Meet the 2022 SAMRU executive

Tackling issues on campus and improving student life; SAMRU executive excited for new term

Haley Jarmain | June 20, 2022

The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University’s (SAMRU) 2022 election resulted in two new representatives and two returning members named to be the voices of the student body.

Yasmin Ahmed and Joseph Nguyen will serve their second terms with the Representation Executive Council (REC), while Tera Leigh Cardinal and Pamela Malec were voted in for the first time.

SAMRU is a charitable organization with three main focuses; governance, representation and operations. All credit students are members of SAMRU, which provides resources such as Wyckham House, student health benefits, the Peer Support Centre, the Cultural Inclusion Centre and the Pride Centre.

 

President Joseph Nguyen
Bachelor of Education — Elementary


Joseph Nguyen


As a SAMRU REC veteran Joseph Nguyen is thrilled to be back, although his second term comes with more responsibilities as he takes on the role of president.

Nguyen says he learned a lot in his first term as vice-president, student affairs, especially the value in not only building, but maintaining relationships.

“Relationship building matters and has much more value than protests or being aggressive,” he says.

Co-operation is something Nguyen believes in strongly and feels it is a vital aspect of his role.

“I would rather see society co-operate than compete. So, what does that look like in the student advocacy world? Instead of bumping heads and pushing against MRU administration or the government and just complaining about them, let’s work together,” he says, recognizing that most times, issues can be discussed in a civil way in which both parties are pleased with the outcome.

Nguyen also acknowledges that students have had a tough couple years with the pandemic and one of his goals this year is to support students on campus however he can after they’ve been back and forth between online and in-person classes.

Nguyen’s passion for learning goes beyond the MRU campus as he tutors and works with youth. He also enjoys being active in his community and meeting new people. Nguyen believes that he has a great responsibility in helping develop the next generation, so he consumes as much content as he can on child development through different articles, books and podcasts.

 

Vice-President Academic Yasmin Ahmed
Bachelor of Social Work


Yasmin Ahmed


With one term under her belt, Yasmin Ahmed is excited to continue to advocate for students.

Ahmed was initially inspired to get involved with SAMRU because of a social innovation class she was taking.

“It talked a lot about being an agent of change and wanting to give back to the world and that really spoke to me. I wanted to do that and I thought, ‘Let me start with my community first,’ ” she says.

There is more Ahmed wants to accomplish with SAMRU, she says, which is why she wanted to serve another term.

“I spent a lot of time being trained and learning the role so now I can hit the ground running and I can do a lot more for students.”

Believing strongly in community and inclusion, Ahmed says one of her most important tasks as REC VP academic is to give a voice to those who are underrepresented and she is looking forward to working closely with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

In her free time Ahmed loves binge-watching medical dramas. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family and is a self-declared foodie.

 

Vice-President Student Affairs Pamela Malec
Bachelor of Arts — Sociology


Pamela Malec


A vocal advocate for accessibility and inclusion, Pamela Malec is passionate about the people she supports. Malec also champions student employment and is eager to help in whatever way she can.

Inspired to get involved with SAMRU after seeing signs around campus, Malec says what pushed her into actually doing it are the friends she met through the equity, diversity and inclusion club she had joined.

“They supported me and they lifted me up and said, ‘Yeah, you can do that, that’s so in your wheelhouse.’ And I thought ‘Okay, well, I am going to do this,’ ” she says.

One of Malec’s biggest focuses is making sure students know that they can get the help and assistance they need.

“There are people with hidden disabilities that we’re not aware of because they don’t want you to know. And one of the reasons they don’t want you to know is they don’t realize there’s help for them,” Malec says, pointing out that there are dozens of resources available on campus for all students.

She encourages those with concerns to get in touch with her or any other SAMRU members.

“If there’s an issue and it seems like it’s a student issue and this is going to affect a majority of students, I need to know. Just come and tell us. Come by the office, phone the office, go online, whatever you need to do, but make us aware of what the issue is and we will do what we can to fix it if it’s fixable.”

When she is not on campus advocating for students Malec is usually singing and also loves to spend as much time as she can with her mom.

 

Vice-President External Tera Leigh Cardinal
Bachelor of Arts — Policy Studies


Tera Leigh Cardinal


Tara Leigh Cardinal is no stranger to the MRU campus. She obtained her Social Work Diploma in 2019 and after seeing first-hand a lack of support and safety for social workers decided to return for her degree in policy studies in hopes of being able to make a difference through government and policy.

Cardinal has strong beliefs and is not afraid to speak her mind, qualities that she feels will help her advocate for students. Coming from a social work background, she also believes that her empathy and kind nature will help her in her role as VP external.

“My values are really rooted in helping people who are dealing with trauma, people who are being treated less than, I really stand up for them and I make sure their voices are being heard,” she says.

Cardinal is passionate about politics and has experience talking to Canadian politicians both locally and federally about issues impacting students.

She plans to keep a keen eye on the spring 2023 provincial election and is hoping to help get students more engaged in their government. The student body is not engaged in the political process right now, according to Cardinal — something she doesn’t fault them for.

“My goal is to provide tons of information in digestible ways for people who aren’t in the political world so that they can make their own conscious decision about who they think would be best in leadership,” she says, emphasizing that she hopes to make voting as accessible as possible for students.

Outside of campus, you might bump into Cardinal on the trails as she is an avid hiker. She describes herself as family oriented and adores her partner. They live together with their three cats, dog and hamster.

Read more about the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University.