Blog

U-Pass Program Suspended for Fall 2020

July 27th, 2020

On July 8, 2020, the UWSA Board of Directors voted to suspend the U-Pass program for the Fall 2020 Term as the majority of classes will be offered virtually and campus access will be limited this term. The U-Pass fee will not be assessed for new and returning full-time UWinnipeg students when they pay their fees. 

The UWSA recognizes that some students need to access transit even when classes are online. In the absence of the U-Pass, students will be able to buy Post-Secondary Semester Passes at operational Winnipeg Transit retail locations at the rate of $278/semester. To minimize the financial impact on students during the pandemic, the UWSA and UWinnipeg are working to provide a subsidy program to reimburse the cost difference equivalent ($78) to a U-Pass for full-time UWinnipeg students-in-need. 

Application and eligibility details for the subsidy program will be available on the UWSA website in August. Please check the website regularly for updates.  

Depending on the public health situation and campus closure, the U-Pass may or may not be provided in January 2020. The UWSA Board will meet in the fall to determine if it is possible to provide the U-Pass program for the Winter 2020/21 Term. 

If you have questions about the U-Pass program, the proposed post-secondary semester pass subsidy, or Winnipeg Transit products, please reach out us at infobooth@theuwsa.ca 

Next UWSA Board Meeting: July 24

July 20th, 2020

A UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 5.30 PM.

Please review the agenda and materials here:
July 24 Board Meeting Agenda
July 24 Board Meeting Open Session Package

All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend open session. Please email j.black@theuwsa.ca for the Zoom link using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number.

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

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

Some Winnipeg biking pit-stops to help you maintain your bike over the summer!

June 1st, 2020

Does your bike need a tune-up or maintenance? Although the UWSA Bike Lab’s physical location is closed due to University of Winnipeg’s closure and the pandemic, some community bike shops are still open and ready to help!

The situation is changing everyday so please visit the specified websites or follow them on social to check when they reopen.

Co-op Velo (Open)
190 Ave de la Cathedrale
Tue – 5:30 to 8:30 PM
Thu 3:00 to 6:00PM
Sun 12:00 to 3:00PM
Contact: info@coopvelocite.ca

Orioles Bike Cage (Temporary Closed)
444 Burnell St.
Contact: oriolesbikecage@gmail.com

South Osborne Bike Hub
725 Kylemore Ave
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri – 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Wed – 2:00 to 9:00 PM
Contact: sobikehub@gmail.com

The Bike Dump (Temporary Closed)
631 Main Street
Volunteers are answering questions via e-mail and Facebook.
Contact: winnipegbikedump@gmail.com

The Wrench (Closed till July 1, 2020)
1057 Logan – Thurs, 12:00 to 5:30 PM

The Forks Bike sales – Sat 12:00 to 6:00 PM

The Forks Bike repairs – Sundays 12:00 to 6:00 PM
Contact: inquiry@thewrench.ca

UWSA Bike Lab (Temporarily Closed)
515 Portage Avenue (The University of Winnipeg)
Contact: b.hewagamage@theuwsa.ca

UMCycle (Temporary Closed)
University of Manitoba
Contact: umcycle@umsu.ca

Please note that all community bike shops are DIY shops, which are volunteer-led. Staff and volunteers are there for you to learn how to repair your bikes by yourselves in a well equipped workshop, at no charge.

Questions? Contact the UWSA Services Manager at b.hewagamage@theuwsa.ca.

UWSA BoD Meeting: June 3, 2020

May 27th, 2020

The next UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on June 3, 2020 at 5.30 PM. All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend the open session. To attend, email j.black@theuwsa.ca for the link using your UWinnipeg webmail address. Please include the following information in the email:

  • Full name
  • Student number
  • That they are a UWinnipeg student currently enrolled in classes, or registered to start or resume classes in the summer or fall.

Please note that students have to sign into the meeting using their UWinnipeg webmail address, and are expected to mute their mic unless we are in an active question period.  The acting chair of the meeting reserves the right to mute participant mics where necessary.

