An End-of-term Message from your 2019-20 UWSA VP External Affairs, Mahlet Cuff
I have had the privilege and honour of being a part of the UWSA team for the past 11 months. Working with Nawal and Meagan has taught me so much about not only myself but the UW campus. I would have never thought that I would be a part of making history as the first ever Women of Colour team to work and run the UWSA. The three of us came into this job with the idea and plan to prioritize BIPOC students and marginalized students from all walks of life. I think that we were able to to not only say we are going to do it but also stick to for the last year.
Looking back on my exec reports and notes that I made during my time at the UWSA, I was able to list a couple things that I accomplished alongside my team that I am very proud of. As the Vice President of External Affairs, I have been able to connect and organize with student groups, be the local 8 representatives for the Canadian Federation of Students MB and be the individual that is able to connect with community organizations within the surrounding core of the University of Winnipeg.
In the beginning of my term I was able to finalize the BIPOC lounge Library Agreement with Micheal Dudley from UWinnipeg library and our Special Projects Manager. This is something that I have made a priority to continue with the re-elected Racialized Director and the BIPOC Lounge Coordinator. As being the Local 8 rep for the Canadian Federation Manitoba, I thought it was very important for me to make time to meet with delegates from National when they were in town. I was able to meet with the National Chair Person, Sofia Descalzi and Trina James when they were both in town to learn more about the Federation as a whole.
Alongside connecting with students and community, I have also had the chance to meet with faculty and be on committees that make decisions about academic misconduct, student services such as bursaries and scholarships and governance and community relations. I also got the chance to represent students on the Board of Regents where a lot of important decisions are being made about the university at large. In those spaces, we have been able to advocate for students that may not have the voice to do so and bring our own lived experiences to those meetings, where faculty and admin are able to learn from us as well.
In this role, I have learned that it is important to be able to work on your solo projects but to support your team in their projects as well. This means assisting Meagan in her role as President by showing up to Divest meetings and the great events she has been able to put on. I was also able to support to Noelle when she is advocating for the UPass and working with students going through various academic appeals.
As the elected LGBTTQ* Students’ Commissioner of the Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba for 2020-21, I hope to continue to prioritize marginalized students at a provincial level.
Mahlet Cuff (She/They)
2019/20 Vice-President External Affairs
University of Winnipeg Students’ Association