UWSA general elections now in full swing
UWindsor students head to the polls to elect their Undergraduate Student Alliance.
The general elections for the UWSA (the University of Windsor Student Alliance) representing all full-time undergraduate students including the Schulich School of Medicine, the Faculty of Law, and Teachers College- are now underway.
According to the Chief Returning Officer (ISC), Ivona Bilbilovska, the elections will remain online for the second year in a row to ensure an equal playing field for everyone.
“As there are only about 60% of students on campus, we don’t want any students, whether they’re candidates or simply voting, to be at a disadvantage if they’re not able to be on campus for whatever reason. We’re hoping that for the 2022 by-election, which happens in the fall semester, we will be able to be in person.”
The general election campaigning period started on March 29 and voting will take place on April 6 and 7.
Since there will not be any physical posters around campus, to ensure that the student body is aware of the platforms of each candidate running, the UWSA has created a candidate’s page that includes information for each candidate to help students make their decision.
“It has some answers to campaign questions and links to all their social media platforms, so it really is a one –stop shop for all students to get the information as to who’s running to represent them, and they’ll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to voting days,” says Bilbilovska.
This page will be shared by the UWSA through email through their social media, and in addition to that, it will also be linked in the voting portal.
“If someone maybe didn’t get a chance to visit the page prior to voting days, they’ll have the ability to visit the website and go through the information prior to voting,” she continued.
Nevertheless, students on campus remain generally unaware about the elections or who they will vote for. Lizzy Coleman, a Biomedical Science student in her second year, had not heard about the elections. Inversely, while Victoria, a third-year Human Kinetics student, mentioned that she had seen a few things on social media, neither herself nor Lizzy were planning on voting. Yet still, they believe the UWSA maintains a wide influence over campus activities and student engagement. Both want to see an increase in student activities and ways for students to meet each other.
“I know in the first year there was like a bit of that, but since Covid, it’s been kind of hard,” says Victoria.
Candidates will have had the chance to address the concerns of students on March 31st with a Meet the Candidates event which will be available for students to tune it online. There, candidates will get an opportunity to talk about their stance on specific issues and campaign platforms.
Throughout the entire process, students are encouraged to take part, ask questions and vote.
“They’re an integral part of this community and being active through whether that be through simply voting or being a candidate or, joining a campaign team. It’s by joining in that diplomatic process and by voting you’re able to keep those candidates accountable to their platforms, to their campaigns,” Bilbilovska continued before reiterating the ease of voting.
“Voting is really simple and it only takes, a few minutes. Everything is online. Through the voting portal you sign in using your UWINID and password and you’re able to vote for all of the candidates that you’re eligible to vote for at once, save your vote, and really that’s it. I’m trying to make it as simple as possible for everyone to get out and vote,”
Students that are interested in getting involved but were unable to run in the elections are also encouraged to run in the fall 2022 by-elections where they will be able to run for a few vacant positions or take part in the many clubs on campus.
“There’s over 150 clubs and societies as well. Just get out there and figure out what is interesting to you and what you want to commit your time to. Every position you will hold will really aid you in not just your personal development, but professional development as well. Making connections with different peers on campus, different faculty and staff, as well as community stakeholders,” Bilbilovska highlighted.
Information on the elections, clubs and available volunteer opportunities can be found on the UWSA website.
The expected results will be posted on the UWSA Facebook page on April 7th at 7:00 PM EST.