UWSA – University of Windsor Students' Alliance


Walter Rischke

Running for Senate Student Representative

Outline your relevant experience for this position

My experience ranges from both job-supervisory positions, where I have advocated for people working with me, through to my experience at the GECDSB Senate representing the students at my high school! At the end of the day, I am just another student working my way through University with a passion for policy-work and a drive to represent UWindsor students within our Senate. I know that there is many things to fix and I know that my experiences, along with the shared experiences of many students, will provide the required insights to be able to solve these issues.

What specific initiatives and projects would you undertake related to this role?

There are a number of bylaw changes that I will to pursue. Currently, students can be assessed on a 50-50 grade structure, allowing 50% of grades to be on one assignment/test, and 50% on another. Frankly, for many students this just doesn’t work. Students are learning and the content being presented at the University level is not easy for those that may not have come across it before. A 40% maximum-per-assignment structure would enforce each course to have at least three assignments, greatly increasing the chances for students who may do poorly on one assignment to catch up. Another example involves the assessment of students directly before final exams. Currently, ‘exceptions’ can be made on a case-by-case basis to allow assignments in the week directly before final exams. This isn’t fair to our students. Mental health typically declines towards the end of the semester with the pressure of successfully completing what might be the most-heavily weighted assessment in the entire course. It should change and I will propose measures to do so. Finally, the students deserve transparency. There’s no reason that the inner workings of the University should be kept behind closed doors and gatekept from the student body when those affairs directly affect the students! I will communicate promptly with any student that contacts me to deliver information or answer questions, and I intend to hold office hours regularly and pursue the publicization of information online for all those concerned to see.

How do you plan on facilitating positive work relationships within the UWSA Board, members at large and UWindsor administration?

Forming and upkeeping relationships with the board, members, and administration is fundamental to my success as a Senator. By being honest, transparent, and acting with integrity with all three parties, I hope that I will be able to do so. Honesty is obviously key to trust, not only between the people I work with but also those that I represent. As a Senate representative, it’s imperative that I am honest to the students about what is possible, but also that I am honest to the board and the Senate on what the students would like to see. While honesty is needed, transparency backs it up. Don’t just take my word for it! I want to pursue the information transparency initiatives to ensure that the students have the information they are entitled to either published online or upon request. Finally, integrity means that when I say I’ll do something, I mean it. Point blank, all of us students are too busy to be lying to each other and/or lied to.

Describe the importance of the UWSA in your own words

The UWSA is an important and integral part of the student experience here at UWindsor. Simple things like bus passes and the student centre up to more complex things like student health insurance and representing the student voice in the creation of bylaws and polices are all done by the UWSA and its elected officials. The UWSA provides a unique opportunity for students to organize themselves together, as one unified body, to fight for changes we want or need and work through the struggles to achieve those changes. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have people fighting for a better student experience.