Please click here to view the June 2020 Board Meeting Agenda.

Student can download the June 2020 Board Meeting Package here.

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

Questions? Please email us a j.black@theuwsa.ca for more information.

Final Grade Options Deadline: May 28

May 26th, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, University of Winnipeg students may choose how their grades will affect their grade point average (GPA) calculation for the Winter 2020 and Fall/Winter 2019-20 terms. 

Students can either request to have a course final mark appear on their transcript but not count toward their GPA, or, choose a pass/fail option (Standing or F) rather than a grade displayed on a transcript.

 You have until May 28 to make your decision and submit your request for either options.

To request an alternative final grade, please complete one of the following forms and send it, via your UWinnipeg webmail, to Student Central at studentcentral@uwinnipeg.ca

For questions about progression in your program or prerequisites in your major, please contact your Department Chair.  You are strongly encouraged to speak with an academic advisor prior to making your decision, to ensure you consider possible consequences. Please contact advising@uwinnipeg.ca or call 204-786-9257.

UWSA representatives are also there to support you through the process. Please contact your VPSA, Melanie William, at vpsa@theuwsa.ca if you require academic guidance.

UWSA Health Plan Opt-Out/Opt-In/Opt-Change Deadline: May 20

May 19th, 2020

Tomorrow, May 20. is the last day to Opt-Out, Opt-Change, or Opt-In for the UWSA Green Shield Health Plan for students enrolled in Spring-Summer Courses. 

Please note that only students starting classes in the Spring/Summer term can Opt-Out/Opt-Change right now. Students who started in Fall or Winter can Opt-Out/Opt-Change in September/January. Coverage is mandatory for International Students. 

All Opt-Outs are processed online. Please have your student number handy. Click here to Opt-Out.

Download the form here and submit it to optchange@theuwsa.ca to join the plan or add a partner or dependent to your plan.

For more information, contact Emmanuel Iwuoha e.iwuoha@theuwsa.ca

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) Applications Open Tomorrow, May 15

May 14th, 2020

Starting tomorrow, May 15, eligible UWinnipeg students will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Student benefit through their Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Account. 

While the CESB will offer much needed support to many students who had been left out of the CERB, there are still ways to improve this vital program. International students, who make up 12.5 per cent of UWinnipeg’s student population will still be left out. 

The amount of $1250 per month is also considerably less than the $2000 per month that applicants receive through CERB. The reduced amount is not enough to cover education and living costs for students unable to work or find work due to the pandemic. 

The UWSA appreciates the financial support from Ottawa and hopes that both the federal and provincial governments will take steps to ensure that the CESB is available to all students and is on par with the CERB. 

About the Canada Emergency Student Benefit 

The CESB will provide financial support to recent graduates and post-secondary students who are unable to work or find employment due to COVID-19, or are not earning over $1000, and who are not eligible for either the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).  

The benefit will provide $1,250 every four weeks for eligible students or $2,000 every four weeks for eligible students with disabilities or those with children or other dependents. The CESB is available from May 10 until August 29, 2020. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2020. 

Applications for the CESB will open Friday, May 15, 2020. To get ready to apply, the CRA encourages eligible students to take three important steps: 

  • Step 1: Register a profile with the CRA. If you have never filed an income tax return with the CRA, you may not have a profile with them. Call 1-800-959-8281 to activate your SIN with the CRA. 
  • Step 2: Register for My Account as this is the fastest and easiest way to apply for the benefit. 
  • Step 3Enroll for Direct Deposit with the CRA through My Account or your financial institution to get your CESB within 3 days of applying. Alternatively, you must ensure your mailing information is up-to-date in My Account to receive a cheque by mail within 10 business days. 

Please visit the CESB website here to make sure that you qualify and have all the documents necessary to submit your application.  

Need food? Here are some community resources where you can get emergency food support

May 13th, 2020

In order to protect the safety and health of students and community members and staff, the UWSA Foodbank will remain closed till the public health situation improves. However, as students deal with unprecedented challenges, food and income insecurity continues to rise.  

Winnipeg Harvest has helped us prepare a list of distribution centres across Manitoba where students and community members can access free emergency food and groceries.

Winnipeg Harvest 

If you need emergency food, please call Winnipeg Harvest to book an appointment at your local food bank. You can reach them by phone or email.

In Winnipeg:  
Phone: (204) 982 – 3660 
Email: appointments@winnipegharvest.org 
Outside Winnipeg:  
Phone: 1 (800) 970 – 5559 
Email: kellym@winnipegharvest.org 
Hours:  
Monday to Friday 9:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. 
Saturday 9:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 

 You will need the following information when calling:  

  • Six-digit Manitoba health number  
  • International Students: You don’t need a Manitoba Health Card to access foodbank. Simply, keep your UWinnipeg Student Number handy.  

Seniors and people living with disabilities can have food delivered to their residence via Winnipeg Harvest by calling (204) 9823660. Walk-ins service is not available, so please call before visiting a food distribution centre.  

Other Winnipeg Community Resources 

If you need supplemental food, the following soup kitchens are open and serving pre-packaged food. 

  • Agape Table  
    364 Furby St.  
    Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.  
     
  • Siloam Mission  
    300 Princess St. 
    Monday – Sunday  
    Breakfast: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. (only for people staying overnight)  
    Lunch: 12.30 p.m. – 1.30 p.m.  
    Supper: 6.30pm – 7.30pm  
     
  • Manitoba Metis Federation  
    Call for a hamper and have your MMF# ready. Delivery only. 
    150 Henry Ave. 
    65 & under: Call 204-589-4327  
    65 & over: Call 204-586-8474 (ext. 371) 
     
  • Missionaries of Charity  
    167 Aikins Street   
    Take and Go: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday  
    Breakfast: 9.30 a.m. – 10.45 a.m. 
     
  • West Central Women’s Centre  
    640 Ellice Ave.  
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 12 – 1 p.m. (bagged lunch)  
    Tuesday and Thursday: 5 – 6 p.m. (bagged dinner)  
    Saturday: 10 – 11 a.m. 
     
  • Main Street Project (Meals) 
    75 Martha St. 
    Monday-Sunday: Lunch at 1 p.m. | Supper at 4.30 p.m. 
     
  • Main Street Project (Shelter)  
    75 Martha St. for men  
    Mitchell Fabrics building on Main for women  
    First come first serve for overnight shelter. 
     
  • Union Gospel Mission  
    320 Princess  
    Breakfast: 11 a.m. | Supper: 7 p.m. 
    50 people served each day 
    Drop-in service provided from 2 – 4 p.m. from Monday-Friday for use of showers and food (if available). Maximum of twenty people every thirty minutes. 
     
  • Light House Mission  
    669 Main St. 
    Monday – Thursday 
    Breakfast: 9 – 11 a.m. | Lunch: 2 – 3 p.m.  
    Friday: 1 – 2 p.m.  
    Call Shawn at 204-943-9669 for an emergency hamper. 
     
  • Salvation Army  
    For residents only. Shelter units are currently full.  
    180 Henry Ave.  
     
  • Crossways in the Commons  
    222 Furby St.  
    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays: 12.30 – 3 p.m.  
    Bagged lunches: 1 – 1.10 pm. 
    Call 204-774-2773 to arrange an appointment for emergency hampers after-hours. 
     
  • Bear Clan Den  
    563 Selkirk Ave.  
    Call 204-219-1052 
    Changes every day depending on the supplies they receive so call ahead. 
     
  • North Point Douglas Women’s Center  
    221 Austin St. N  
    Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
    Non-perishable food hampers and feminine hygiene products also available. 
     
  • The Welcome Home  
    188 Euclid Ave.  
    Wednesday: 10 a.m. onwards 
    20 food hampers distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. Bagged lunches after that. 
     
