Addressing Institutional Racism at the UWSA

October 27th, 2020

Dear students and community members,

Over the last few months, we have gone through a significant learning experience that has led us to re-evaluate the way we work with and support students. In August 2020, two out of the three UWSA Executives resigned in the midst of a very difficult situation.

As the situation evolved in June, the UWSA asked the University of Winnipeg’s Human Rights and Diversity Office (HRDO) to conduct an investigation so that the UWSA Board could understand what had occurred from everyone’s perspective.  The University was unable to investigate because the Policy does not allow for a complaint to be brought forward on behalf of another party, and because the issue fell beyond its jurisdiction. The UWSA Board recognized that it needed to address the issue at a deeper, organizational level and hired an external consultant to engage in a process which allowed the UWSA to examine its strengths and weaknesses.

All of this was happening in the midst of two global events: the COVID-19 pandemic and the mobilization of the Black Lives Matter movement. While every student has been impacted by both events, the experiences of Black, Racialized and Indigenous peoples have been profound.

A final report of the organizational process is in progress.  However, some emerging conclusions are listed below:

  • The UWSA exists to support students at the University of Winnipeg. The student body is diverse and representative of different social, cultural, and political identities. Honouring and respecting that diversity is fundamental to the UWSA in its work.
  • To respect the diversity of the UWSA membership, we need to strengthen our platforms and spaces that promote dialogue and debate. We need safe spaces for disagreement, and to maintain respect for each student engaged in these conversations. When it comes to supporting racism, elections, and open discussions, the UWSA must, and can, do better.
  • While social media has some value in raising issues, we were reminded that important social issues like addressing racism cannot be resolved solely through social media.
  • We learned that the UWSA will need to find better ways to support Executives as they transition, particularly when they have very different ideological foundations or approaches. We are committed to establishing a change management strategy between Executives that honours both sets of student leaders – one group transitioning out and the other coming in.
  • Most Executives have ambitious agendas that cannot be achieved in their one-year term. We need to engage students with UWSA initiatives and strategies that go beyond the annual election cycle and campaigns. Many of the issues that students want to see changed are systemic in nature and take longer than one year.
  • We want the election process to be focused on the strengths that are our student leaders bring, instead of replicating systems and processes that are known to harm individuals. We want to get creative and constructive about our election process.
  • The UWSA is committed to doing its part in ending all forms of discrimination, including Anti-Black and Indigenous racism. When accusations of racism came up, the UWSA Board took leadership to respond to the issue. As we moved forward throughout the past few months, we recognized that there are multiple strategies to address racism and many students put forward their thinking.  This critical discussion deserves more platforms so that we, at the UWSA, can do better.  We learned that doing harm to others does not address racism – holding people accountable through relationship is how we can all learn and change.
  • We want to recognize the UWSA Board and Executive who respected the process to try and address this situation and find solutions. We would like to thank former Executives and board members who continue to participate in the process to make the UWSA a stronger organization.
  • The UWSA Board is committed to moving forward and will be reviewing the final report from the consultant before the end of October. We will be preparing a plan of action before the end of the year that will be shared with the full student body.
  • We have been reminded through these many difficult situations that relationships matter and when we work at having honest and respectful relationships we can get through any issue together.

In order to move forward, the UWSA Board agreed to invite the 2020-21 Vice-President Student Affairs, Melanie William, back to her position for the remainder of her elected term. The UWSA Board has established a Code of Conduct and is committed to creating a safe working and learning environment at the UWSA. In the spirit of reconciliation, the board and executives, including resigned members, have agreed to come together in a sharing circle to learn from our collective experience.

Yours in Solidarity,

University of Winnipeg Students’ Association’s Board of Directors and Staff, 2020-21

By-Election Voting Begins Monday, October 26!

October 23rd, 2020

🗳️ Voting for the UWSA 2020 By-Elections opens Monday, Oct 26 at 9 AM and ends on Oct 28 at 6 PM! ⠀

⚠️ Check your Webmail on Monday morning (including spam!) for your unique ID, password, and voting link.

Learn all about your candidates and their agendas before you cast your vote! Download this handy Voter Guide for information on voting in the 2020 UWSA By-Election: Voter Guide 2020

Or, view the Candidate Speeches here:

Questions? Contact:

Shenal Fernando
Chief Elections Commissioner

Charith Pathirathna
Deputy Elections Commissioner
(431) 388-3903

By-Election 2020 Candidate Speeches

October 16th, 2020

The candidates for the UWSA By-Elections are students just like you. They represent your faculties and communities to the UWSA and the University of Winnipeg. Find out if your representatives care about the same issues as you before you cast your vote.

