2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

2024 SU general election: Faculty of Arts representatives

In this year’s Students’ Union (SU) general election, six names will appear on the ballot for faculty of arts representative where only four candidates will be successful. 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.


Martin Al-Najar did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here’s what students can expect from him based on his platform. 

Al-Najar believes that arts students are often sidelined therefore he’s looking to improve and renovate the Arts Lounge and the surrounding study spaces in the Social Sciences building. However, it is unclear where he plans on achieving the funding for this.

On a similar note, he hopes to improve the wellness services on campus where he writes “increased resources and funding would allow wellness services to better serve the student population”. We are assuming that means he will advocate for this but are unsure if he has any new ideas to support this goal. 

He also suggests that students should receive discounted parking permits — however, we aren’t sure if this is targeted at just Arts students or the greater campus community. Lastly, Al-Najar notes that he would like to “establish a program where Arts students can receive credit promoting the Faculty of Arts through engaging with the community” in order to retain local talent on our campus. 

While the latter point is interesting, Al-Najar’s platform lacks a substantial explanation of how these goals are going to be achieved. 


Photo courtesy Simchah Atanda

Simchah Atanda is a third-year International Relations student who served as a director of the Faculty of Arts Student Association (FASA) and is now running for the Faculty of Arts Representative position. 

Atanda aims to tackle tuition hikes by speaking directly to the senior leadership in the Faculty of Arts. He aims to amplify student voices in the 

“The faculty leadership knows what it means to cut funding,” said Atanda. “They see spreadsheets, they see numbers on a page but they don’t know what students face as they go through university every single day.”

Atanda wants to work with International Student Services and the Leadership and Engagement Student Office to improve the support available to international students. He aims to do so by advocating for more advisors and improving orientation services. 

“We pay tuition. We come here because we know that the U of C is going to take care of us and we are going to have qualified people who are going to give us advice,” said Atanda. “[Services] are too slow and if we have just four or five advisors for how many thousands of international students, you see how that is a problem.”

Lastly, Atanda aims to present a Quality Money proposal to enhance scholarship opportunities for BIPOC, neurodiverse and financially disadvantaged students so that there is equitable support for students.

“There are many people on campus that need support in one way or another and through no fault of their own, are dealt a bad hand in life and that shouldn’t be a restriction to helping someone reach their goals,” said Atanda. 

Atanda is a capable candidate with platform points that are tangible and practical. 


Photo credit Michael J. Barazzutti

Jonathan Barazzutti is a second-year economics student running for the Faculty of Arts representative position. In an interview with the Gauntlet, he elaborated on his platform points comprising of budget transparency, academic success for students and diversity and expression.

This is his second time running for the position and his platform remains relatively unchanged with the addition of bringing focus on the academic success of Arts students, proposing a “multi-year guide” to replace the first-year degree guide in place for students. 

“So I think a lot of students would benefit from that even a multi-year degree guides, perhaps to expand upon that, I think that’s something that a lot since would benefit from, because I get the impression even for older students that no one quite knows what they’re gonna want to be doing when it comes to their education, it’s all just kind of there”, said Barazzutti.

Keeping most of his old platform, Barazzutti wants to set up a new budgetary committee within the SU body to bring a dialogue between the student body and the administration “concerning their budgetary decisions”, he said. When asked about who he would want on the committee, ironically, Barazzutti’s first thought was to address how the business faculty would benefit from it. 

“So it will probably be an emphasis on business students primarily for the subcommittee, but anyone’s allowed, anyone who expresses an interest in this issue is allowed. I just think that we’ll probably get a very strong number of students within that specific faculty that are just because of their own personal interest in studying those issues”, he said.

While he has a compelling platform given the competition, Barazzutti is envisioning beyond the scope of his portfolio and lacks focus on the faculty he is trying to represent.


Edom Girma did not interview with the Gauntlet, so here’s what students can expect from him based solely on his platform. 

Girma notes that he will support quality money projects that enhance the educational environment and create an Arts students’ town hall where students are able to voice their concerns to those who represent them. He also writes that he will urge the University of Calgary to create a similar system to the Calgary Public Library where students can get five dollars of free printing per month to alleviate financial challenges. 

Interestingly, Girma also writes that he would prioritize diverse circumstances by broadening scholarship offerings to accommodate students in those situations so that everyone within the faculty has equal opportunities. Although we are unsure if this means he will advocate for these scholarships or actively pursue the funding for them. 

Girma also makes a point to increase community spirit by promoting events and building lasting traditions to make the university experience more memorable. 

Overall, Girma focuses on creating affordability and community among the Arts faculty and his points are practical and show that he is knowledgeable about this role. 


Photo credit Omar Mohamed

Aitazaz Shah is a first-year student in the running for Faculty of Arts representative. In an interview with the Gauntlet, he elaborated on his main platform points: community student involvement, affordability and professional development.

Aitazaz’s campaign is focused heavily on advocating for student welfare and fostering a more engaging community for the arts faculty. One of his strong focal points is to set a “Welcome to Arts” initiative tailor-made for first-year arts students’ orientation to ensure a “smooth and welcoming transition into university life”, his platform reads. Through collaboration with fellow representatives, he wants to make a resourceful guide containing a “how to” on classes and resources on campus including prayer rooms. 

“These are things that I found out much later on. So these are things that I would love to mention in the orientation” said Shah.

Shah also intends to set up a Faculty of Arts exclusive clubs showcase for clubs to “display their projects and achievements but also encourage wider student participation and membership”, as his platform reads. When asked about what he constitutes to be a “Faculty of Arts club”, he mentioned setting up a form for clubs to sign up for this event. 

Shah’s affordability point focuses mostly on advocating for students by collaborating with the administrative bodies, which he intends to do after conducting surveys to figure out what the students would like to see because he believes that is the first thing to look for. 

“Before making any big moves will have to organize, for example, town halls or surveys, to gather input from students staff and all members of administration to see what their favourite strategy would be for their ability to access education.”

While Shah’s platform points are considerate and holistic in view— shaped by his own struggle as a first-year student— they are mostly idealist with only a few points seeming to be practical.  


In an interview with the Gauntlet, Henry William Westwood expanded on his main platform points: student well-being and fostering a strong faculty community. 

One of the focal points of Westwood’s campaign is to reduce costs and fees for students. When asked about how he hopes to accomplish this, Westwood’s main plan of action was to simply talk to the university to match the tuition raises with inflation raises.

“Well, I would like to enter into a discussion with the University of Calgary,” said Westwood. “Since 2019, tuition costs have gone up 40 per cent and I see it as natural as inflation happens that tuition costs have to increase so the university can keep a stable baseline. But what’s been happening is tuition costs have been going higher than inflation rates.” 

On a similar note, Westwood plans to advocate for more funding in the arts department and when asked about how he plans to do this — his response remained fairly similar. 

“Well, I would like to talk to the University of Calgary and see if they’d be open to sharing how they divvy up their funding between departments.” 

Overall, Westwood’s campaign points struggle to stand out amongst his competition and the process in which he plans to achieve these goals seems idealist and not practical.  

All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for up to four candidates for FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting. 

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