UWSA Elections

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%)


  • 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

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 – 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)

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 cec@theuwsa.ca 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 cec@theuwsa.ca

An Update on U-Pass

March 19th, 2020

At the City of Winnipeg Executive Policy Committee Meeting today, Mayor Brian Bowman announced that they heard students’ voices and amended the draft budget to include U-Pass at a rate that is in line with the proposed low-income bus pass.

We’re encouraged by this recent development and hope to receive more information and discuss it with your representatives at next board meeting. We want to thank all of you that raised your voice against U-Pass cuts to make this possible. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Over the next few weeks, we will navigate the next steps while following COVID-19 precautionary measures of social distancing. Please stay safe, stay indoors, and watch this space for updates.



March 13th, 2020

In light of the current public health situation, UWSA is taking precautionary measures essential to the safety of all students, staff, and community. In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are making some changes to the way we work, in line with University of Winnipeg’s response and Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines.

Until in-person classes resume, all non-essential UWSA services, services centres, offices and events are closed until further notice. UWSA Executive and staff will be working remotely and available via e-mail.

Here is a list of all services that will be affected:


Advocacy services are being offered virtually through your VP Student Affairs. Please e-mail Melanie William at vpsa@theuwsa.ca for more information.

Info Booth will be closed until in-person classes resume. Students can e-mail or call Info Booth staff with their U-Pass and Health Plan concerns at infobooth@theuwsa.ca and 204-786-9787.

Campaigns continue via our website and social media. Please e-mail vpea@theuwsa.ca for more information.

All service centres, including Access Lounge, Bike Lab, BIPoC Lounge, Foodbank, Rainbow Lounge, WTSC, and Safewalk will be closed till further notice. Please visit the Foodbank page and follow the steps to access Foodbank at an external location.

UWSA Daycare is closed to public but operating as an childcare facility for emergency response workers.


In keeping with federal and provincial health guidelines and public health requests to reduce large-group interactions, all upcoming events – including our Annual General Meeting and Decolonizing Sexual Health w/Ericka Hart, will be postponed to later spring. This includes all event and meeting bookings in UWSA spaces. Concerned parties will be contacted directly regarding their bookings and all payments will be refunded.

The March 26 Board Meeting will still happen in an online capacity in order to address some essential operational issues.

For a list of University closures and interruptions of service, please visit Campus Updates on COVID-19. News will be posted there as soon as it is available.

While we understand that these changes will affect the lives of our members and staff, we are doing everything we can to reduce risk and for your well-being. We’d like to thank you for your patience as we figure out the next steps.

Please check our website for current and accurate updates on the situation and follow all government-recommended health, safety and travel guidelines outlined on UWinnipeg’s website.

A statement on the proposed elimination of the U-Pass program

March 10th, 2020



Winnipeg, March 9, 2020 –
On March 6, 2020. The City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee’s proposed to end the U-Pass program in their draft budget. This cut will severely affect accessibility and affordability of post-secondary education and transit for students.

90 per cent of University of Winnipeg students activated their U-Pass, with over 53 per cent using it on a daily basis. From March 2 to 4, UWinnipeg students demonstrated their commitment by voting to accept the $24.50 per term fee increase that was proposed by the City of Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee.

UWSA Vice-President Student Affairs, Noelle Sagher says, “Eliminating the U-Pass is an attack on all students, especially the most marginalized. Students need the U-Pass to access an institution that is already inaccessible. We will do everything in our power to make sure the city listens to thousands of students who just voted to keep U-Pass.”

The U-Pass program offers a financially and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation for students. The committee is planning to launch a low-income bus pass, which offers a 30 per cent subsidy compared to U-Pass’s 50 per cent. The low-income bus pass will not be available to a majority of students, especially those who do not meet the household income cut off and international students. All post-secondary students will have access to the post-secondary pass, which will be double the price of the U-Pass.

“We need to be figuring out ways to reduce barriers for students, not increase them. Instead of making students work for transit by having to fill multiple forms, we need to make transit work for students,” UWSA Vice-President External Affairs, Mahlet Cuff says.

UWSA is organizing a campaign to ensure that the City of Winnipeg acknowledges student demand for the U-Pass and continues a program that invested in our transit system, increased financial and environmentally sustainability, and makes post-secondary education more accessible. We are asking all students to contact the offices of the Mayor and your city councillor to demand the continuation of the U-Pass program. More information will be available at theuwsa.ca and on social media @theuwsa.

About UWSA

Established in 1972, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association 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
(204) 786-9867

Unofficial 2020 General Election Results

March 5th, 2020

Congratulations to all the winners! Here are the unofficial 2020 General Election Results*:

U-Pass Referendum
Yes: 1110
No: 221
Spoiled: 11
Total: 1342

Kirt Hayer: 472
Mahlet Cuff: 333
Jibril Hussein: 515
Spoiled: 5

Vice-President External Affairs
Breanna Belilse: 563
Alex Ilesanmi: 404
Shawna Peloquin: 259
Spoiled: 18

Vice-President Student Affairs
Noelle Sagher: 274
Melanie William: 623
Reza Saker: 288
Spoiled: 22

Accessibility Director
Sarah Anderson
Yes: 1033
No: 88
Spoiled: 5

Arts Director
Wesley Fallis
Yes: 918
No: 163
Spoiled: 5

Business and Economics Director
Harsimrat S. Malhotra
Yes: 1059
No: 116
Spoiled: 10

Community Liaison Director
Celina Clements
Yes: 919
No: 104
Spoiled: 5

Graduate Students’ Director
Alexandra K. Nychuk and Nadia M. Chaharsoughi (Co-Directors)
Yes: 973
No: 132
Spoiled: 5

International Students’ Director
Elsa Owusu and Onyinye F. Idigbe (Co-Directors): 715
Harshleen Singh: 586
Spoiled: 9

 2SLGBT* Director
Jacob K. Antman
Yes: 958
No: 173
Spoiled: 6

Racialized Students’ Director
Ella Taylor
Yes: 975
No: 145
Spoiled: 9

UWSA Senator
Ada Chukwudozie: 816
Cheta D. Akaluka: 551
Spoiled: 4

Total Votes Cast: 1371

*Results are unofficial till ratified by the Board of Directors.

University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg