UWSA – University of Windsor Students' Alliance

Candidate: Lauren Pupulin

Position: Senate Student Representatives

social Media

1. Outline your relevant experience for this position

Throughout my academic experience I have been grateful to serve as a student volunteer and leader on a number of councils and clubs. As Deputy Prime Minister on the student council, I promoted involvement within my secondary school and creatively engaged the student body in social justice initiatives. My position on the student council allowed me to advocate for the student voice on a provincial level as a Student Trustee for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board in 2018. In this role, I represented and spoke for students within my school board during monthly school board meetings, chaired monthly Student Senate meetings for all high schools within the board, and represented the student voice provincially as a member of the Ontario Student Trustee Association. During my service, I organized social justice initiatives including the campaign “Share the Journey” to raise awareness for forced migration. Currently, I am a member of the Outstanding Scholars Program conducting and supporting undergraduate research projects. In addition, as Awareness Coordinator of UWindsor’s Relay For Life team and recruitment LEAD of Students Offering Support, I have had the opportunity to enhance student experience by promoting student involvement and availability of student resources. Outside of school, I am a current volunteer of the Canadian Mental Health Association promoting accessibility to mental health resources within the community. As Student Senate Representative, I hope to incorporate my past experience and skills with my passion for student advocacy to maintain quality student life at the University of Windsor.

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

As Student Senate Representative, my goal is to actively engage with students to discuss their interests and concerns and effectively represent their views to the University of Windsor Senate members. In advocating for the study body, I plan to promote the availability of student communication lines with members of the UWSA. The implementation of student feedback forms will provide a greater representation and understanding of student needs and improve student connections. Academically, I plan to work with additional committees to review and assess the modes of course delivery including online, hy-flex, hybrid, and face-to-face learning as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the province. In addition, I intend to promote community involvement and enhance student volunteer and job experience by reaching out to local business and organizations to facilitate networking opportunities in preparation for future career placements. Lastly, in addressing the consistent need for student mental supports, I plan to implement additional mental health services, such as wellness amenities, to combat mental challenges and promote conversations about student mental health. These projects will be evaluated by incorporating inputs from fellow students and UWSA members to make a positive impact on the quality of student experience at the University of Windsor.

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

Collectively, the student unions, UWSA, OPUS, and GSS work together in collaboration with UWindsor administration to improve the quality of student life at the University of Windsor by advocating for students, addressing student concerns and providing services. Granted the opportunity to serve on the UWSA board, I hope to promote an environment that values teamwork when making executive decisions by establishing lines of effective and respectful communication to build connections within our team early on. During my service as a Student Trustee for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, I recognized the importance of working cohesively as a team in order to achieve a common goal. By working together as a Student Senate, we were able to generate novel ideas and creative solutions to advance school board principles and policies by discussing options from multiple perspectives. To successfully support student needs as a Student Senator Representative, it is important that the UWSA and additional student unions are in direct contact with students and staff to understand the concerns at hand. I plan to bridge any existing gaps between staff and students by engaging in regular meetings with faculty representatives and student club executives. Expanding these lines of communication ensures proper follow up of decisions and policies made by the UWSA and provides a template for developing future action plans. Ultimately, I hope to promote the student voice within a positive and productive work environment dedicated to serving the students of the University of Windsor.

4. Describe the importance of the UWSA in your own words

The University of Windsor Students’ Alliance serves to represent, advocate, and connect the student body by enhancing student life on campus and virtually. In partnership with campus committees and clubs, the UWSA works to understand and address student interests, concerns and needs to take appropriate action to uphold high academic and student experience standards. In doing so, members of the UWSA recognize the importance of defending student rights to ensure proper Provincial Government funding and student supports at the University of Windsor to promote accessibility to post-secondary education regardless of financial situation. The continuous support of the UWSA has granted students the opportunity to explore a variety of resources and services offered on campus that address all aspects of student life such as academic concerns, mental health awareness and support, and environmental issues. The UWSA works to build community by updating students on campus news and events as well as promoting student involvement by coordinating student groups. By offering open lines of communication, this student union strives to adhere to student’s needs by representing the student voice in the Canadian Federation of Students. In recent years, navigating through COVID-19 has presented additional challenges for the UWSA, however, by prioritizing student connections and accessibility the UWSA has and will continue to serve the student body of the University of Windsor.