Meet the SAMRU 2021 executive

Provincial post-secondary cuts; equity, diversity and inclusion; get out the vote on the priority list


The Students' Association of Mount Royal University's (SAMRU) 2021 election resulted in two new representatives named to be the voice of the student body.

Yasmin Ahmed and Joseph Nguyen are taking on new representation roles, while Rachel Timmermans and Spirit River Striped Wolf are heading into their second terms.

 

Yasmin Ahmed
Vice-President Academic
Bachelor of Communication — Journalism


Yasmin Ahmed


Passionate about social advocacy and minority representation, Yasmin Ahmed says she will work to bridge the gaps within the university community.

“I believe that there is a dire need for underrepresented minorities to have a role within the Mount Royal system, and I am hoping to be that voice for all those who feel they are not properly recognized at our institution, from any background,” Ahmed says.

Her core values are community and inclusivity, and she feels that students need to feel that they belong to truly learn.

Another important issue she hopes to address is the ongoing stress brought on by the pandemic. “I hope to bridge a gap between students and faculty to adjust to the learning curve that is now being presented.”

She envisions a safe and inclusive space online where students can feel like they are on campus. Her work outside of MRU in the administrative field has given Ahmed experience with conflict resolution, communications and how to be a team player.

 

Joseph Nguyen
Vice-President Student Affairs
Bachelor of Education — Elementary


Joseph Nguyen


Joseph Nguyen values community and success, and will focus his efforts to improve opportunities for MRU students to find employment.

“I will advocate to increase the number of co-op and internship opportunities,” Nguyen says.

Nguyen feels that students can often struggle to find work after graduation and that some do not feel career-ready. He believes that having access to “hands on” experiences is the key to succeeding and will advocate for greater awareness of the Canada Summer Jobs program and Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

“I would ensure that MRU promotes these programs to its students.”

Nguyen also invests his time and energy in the following SAMRU clubs: Asian Relations and Culture, Education Undergraduate Society and Power to Change. “Each club shares one commonality – their focus on community,” Nguyen says.

“My experience in these three clubs aided me in learning effective strategies to better student life at MRU.”

 

Rachel Timmermans
Vice-President External
Bachelor of Arts — Policy Studies


Rachel Timmermans


Rachel Timmermans was re-elected to continue advocating for MRU students and her work will focus on challenging aspects of Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs, which is a system-wide review of Alberta’s post-secondary system.

“This review has the potential to bring some positive changes. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen so far, I’m concerned there will be more harm than good done,” Timmermans says. She adds that she will continue to fight for a post-secondary system that is centred around the student experience.

Timmermans will also concentrate on getting out the vote in anticipation of the municipal election in October. She believes that Calgary is at a pivotal moment and voters must decide what the future direction of this city will look like.

“Whomever is elected to council will play a large role in shaping that vision,” Timmermans says.

Timmermans was SAMRU’s Get Out The Vote co-ordinator during the 2019 federal election and is keen to use what she learned from that experience to help students feel empowered to make their voices heard in the upcoming municipal election, as well as make sure students have the information they need to make an informed decision at the polls.

 

Spirit River Striped Wolf
President
Bachelor of Arts ― Policy Studies


Spirit River Striped Wolf


The veteran of the SAMRU executive, Spirit River Striped Wolf was re-elected to continue his work to hold the government accountable on behalf of students regarding cuts to post-secondary and tuition increases.

“With the government creating significant changes to the post-secondary education system and continuing to cut funding for post-secondary institutions, students need strong leadership,” Striped Wolf says.

And he has the necessary experience going face-to-face with leaders.

In 2018, Striped Wolf was one of nine Indigenous students from across Canada to be handpicked for the federal government's Indigenize the Senate event. He testified in front of the nation's most powerful lawmakers as a community representative and brought forth his research and thoughts around how policy can support ethnic minorities in helping economies thrive.

Striped Wolf also plans to continue his work strengthening the relationship between SAMRU’s Representation Executive Council and the university community.

“The only power that individuals have is in the quantity and quality of their relationships and networks.”

Find out why the students’ association of Mount Royal University exists.

May 12, 2021 — Rob Petrollini

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