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Meet the Revolution: Jack.org University of Winnipeg
Meet the Revolution: Jack.org University of Winnipeg

Meet the Revolution: Jack.org University of Winnipeg

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Meet a big chapter from a small campus

What obstacles does your chapter work to dismantle?

UWinnipeg is a campus of only 11,000 undergrad students on average, so we are definitely considered a smaller campus population. With that said, we have so much going for us. Definitely there are gaps in what we do at UWinnipeg, and one of the biggest ones is a lack of communication and or miscommunication between our available academic and student service supports. The gap is most notably seen between our mental health supports and our accessibility supports. As we move into the third year of our chapter, we feel that our main goal has shifted from making people aware and raising awareness about mental health towards actually changing policy on an institutional level. So, not only are we working to dismantle the barriers around mental health at our university, we are always working to bridge the gap between student and institution.

How do you work to dismantle them?

We do a lot of work behind the scenes that many students don’t necessarily see. I think at the end of the day, a lot of our work comes from building strong relationships with key faculty and administrators, as well as our student union. Being one of the most active student groups on campus, we have a strong presence that gives us a sense of credibility and allows us the opportunity to build relationships, and then work behind the scenes to improve our campus and the university experience for students. Recently, we were invited to collaborate on the new sexual misconduct policy being implemented at the university. So not only are we working to challenge stigma and the mental health culture on campus, we are also breaking down barriers in other areas as well.

What impact have you seen?

I definitely believe our reach is growing and that we’ve seen a sizeable shift in the acceptance and understanding on campus. The most notable example of this is our week long health and wellness themed event, Thrive Week. For the past few years, Thrive has been small and has not had a lot of buy-in from other groups or facilities on campus. This year, Thrive was huge and we had the entire student services team, the wellness centre team, and even some faculties and academic advising teams come on board for a week full of events dedicated to encouraging students to thrive in all aspects of their lives. We talked about self care, academic health, sexual health, etc. with key partners on campus, and the week was fully embraced by the university. This speaks to our continued growth in making sure our campus continues to thrive, and speaks to the shift we’ve seen thus far. I cannot wait to see what it’s like in another three years.