News

A statement against racism and inequality in solidarity with the Black community

June 3rd, 2020

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff, faculty, and community against racism, inequality, and discrimination. We recognize the importance of taking the time to address the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and David McAtee, in the United States, Regis Korchinski-Paquet of Toronto, D’Andre Campbell of Brampton, and countless others in the Black community. The UWSA opposes the violent actions by police resulting in the deaths of members of the Black community.  

We understand that now is the time for action. We stand with Black students from across the country demanding change. Anti-Black racism, systemic racism, and unconscious bias are real in Canada and there is no place in this world for racism, inequality, or discrimination. We are actively working to support the initiatives of the Black community here in Winnipeg. As well, working collaboratively with Black student groups on campus, such as the Students of Colour Collective (@SOCC.UW) and the Black Student Union (@BSU.UofW). 

To start, we will be working with our Racialized Students’ Director, student groups, and staff to make sure they are supported in this time. The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association will be taking steps to revise policy to actively consider the role of police on campus and within UWSA spaces. Policy changes within the UWSA will be revisited, to add that calling the Winnipeg Police Service be reserved for extremely selective situations, which require law enforcement to enforce specific criminal statutes. Limiting the amount of police involvement within UWSA spaces, to a minimum, is a concrete step to ensure the integrity of the UWinnipeg community will not be compromised. We will also be reviewing our positive space policy to ensure the needs of Black students on campus are being met.  

Follow @justice4blackliveswinnipeg on Instagram or their Facebook Event Page for more information regarding movements in Winnipeg led by Black students. Monetary donations can be provided via e-transfer to justice4blackliveswpg@gmail.com

If you want to connect with a UWSA Executive, our Racialized Students’ Director, and racialized student groups on campus, please reach out to us at president@theuwsa.ca. Please understand that many Black students are organizing, grieving, and healing at this time. Information will be provided as it is available. If you are in a mental health crisis, there are options available:  

A list of other community mental health resources can be found here.  

As your student union, we exist to amplify student voices and we are here to listen, make change and do better. We support you. 

Thank you,  

UWSA Executive Team 2020-2021 
Jibril Hussein, President  
Breanna Belisle, Vice-President External Affairs  
Melanie William, Vice-President Student Affairs 

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 and Thu – 6 to 8:30 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
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.

Know the Difference: CERB, CESB, and EI Benefits

May 20th, 2020

Accessing funds is crucial during the COVID-19 health crisis. According to a survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), Over two thirds of students say their personal finances and those of their parents or family have been affected by the pandemic.  

Many students might be eligible for income support from the Government of Canada but the different options available can be confusing. Read on to learn about the difference between the different benefits and pick the best option for you. 

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

What is it? 
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. 

Amount$2000 for every four-week for up to 16 weeks. You will need to re-apply after every four weeks. 

You are eligible if you meet all the following requirements: 

  • You are at least 15 years-old and residing in Canada. 
  • You stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 OR are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits OR have exhausted your Employment Insurance regular/fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.  
  • You had an employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application. 
  • You have not quit your job voluntarily. 
  • When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim. 
  • When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim. 

NoteYou are expected to pay back the CERB if you did not meet the criteria.  

Apply: You can apply for CERB through Service Canada or Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not both. Click here for more information on how to apply for CERB through CRA. 

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) 

What is it? 
The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. 

This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). 

Amount: $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, and $2000 for students with dependents and those with disabilities. You have to re-apply every month. 

You are eligible if you meet all the following requirements: 

  • You are not eligible for CERB or Employment Insurance (EI). 
  • You are unable to work, find work, or have earned less than $1000 in the last month. 
  • You are enrolled in a post-secondary educational program (at least 12 weeks in duration) that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate, or; Have completed or ended your post-secondary studies in December 2019 or later, or; have completed or expect to complete high school, or received, or expect to receive your high school equivalency in 2020, and have applied for a post-secondary educational program that starts before February 1, 2021. 
  • International students are not eligible for CESB. 

Note: In their application, students who are able to work must attest that they are actively looking for a job to be eligible to receive the CESB. 

Apply: Eligible students can apply for CESB through the Canada Revenue Agency starting May 15. Students must be registered with the CRA and have their direct deposit account details updated on their account to apply.  

Click here to create your CRA account or call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. Have your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and postal code ready before calling.  

Employment Insurance (EI) 

What is it? 

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job. 

Amount: Varies based on insurable hours of employment. Click here for more information.  

You are eligible if you meet all the following requirements: 

  • You were employed in insurable employment. 
  • You lost your job through no fault of your own 
  • You have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks. 
  • You have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours (630 hours if living in Winnipeg) in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter. 
  • You are ready, willing and capable of working each day. 
  • You are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them). 

Application: Employment Insurance is provided through Service Canada. Click here to start your application. 

Please remember: 

  • You cannot claim both CERB or CESB and Employment Insurance (EI).  
  • You cannot claim both CERB and CESB.  

Ensure that you pick the most appropriate service and budget accordingly. The Student Budget Worksheet is a great place to start planning your finances.  

Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG): 

The Government of Canada is also planning to launch the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic.  

For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new CSSG will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. 

More details will be made available on the “I Want to Help” platform soon. 

Struggling to find employment?  

The University of Winnipeg also lists numerous employment opportunities. Check out UWinnipeg Teaching Assistant and Marker positions here, as well as a bank of part-time and full-time employment here.  

Effective April 22, 2020, International students are eligible to work for more than 20 hours a week, while enrolled in classes, as long as they are employed in an essential service. You can find more information here

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

Welcome Execs and Directors of 2020/21!

May 1st, 2020

It’s the first day for the 2020/21 Executive team and directors. Welcome to the UWSA team – Jibril, Melanie and Breanna!

We’re starting the year a bit differently than we would usually would but we’re excited to continue working and advocating for students in 2020/21!

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg