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What can the University of Windsor really Promise you?

As the end of September lingers, we say goodbye to the hype. A feeling of optimism and motivation heading into a fresh new year is generated by a summer recharge and a slew of nifty homecoming events. This feeling, unfortunately, begins to dwindle as we may recognize apathy and procrastination is a much easier way to coast through the next seven months. It’s a cycle we’re all too familiar with, however, it would be unfair to claim this declining level of campus engagement is solely the fault of the student’s attitude.

Although our student experience may be ultimately what we make it, the environment and amenities provided by our university have a direct effect on how we perceive and engage in life on campus. So, when regarding the University of Windsor’s slick new “Promise” campaign, we may begin to question what exactly are we being promised?

Our lovely editorial team attempt to answer this question in a subjective but fair analysis. By breaking down what attributes to a students quality of life and post-secondary experience, we’ve constructed a comprehensive “categorical ranking listicle”. This structure is directly reflective to how ratemyprofessors.com ranks universities, and as you will see, we’re pretty nice compared to some of those comments.

We understand this article/stint may be perceived by some as an attempt to devalue our campus, however, this is absolutely not the case. We all love it here, we chose to call this place home for 4 years after all! However, like any other University, there is always room for change in order to better enhance the overall student experience. This is our take on that.

Lastly, we apologize in advance for the lengthy piece! If there is one thing we can promise you, it’s that this will be by far our longest article of the year. Enjoy!



Rating - 3.5/5

by Hani Yassine

Whether you’re a hopeful first year planting your feet on campus for the first time, or a wary fourth year with the campus layout fully memorized, a significant portion of the student experience isn’t based on the services within its walls, but also the cultural flavours you digest outside of them.

The University of Windsor has become a constantly transforming landscape, from the ergonomic alteration of Sunset Avenue to the numerous buildings propping up for different departments which share the open-concept design philosophy. But 2016 had the institution literally break new ground in the city’s own core with the old Windsor Star building transitioning to the School of Social Work. The new school year is continuing this trend with the Armouries building being polished up as the new home for the School of Creative Arts and School of Music, a much needed and arguably delayed upgrade for both facets. Both buildings will presumably breathe some new life and energy into the city’s rather inconsistent downtown.  However, from a student perspective, it will introduce a rich palette of events and attractions to delve in compared to what’s usually found at main campus.

This is not to say there’s nothing to do on the mainland, but the options simply aren’t as plentiful. A simple stroll along Wyandotte Street will show the majority of places frequented when in between classes. Whether it’s grabbing some slices with friends at the reputed Sam’s Pizzeria, delving in some Asian cuisine at Saigon House or lounging at the ever popular Green Bean Café. The surrounding area has its fair share of businesses with proven staying power, mixed with newer ones looking to be given a chance. They provide temporary reprieves to the inevitable perils of assignment deadlines and exam dates, further aided by the area’s relatively energetic activity and presentation. Beyond this, however, there’s not much to engage in outside the city’s own waterfront, where you can gaze at the scope of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline across the river. For those not from the city it’s a sight worth seeing, and even for locals, it can be a nice break away from the chaos on campus.

When it comes to general food services and lounging, the businesses on Wyandotte Street are well catered to students. Yet even with the odd pub and karaoke bar available at one’s leisure, the lack of variety in the area could become apparent after the first couple of months. This is where the city’s own downtown picks up the slack, though with some reservations. It must be noted that the city’s core has seen better days upon walking down the Ouellette Avenue strip. You have a few too many buildings which have remained vacant and/or abandoned for quite some time, the streets aren’t the best maintained or presentable and it has recently been dealing with an influx of homeless people on every block. In one way this is remarkably harsh, but having lived in the area for the past decade it’s unfortunately not inaccurate.

But even in spite of the issues, there is plenty to see. The options for food alone can be overwhelming whether it’s gourmet pizza at Terra Cotta, a great wealth of sandwiches at Toasty’s, something a bit more upscale with The City Grill or filling breakfast meals at A Dog’s Breakfast. But then there’s the versatility of live music found in Phog Lounge and The Rondo, the musicals hosted at Chrysler Theatre, the history of the Art Gallery of Windsor and the nightlife aesthetics found in Level 3 and the Pubclub. All of this without mentioning the other slew of pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues the core has to offer. It carries a little something for everyone compared to the main campus, which is something both the social work and creative arts students should take advantage of when the year enters full swing. Also assuming your passport is valid and handy, taking a tunnel bus to Detroit practically unlocks a new world to engage in. With the Transit Windsor bus terminal merely one block away from the Social Work building, $10 is all that’s required for round trip tickets to and from our stateside neighbours. It’s one opportunity that should be immediately capitalized upon assuming you have the time, for what’s found in the motor city arguably dwarfs the combined options found both on the main campus and downtown.

While the main and downtown campuses are several blocks away from one another, the Crosstown 2 and westbound Transway 1C buses go to and from both areas, making each of them fairly accessible. It helps establish a sense of unity, and it’s worthwhile to delve into both areas regardless of what program you’re taking. Each of them provides something unique and exciting, and while they’re far from perfect separately, combined there is plenty to choose from to enrich the student experience outside of the campus walls.

Rating - 4/5

by Ashley Quinton

Opportunity is an extremely subjective category to rate – it differs from student to student and whether or not they will take an opportunity and run with it. An analogy that comes to mind is undergraduate classes. A student has the opportunity to get 100 % in a class - although wildly rare-  but with each class missed or a rushed study session can hinder that opportunity.

I can honestly, say my opinion of the opportunities presented by the University of Windsor has changed over time. When I first arrived in Windsor from London, I felt lost. It was so different from Fanshawe College. When I attended Fanshawe all my peers would stick around the campus and hang out. In Windsor, this wasn’t the case – for the first year at least. So, I decided to join a sorority, in hopes of making new friends and networking. This isn’t one of the opportunities I decided to run with, I tried, but it just wasn’t for me. However, the U has several frats and sororities, that if that is your cup of tea, would be a wonderful opportunity.

Opportunities are what you make of them. As a former Digital Journalism student, I have had several wonderful opportunities at the U, from being part of the CJAM team, landing a stellar internship at Heart FM, to now writing for the Lance.

The University of Windsor offers several unique programs within nine faculties. I am going to highlight a few that stick out due to the unique nature of the courses offered.

The University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law offers an American and Canadian Dual JD program which allows students to complete two law degrees in three years. This program is one of a kind in Canada! It also opens up the opportunity for students to either practice law in the U.S. or Canada (or both).

The English department offers a two-semester Editing and Practicum course. It gives students the opportunity to work together with their peers in the process of publishing a book – everything from creating the cover artwork, editing the novel, to planning and executing the book launch and everything in between. I personally have had friends who have taken the course and while they may have developed a few grey hairs in the process, they wouldn’t have changed a thing.

The Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) has several programs that lend a helping hand to students looking to start a business venture. Whether they are partnering up students with alumni entrepreneurs or teaching them how to be successful, they are gaining real-life experience.

The U has added a plethora of new Master’s programs to the books, which opens up a whole slew of new research opportunities. I am currently completing my Master’s in Communication and Social Justice and can attest to the research possibilities.

Beyond course related opportunities. The university offers employment opportunities: TA/GA ‘ships, research assistantships, paid student union and volunteer positions, clubs, and house and varsity athletics.

Overall, I believe the University of Windsor ranks high in the opportunity section. As I said before, a student’s perspective on their level of satisfaction regarding opportunities is very subjective to each student. There will always be opportunities out there, don’t wait for them to come to you, chase them down.

Rating - 3/5

by Selina McCallum

For people who go away for school, one of their concerns may be making new friends in a new city. That was one of my biggest concerns coming from Toronto to living in residence. Others who choose to stay home may be excited to meet new faces from all over the world. Que Welcome Week, a seven-day festival celebrating new and returning students, opening up the chance to meet your best friend for the next 4 years. Mini carnivals, free hot dogs, bouncy castles, relay races, and themed night parties are all part of the program.

Welcome Week, put on by the University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA), aims to be diverse in bringing out crowds interested in different things. Night parties range from Country Night, Toga, and my personal faourite, Hip-Hop night. I'm the one bringing the hype in the middle of the dance floor, nice to meet you, my name is Selina.

Welcome Week works well for the masses, but when it's over, the University isn't so lit anymore. Professors start their lessons and the realization of, “Oh my God, I’m in University and I can’t screw up” sets in for many students (arguably). If you haven't made friends during the festivities, you're now stuck finding a pal through awkward classroom icebreakers, stressful group projects or

I feel that it becomes up to the students to create their own social events. Clubs usually hold parties, gatherings, dinners, panels, poetry slams, open mics and galas for their club members and the general student body. Aside from Welcome Week, UWSA also holds annual events such as The Celebration of Nations, PAWS from Stress, and much more.

I think that the University of Windsor itself could contribute more to student groups who have the drive to organize social events with potential. These are people pushing to keep the things alive after the Welcome Week hype takes a dive. Fostering more social events with the proper exposure has potential to increase some much-needed school spirit and pride. In addition, students can increase their self-esteem, happiness and reduce stress by attending more social events, challenging themselves, and stepping outside of their comfort zone.

However, this isn’t just a one sided conversation because for an event to be successful, people actually need to show up. From my last two years of trying to be extremely social and attend every event I can, I’ve noticed that most of the time it’s never a full house. It may not be fair to say that the University of Windsor doesn’t hold many events when students are showing complete apathy. I believe that if we can all come together and support each other’s social gatherings, whether they are free or not, it would make the campus a more engaging place.

Rating - 4/5

by Joshua Boucher

I was a member of three clubs last year, two of which were an origami club called Folding for Fido and the Jull Environmental Studies/Science Club. I found out about the latter through people who are in my program. I found out about the former through Clubs Day, a day where basically a bunch of different clubs set up tables in the student centre and woo you enough to become a member. This is a great way to find out what’s going on around campus, and you’d be surprised at the kinds of activities that people are into (the most interesting club I’ve seen is without a doubt the Taxidermy Club).

You can also find an online list of all the clubs at the UWSA hub (campusvibe.ca/uwsahub) and by “all” of the clubs I mean “most” of the clubs. The aforementioned origami club, for example, is not listed on the website, and I don’t know why. But rest assured, there are an awful lot of clubs listed on the site and I’d be surprised if you don’t find something that interests you. Although, just as a forewarning, be aware that the UWSA Hub is often underutilized by those who run the clubs so the information and events are often out of date, and sometimes just completely absent. Unfortunate as it is, I understand the sheer apathy of learning new things like this... we are students after all, can't we just do this on Facebook?

On the administrative side, all student groups are coordinated by the Student Groups Coordinator. This is the person who ratifies all of the groups on campus and acts as the liaison between club members and the UWSA. One of the best things about the clubs at the university is how easy it is to get a club made. If you’ve got an obscure interest, all you need is a couple of buddies willing to be your executive members and get a bunch of folks to join your e-mailing list at Clubs Day.

Last year I decided to get more involved with clubs and joined three of them, although the third club was more of a non-credit course offered by the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility (American Sign Language classes, for those of you who are curious). Although I didn’t end up going to club meetings as regularly as I initially wanted to, I still enjoyed the time I did spend at the clubs. The Jull Club let me meet a nice group of people who were taking similar courses, and the origami club allowed me to meet a nice group of people who, uh, also liked to fold paper into animals and things.

The point is, I got something out of joining those clubs, even if it wasn’t what I was expecting to get out of them. Overall, I was pretty pleased with my experiences and would definitely recommend joining a few clubs, especially to incoming students who are looking to make new friends and pick up new hobbies.

Rating - 3.5/5

by Hani Yassine

At the risk of sounding overly philosophical, one must wonder: what does it mean to be happy? Some may say a great job, steady income, great friends or even having grades you’re not too embarrassed about. But there is no objective answer to this question. Happiness is such a broad term that varies from person to person, or in this case from student to student.

Particularly in the advent of awareness in mental health, we’ve come to realize happiness and sadness can be felt from numerous factors. As a result, it’s difficult to determine just how “happy” UWindsor students are since you’re dealing with a body of roughly 16,000. You could spend an entire day canvassing the campus, asking students about their happy place and your results will still come out inconclusive, for simply put there’s no algorithm which can faithfully capture these intimate feelings on a broad scale.

But for the sake of being as tangible as possible, there have been tests and surveys to help paint a picture towards student satisfaction. For example, Maclean’s magazine has been directly surveying students across the country which ultimately pertains to their feelings towards their institution. How they gauge said satisfaction is based on an all-encompassing degree of elements you’d experience while in a post-secondary environment. This includes the day-to-day grind of attending classes and interactions with the faculty and staff, as well as extracurricular activities and feelings towards heavy topics such as sexual assault. Based on the information compiled from the survey, which was conducted in 2016, the University of Windsor placed 8th in the comprehensive student rankings, just under the University of Victoria and just over Ryerson University.

So if we decide to go by this ranking, then it’s fair to say if we’re not happy, then we’re at least happier than other universities, which can be a positive if you’re a believer of silver linings.

But perhaps it’s less about how happy we are in our school and more about how they try to make us happy or at least comforted. Having been born and raised in Windsor, attending the university in my own town is hardly as nerve-wracking as coming here from an entirely different city, province or even country. To be in a place that’s away from your friends and family can truly be scary for students, first years in particular, and can easily affect one’s state of being. Fortunately, the school puts forth enough effort to make sure students are encouraged to break the ice with their peers. Many social events are frontloaded to the beginning of the year to ease the anxiety students may have. Of course, this anxiety only transfers onto academic stresses. But with options such as the Peer Support Centre and events such as the paws room, courtesy of the Therapeutic Paws of Canada, the university takes the steps to ensure the welcoming climate is fairly consistent.

Now the mileage to these benefits may vary. A person may be happy or unhappy due to something not even related to the school. A student may have trouble making friends, but that could be because of an inherent difficulty to socialize. The university encourages one to do so, but it also cannot force anybody to make friends. In matters of depression, the battle that comes with it could possibly transcend what the school can offer you. But the important thing is that it cares enough about a student’s wellness to provide those options and activities that could amend the struggle. At the end of the day, that has to count for something; the acknowledgement and understanding of the daily challenges and the attempted steps to move forward from them.

Rating - 3.5/5

by Joshua Boucher

During the winter semester of 2017, I was sitting in a classroom in Dillon Hall, where it happened to be storming pretty hard outside. There was so much rain that the ceiling actually began to leak water. First, it started off as steady dripping, but as the rain got worse, it became a stream of water that slowly grew as a puddle on the floor.

Our instructor, a complete newbie, didn’t know what the hell to do. He asked all of us to move our desks away from the puddle and we continued with the class as if there was nothing wrong. Once he realized that the puddle wasn’t going away anytime soon, he turned to the students for advice. I blatantly had to tell him that he should probably call facilities services. He asked what their number was. I looked up the extension for maintenance and gave it to him. He asked what the number for the university was, and I gave it to him. He called maintenance, explained the situation, and we all waited for staff to arrive and solve the issue.

About fifteen minutes later someone from facilities services arrived to inspect the leak. After checking out our classroom, the man went to the very top of Dillon Hall, where access is restricted to staff. We couldn’t see what he was doing, of course, but the leak stopped very soon after. Keep in mind that not every room in Dillon Hall is like this. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a different room in the same building, and it looks very nice and new, not a spot of water damage to be found.

In the same year, there was a referendum to determine whether or not the Lancers Sport and Recreation Centre would be constructed. The majority of students voted that yes, we would like the centre to be built. In addition to the recreation centre, there is also a new science building currently under construction on campus.

In general, the university gives the impression that expanding the institution with new buildings is more important than maintaining what is already standing. This is understandable since new buildings attract prospective students more. There are, to my knowledge, very rarely any serious concerns relating to maintenance, with some exceptions. During the 2016-2017 academic year, a residence building was completely demolished because of mold damage. That same year, some residents from Alumni Hall were moved into another residence building while their rooms were treated for similar mold damage. These are the most extreme cases I know of.

The biggest issue with the facilities at the University of Windsor is their inconsistency. There are classrooms so different in terms of maintenance that you’d be surprised to find them in the same building. A class with paint peeling off the walls and tiles falling from the ceiling can be right next door to a room that looks brand new. Some buildings seem to be very well maintained overall, while others seem to be left at the wayside.

The strongest aspect of the facilities here is the focus on improving for the future. New buildings are being made to improve the student experience, new lights were recently added along a walking path to make the campus safer, and a new basketball court was recently installed to encourage campus community and recreation. No, the facilities aren’t great, and yes there are a lot of issues, but the school is aware of these flaws and has shown that it is dedicated to improving them.

Rating - 4/5

by Selina McCallum

When walking through campus late at night after hours of studying or walking back home from a friend’s house, I’ve never felt unsafe. I am able to walk by myself to my destination around campus without feeling like I need to call for assistance or talk to a friend on the phone. The university is usually a calm and quiet place at night. Overall, the city of Windsor does not have much criminal activity. CBC reported in early 2017 that there were 429 fewer violent incidents in 2016 compared to 2015.

The University of Windsor has many prevention programs and services in place for students to feel safe. For instance, there is the WalkSafe service which allows students to dial 0 from any campus phone between the hours of 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday to have a volunteer walk them to their destination. In addition, there is also the Student Bystander Initiative in place to encourages student-participants to see themselves as potential bystanders who could identify, intervene and stop an assault before it happens. There are also services that allow theft prevention for laptops and bikes. More programs and services can be found on the prevention tab on the University of Windsor’s campus community police page.

These programs and services are effective because many professors encourage students to partake in the workshops. In two of my previous classes attending a Bystander Initiative workshop would get you an extra 1 percent added to your overall grade for the course. Students are more likely to attend workshops if there is an incentive.

I did a small study on how safe the students at the University of Windsor feel. The participants varied from 2nd year to graduate students and identified as either male or female. More than half surveyed rated the safety in Windsor a 3.5 out of 5. Many expressed that campus police were not very accessible on campus after dark.

Although all of these programs are in place, usually there are no campus police patrolling the area around the university which can make me feel uneasy. It is rarely reported that a student on campus was harassed, assaulted or stalked on campus, but that does not mean that it doesn’t happen. If more campus police roamed the area on foot around campus, it would further continue to prevent any incidents from taking place.

Rating - 3.5/5

by Joshua Boucher

Food on campus is kind of like Windsor's mayor, Drew Dilkens: fairly generic, can cause nausea or queasiness, but gets the job done.

The Marketplace, located in the CAW Student Centre, is food capital of UWindsor. This food court has a few different options that I’ll break down for you: there is a Chef to U, which the university’s website describes as “home style”, which is true if your home was a high school cafeteria. The Pizza Pizza in the Marketplace is pretty good when you need to grab a quick bite and don’t want to wait in line too long, although they never seem to be able to properly cut your slices. The Subway is just as good as an off-campus Subway. The only problem is that people know this, so the wait times can get pretty lengthy. I don’t know anyone who’s ever eaten at the Mediterranean Grill, but they presumably have food there. I have been to the Burger Bar once, and although the food tasted relatively decent, I had to wait quite a while before it was made. Booster Juice was recently added, and for the first few weeks, it seemed like everybody and their mother couldn’t wait to get their hands on those smoothies. So once again, yes, there were long wait times.

Also in the CAW is the only full-sized Tim Hortons on campus, as every other Tim Hortons is a self-serve station. This Tims has been my personal godsend for those days where I just don’t have the energy to make my own breakfast before morning classes. The staff there are fairly regular as well, so after a couple of weeks of seeing my sleepy face, they had my order memorized and would start making it before I got to the cash. In fact, there are a bunch of cashiers who work for food services who manage to be a delight every time I see them. Good people, good times.

On the south end of campus, within the walls of Vanier Hall, you’ll find the Crocodile Grill, or “the Croc” as everyone calls it. This restaurant is mostly frequented by residence students since it’s in the middle of the residence quad (Alumni residents be damned). The Croc offers a selection of food during the morning and the evening, operating before and after the Marketplace closes (roughly). I’m going to be upfront with you about this: your bowels will fire like a cannon after eating at the Croc. It doesn’t matter what item you choose. It will happen. The Croc changes its menu as often as its customers change toilet paper rolls. You try a few different things before deciding on a regular meal. You enjoy it while it lasts, knowing that at any moment it could be snatched away from you forever. Once the inevitable happens, you’ll be forced to hold up the line as you scan the new menu with a mix of confusion and disappointment, and each customer standing in line will give you dirty looks for not having an order prepared beforehand. This is the way of things. Also, there is one cashier who I won’t name (but I will say her name rhymes with “Lennifer”) who is an absolute delight and you should never be mean to her.

Now, I happened to live in residence for my entire time at the university so far, so my knowledge of off-campus food places is limited. But here’s what I do know: Green Bean Café is located in the basement of a church that kindly reminds us “God loves students.” I’ve been there three times. Hot chocolate: decent. Panini: good. Third item: forget what I bought because I was doing a reading and was more concerned with stage fright than food. Another one of my favourite places near campus is Sweet Chili Indian Restaurant, which has 1) the most on-the-nose name I’ve ever heard besides Pizza Pizza, and 2) some pretty bangin’ chicken tikka masala. There’s also a neat little shop that sells ink and ice cream on Wyandotte, which is run by one of the most pleasant men I’ve ever met. The Ink Shop offers great ice cream with generously sized scoops, and you can get your ink cartridges refilled there in a pinch - EPICentre, take notes.

The on-campus food services offer you a bit of variety by changing up their menus every so often, and there’s a decent amount of chain restaurants so you’re not always eating cafeteria food. The biggest issue with the food is the hours. Since 11 PM is the latest anything is open, except for special occasions, you’ll need to head off campus if you live in residence and ever get the late night munchies. The good news is that campus is fairly close to restaurants that have late hours, such as a Subway open 24/7 just behind the library and a Pizza Pizza that delivers until 3:00 AM.

Rating - 3/5

by Hani Yassine

What may be one of the stronger nuances of post-secondary studies is the sense of liberation and independence that comes with it. Technically you’re not forced to go to class, even though you should, and you can skip any day whenever you want to, even though you shouldn’t. You’re technically playing to the beat of your own drum, which can pave the way for an attitude where you couldn’t care less about the judgment that comes your way.

Alright, maybe that’s not actually the case for many students. After all, it’s an admittedly reckless behaviour to keep up and one that could easily lead to unseen consequences, notably that of an affected reputation. It’s that R-word which can benefit or denigrate a person’s status and can even play a role as to the opportunities received in the future. This doesn’t just apply to students, but whole institutions as well.

To an extent, a university has to show concern and even attempt to safeguard its reputation and ranking. After all, if a person is still deciding which school to go to, they will be naturally inclined to go to one that’s highly regarded than a place that’s spoken poorly of or embroiled in some controversy. In the University of Windsor’s case, it carries a mix and match of both the former and the latter. The school has been on the up and up academically, but not without getting into some rather hairy situations along the way.

But for starters, what composes a school’s reputation in the first place? One way to determine this and the reasoning behind it is by examining its rankings. It was just a few years ago when UWindsor received underwhelming rankings in the academic sector. But with improved infrastructure for several new programs, from the School of Engineering Innovation to the School of Social Work, as well as strong funding for other programs have seemed to do the place some favours. According to the Ranking Web of Universities, the University of Windsor is ranked 27th in Canada and 686th in the world. In Maclean’s Magazine’s 2017 National Reputational Rankings, which is surveyed towards the views of administrators, high school councillors and business people, UWindsor found itself ranked 38th.  Finally, UniversityHub, a Canadian social networking platform specifically designed as a post-secondary ecosystem listed UWindsor at #1 in the country’s ‘Rising Stars’ ranking, citing the additional funding towards numerous programs behind the reasoning.

In short, the funding and structural improvements have certainly helped the school on paper, and with the upcoming athletic and science centre, this trend could very well continue. All the same, it does not provide a full representation as to just how reputable the school is in every aspect. While the ranks are provided and determined by more systematic standards, it does not and can never speak to the school’s cultural or social climate, nor do they account for the unique set of circumstances students could find themselves in. A potential student may be less concerned with where a school’s ranking lies and more concerned with word of mouth, a direct testimonial and account of one’s experience. The views, in this case, pave the way for something considerably more dynamic and complicated, and with these complications there lies a clear set of benefits and detriments.

Ashley Quinton

The reputation of the University of Windsor may be rising according to some measures but the University of Windsor’s Students’ Association appears to have missed the memo.

To start off, let me declare my bias. I am a member of the Graduate Student Society and I thoroughly enjoy going to school here. If I did not enjoy studying here, I probably would not have done my undergrad and be completing my grad studies at Windsor. I think this school is wonderful for a variety of reasons.

However, outsiders do not always think highly of the city or the university. You may recall that Stephen Colbert referred to Windsor as the “Earth’s rectum.” Thank goodness, he has moved on to bigger and um, - well maybe the rest of the saying is not applicable here.

As for the reputation of the ‘U’, it does not help that the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance seems perpetually mired in controversy either. I will not bother recalling the long, sad history of the UWSA’s past few years of mismanagement; rather, I will focus on the events that took place toward the end of last semester and throughout the summer. These events will outline the general appeal of, or lack thereof, the alliance’s reputation.

This is a difficult situation to describe, mainly because I’m not really sure anyone is clear about what exactly happened during the last election – but let me give you the Coles Notes summary.

On February 16th, the unofficial results of the UWSA election were announced. Moussa Hamadani was elected President but his tenure ended more rapidly than Scaramucci's brief stint as Trump’s Communication Director. I bet Moussa was hoping he would “last longer than a carton milk” like ‘The Mooch’ did.

Several complaints and appeals were made about the election of two positions, President and Student Services (the complaints remain confidential).  The UWSA board passed a motion to hire outside legal counsel to work with the election committee to investigate the proceedings.

Based on the findings of the legal counsel, the Board and the Elections Committee came to the conclusion it was in the UWSA’s best interest to make runner-up Larissa Howlett as President. Howlett was then fired with growing frustration as the behind-the-scenes power struggles continued unabated.

Students remain in the dark.

This situation is a little less embarrassing than being dismantled but needless to say the reputation of the UWSA is not getting any better. And it comes after the 2014 debacle over the so-called Boycott, Divest and Sanctions referendum and the ‘none of the above’ campaign that year rejecting the status quo.

These negative stories overshadow all the hard work by individuals and progress the association made last year. Is it too late to salvage the UWSA’s reputation? Not necessarily. A start would be to hire a strong, experienced returning officer and let that person do their job without interference. Most importantly, a professional executive that runs meetings according to proper rules of order and shows leadership is desperately needed. Unfortunately for the past few years, those two qualities have been lacking among the UWSA executive.


It's completely fair to say the overall quality of student life at the University of Windsor is average. However, this is a collective opinion of only a handful of students. What are your thoughts? Are you willing to participate in a collaborative process with the administration and student unions to achieve "promise" for all?




  • Show Comments (3)

  • John

    I’m a third year student, I just recently found out myself; the law building has a full service Timmies as well, on the main floor. Also for the Tims in CAW I’ve heard MANY individuals (that includes students and professors) complain about the service that you get; they are slow..i mean really slow, for having five people working at once. As for friendliness? You can forget it at the CAW timmies, unless you have an established report with them, even then sometimes. As for the Booster Juice…SLOW, slower than the timmies…which, believe me, its hard to get slower then them.

  • Ryan Flannagan

    Good work here. Some fair assessments (particularly the comment about campus clearing out at night), you’re missing more recent details (e.g., pretty radical changes to Welcome Week this fall) but on whole, I think it’s well done. My sense is that the university as a collective we have momentum that’s going in the right direction.

    If I’m doing the math, I think your score is closer to 4 than it is 3.5, which in my opinion a better reflection of the progress we’ve made over the past 5 years. I look forward to seeing The Lance get on to social media so more students can read the content. Solid first effort and I look forward to seeing more.

    Ryan Flannagan, AVP-Student Experience

  • Nick Robinson

    I feel it depends on where the student originates from that decides their opinion. You touched upon it in your article about feelings of liberation and independence being directly related to to the post secondary experience.

    In my experience, the people who are the hardest on Uwindsor tend to be native Windsorites. They bemoan just about everything from administration to boredom to professors and everything else. I expect this has to do with the fact that many of the above mentioned people still live at home. On the contrary, people who come from out of town tend to be much more upbeat about everything and willing to engage with the University’s services on a much larger scale.

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