We're Hiring a Chair of the Board!

August 11th, 2020

An orange and purple background with text that says "Want to Join the UWSA?" Graphic of a white laptop. Text on the laptop screen says "we're hiring! apply at theuwsa.ca/job-opportunities"

Do you want experience working on a non-profit board? We’re hiring a Chair of the Board at the UWSA!

The Chair of the Board of Directors acts as an essential component of the UWSA, setting the meeting agenda and ensuring that all directors are able to participate fully in the operations of the Board. A successful applicant should have a strong belief in the mission and mandate of the UWSA, and a willingness to invest in the success of the membership in a variety of different capacities.

Read more and apply here: UWSA Job Opportunities

U-Pass @ UWinnipeg: Community Consultation

June 23rd, 2020

The UWSA Board of Directors want your feedback on whether the UWSA should offer the U-Pass in the Fall 2020 term. Please submit your response via this survey here: U-Pass @ UWinnipeg: Community Consultation.

Questions? Please read through the FAQs below before you select your answer. 

How much is the U-Pass?  

The U-Pass fee for Fall/Winter 2020-21 is $200 per term. Students will pay this fee with their other registration fees at the beginning of each term. The U-Pass program is mandatory for all full-time students. 

What options do I have in the absence of U-Pass? 

In the absence of the U-Pass, students can purchase monthly or semester post-secondary passes. The post-secondary pass costs $81.65/month or $278/semester.  

Starting May 1, 2020, eligible adults can apply for a WINNpass, a monthly transit pass for individuals with low income. Please click here to check your eligibility. 

If you don’t plan on using transit frequently, you can choose to purchase e-cash or cash tickets on a pay-per-use basis. A full list of fares can be found here. 

Why do I have to decide now?  

In order to provide U-Pass in the fall, the UWSA and Winnipeg Transit need to start preparing in the summer. UWinnipeg and UWSA staff also need to input registered students’ data and collect financial information two-three months before classes start. 

How often will I have to travel to the campus in Fall 2020? 

As of now, the University has not made an official announcement regarding Fall classes. We have been told that a vast majority of classes will be offered remotely. According the provincial health guidelines, post-secondary institutions can provide learning in settings where learning and/or research requires hands-on experience. Examples may include, but are not limited to, laboratories, studios, trades instructions and practicums. 

If I select yes, does that mean U-Pass won’t be available all year?  

The U-Pass fee is assessed on per term. Your survey response will help guide us for the Fall 2020 term from September – December 2020. Depending on the public health situation, the U-Pass fee may or may not be charged for the Winter 2020 term.  

What if the public health situation improves by the Fall? 

The U-Pass fee is assessed at the beginning of the term. So, we will not be able to provide it in the middle of the term. Later in 2020, the UWSA Board of Directors will decide whether to offer U-Pass in Winter 2020-21 from January – May 2020/21. 

Is it safe to travel on the bus? 

Winnipeg Transit has made changes to service and operation in light of COVID-19. Please visit this link here to review their guidelines for social distancing and reduced schedules.  

Can I Opt-Out of U-Pass? 

Enrollment for full-time students is mandatory, as per the student referendum and legal Winnipeg City Council directive. However, select students, including but not limited to those who live outside city limits and/or use handi-transit are eligible to opt-out. Please click here to check if you qualify.  

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.

UWSA Board of Directors Meeting: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

November 30th, 2020

The next UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5.30 PM.

Please review the agenda here: December 2 BOD Agenda

All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend Open Session. Please email t.hanan@theuwsa.ca by 4.30 PM on the day of the meeting for the Zoom link using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number.

All participants are expected to abide by the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy.

UWSA Supports Coalition Calling for Truly Universal Healthcare Coverage

November 24th, 2020

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association strongly endorses the recently launched Healthcare for All Manitoba Campaign.

Healthcare for All Manitoba is launching a campaign calling on the province of Manitoba to immediately provide truly universal health care coverage to all residents of Manitoba. Many in Manitoba are not covered by provincial health care including migrant workers with work permits of less than one year, international students, many refugee claimants, and undocumented migrants. The digital launch will feature community advocates and migrants with lived experience highlighting how the campaign demands will protect the health of everyone in the province to ensure the health of all.

“Healthcare is a basic human right and a fundamental part of responsible public health,” says Dorota Blumczynska, Executive Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba and President of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “The pandemic has made it clear: we must ensure everyone in Manitoba has access to health care to protect the health and safety of all who live in the province.”

Currently, many uninsured people will avoid seeking health care due to fear of being charged for the care and some will fear possible detention and deportation if their immigration status is reported to the authorities. Without adequate health care coverage if they are ill, many will feel pressured to continue to work due to financial circumstances.

“Many migrant workers have proven to be the essential workers needed in our province during the pandemic, but they are also at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming ill while working,” says Diwa Marcelino, who supports migrant workers through Migrante Manitoba. “Providing comprehensive health coverage to all migrants, regardless of status, is essential to ensuring the rights and health of all our community members.”

In 2018 the Province cut off international students from accessing public healthcare in Manitoba. The Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba points out that the annual cost of delivering this healthcare coverage was only 3.1 million compared to the $400+ million dollars international students contribute to Manitoba’s economy each year. The loss of healthcare combined with even-more drastically increasing tuition fees puts international students’ well-being at risk while also eliminating any incentive for future students to choose Manitoba as a place to study.

The Healthcare for All coalition has a core set of demands. It calls on the province to immediately provide comprehensive and free healthcare coverage to all residents of Manitoba regardless of immigration status. Second, the coalition urges the province to develop and implement a multilingual communication campaign to inform all those currently without provincial health care coverage about the availability of free COVID testing and treatment without a health card. Third, this means the province must inform all healthcare institutions and providers of expanded coverage for those without health insurance. Finally, the coalition calls on the province to create and enforce strict confidentiality policies and provide staff with training to protect the safety of residents with precarious immigration status and ensure they can access health care without jeopardizing their ability to remain in Canada.

“I know people in my community who have lost their immigration status for a variety of reasons and become undocumented,” says Maggie Yeboah of African Communities of Manitoba Inc. “The fear of living without health coverage during a pandemic, combined with the fear of risking their ability to stay in Canada if they do seek help, is overwhelming. We need to respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people in our community and ensure the right to access healthcare without fear.”

Healthcare for All Manitoba is a new coalition bringing together organizations who support migrants in a range of areas and see the need for equitable healthcare access. Founding organizations include: Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM), Manitoba Association of Community Health (MACH), Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO), Migrante Manitoba, Canadian Federation of Students, CUPE Manitoba, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Immigration Partnership Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Health Coalition.

For more information on the coalition’s demands and the most current list of partners, visit www.cfsmb.ca/campaigns/healthcareforall.

UWSA Board and Senate Applications

November 19th, 2020

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, November 30, 2020 at 9:00AM. The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association is seeking UWinnipeg students to fill vacant Director of the Board and UWinnipeg Senate positions beginning Dec 2, 2020, and ending April 30, 2021. Getting involved with the board and the senate is a great way to learn more about how the University and UWSA operate, connect with other students, and become a student leader.

Read more and apply here: UWSA Job Opportunities

UWSA SENATORS represent all UWinnipeg students to the University of Winnipeg Senate and Senate Committees. The Senate makes decisions on all academic matters of the university, including curriculum development, academic appeals, and the setting of academic standards. Senate meets monthly and Senate Committees meet bi-weekly to monthly, depending on the committee.   

DIRECTORS OF THE UWSA represent constituencies of students to UWSA committees and the Board. Directors help the union make decisions at every level, including managing finances, setting governance rules, and planning events and political campaigns. The Board of Directors meets monthly and UWSA Committees meet bi-weekly to monthly, depending on the committee. Vacant positions include that of an Arts Director, Education Director, Environmental Ethics Director, Part-time/Mature Students’ Director, Racialized Students’ Director, and Student Living Director.   

Please contact j.black@theuwsa.ca or pres@theuwsa.ca with any questions and concerns.  

 

More Than a Door Campaign

November 17th, 2020

An image of a door with a bookmark on top left corner. Text says More than a Door

Join us for the More Than A Door Campaign Launch!
October 18, 2020 | 4 PM onwards
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/97675172838 

Speakers:
Sarah Anderson: UWSA Accessibility Director
Lara Coombs: UW Accessibility Services Coordinator
Shane Burcaw and Hannah Burcaw: Youtubers Squirmy and Grubs and Founder of Laughing at My Nightmare

More Than a Door aims to assess the accessibility needs and limitations that students who use mobility aids face on campus, research the issue, raise awareness, and present a final report with recommendations to the University administration.

While working in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg, we hope to increase the number of accessible doors on campus and limit the challenges students with disabilities face on campus. The target number will be determined by survey results.

If you are a UWinnipeg student or alumni with a physical disability, please complete this short survey here: More Than A Door Survey

For updates and information on the campaign, please check back here or contact our Accessibility Director, Sarah Anderson, at accessibility@theuwsa.ca.

More Than a Door Page

Board Meeting: November 12!

November 10th, 2020

A UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on November 12, 2020 at 5:30 PM.  All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend Open Session. Please email j.black@theuwsa.ca by 4.30 PM on the day of the meeting for the Zoom link using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number.

Please review the following documents before the meeting:

By Law and Policy Amendments Proposal – October 29, 2020

November 12 Board Meeting Agenda

All participants are expected to abide by the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy. 

 

 

UWSA Special General Meeting 2020

October 29th, 2020

Join us for the 2020 Special General Meeting on November 4 from 12.30 – 1.30 PM. The SGM is a chance for UWSA members to receive an update on the budget and operations, meet the directors elected in the By-Election, and propose motions.

The 2020 SGM will be held via Zoom. To pre-register, please email us at j.black@theuwsa.ca using your WebMail and include your student number in the e-mail. Food vouchers will be provided at the event.

SGM Agenda and Package

SGM 2020 Agenda
2019 Audited Financial Statements
AGM 2020 PACKAGE
Operating Budget 2020-21

Questions? Email chair@theuwsa.ca or j.black@theuwsa.ca. 

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

October 21 Board of Directors Meeting

October 20th, 2020

A UWSA Board of Director Meeting will be conducted over Zoom on October 21, 2020 at 5:30 PM.  All UWinnipeg students are welcome to attend Open Session. Please email j.black@theuwsa.ca by 4.30 PM on the day of the meeting for the Zoom link using your UWinnipeg webmail address and your Student ID Number. Please review the following documents before the meeting: October 21 Board Meeting Agenda October 21 Open Session Package
All participants are expected to abide by the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy.
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg