi. The VP External serves as the Students’ Unions’ representative to the different levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal. They are also the primary delegate for the several umbrella lobbying organizations that the SU partakes in. 

Vice President Student Life: This year’s elected VP Student Life is Ermia Rezaei-Afsah. The vice-president student life is in charge of student clubs as well as mental health and overall student wellness initiatives. They also oversee significant campus events such as Orientation Week, Frostbite and Bermuda Shorts Day.

Vice President Academic: This year’s VP Academic is Sandra Amin. The VP Academic is tasked with improving academic experiences and promoting undergraduate research. They sit on committees, meet with various members of the university administration and administer programs such as the Teaching Excellence Awards and the Undergraduate Research Symposium. 

SLC meetings are held regularly where members discuss particular issues and make key decisions. These meetings are open to the general public and their agendas and minutes can be reviewed on the SU’s website. During the spring and summer sessions, meetings are held bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers. During the fall and winter semesters, they are held every week with the exception of exam periods. Students are welcome to attend as gallery members and learn more about how the SU operates, their current or upcoming advocacies and much more. 

For more information about the Students’ Legislative Council, the Students’ Union and student resources, visit their website.

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