GSA Executives’ Blog: It’s time for an interview with GSA President Mohammad Mansouri

It has been just over 1 month and a half since Mohammad started his President role at the GSA! Hear about Mohammad’s priorities and experience so far in this important role.

Hi Mohammad, thanks for being here. Congratulations on your new President position with the GSA. Can you first tell us your experience with your President role so far?

As the President, I am much more involved with the external advocacy for the GSA on the university, provincial, and federal levels. On many on-campus committees, the President is able to bring forward valuable feedback gathered from GSA committees and Graduate Representative Council. Now that the GSA is a part of the federal advocacy group Canadian Alliance of Students’ Associations (CASA), the President also takes part in the design of federal policies that affect graduate students.

And what is the most rewarding part of your President role?

I really enjoy and feel good to help make graduate students’ experience better. It is interesting to work within different areas and work with different people in my current role. It’s hard to choose the most important & interesting committee I am on; I enjoy all and try to be an active member on all of those committees. I am honoured to be a part of UCalgary’s Board of Governors, the highest governing body of the University.

Can you tell us your three biggest goals for the GSA this year?

Firstly, I want to negotiate some amendments to the current Health and Dental contract that was signed last year after a vigorous review process. I would like to monitor these changes to ensure the full benefit for graduate students.

Secondly, I would like to introduce a full training/professional development program for our committees’ members to engage them and empower them to achieve their fullest potential.

Lastly, the GSA’s 2019-2022 strategic plan directs the GSA to diverse our revenue streams and depend less on student fees. Therefore, I would like to work on our investment policy and efforts to generate more revenue that way.

What are the urgent issues that graduate students are facing to your knowledge?

There is much uncertainty right now in regards to government scholarship and funding for graduate students given the recent provincial election and upcoming federal election. This uncertainty challenges both the GSA and the University. We hope to get a clear answer from the governments soon in regards to graduate students’ funding.

Anything else you want to add?

The GSA’s board and staff work hard to provide the best possible services to our students. We are here to support you in any way that we can!

To contact Mohammad, please email him at pres.gsa@ucalgary.ca

This week, Mohammad is in Edmonton in the Student Leaders’ Orientation organized by the Ministry of Education of Government of Alberta.

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