UWSA Elections

UWSA By-Election 22 Nomination Forms Available!

September 26th, 2022

By-Election Nomination Form 2022 – Candidates must submit a completed nomination form to the Chief Elections Commissioner at cec@theuwsa.ca by 6 PM on October 6, 2022, to be eligible to run in the 2022 UWSA By-Elections.

Vacant Positions

  • Accessibility Director
  • Education Director
  • Environmental Ethics Director
  • Graduate Students’ Director
  • 2SLGBTQ* Students’ Director
  • PACE Students’ Director
  • Women, Trans & Non-Binary Students’ Director
  • UWSA Regents
  • UWSA Senator

For any questions, please email, cec@theuwsa.ca. theuwsa.ca/elections

UWSA 2022 By-Election Nomination Period

September 22nd, 2022

The UWSA By-Election begins on September 26!

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, September 26 – Thursday, October 6 *Due by 6 PM. 

By-Election Nomination Form 2022 – Candidates must submit a completed nomination form to the CEC at cec@theuwsa.ca by 6 PM on October 6, 2022, to be eligible to run in the 2022 UWSA By-Elections.

All candidates or their scrutineers are encouraged to attend the All Candidates Meeting on Friday, October 7, time and location TBD.

Nomination forms are available in alternate formats for students with accessibility needs. Requests for an alternative nomination form must be submitted in writing to the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association, University of Winnipeg, 0R30-515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9 or by email at cec@theuwsa.ca.

Open Positions

  • Accessibility Director
  • Education Director
  • Environmental Ethics Director
  • Graduate Students’ Director
  • 2SLGBTQ* Students’ Director
  • PACE Students’ Director
  • Women, Trans & Non-Binary Students’ Director
  • UWSA Regents
  • UWSA Senators

If you have questions, email the Chief Elections Commissioner at cec@theuwsa.ca.

Report to the membership on structural reforms at the UWSA

March 8th, 2021

This report to the UWSA general membership provides background information on the incidents that occurred in 2020 at the UWSA that highlighted the need to restructure the organization. It includes recommendations made by an external consultancy firm, Catalyst Research and Communications, to facilitate the process and the resulting reforms implemented by the UWSA.

Please click here to download the report: UWSA Reforms Report to the Membership

Please click here to download the UWSA Reforms Graphic

This report is meant to be the beginning of a long process of restructuring the organization to make it truly decolonial and create a safe space for discussion. The implemented reforms will be periodically reviewed by the Board and updated as needed. Please review the report and provide your feedback here: UWSA Reforms Feedback

Notice of Resignation for UWSA VPSA, Melanie William

February 4th, 2021

On January 27, 2021, The UWSA Board of Directors accepted and ratified the resignation of the 2020-2021 UWSA Vice President of Student Affairs, Melanie William. In August 2020, former UWSA President, Jibril Hussein and VPEA, Breanna Belisle had also tendered their resignations to the board.

Over the summer, former executives shared several experiences of harassment and discrimination while at the UWSA, following which the 2020-21 Executive team were placed on administrative leave. During this period, they experienced significant mental harassment and threats on social media from the UWinnipeg community as well.

The UWSA acknowledges the experiences shared by the former executives in their letters and strongly supports the decision to center their mental health. As an organization, we commit to doing more to prioritize students’ well-being and safety over institutional expectations.

We recognize the role UWSA plays in protecting and nurturing the well-being and potential of UWSA members. Oppression or harassment in our communities – online or offline – is never okay and we plan to work towards creating safer and non-violent spaces for discussion.

We recognized that we are working and learning in racist and colonial system, and that we have to be uncomfortable, transparent, and resilient to outroot these realities from our communities. For information on the steps we’re taking to address institutional racism at the UWSA, please refer to our previous post here.

To review Melanie’s letter of resignation, please click here: January 27 BOD Open Session Minutes (Draft)

Responsibility, Decolonization, and Integrity in the UWSA Election Process

January 29th, 2021

Over the past few months, the UWSA has been working to restructure our bylaws and policies to minimize the harm caused by our election process. To guide us through the process and figure out the best path forward, the UWSA Board of Directors have been working with an external consultant at Catalyst Research & Communications.

On October 15, 2020, we released a statement outlining some emerging conclusions, where we acknowledged the need to increase transparency, encourage safe and open discussions, and address racism and oppression. One of the ways that the UWSA committed to doing this is to restructure the elections process to make it safer for candidates and voters.

To ensure that the harm done during the 2020 General Election is not repeated, and work on creating an anti-oppressive election framework, the UWSA Board of Directors voted to postpone the 2021 General Elections from February-March, 2021 to March-April ,2021. This change shifts the nomination period, where candidates can apply to run for a director, senator, or regent position to March 1 – 11 and moves the voting period to March 29-31.

The UWSA has also restructured the role of the Chief Elections Commissioner and created two Elections Campaign Facilitator positions to increase accountability and support the elections better. Interested candidates can apply for both roles through the UWSA website by clicking here.

The UWSA will release some election reform proposals with new campaign rules, director roles, and a safer complaint process in the upcoming weeks.

While these are just the initial changes, creating structural change at the UWSA is a continually evolving and collaborative process. To facilitate this, a student feedback process will be available by February 12.

All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend the UWSA Board of Directors Meeting on February 10, where the election reform proposal will be presented before final approval on February 24. To register and receive the Zoom meeting link, please email Administrative Assistant, Thomas Hanan, at t.hanan@theuwsa.ca by 4:30 PM using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number.

In solidarity,
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association

2020 UWSA By-Election Results*

October 28th, 2020

2020 By-Election Results*

Turnout: 870 (8.8%) of 9850 electors voted in this ballot.

Recreation and Athletics Director:

  • Total votes casted for Jacob Wiseman: 611 votes (86.8%)

Science Director:

  • Total votes casted for Olivia Ferreira: 542 votes (71.6%)
  • Total votes casted for Isaiah Zacharias: 215 votes (28.4%)

Women & Non-Binary Students’ Director:

  • Total votes casted for Arshiya Bagheri Torbehbar: 660 votes (90.3%)

Board of Regents Representative: 

  • Total votes casted for Holly Hunter: 658 votes (91.4%)

PACE Director:

  • Total votes casted for Valerie Bermudez: 685 votes (92.7%)

Vice-President External Affairs:

  • Total votes casted for Jonathan Henderson: 647 votes (87.8%)

President:

  • Total votes casted for Shawna Peloquin: 660 votes (88.6%)

Click here to view detailed voting results.

*Results are unofficial until ratified at the UWSA Special General Meeting on November 4, 2020.

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: theuwsa.ca/elections

Questions? Contact:

Shenal Fernando
Chief Elections Commissioner
204-786-9052
cec@theuwsa.ca

Charith Pathirathna
Deputy Elections Commissioner
(431) 388-3903
dec@theuwsa.ca

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 – https://zoom.us/j/96414374105
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 cec@theuwsa.ca or visit theuwsa.ca/elections

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 cec@theuwsa.ca; 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 chair@theuwsa.ca.  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)

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg