In The News

  • An Update on Addressing Institutional Racism at the UWSA

    July 6th, 2020

    On June 12, 2020 the UWSA Board of Directors (“the board”) approved a motion to send a formal request to the UWinnipeg Human Rights and Diversity Office (HRDO) to investigate the experiences of harassment and discrimination disclosed by students Mahlet Cuff and Noelle Sagher in social media on June 4 and 10. These disclosures include the potential involvement of the current UWSA Executive Director team: Jibril Hussein, Melanie William, and Breanna Belisle. 

    On June 16, 2020, the board approved a motion to put the Executive team on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.  

    The UWSA Board of Directors believes our former Executives’ experiences and the opinions shared on the Executive Directors’ Instagram account, were not approved by the UWSA Board, nor supported by UWSA labour unions. 

    We acknowledge our part in creating an environment where our former Executives felt unsafe and unsupported. We want you to know that we’re listening, and we’re committed to changing the way we work to address the gaps in our organization for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.  

    In addition to the external HRDO investigation, the UWSA Board of Directors is committed to providing anti-racism training and to conducting an internal investigation, with the support of a third-party, to help us identify and change the limitations of our policies and processes, and take steps to improve them.  

    We recognize that these are just the first steps towards dismantling institutional racism inherent in colonial educational institutions, and we plan to continually evaluate where we are, and do better. Over the year, we will continue to share information on our next steps with students on our website.

    During this time the UWSA would like to support any students that were affected by these disclosures and actions, as well as to reassure all students that Executive emails and phone lines are forwarding to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), and being redirected to supporting UWSA departments. The UWSA Board will be meeting on July 8 to discuss other interim changes to board meetings and subcommittees.

    In the absence of a Chair of the Board, our former Chair, Taylor Daigneault has stepped-in to offer interim support.  

    All questions regarding Board Meetings can go to UWSA General Manager, Jennifer Black, at j.black@theuwsa.ca  

    All questions regarding business operations can go to UWSA Chief Operating Officer, Karolya Vargscarr, at k.vargscarr@theuwsa.ca   

    Thank you for raising your voice and always keeping us accountable. 

    Sincerely, 
    UWSA Board of Directors
    University of Winnipeg Students’ Association

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  • July 8 Board of Directors Meeting

    July 4th, 2020

    A UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on July 8, 2020 at 5:30 PM. Please email j.black@theuwsa.ca for more information using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your UWinnipeg Student ID Number.

    Click here to view the agenda: 

    All participants are expected to abide by the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy.

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  • About the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)

    June 26th, 2020

    On June 25, 2020, the Federal Government launched the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) portal, that connects qualified post-secondary students and recent graduates with volunteer opportunities to support Canada’s response to COVID-19. In recognition for their service, eligible students can receive a grant of between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the number of hours worked.

    While the grant does provide support to some students, many students will once again be left out.  International students, students over the age of 30, and those who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), are not eligible for CSSG. 

    UWSA’s International Students’ Co-Directors, Elsa Owusu and Francisca Idigbe (UWSA) stress on the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented disruption for international students across Canada.

    “They are struggling to make ends meet and need support too,” they say. “We are calling on the federal government to provide income support to international students.” 

    Canada needs a program that doesn’t leave anyone behind. The Canadian Federation of Students has a template, which students can use to call Minister Qualtrough, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, to ask for an expansion of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to include international students and make the CESB $2000 per month.

    To be considered eligible to apply for CSSG, you must: 

    • be enrolled and attending post-secondary education during spring, summer or fall 2020; or 
    • have graduated from PSE no earlier than December 2019; and
    • be 30 years old or younger as of December 31st, 2020; and
    • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, First Nation, Métis or Inuit, or those with Refugee status.

    All Canadian students and recent graduates who meet the eligibility criteria can receive the Grant for volunteering between June 25th and October 31st, 2020. Students who study abroad are also eligible, but they must be currently living in Canada. If you receive or have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you are not eligible for the Grant.

    Applying for Volunteer Opportunities: 

    Once you’ve confirmed you meet the eligibility criteria, you can start searching for service opportunities on the I Want to Help platform. You have until August 21, 2020 to apply. If you are already volunteering with a charity or not-for-profit organization and would like your hours to count towards the Canada Student Service Grant, the organization you’re volunteering with can submit the opportunity for approval before August 21st, 2020 — as long as it meets all of our requirements.

    Once you’ve found an opportunity, create your account and apply here. You will need: 

    • A piece of identification such as a valid driver’s license, provincial or territorial identification, or, a valid passport; and
    • A proof of registration from a recognized post-secondary institution for Spring/Summer 2020 or Fall 2020; or
    • A proof of graduation from no earlier than December 2019.

    Track your hours: 

    Remember to track your hours once you start volunteering at the place of your choice. The organization will assign you a supervisor who will be able to approve your volunteer hours as you complete them.

    The Canada Student Service Grant ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. The more volunteer hours you work between June 25 and October 31, 2020, the higher the grant amount you will be eligible to receive. Note that the Grant is only offered in increments of $1,000 for every hundred volunteer hours completed. This means you won’t be receiving $1,500 for 150 completed hours.

    For more information, please review the eligibility details and application requirements here. For additional support, you can call 1 (833) 521-0117 or email us at support@iwanttohelp.org between Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST.

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  • U-Pass @ UWinnipeg: Community Consultation

    June 23rd, 2020

    The UWSA Board of Directors want your feedback on whether the UWSA should offer the U-Pass in the Fall 2020 term. Please submit your response via this survey here: U-Pass @ UWinnipeg: Community Consultation.

    Questions? Please read through the FAQs below before you select your answer. 

    How much is the U-Pass?  

    The U-Pass fee for Fall/Winter 2020-21 is $200 per term. Students will pay this fee with their other registration fees at the beginning of each term. The U-Pass program is mandatory for all full-time students. 

    What options do I have in the absence of U-Pass? 

    In the absence of the U-Pass, students can purchase monthly or semester post-secondary passes. The post-secondary pass costs $81.65/month or $278/semester.  

    Starting May 1, 2020, eligible adults can apply for a WINNpass, a monthly transit pass for individuals with low income. Please click here to check your eligibility. 

    If you don’t plan on using transit frequently, you can choose to purchase e-cash or cash tickets on a pay-per-use basis. A full list of fares can be found here. 

    Why do I have to decide now?  

    In order to provide U-Pass in the fall, the UWSA and Winnipeg Transit need to start preparing in the summer. UWinnipeg and UWSA staff also need to input registered students’ data and collect financial information two-three months before classes start. 

    How often will I have to travel to the campus in Fall 2020? 

    As of now, the University has not made an official announcement regarding Fall classes. We have been told that a vast majority of classes will be offered remotely. According the provincial health guidelines, post-secondary institutions can provide learning in settings where learning and/or research requires hands-on experience. Examples may include, but are not limited to, laboratories, studios, trades instructions and practicums. 

    If I select yes, does that mean U-Pass won’t be available all year?  

    The U-Pass fee is assessed on per term. Your survey response will help guide us for the Fall 2020 term from September – December 2020. Depending on the public health situation, the U-Pass fee may or may not be charged for the Winter 2020 term.  

    What if the public health situation improves by the Fall? 

    The U-Pass fee is assessed at the beginning of the term. So, we will not be able to provide it in the middle of the term. Later in 2020, the UWSA Board of Directors will decide whether to offer U-Pass in Winter 2020-21 from January – May 2020/21. 

    Is it safe to travel on the bus? 

    Winnipeg Transit has made changes to service and operation in light of COVID-19. Please visit this link here to review their guidelines for social distancing and reduced schedules.  

    Can I Opt-Out of U-Pass? 

    Enrollment for full-time students is mandatory, as per the student referendum and legal Winnipeg City Council directive. However, select students, including but not limited to those who live outside city limits and/or use handi-transit are eligible to opt-out. Please click here to check if you qualify.  

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Our vision is to create an accessible, inclusive, democratic post-secondary education system that is of the highest possible quality and value, and in which students can reach their full potential.

We Engage: Campus Students, Faculty, Administration | Community Local, Grass Roots, Non-profit | Government Municipal, Provincial, Federal.

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