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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:30 PM using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number.
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association