University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) president Jason Syvixay is one happy guy. After being re-elected last spring, he’s ready to improve on the foundation he built last year.
“Our job is to hone in on student needs and make them a reality,” he proudly stated.
Syvixay is joined by three new members – vice-president advocate Katie Haig-Anderson, vice-president internal Ava Jerao and vice-president student services Lana Hastings.
“Communication with the student body is very important; it’s hard to reach 10,000 students with such a small association,” said Haig-Anderson. “But, we’re improving resources like our website and creating a blog to update students on what we’re doing.” The International Development Studies graduate is a past co-ordinator of the Womyn’s Centre and ran a tight race in her contested slot.
Hastings also co-ordinated student groups before running for her position. Her work with Peer Support allowed for a natural progression to working with the UWSA. She aims to educate students about services such as the new daycare, health plan and SafeWalk program.
This year, Jerao hopes to draw from her business background and volunteer work with the university to enhance the professional development workshops the UWSA plans to organize.
“(They) will promote learning outside the classroom, teaching students practical things like how to market themselves to employers,” she said.
Along with the workshops, students are eligible to receive a reference letter from the university describing their participation if they attend four out of the six sessions.
It’s not all business this year, though. Syvixay is back to planning bashes and activities to keep the student body social.
“I believe that social events are a great way to bring students together and get them engaged in the school,” he said.
Starting with O-Week, the UWSA was able to book bigger bands because of last year’s successes, such as Roll Call, the off-campus event at The Pyramid, which is returning for a second year. Also on the 2010-2011 schedule is the Sustainability Festival as well as Sno-Week and (Sno)balls of Fury 2.
All the planning and hard work has paid off for the second-term president.
“(Last year) I learned to appreciate the small changes we made and the job matured me,” Syvixay said. “I have a great responsibility to the student body.”
After achieving the ban of bottled water on campus in 2009, the UWSA is currently working on initiatives such as the permanent relocation of the Disability Resource Centre, a U-Pass for Winnipeg Transit users and promoting the variety of services they provide.
“We encourage students to come talk to us about their concerns. We want to make the best of their university experience,” Syvixay said.
For more information visit the UWSA offices in the Bulman Centre or visit www.theuwsa.ca.
Published in Volume 65, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 2, 2010)