March 29, 2018
Winnipeg, MB – The University of Manitoba’s Student Union (UMSU) is lobbying to introduce several amendments to the UMSU Act, which will be carried forward in a private member’s bill by Fort Richmond MLA Sarah Guillemard. UMSU has been working on this initiative with our local MLA for over a year.
The UMSU Act, a piece of Provincial Legislation, is the highest governing document of the Students’ Union. It allows UMSU to govern itself as a corporate entity. This is only the second time in the Act’s 43-year history that an amendment has been brought forth. It was only amended the first time to have a version of the document in French.
The Private Bill will amend The University of Manitoba Students’ Union Act by:
- Adding provisions requiring referenda of the membership to increase UMSU fees;
- Mandating referenda of the membership to join external organizations;
- Mandating regular votes to maintain membership in external organizations; and
- Updating language to be gender neutral.
With the Provincial Government cutting funding to the post-secondary operating grant in the latest Provincial Budget, all costs to students should be scrutinized and they should be allowed to have a say, democratically, in any further increases.
“We have been working diligently on this project for over a year. It has gone through the proper channels including UMSU Council and the U of M Board of Governors,” UMSU President Tanjit Nagra says. “We are happy to see this go forward and enshrine direct democracy for our members. It is not only another way to engage our members in decision making processes, but also ensures we are being accountable when evaluating our memberships in any external organization.”
These proposed changes to the UMSU Act will not impact, in any way, funding for internal U of M organizations like UMFM, The Manitoban or the like. These amendments will allow students to have a voice in any proposed changes to UMSU’s external affiliations, as well as any increases to their student fees, by establishing regular referenda.
The University of Manitoba Students’ Union is the official representative of the over 25,000 undergraduate students at the University of Manitoba.
For media information, please contact:
University of Manitoba Students’ Union