Student services remain open
During the strike, services for students are open, and strike specific programming is now offered as well.
Student Advocacy, Student Accessibility Services, Services for Students at Bannatyne Campus, Career Services, the International Centre and University Health Services are ready and willing to help students. Recreation Services is operating as usual, including access to all facilities at both Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses; programs and classes are running as scheduled.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of these services during this challenging time.
Like many students, Amanda Fredlund, Co-Vice President of the University of Manitoba Aboriginal Students’ Association (UMASA), says she’s not sure what’s going to happen when the labour action is over. “Right now my biggest concern is the workload that may be required when classes resume.”
The Indigenous Student Centre has decided to offer strike support to students like Amanda in two ways. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the centre offers strike study lunches and students are invited to ask questions and voice concerns at strike talking and sharing circles on Mondays and Thursdays.
Trevor Phillips, Indigenous Grad Student Success Coordinator says, “At the Indigenous Student Centre we’ve elected to envelop our students’ mind, body, heart, and spirit with nourishment. Using food and traditional sharing and talking circles, we’ve tried, in one capacity or another, to make sure that our students are feeding their intellects and their stomachs while also seeking to decelerate the stresses of studying during a faculty work stoppage. Undoubtedly, November is an emotionally chaotic time for all students regardless of a strike; but at Migizii Agamik we are bringing our students in close to offer them food, company, support, a cup of tea, and allowing the spirit of community to do the rest.”
Residence students are using the period of lightened class load to stay on top of their studies – study spaces seem to be busier than ever. There will also be a wellness week for residents offered November 14-18, featuring yoga, a games night and other stress management activities.
The Student Counselling Centre is open during the strike and encourages students to take part in their regular group programming and workshops if they feel the need for counselling support. Director David Ness says the programs are “free and very effective for helping students deal with stress and other difficulties”. They offer sessions focused on anxiety and stress, relationships, mindfulness meditation, and other supports.