  • North End Women’s Center  
    394 Selkirk Ave.  
    Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or until they run out 
    Bagged lunches, hygiene products, pads, clean needles and new-born diapers available. 
     
  • Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Center  
    Emergency kits with food (bagged lunches, fruit, juice box & granola bar), baby supplies (diapers, formula, baby cereal & baby food jars, basic needs (toilet paper, feminine products, shampoo, conditioner & soap).  
    Deliveries only  
    Monday to Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  
    Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  
    Request kits by calling McGregor location 204-925-0330/6816 
    Or, Spence location 204-925-0352 or 204-925-0348 
     
  • Macdonald Youth Services (ages 13-21)  
    159 Mayfair Ave.  
    Call: 1-888-477-1804 
    Offering food, shelter, shower, and laundry 
     
  • Daniel Mcintyre/ St Matthews Community Association  
    823 Ellice Ave.  
    Monday – Friday: 2 – 6 p.m.  
    Take-out window for drinking water, snacks, hygiene supplies, feminine products, safer sex protection, clean needles socks & service referrals. Ring the doorbell out front for service. 
     
  • Feed My Lambs  
    117 Euclid Ave.  
    Friday: 3:30 p.m. 
    Food-hamper distribution on a first-come, first-serve basis.  
     
  • Andrews Street Family Centre  
    220 Andrews St.  
    Emergency food, diapers & formula available with MB health card.  
    Meals served Monday – Friday: 12 – 2 p.m.  
     
  • Salvation Army Weetamah  
    324 Logan Ave.  
    Bread every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 11 a.m.  
    Washrooms available: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Questions? Please contact us at foodbank@theuwsa.ca.  

Provincial cuts to UWinnipeg’s funding to increase financial and academic challenges for students amid global pandemic.

May 11th, 2020

University of Winnipeg Students' Association's official logo.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Provincial cuts to UWinnipeg’s funding to increase financial and academic challenges for students amid global pandemic.

WINNIPEG [Treaty 1 Territory] May 11, 2020 – On May 11, 2020, UWinnipeg announced that the Government of Manitoba has cut the University of Winnipeg’s (UWinnipeg) operating grant by 3.7 per cent, amounting to a $2.3 million reduction, even as post-secondary students deal with uncertainties due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This is the third year in a row that the province has cut post-secondary operating grants.

Since enrolment for the Spring/Summer term at UWinnipeg has increased, these cuts will put pressure on administrators to offer high-quality education, while also striving to provide the financial and academic support that students need as they deal with uncertainty.

“Students are facing reduced course options for the spring term, and with the current economic instability, this news is profoundly disappointing,” says Jibril Hussein, President of the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association. “Cuts to the operating grant and the University’s budget will probably mean fewer course options for students, and higher tuition costs to make up for the lost revenue. This, coupled with the economic downturn due to COVID-19, presents one of the worst financial futures students have ever faced.”

Hussein agrees that critical financial decisions need to be made during an economic crisis but defunding educational institutions is not a sustainable strategy. 

“Investment in post-secondary education is not only vital for the wellbeing of all of its students, but for the province’s future as well,” he says. 

According to UWinnipeg, funding cuts will impact their ability to meet the significant demand increase the University is currently experiencing. 

“I’ve witnessed the adverse effects that the current public health situation has had on both academic life and mental health of students at the University,” says Melanie William, UWSA Vice-President Student Affairs. “Budgets are about choices, and this choice sends a clear message that students are not a priority for this government.”

The University of Winnipeg plans to present its revised budget to the Board of Regents in June. In order to avoid layoffs, their focus will be on non-salary reductions as they pivot to meet the growing demand for educational programs. 

About UWSA

Established in 1972, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) democratically unites the students of the University of Winnipeg in order to advance student interests. As well as promoting communication within the University, the UWSA advocates on behalf of students to administrative bodies.

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For further information, contact:

Shreya Jhunjhunwala 
Communications Manager
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association
0R30 – 515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
(204) 962-7023
s.jhunjhunwala@theuwsa.ca

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg