An End-of-term Message from your 2020-21 UWSA President, Shawna Péloquin
Tansi, Aanin, Watchiya, Students! Congratulation and Thank you for your perseverance, your dedication and your patience; it has been a rough year, and no one can anticipate the challenge of tomorrow. When I was elected your President, I was running under the Zhabwiiwin vision, which is the Anishinabemowin word for Overcoming Obstacles. Since obstacles have grown and yet you have completed your semester, you have made it to this day, and I am grateful for you and all that you have overcome this year.
A year ago, when I first started in Student politics, I was overwhelmed by the idea of becoming an Executive. It was a place of superheroes to me, leaders dedicated to social justice and in the service of others. The succession of UWSA Executives over the years have all brought unique leadership models to me that have inspired and motivated my own engagement with the university and beyond. Since, I have been reflecting a lot on what leadership means to me, how I perceive it and express it and how I want to act on it. My perspective of the UWSA has shifted in the last year. Holding Executive space has shown me that leadership does not need authority to be powerful. It does not need a position to be inspiring, but that it a space of courage, vulnerability and uncomfortable engagements. For the 2020-2021 Executive Term, I found my inspiration, through the UWSA Board of Director and UWSA senators, the leadership models I aspire to learn from. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work along with such talented leaders in the becoming, and at the end of the day, we all are leaders in the becoming. In the same way, we can’t predict what the pandemic brings next, so we can’t predict what we are able to do before we try. I’ve been your President for a short time and in a moment that all of us are apart. I have not been the leader I wanted to be, but I have become the leader I needed to see and that what I want for you.
I am honoured to have been your 2020-2021 UWSA President, and in awe of the students and leadership, I had the privilege to work and interact within this odd distance reality we now live in. I want to take the time and space to also acknowledge the perseverance, kindness, and resilience of you, our students, our student groups and the student leaders that I did not get the chance to meet or work with. I thank all of you for the responsibilities and the brave steps you took to help your community with support; thank you for being present where we couldn’t.
Please also give this piece I made a read: MATRIARCHY AND MISOGYNY Asserting Lateral Kindness and Addressing White Supremacy
Kinanaskimitinawaw, Megwetch, Kichni-Marsii,
University of Winnipeg Students’ Association