Rio Valencerina

Manager, Governance & Advocacy

Favourite Meal

I’ll never complain about a good burger and fries! No tomatoes on the burger, please!

Favourite aspect of Calgary

I think all of the public art is the most interesting thing in the city.

Perfect Weekend

In the warmer seasons, I like to go hiking with friends. I’ll usually take my camera with me because these hikes offer great opportunities to practice my photography.


I was born and raised right here in Calgary.

Fun Fact

The name I use and that everyone knows me by is not actually my real name! It’s a nickname that stuck because my real name was too long. Take a guess what my real name is! Here’s a hint: It’s two names, and the first means “Ruler of the house.”

Happiest Place

Honestly, in my room at home. I like being able to put my stuff down in a space completely my own and do whatever I want whether that’s gaming on my PC or drawing at my desk.

Get to know Rio!

What is your name and pronouns?

Rio Valencerina, he/him

What is your job position?

Manager, Governance & Advocacy

How long have you been at Saitsa?

I’ve been at Satisa for just under 3 years, starting off in the Governance Coordinator role.


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I most enjoy working with student leaders and helping them learn and grow. Having been involved with student associations and student government since I was an undergrad, I’ve learned a lot about the value of these groups for representing students when dealing with their institutions or the government.

As a previous Governance Coordinator and now manager, I’m in a position to help them learn the skills they need, and to guide student leaders as they navigate the different issues they might encounter. These have included academic and non-academic misconduct problems, advocacy issues like affordability and mental health, and accessibility issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is your education and work background? 

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from the University of Calgary. I also did a minor in Psychology, and received my Co-operative Education designation during my time there. I originally intended to pursue a law degree, but since then I’ve decided a career in public policy is more in-line with my interests.

My professional background is mostly in the higher education sector. While I was in school, I worked for the University of Calgary Student’s Union and interned with the Apprenticeship branch of Ministry of Advanced Education. After I graduated, I worked as an Exams Administrator for Athabasca University before finding work at Saitsa.

Why did you choose to work for Saitsa? 

When I started at Saitsa I had recently graduated from school and was working as an Exams Administrator for Athabasca University. The Governance Coordinator role at Saitsa had opened up and, with my experience at the University of Calgary Student’s Union, I fit in pretty well into the role. It offered a lot of opportunities to learn more about advocacy at other organizations.

What advice do you have for new SAIT students? 

Use the resources your Student Association has for you! These include Health & Dental coverage, a café, convenience stores, and a bar on campus that are all priced for students. Your Board of Directors is also available to help you navigate certain issues like problems with your instructors. These are all available for students to use, and hopefully students can find them helpful!

Why should students get to know Saitsa? 

Saitsa exists to represent student interests to the institution and government. These include things like the UPass, textbook costs, and even the costs of rent. These are all student issues that Saitsa and its Board of Directors has worked on for their students, and over the years we’ve seen different levels of success in our advocacy.

As the representatives of the organization and its members, knowing what the Board is working on empowers students to influence their student association. The Board exists to represent students, and reaching out to them or even learning about our programs offers some insight into the issues that can affect you as a student. Learning about Saitsa and getting involved at the Board level also gives students a lot of great experience, so I would always encourage students to learn about the Board and run for election if they are passionate about leadership and advocacy.


Find Us

Saitsa Resource Centre 

MC107 Stan Grad

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

The Gateway Restaurant & Bar

Monday – Friday

11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

V203 Campus Centre

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Odyssey Cafe

Monday – Friday

7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

V211 Campus Centre

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Station Market

Monday – Thursday

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

NN120 Senator Burns Building

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Station Express

Monday – Thursday

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

MB108 Stan Grad Building

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4