An End-of-term Message from your 2019-20 UWSA VP Student Affairs, Noelle Sagher

April 29th, 2020

For the past year, I have worked alongside UWSA staff and students, day in and day out. But mostly importantly, I have been an Executive Director with Meagan Malcolm and Mahlet Cuff. For the past 11 months, Meagan and Mahlet have been my crutches and my breath of fresh air. They have been the backs upon which I stand, the comforting voices in the office after the door slams, the laughter in the late hours of the evening which I hold so dearly in my heart, and the feet that make so much noise when we’re out at Portage and Main, holding hands, standing with our brothers, sisters, and siblings. To Meagan and Mahlet, I owe you everything I have learned about patience, about resiliency, about power, and about love.

I am thankful to be a part of the first ever all women of colour Executive at the UWSA, a title never came lightly. It allowed us to care for Black, Indigenous, Students of Colour in ways that honoured the BIPoC Executives before us and the amazing work they laid down for us. Their victories and ideas continued on with our term, and I’m grateful to those that took the time to help us within our roles – including friends that are close to our hearts.

In my role as VPSA, I was able to sit on many university committees to ensure students were accounted for in policies, academic advocacy, services, and finances. This meant continuous bargaining, and letting the university know about students’ concerns, including security on campus, awards and bursaries for those who need them most, and the need for a more accessible post-secondary education. Though our voices were not always heard, our efforts were not meaningless; we have seen many changes within the University’s procedures, and we hope our words echo for years to come.

I was able to sit on the Senate Academic Appeals Committee, where I worked with wonderful academic advisors to ensure students are given the accommodations they need, and helped turn the tide on academic appeals and mental health, advocating for students who deserve a second shot at University and to be accommodated. Sitting on this Committee every single Tuesday morning was rewarding in more ways than one, and I leave knowing that students are well taken care of.

Throughout my role at the UWSA, the fight for the U-Pass stands out as one of the most important events of my career here. Through constant tabling, advocacy, meetings with staff and those at the City, countless City hall meetings and speeches, we were able to save the U-Pass. This means affordable transportation for students at the University of Winnipeg, and I couldn’t have done it without my staff and teammates.

Though there are many things I’d love to highlight about this role, advocacy for students stands as the most important, enriching, and monumental. I met with well over 100 students requiring academic advocacy, whether it was to file appeals, attend Senate and Departmental Review Committees with them, talk about their case of academic misconduct, tell me about the systemic inequalities they are facing at the University, or just a shoulder to cry on, and I wouldn’t have traded this for anything. One of the most important parts of this job was meeting with students, and doing everything you can to help alleviate their moments of stress. This will always be a part of this job that I hold near and dear to my heart.

Student organizing, protests, and rallies are an important way to show solidarity with marginalized students across campus, and I hope UWSA Executives take that to heart for years to come. From Portage and Main, to the Hive, to the Carlton Graduate Student Unions’ Lounge, the most valuable information and knowledge I have gained has come from grassroots organizers who double as students. The time I have spent with these people goes beyond my role at the UWSA and will continue for years to come; the learning is never done.

Through my work at the UWSA, I was elected as the Women’s Representative on the National Executive of the Canadian Federation of Students, where I will continue my work alongside my family, Meagan Malcolm (Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Rep on the National Executive), and Mahlet Cuff (Queer Rep on the Provincial Executive). I am thankful for this role, and the community it allows me to build, as well as provide an avenue to continue the work I care about on a National level. I had an amazing year the UWSA, and am thankful for all the opportunities it has given me; but I am most thankful for Mahlet and Meagan. The work is never done, but when we do it together, we can go farther.

In solidarity,
Noelle Sagher | صقر نوال
2019/20 Vice-President External Affairs
University of Winnipeg Students’ Association

An End-of-term Message from your 2019-20 UWSA President, Meagan Malcolm

April 29th, 2020

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


April 27th, 2020


For Immediate Release


WINNIPEG [Treaty 1 Territory] April 27, 2020 – The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) and the University of Winnipeg Faculty Association (UWFA) stand firmly against proposed budget cuts to post-secondary education.

Last week, the Provincial Government asked Manitoban Universities, including University of Winnipeg, to prepare for budget cuts of up to 30 per cent to help the Province financially recover from Coronavirus pandemic. A plan was prepared and submitted to the government on Tuesday that is due for approval.

UWSA’s Vice-President External Affairs, Mahlet Cuff says that the cuts will create additional uncertainty for student during a pandemic, especially since the demand for courses have increased over the Spring/Summer term.

