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UWSA Generates New Initiatives to Strengthen Student Outreach

By: Ashley Quinton
News and Politics Writer

The University of Windsor’s Student Alliance’s 2018/2019-year plan focuses heavily on student engagement.

“At the beginning of the year, the executives decided that our number one priority is going to be outreach,” said Jeremiah Bowers, the UWSA President.

During last years’ election campaign the number one concern Bowers heard was students not knowing who the UWSA are. Bowers says, “we want to change that.”

The plan falls into three categories with an executive or UWSA member spearheading each initiative.

Student Representation: Equity Collective, First Year Council, BlueGold Pack, “Out of Office” Office Hours, Board Strategic Plan, President’s Council

Student Service: UWSA Hub Reboot, Laptop Loaner Service, Free Printing Initiative, UWSA Website Redesign, UWSA Discount Card, Internal Communication, Financial Literacy Resources, The Hum Café and Lounge: Grand Opening

Student Advocacy: Memorandum of Understanding, Office of Student Empowerment, Town halls, Feedback Surveys, Campaign Videos, Membership Campaigns, Revenue Sources

Bowers says the year plan is based on the student union values and board goals. “You will have your short-term goals and your long-term goals. For us, it’s imperative that we build a foundation that will stand from year to year. “We would these initiatives to become like the arms or an extension of the UWSA.”

According to the 2018/2019-year plan, the Equity Collectives, one of the proposed initiatives, “are safe spaces for marginalized communities to discuss the phobias that affect them most and work with the full support and resources of the UWSA to combat those phobias.”

Bowers says its one thing for the UWSA to run advocacy campaigns it’s another thing to give a community that is affected the tools to try and combat those phobias and educate our campus directly. “Campaigns raise awareness, but we want collectives to be the ones who take action.”

The UWSA will be using the Canadian Federation of Student equity model to determine the collectives; however, the unions encourage students who would like to form a collective outside of the CFS scope to contact them.

In another effort to increase student engagement the UWSA executives will have an office downtown at the School of Creative Arts (SOCA) for “’Out of Office’ Office Hours – with the primary goal of bridging the downtown and main campus.

“I think it means better representation and access to student’s downtown. It’s important when you have a critical mass of students both at SOCA and the School of Social Work you make sure they have access to the union and the services they offer,” says Dr. Vincent Georgie, Director of School of Creative Arts.

Georgie says students are overjoyed the UWSA will not only be downtown but in the SOCA building.

“They feel validated by that. The students feel the UWSA is showing commitment to the students and also that SOCA is showing a commitment to making sure our students are well taken care of.”

The UWSA is hoping to hold “’Out of Office’” Office Hours on other parts of campus as well, to drive home the message of “our student union is everyone’s student union,” said Bowers.

You can find the full copy of year plan by clicking here.

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