An End-of-term Message from your 2019-20 UWSA President, Meagan Malcolm
As many of you know, I was the First Indigenous woman to be elected President of University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA). More importantly, I was a part of the first all women-of-colour executive team. The real honour was getting to work alongside women of colour who inspire me to do more. My term came with many challenges that many women-of-colour in leadership positions face, from criticism to discrimination online, but nothing can beat the feeling of meeting a first year who was inspired by our team’s work. My goal was never to be in the spotlight, or to be the voice of the organization. My goal was to instil confidence in others to bring their ideas forth. And to help them in accomplishing these goals. And to show others that we do belong in these spaces even when we feel like we don’t. I spent a lot of time standing up for students at the UWinnipeg Senate. This has been the most challenging but rewarding experience thus far.
I focused my term on trying to get the University to divest from the fossil fuels industry. The divestment movement at the University of Winnipeg has always been an Indigenous-led initiative. I knew coming into office this was something I needed to prioritize. The greatest success this year was creating a movement again. I am confident the momentum is only going to increase. From the help of the Indigenous Students’ Association (ISA) I was able to establish an UWSA Indigenous Advisory Circle. This is going to be a committee made up of non-elected Indigenous students that will oversee and guide all UWSA Indigenous projects and initiatives. That will ensure that the UWSA and its governance, programs and services are guided by an awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples.
I am the incoming National Executive for Circle of First Nations, Metis and Inuit for the Canadian Federation of Students. This is national role, which I don’t take lightly. I will be continuing to advocate for Indigenous students nationally. I feel confident that my experience with UWSA has well prepared me to take on this new role.
Thank you to my team and all the UWSA staff for making this such a memorable experience. I feel grateful to have had this experience at UWSA that has showed me what I am capable of.
Meagan Malcolm ᒣᑲᐣᒪᓬᑯᒼ
President (one last time)
University of Winnipeg Students’ Association