“In times like this, students should not have to worry about cuts,” Cuff says. “This time is to be spent with loved ones and community. Students are facing unprecedented anxiety and uncertainty and need to be prioritized.”

A reduction in post-secondary funding will also potentially lead to an increase in tuition and a reduction in essential services and resources that students need. According to the UWFA, cuts to post-secondary education as we enter a recession run contrary to research and advice from financial and political experts.

“During an economic downturn, people come to universities and colleges to reinforce their existing skills and re-train to find or create new jobs and possibilities; we need to make sure Manitobans have the requisite skillsets that all business owners, not-for-profits, and governmental organizations are going to need to remain viable and competitive,” says Professor Jacqueline Romanow, President of UWFA.

UWinnipeg, and other universities, play a major role in economic recovery. The UWSA and UWFA call on the province to invest, not cut, post-secondary education, to ensure that Manitoba leads the way in Canada’s economic rebound post COVID-19.

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.


For further information, contact:

Shreya Jhunjhunwala
Communications Manager
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association
0R30 – 515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
Treaty One Territory
(204) 962-7023 |

Understand the Recently Announced Federal Relief Measures for Students

April 23rd, 2020

Understanding the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) and other recently announced federal student relief measures:

What is the CESB?

The CESB would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.

What is the CSSG?

Students who volunteer for essential services will be eligible to receive up to $5000 of post-secondary education costs. Eligibility and application details will be available through the to-be-launched I Want to Help platform.

Who’s eligible?

  • Post-secondary students currently enrolled or going back to school in Fall 2020
  • Recent Graduates since December 2019
  • Students who are ineligible for the CERB or EI

International Students:

  • Are not currently eligible for CESB but are eligible to receive Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if they have lost income due to the pandemic.
  • CSSG eligibility details haven’t been released yet.
  • The 20 hr/week limit is lifted till August 31, 2020 for those working in essential services like health care, infrastructure, food or critical good supply and more.

Other Relief Measures Announced:

  • $291.6 million to extend graduate student scholarships, fellowships and grants for the next three to four months
  • 76,000 additional jobs in sectors providing essential services.
  • $75 million pledged for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students
  • Plans to double Canada Student Grants to up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21.
  • Proposed raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 to $350 from $210 for the Canada Student Loans Program

How Do I Access These Benefits?

  • CESB will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency. Applications details will be shared once available
  • CSSG details will be available through the I Want to Help platform once launched
  • Information on grants and loans are available through UWinnipeg Awards office at

Mental Health Resources for Students Affected by COVID-19

April 22nd, 2020

Your mental health is more important than ever right now. In case you missed our conversations on mental health during Coronavirus: Covid Coping, please use these resources our panelists shared with us if and when you need it.

UWinnipeg Resources:

Online Resources:

Ted Talks:

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact:

  • KLINIC Crisis Line: 204-786-8686
  • Manitoba Suicide Line: 1-877-435-7170
  • Crisis Stabilization Unit: 204-940-3633
  • Mobile Crisis Service: 204-940-1781
  • Youth Mobile Crisis Team: 204-949-4777
  • Seneca House: 204-942-9276 (7:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M.)
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Kids Help Phone Text Service (Open to all ages): Text 686868
  • MB Farm & Rural Support Services: 1-866-367-3276
  • Hope for Wellness Line (Phone and Online Chat) for Indigenous peoples: Counselling available in Anishiniabemowin, Cree/Ininiw, Inuktitut, English and French
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM): 204.925.0040
    Support line to assist people who are struggling with anxiety related to COVID-19. Hours are 9am – 9pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 4pm.

In-Person Resources:

Click here for a downloadable PDF resource by panelist, Cori Jaye Elston: Social Media Handout

Covid Coping: A Student-focused Mental Health Discussion

April 22nd, 2020

An online student-focused panel discussion on staying well during social isolation.

Wednesday April 22, 2020
5pm onwards
Moderated by your VPEA, Mahlet Cuff
Zoom link:


Cori Jaye Elston, Art Services and Mentoring:
Cori Jaye Elston is a visual artist, teacher, and mental health advocate from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her artistic practice consists of vibrant surrealist, pop-art paintings that she utilizes to spread positive messages to the community. Cori Jaye has been featured on CBC Radio, Global Television and many podcasts speaking about her career as an artist and the importance of following your dreams. She leverages her background in Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Media to promote the power of positivity, using social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Patreon as catalysts. In addition, Cori Jaye conducts social media literacy workshops, as well as private mentoring sessions, to help share knowledge about how to navigate the ever-growing online community.

Brian Theriault, MEd. CCC, Clinical Coordinator / Counsellor, and Student Counselling Services:
Brian Theriault completed his Master’s degree in counselling psychology at the University of Lethbridge and is trained in Somatic Experiencing – a body-oriented approach to healing trauma and other stress disorders. Brian has been in the role of Clinical Coordinator / Counsellor at the University of Winnipeg – Student Counselling Services (located in the Wellness Centre) for over a year now. He is passionate about engaging students in the therapeutic journey. Prior to arriving at UW, he has worked as a therapist in many different counselling environments, including addiction and mental health agencies and private practice. When he is not counselling, you can find him hiking a new trail or camping on an island on one of the many shield lakes in Manitoba.

Hema Krueger Vyas, Health Educator & Community Organizer:
Hema Krueger Vyas is queer Gujarati educator who is passionate about community activism. Over the past decade, she has worked as a health educator throughout Manitoba teaching about consent, sexuality, mental health, and substance use with the Teen Talk program based out of Klinic Community Health. Hema is a director for Red Tent, an organization that provides safer spaces education and physical safer spaces to Manitoba festivals, venues, and organizations. She works with other collective members to create safer spaces and training through an anti-oppression and decolonizing lens. Additionally, Hema serves on the board of the Women’s Health Clinic and on Camp Aurora’s BIPOC Advisory Team. She is instrumental in helping Manitobans have safer and sexier spaces.

April Board Meeting: April 21

April 17th, 2020

The April Board Meeting is being held via Zoom at 5 PM on April 21.

The board meeting agenda is available here: April 2020 Board Meeting Agenda

All students are welcome and can join in by clicking here.

UWSA Board Meetings are governed by UWSA Rules of Order.
UWinnipeg’s Respectful Working and Learning Environment Policy applies to all UWSA online and offline meetings.

Alternative Final Grade Option at UWinnipeg

April 9th, 2020

On April 8, the UWinnipeg Senate passed the motion to adopt an alternative GPA calculation system.  University of Winnipeg Students, including Undergraduate, Honours, and Graduate Students, will now be able to choose to include or exclude grades in their GPA calculation for any course work completed at the University of Winnipeg in Fall/Winter 2019-2020 and Winter Term 2020.

We would like to thank every student that brought their concern to us and advocated for it to their faculties. We hope this measure eases some of the academic burden you’re facing due to pandemic.

Students in Winter 2020 courses, or spanned courses that they have completed over Fall 2019/Winter 2020, for which a standard letter grade is typically received, will be able to request that the grade be excluded from the calculation of their GPA. A notation will be made on the student’s transcript indicating this choice. This option must be exercised no later than May 28, 2020;*

Students who have received academic penalties or have academic penalties pending as a result of being found guilty of academic misconduct in specific courses during 2019- 2020 are not eligible to make use of this option.

Students in Winter 2020 courses, or spanned courses that they have completed over Fall 2019/Winter 2020, for which a standard letter grade is typically received, are able to request a grade of “S” (for “Standing”) for their course instead. A notation will be made on the student’s transcript indicating this choice. A “Standing” categorization will not be factored into their GPA calculation. This option must be exercised no later than May 28, 2020;* and

If exercising either option, students must be aware that grades excluded in the calculation of their GPA will not be used in calculating GPA for the purpose of program progression and/or overall graduation GPA requirements. Students who require a certain grade to continue with program progression must ensure not to choose the “Standing” option offered.

Where specific course grades, other than “Standing”, are required to satisfy UW pre-requisite requirements, for entry into other courses, or admission to other programs, and to satisfy any other program requirements, course grades will continue to be used. A grade of “Standing” cannot be used to satisfy a pre-requisite where a letter grade is normally required.

Please visit UWinnipeg’s list of frequently asked questions on final grading options for further information and considerations related to the grading options.

Academic and Career Services Advisors can also provide guidance on these alternative grading options. Students can contact them at 204.786.9257 or

Students Need Income Security

April 9th, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) overlooks too many, including students who will not be able to find work this summer because of COVID-19. Students need income security!

Call on Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP to ensure income security for post-secondary students! Your message will be sent to your MP and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Read our open letter below or download a copy here!

UWSA Launches Emergency Food Hamper Program for Students in Need

April 9th, 2020

In order to support students during the pandemic and ensure they have access to food, the UWSA is creating an Emergency Food Hamper program. UWinnipeg students-in-need can fill the form online to receive food hampers of 4-5 non-perishable food (cans, pasta etc.) and hygiene products. Each hamper will be sent to your residence via safe and contact-less delivery.

Please click here to apply!

Please note that we have limited packages available so we request students with an urgent need to apply. Packages will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis and delivered between April 20-24, 2020.

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg