Transform the SFU Experience

Abhishek Parmar: An undergraduate student voice at the Board of Governors

March 14, 2024

As the current undergraduate student representative to the Board of Governors, Abhishek Parmar is driven by a commitment to service and transforming the SFU experience.

Currently completing his Bachelor of Business Administration with Beedie School of Business, Parmar held leadership roles with Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and was involved with the SFU Senate for three years before running for the position with the Board of Governors. 

“I wanted to have the biggest possible opportunity to improve student life.”

Parmar is one of 15 members of SFU's Board of Governors, which includes the President, Chancellor, two elected faculty members, two elected students, one elected staff member and eight individuals appointed by the provincial government.  

“Having the perspective of both undergraduate and graduate students on the Board is incredibly valuable. Our student representatives make important and meaningful contributions to the decision-making process," said University Secretary Margarita Fullerton.

According to Parmar, there can be a significant amount of reading material required to stay informed for meetings, and he emphasizes that it’s important to get involved for the right reasons.

“You are one person representing thousands of other undergraduate students. A passion for governance and advocacy, willingness to learn and adapt, and being open-minded to other perspectives is very important for the role.”

While he notes it can be challenging to balance academics with extracurricular involvement, his time on the Board has allowed him to make meaningful contributions to the university and gain a better understanding of a large-scale organization’s operations.  

“I always worried that as a student my opinion might be seen as ‘less than’ because I was in a room full of people that had more education, but during the latter half of my term I’ve become more comfortable speaking my mind in a way that’s relevant to the discussions.”

With elections underway for the next student representative, Parmar has a key piece of advice for anyone considering running for the Board: 

“Make sure to enjoy your experience and don’t be afraid to speak up during meetings – what you have to say matters!”