Dear Students, 

I remember being dropped off at Lister in my first year, eager and nervous. Being away from family for the first time is often a time of challenges and growth. Throughout the years I’ve spent on campus since arriving at Lister, I have had the amazing opportunity to engage with many facets of the campus experience—from living at Lister and St. Joseph’s College, to playing trombone with the UofA Concert Band, volunteering across campus, and learning great things through undergraduate research. 

UAlberta has become a home for me, where I have learned from my peers, faculty, and staff both in and out of the classroom. Nevertheless, as a Science student, I never thought I would be the kind of person to take an interest in student governance—or have the opportunity of being your UASU President during a year that will be remembered for the challenges it presented to us, and how we worked together to overcome those challenges.

Reflecting on Summer 2020

As we near the end of summer and roll into the Fall semester, I reflect on the incredibly challenging times we’ve been through together over the past few months. On May 1, 2020, I started off my term as President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, having spent the last year as Vice President Academic.

We have all adapted to changes and embraced uncertainty in the midst of a global health crisis. And this has not been easy. From shifting classes to an online setting, dealing with grading procedures, ensuring we’re getting the academic quality we deserve, to keeping the campus community alive and ensuring health and wellness is a priority—the last few months have been hectic to say the least. 

I know this year has been difficult for many students. Your UASU Executive team has been hard at work ensuring that you will be able to receive what you deserve—high quality education, a university experience that challenges and grows you as an individual, opportunities for undergraduate research and involvement in student groups, and a support network filled with the resources you need and depend on.

We Are in This Together

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with many students, in virtual settings, to ensure that voices are not being left out of important decisions that impact all of us. I’ve learned that connecting with and building relationships with people is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, and an important one too. As we continue to work with the University in these times, the entire Executive team and I are committed to building a campus community that reflects your voice. 

Projects Ahead

The fall semester brings upon us new challenges and opportunities, including preparing for U of A for Tomorrow, ensuring student concerns are being addressed in our new environment, preparing for significant academic restructuring changes for 2021, and even more. We’re working hard to ensure that students have the best and safest academic experience this fall and going forward. Building a campus community, ensuring your voices are heard, and engaging every voice will be key. I look forward to keeping you updated on these projects and creating an open dialogue where you know your voice and concerns are being heard, and represented. 

What we're going through today will one day be the past that we learned from and overcame together, where we chose to do what was right and not what was easy, and felt inspired to change the world. Thank you for being alongside me in this journey—we're in this together.




Joel Agarwal

President, University of Alberta Students’ Union