President’s update: October 2023

This is my last report as UWSA president; Yessenia Guerrero will be stepping into the role November 1! I want to thank all the area representatives and staff who have been attending our monthly meetings, and bringing information back to your departments. 

June 28 healing sessions

Thank you also to everyone who attended the healing sessions that were facilitated by councillors from Homewood Health. We held these sessions to provide space for staff to debrief and process the June attack on campus and we ended up getting a lot out of them ourselves. Some things we’re thinking about after these sessions include:

  • That there is a role for us to play immediately after such events, even if other supports are available.
  • That having children enrolled at UW shapes many members’ experience of campus safety incidents.
  • How demoralizing silence is and the importance of providing frequent updates (on any issue) even if there aren’t solutions or answers yet.
  • What healing can look like in a complex community.
  • That managers need guidance on how to continue to check in with people in the weeks and months following difficult events.
  • The various ways members can show up for each other throughout the year.
  • The connection between the rhetoric and demands of the transphobic “parental rights” movement and anti-LGBTQ+ violence.

What we’ve learned from these conversations will inform how we work moving forward, and we plan to continue this discussion and reflection.

Annual meeting

Our annual meeting is coming up on October 26. We will be announcing the new directors and giving you an overview of the past year. All staff who are UWSA members by October 19 are invited to attend and participate. Our annual report will be shared with members a week before the meeting, to give you time to browse it and prepare your questions! The annual report will include information about our new vision, mission, and values, and our three-year strategic plan, as well as updates from dozens of representatives on University and UWSA committees.

President nominations re-opened

Nominations for UWSA President are open again, until October 20, and we encourage you to apply or share the call with someone you think would be a good fit. Please note that no one feels “qualified” for the role, so don’t let that stop you! It’s a good opportunity to gain some managerial experience and build your career. The president-elect is mentored by the president (and then the president by the past president) to help with the learning curve.

Thank you

Finally, I want to give a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteers who have served on our many committees this past year, and a huge thank you to our operations team and board, without whom the association would not function. 

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