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Let's Talk- Zach Fleisher Runs for Vice President Advocate of University of Winnipeg Student Association

Zach Fleisher, March 9, 2011


[Below is Zach Fleisher's speech to students . Fleisher is running to be Vice President Advocate of  UWSA.  He is  running with Laura Sexmith who is seeking to be Vice President Student Services. The vote is March 12-15]

As you may know/may have seen, Laura [ Sexsmith]r Vice President Advocate and Vice President Student Services, for  and I have been doing our best to reach out to students as we seek to raise awareness and increase communication among University of Winnipeg students. In the past few days especially, among our countless classroom presentations, we have made a real effort to actually sit down with students and talk with them about our vision for the UWSA.

In this entire process, I want to give significant recognition to Laura for always being there to remind students about the great services that UWSA offers. Nothing is better then when a student's eyes light up at the mention of grabbing a coffee at Soma, or having a chance to save on textbooks at Petrified Sole.

However, the results have been a little of disheartening. We've talked to hundreds of students, from practically every background imaginable, all of whom are students here at the U of W. But for a lot of these students, it was there first interaction with anyone from UWSA; they had never engaged with UWSA and UWSA had never engaged with them. Because neither side has attempted to engage the other, their issues have never been addressed; their concerns about university life have never been answered.

We talked to housing students concerned about the lack of internet availability in residence. We've talked to international students who are unsure what they will be paying for tuition next year. We've talked to business students who are upset that their student group is unrecognized by the UWSA. These are all students who, if we are elected, will actively seek to speak with and represent, along with the larger student body.

For myself, if elected, I want to make reaching out to these students a major priority for the year. A lot of people running will promise to talk to students, engage with them etc. What I propose is a concrete promise; if I am elected I promise to present to a minimum of three classrooms a day, explaining to them what the UWSA is up to, as well as finding out about what there concerns are and in which areas we can advocate for them.

Additionally, I want to dedicate at least an hour of my day, every day, to meeting with students, be it in libraries, cafeterias, hallways or cafes. As great as social media and posters are, reaching out to students starts with a cup of coffee in hand and a face to face discussion taking place. Remember, on March 12th-15th, please take the time to consider the idea of communication, face to face and an exchange of ideas.

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