UMSU board meeting update Nov. 17

Holiday hampers, referendum presentation delays, student advocacy, student events

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) held their biweekly board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17.

UMSU Holiday Hamper


UMSU vice-president community engagement Elishia Ratel and vice-president student life Tracy Karuhogo detailed plans for the annual UMSU Holiday Hampers Program, which helps out students and their families by providing food and toys during the holiday season.

This year, the program will supply student applicants with a mix of grocery gift cards and small hampers containing toys and hygiene products.

Ratel explained that the inclusion of gift cards for groceries instead of food was implemented during the pandemic, and that hamper recipients appreciated the ability to tailor their hampers to suit their needs.

Donations of new toys for children up to 14 years of age, as well as hygiene products specified on the UMSU Holiday Hamper webpage can be made in-person at the UMSU Service Centre.

Additionally, financial donations can be made both in-person and online.

UMSU will also be hosting a few fundraising events in December in support of the hamper program, like a movie night and a holiday-themed karaoke night.

The deadline for all hamper donations will be Dec. 4 at 11:59 p.m.

“It’s a very basic program but it does really help a lot of students in need,” Ratel said.

Referendum presentations


Eric Johnson, chief returning officer of UMSU’s recent referendum regarding the Canadian Federation of Students, noted that the side in favour of leaving the federation came out as the winner, and that around 25 per cent of UMSU members voted.

He went over the entire referendum process and made recommendations, which included the recommendation that future CROs be hired up to two months in advance of a referendum.

Reports of the executive


Rykiss’s report detailed that equity, diversity and inclusion training for UMSU staff had been delayed, but will be rescheduled for a future date.

UMSU vice-president advocacy Victoria Romero shared that she and Rykiss would be attending the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Advocacy Week in Ottawa, Ont. from Nov. 21 to 25. At the conference they will both receive advocacy and lobby training, and meet with members of Parliament as well as senators.

She also reported that the Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students (MAPSS) is continuing to fight for free international student health care, and added that the organization has included free international health coverage in its budget policy recommendation document, which will be presented to members of the legislative assembly.

Ratel’s report highlighted a Nov. 29 event put on by UM Career Services and Onyx Initiative, an organization that supports Black students in their career development and prospects. The event will allow students to learn more about Onyx and opportunities within the organization, and students can register in advance online.

Ratel also discussed a couple of events put on by the U of M information services and technology department aimed at testing the wireless capabilities on the Bannatyne and Fort Garry campuses.

Participants must register for each event, both of which are limited to 100 people. Attendees will stress test the Wi-Fi by streaming simultaneously. The events will take place on Nov. 29 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in room 122 of the Drake Centre, as well as Nov. 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Theatre B at the Bannatyne campus.

Students who attend can expect free food and a chance at several $50 U of M bookstore prizes. UMSU vice-president finance and operations Brook Rivard detailed the schedule for murals to be added to the third floor of University Centre. A call for submissions will take place from the end of November until January.

Selected pieces are scheduled to be painted during winter reading week. Karuhogo announced plans to table with UMSU women’s representative Christine Yasay in University Centre in honour of the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women.

On Nov. 25 at 11 a.m., a tree will be set up where students will be able to read stories and calls to action of victims and survivors of violence, and also write their own messages.