Attend Candidate Speeches on:
Zoom –
Monday, October 19 
12.30 – 1:30 PM

Learn more about your election candidates and make an informed vote in the 2020 By-Elections.

Can’t make it to the event? Click here to read Candidate Bios in the Voter’s Guide. 

Have any questions? Email or visit

A message from the REBLITE Board on a safe and fair 2020 By-Elections

October 15th, 2020

Dear students,

Over the past few months, it had become clear to the UWSA that our elections have caused harm to past participants. Unclear expectations and enforcement of conduct, insufficient accountability processes, and a lack of a capacity to follow through are some of the aspects that must be addressed. The Board is reviewing its democratic processes and working towards reforming the system of governance. However, in order to fulfill our obligations as a non-profit board and remain accountable to the student membership, the 2020 By-Elections will take place.

We are in the difficult position of having to navigate a harmful system while we reform it, and we know that this puts election participants in difficult positions as well. Participants can continue to file complaints and appeals through our website, as per the process outlined in the UWSA By-Laws. However, we recognize that the current processes have their limitations.

As the elections commission, the REBLITE Board wants students to know that we are committed to a safe and fair election.  We want students to feel safe to come forward with their concerns and there are two points of contact to help students do so.  If you have a concern about the election, the first step is to reach out to the Chief Elections Commissioner (CEC), Shenal Fernando, at; however, if the concern is regarding the CEC, or if you are unsatisfied with his response, please reach out to the Chair of the Board (CoB), Anjola Aderinto, at  Anjola will bring your concern to the REBLITE Board, regardless of whether or not it is a formally submitted appeal, and we will work to address it.

As an organization, we depend on the participation and feedback of our membership.  We understand that bringing forward concerns is an act of care that requires significant emotional labour.  We value every disclosure and are committed to honouring them through harm-reduction frameworks.

Thank you,
The Referenda and Election By-Law Interpretation and Transparent Enforcement Board
(The REBLITE Board)

UWSA By-Election 2020

October 1st, 2020

The UWSA By-Election period has begun!

The By-Election is where students can run for vacant positions that were not filled during the General Election. To run, you will need to fill out a nomination form and submit it to the Chief Elections Commissioner before the end of the nomination period.

Nomination Period:  Monday, Sept. 28 – Thursday, Oct. 8 *Due by 6 p.m. 

2020 By-Election Nomination Form – Candidates must submit a completed nomination form to the CEC at by 6 PM on October 8, 2020 in order to eligible to run in the 2020 UWSA By-Elections. All candidates or their scrutineers are encouraged to attend the All Candidates Meeting on Friday, Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m.

Nomination forms are available in alternate formats on for students with accessibility needs. Requests for an alternative nomination form must be submitted in writing or by phone to the CEC by 8 a.m. on Thursday, October 1. Interested candidates can call 204-786-9052 to make their request.

Open Positions

  • President of the UWSA
  • Vice-President External Affairs (VPEA)
  • Education Director
  • Environmental Ethics Director
  • PACE Director
  • Part-Time/Mature Students’ Director
  • Recreation & Athletics Director
  • Science Director
  • Student Living Director
  • Women & Non-Binary Students’ Director
  • Board of Regents Representative

Thinking of running? Check out the Candidate Guide for details on the open positions, campaigning, and voting: Candidates Guide By-Election 2020

Questions? Email the Chief Elections Commissioner at

Book your Grad Photo Session with Lifetouch!

September 30th, 2020

 Lifetouch Canada will be taking Graduation Photos at their Winnipeg Studio location for University of Winnipeg 2020 Graduates only, on Friday, October 23 and Friday, October 30.

Lifetouch Studio Address:  Unit # 3 – 1410 Mountain Avenue

To book your photo appointment, visit the following online link:

 Once on the website, scroll down until you see the purple banner and in the drop-down menu please select “University of Winnipeg” in order successfully book your grad photo appointment.

You will receive your photo proofs by Canada Post 2 – 3 weeks after your photo session. Keep in mind that your proofs are not retouched, but your finished portrait order will include basic retouching at no charge to eliminate blemishes & soften lines.

If you are a graduate with the Faculty of Education, you have the option to purchase an 11×14 souvenir Composite of the 2020 Graduation Class, for $25.00 at the time of your session. Debit or credit is preferred.

In order to ensure your safety and that of our staff, Lifetouch has made a few adjustments to our daily operations to ensure a safe environment, including mask usage, no touch posing, no assistance on grooming and social distancing.


Please read the following points outlined below:

  • If you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 as outlined by the Province of Manitoba, please do not come to your appointment and we will be happy to reschedule you at a later date. You can refer to the Health Canada Screening Tool website to take a self-assessment test at: ca/covid19/screening-tool/
  • Please arrive 5 – 10 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled appointment time. Our studio door will remain locked so kindly please wait in your vehicle until one of the photographers calls you on your cell phone and will meet you at the front door. Anyone who is late will not be photographed and cancellations will require 48-hour notice online.
  • It is recommended that your $20 Session Fee is paid by debit or credit only.
  • Appointments will be 20 minutes. Only the graduate will be allowed at the appointment; no friends or family members will be permitted to ensure proper safe social distancing.
  • We will not be including props or casual photos during photo sessions; all photos will be taken in graduation attire.
  • Graduates who prefer to wear a white dress shirt and black tie, please come prepared to your session already dressed in this attire as there will be no public washrooms or change rooms available to use.
  • Graduates who prefer to not wear a white dress shirt and tie, we suggest wearing a v-neck or scoop neck shirt. Please come prepared to your session already dressed in this attire as there will be no public washrooms or change rooms available to use.
  • Photographers will not provide white dress shirts or black ties for graduates to use. Please ensure your tie is pre-tied before your appointment or use a clip-on tie.

Hand sanitizer will be provided upon arrival to your appointment; the refusal of using sanitizer will result in voluntary cancellation of your appointment.

UWSA Board Meeting Today!

September 30th, 2020

A UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 5.30 PM.

Please review the following documents before the meeting:
September 30 Board Meeting Agenda
September 30 Open Session Package

All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend Open Session. Please email by 4.30 PM on September 30 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.

Virtual Roll Call 2020!

September 3rd, 2020

Roll Call is UWSA’s annual back-to-school event in September. This year, we’re celebrating the start of the school year by bringing Roll Call to the safety of your screens. From September 9 – 11, Join us for three days of virtual events and give-aways on our social media and website.

Get your laptops and phones ready, check your WiFi networks, gather your friends, and join us for a host of fun and engaging online events including:

All programming is FREE for students and community members but students may need to pre-register for some events. All are welcome!

Follow our event on Facebook here and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @theuwsa for updates! 

Click this link to Pre-Register for each event!

Click here to sign up to pick up your free Roll Call Swag Bag!


Wednesday, September 9

🤸Morning Move w/UWinnipeg Athletics
9am – 10am | Zoom + Facebook Live

🎁A Giveaway A Day!
All Day

🛍️Free Swag Bag Pickup
11am – 2pm | The University of Winnipeg

🎨Vision Board Workshop w/Rising Strong
5pm – 7pm | Zoom – Register below for link

🧩JackboxTV Trivia Game Night
8pm – 10pm | Zoom

Thursday, September 10

🤸Morning Move w/UWinnipeg Athletics
8am – 9am | Zoom + Facebook Live

🎁A Giveaway A Day!
All Day

🛍️Free Swag Bag Pickup
11am – 2pm
The University of Winnipeg

🎨Indigenous Beading Workshop w/Monias Beads
5pm – 7pm
Zoom: Register to receive link

🎬Roll Call x UWpg Film Fest Shorts Screening
8pm – 10pm
Facebook Live

Friday, September 11

🤸Morning Move w/UWinnipeg Athletics
9am – 10am | Zoom + Facebook Live

🎁A Giveaway A Day!
All Day

🛍️Free Swag Bag Pickup
11am – 2pm
The University of Winnipeg

🎨Cooking with Miss Assuma Gender: Uni Edition!
5pm onwards
Facebook Live and IG TV

🎉Roll Call Digital DJ Afterparty
8pm – 10pm
Facebook Live + IG Live + Zoom (link to come soon)

Questions? Reach us at

Please review our UWSA Events Safer Space Policy

Board Meeting: August 26

August 24th, 2020

The next UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 5.30 PM.

Please review the following documents before the meeting:
August 26 Board Meeting Agenda
COB By-law Amendments 

All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend Open Session. Please email 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.

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg