2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Daman Singh

Presidential candidates debate platform points during SU forum

By Nazeefa Ahmed, March 6 2024—

On Mar. 4, the University of Calgary Students’ Union (SU) organized a presidential forum as part of the upcoming SU general election. The event was hosted by the outgoing SU President Shaziah Jinnah Morsette and saw presidential candidates Sandra Amin and Ermia Rezaei-Afsah go head-to-head for the only contested executive position this election year. 

Rezaei-Afsah is the outgoing vice president of student life. In his opening remarks, he cited many of his accomplishments during his term, such as the establishment of a Food Hub on campus, establishing an International Students’ Association and pushing for a review of Wellness Services. 

“I’ve also put in a Quality Money Application to establish an affordable meal program on campus that would operate out of the Den,” said Rezaei-Afsah. “Three-dollar vegan [and] gluten-free meals for any and all students so we can actually have services that combat food security directly.”

Photo by Daman Singh

Sandra Amin is the outgoing vice president academic. In her opening remarks, Amin describes how her work made the university revisit classroom assessments to be more EDI-friendly and revisit the need to provide documentation for absences. Amin states that because of her advocacy, there will now be an in-course declaration form for absences due to illness in place of the traditional doctor’s notes. 

“I stood toe-to-toe with the executive leadership at this institution, not just in aimless anger but with the goal of accomplishing real change. And so, I did,” said Amin. “Though originally the university was unwilling, my work this year has resulted in every major academic regulation and policy that impacts your student rights to be revisited.”

Photo by Daman Singh

If elected, Rezaei-Afsah aims to work with other executives, particularly the vice president external, to forward his platform goals such as opposing any tuition increases and maintaining the two per cent cap on domestic tuition. 

“I want to push for working with the vice president external to actually bring the province to its knees. We already put in a great amount of effort into fighting the province and ensuring that student voices are heard,” said Rezaei-Afsah.

Amin aims to work with the vice president academic for student safety in experiential learning and the vice president internal to build processes so that there can be reporting if there are any incidents. The vice president internal works directly with the Office of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Amin believes that greater supports can be developed through that office. 

“I have my eyes open to a lot of the gaps and needs in our current system,” said Amin. “Is ensuring that we are supporting our students and protecting them, making sure that they are safe when they are pursuing experiential learning both on and off campus. That means building the processes and procedures to disclose if something happens.”

In his concluding remarks, Rezaei-Afsah reflects on his time as vice president student life and states his commitment to speaking directly to students if elected as president.

“I have an impeccable track record when it comes to actually going to students about issues and actually putting my face out there and that is the type of president I plan to be,” said Rezaei-Afsah. “It’s not a thing of making impossible things possible. Rather, it’s [about] actually standing up for students and seeing what are the things we can actually do in this one-year-long tenure of ours.”

In her concluding remarks, Amin states that she is committed to the role and that her past commitment makes her a strong presidential candidate. 

“Dinos, this year I have shown up time and time again being the first to step forward when action was needed. I did not take a single moment lightly. I threw myself at every challenge. I developed the tools, skills and knowledge to fight for you every step of the way,” said Amin. 

Voting is open and closes 4 p.m. on March 7, 2024. Online voting will take place through the myUofC Student Centre in your student portal. In-person polling stations will be available at MacEwan Student Centre, Science Theatres, and TFDL. All University of Calgary undergraduate students registered in the Winter 2024 session are eligible to vote.

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