2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

SU By-Elections 2023: Schulich School of Engineering

By Julieanne Acosta, Eula Mengullo, Nazeefa Ahmed, October 10 2023—

Along with the responsibilities outlined for all Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) members, faculty representatives are accountable for responsibilities particular to their role including: Reporting to students of their faculty the policies, positions and programs of the Students’ Union (SU), reporting to their faculty itself (like Dean’s Council) the policies, positions and programs of the SU, representing student constituents of their faculty at SLC, representing student constituents of their faculty on university committees and reporting to the VP Academic on matters of academic importance within their faculty.

There is only one position up for grabs so engineering students will have to choose one of the four candidates.


Graphic by Sylvia Lopez

Janela Alberto is an engineering student running for the Faculty of Engineering representative. Alberto did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here is what students can expect solely based on her platform. 

Alberto has held this position for the past six months. She notes that her engagement in this role has allowed her to talk more within the student community and through this, has gained valuable insights into the challenges that her peers face. 

Her platform explains that mental health is a “paramount issue” as the engineering faculty ranked the lowest when asked to rank their mental health status on a scale of one to five in the 2023 SU Annual Survey. She assures students that she will advocate to expand mental health support and collaborate with the engineering faculty to ensure that it remains a top priority. Other than that, however, she doesn’t elaborate on other tangible ways to achieve this expansion of mental health support. 

Her last point focuses on having diverse volunteer opportunities and she intends on expanding and promoting these opportunities within her faculty. Alberto’s goal is to foster a culture of volunteerism that enriches the student experience by organizing engineering-related events and connecting students with local initiatives. 

Alberto’s platform goals of mental health initiatives and promoting accessible volunteer opportunities show that she cares about the well-being of her faculty community.


Graphic by Sylvia Lopez

Jackson Cooper is an engineering student running for the Faculty of Engineering representative. Cooper did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here is what students can expect solely based on his platform. 

Cooper has three aims: increasing industry exposure, improving affordability and bridging the gap between the engineering faculty and Calgary’s tech and start-up community. 

As Alberta looks to diversify energy sources, Cooper aims to increase exposure of emerging industries to meet the student demand for careers in sustainability. He aims to do this by considering the engineering curriculum caters to the demands of various industries. However, he does not specify how he will accomplish this goal. 

Cooper will also pursue his affordability strategy by advocating against tuition increases as an engineering representative.

His last point aims to improve the employability of engineering students through promoting students, once again not providing a plan of action.   

Despite the clearly defined goals, Cooper does not list tangible strategies to accomplish them. However, he does care about representing his peers and making a change. 


Graphic by Sylvia Lopez

Mohamed Eldib is an engineering student running for the Faculty of Engineering representative. Eldib did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here is what students can expect solely based on his platform. 

Eldib’s platform contains two broad categories: mental well-being and campus enhancement. His first goal involves changing campus culture to foster more spirituality within the student body through both mandatory seminars and optional mental health workshops. The University of Calgary already offers many optional mental health workshops through Wellness Services and Eldib does not specify how his proposed plan will be different from pre-existing programs.  

However, Eldib aims to establish a designated prayer room in the engineering building so that students do not have to travel to MacEwan Hall between classes. 

Eldib’s second goal involves cultivating a vibrant campus life by improving available food options in and around the engineering building. He also hopes to improve engineering spaces by changing the colour of the building and making a first-year lounge. Additionally, he looks to improve pre-existing lounges by “adding more”, not specifying what he would like to add.  

Though Eldib’s platform lacks focus in certain categories, it is clear that he cares about improving the well-being of his peers in engineering. 


Photo courtesy Armin Zarringhalam

Seniru Ruwanpura is a fourth-year software engineering student running as a faculty representative for the Schulich School of Engineering. In an interview with the Gauntlet, he elaborated on his platform points which comprise of greater academic flexibility, co-curricular opportunities and increased transparency.

In pursuit of greater academic flexibility, Ruwanpura wants to ensure that engineering students can have the option of CR/F for terminal courses. While the Faculty has expressed concern over losing accreditation as an engineering school if they were to re-introduce the grading system, Ruwanpura proposes a way to maneuver through this.

“My plan is to push the faculty to implement CR/F in terminal courses,” he said. “Any course that is no longer relevant to your degree moving forward — these are the kind of courses that I’m gonna push the faculty to put a CR/F into because it should have no bearing in the accreditation of the faculty.” 

“It’s showing that the student has passed the course guidelines, they’re able to move on in their degree, they don’t have to take that course again,” he continued. 

With regard to internships and co-curricular opportunities, Ruwanpura underscored the importance of holding discussions with relevant people — such as the Engineering Career Centre and the Associate Dean — on how to better support students. 

“Everything is about having discussions first,” he said. “Everything in this platform is about setting a foundation for the future basically, so I wanna open up that discussion and see how we can start putting up better internships and making U of C more competitive for years to come.”

Furthermore, Ruwanpura also emphasized that the points he chose to prioritize were ones he deemed to be most feasible for the faculty. While tuition and mental health are important points that he will rally behind, he expressed that these elements should be central to every point of action taken by any candidate. 

When asked about what sets him apart from other candidates, Ruwanpura remarked that his incentive to speak with the Gauntlet to reach a wider audience, unlike his competitors, is telling of his intention as a student representative. 

“The fact of the matter is, student representatives here are doing it, in my view, not because they a hundred per cent care about students, but because they care about the bottom line of where this position can take them.”

“The fact that I’m doing this interview, while the other candidates in this race are not, shows that Im here to support students, I’m here to care for students and to do things differently,” said Ruwanpura.

In his final message, Ruwanpura urges students to establish a new tradition at Schulich where student representatives are responsive to student needs. 

“We haven’t had the force to push back against policies that adversely impact us,” he said. 

“Our representatives have fallen short, it’s time to put pressure on this faculty like what other representatives are putting on their respective faculties.”

All undergraduate students in the Schulich School of Engineering can vote YES or NO on their ballot for one candidate for FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.

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