Winter 2022 Election Candidates

Get to know your candidates for the upcoming election!

PRESIDENT

Mikal Sokolowski

Hello Robson Hall,

Your 2022-2023 MLSA President Mikal Sokolowski here. I want to encourage everyone to vote in the upcoming MLSA Election. We are returning to Robson Hall for the first time in years, and I am confident that the student body will elect candidates that will make our return a special one. Below I will emphasize what I envision for Robson Hall next year; I do not plan on boring you with my credentials.

As students, we feel isolated. We lack community and a certain connection to Robson Hall. Law school was never designed to be a virtual endeavour carried out in our pyjamas; social interaction is imperative to us as students and future legal professionals. As President, I want to foster a law school experience that everyone can be excited about. I plan to do this by introducing several events, including:

  • In-Person Orientation Week for all years
  • Buddy Day for incoming and existing Robson Hall students 
  • Friday dodgeball league in the Winter Semester
  • Faculty Moot to encourage moot participation

Some other initiatives that I would love to implement include: a more significant emphasis on practical experiences; custom Robson Hall magnetic name tags, so we no longer have to use those lousy name tags at events; a focus on charitable events like a blood drive; and mental health initiatives such as therapy dogs on campus during exam periods.

I will be a president with an open-door policy, and I am happy to speak to any students about suggestions for the upcoming academic year. Whether you have ideas for next year or simply want to chat, please feel free to contact me at sokolowm@myumanitoba.ca.

Let’s make next year a great one!

Sincerely,

Mikal Sokolowski

2022 – 2023 MLSA President

Note: I would like to thank Jessie Anton, Chris Dick, Brayden Gray, Frost Jiwa, and Jamie Robertson for some of these suggestions, and once again encourage you to reach out to me with any further suggestions.

VP FINANCE

Matthew london

Matthew London

Good morning Robson Hall,

My name is Matthew London, and I am running to be your VP Finance on the MLSA for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year.

I will be an advocate for you and represent your interests as Law Students. As VP Finance, I would advocate for student groups and committees to have better access to secondary funding, and ensure that the Association complies with all University and UMSU regulations regarding funding.

The 4 pillars of my campaign are: Transparency, Creative Thinking, Good Governance & Accountability.

If I were to be elected, I believe I would be able to give more value to the MLSA than what would normally be expected by simply reading the description of the role for VP Finance. I enjoy working in groups, collaborating, and bouncing ideas off my colleagues – I know I would work well with all those on the MLSA and those whom I would be working with on the Communications Committee. I have previous, relevant experiences in both Finance & Event Planning from my involvement with multiple student groups within the business school at Wilfrid Laurier University, and from my time working at an insurance company.

Regardless of my past experiences, you should vote for me as I am eager to make this upcoming year exceed all our high expectations, as we move back towards a stronger sense of community, in person. Since the beginning of the year, I have enjoyed getting involved in the Robson community, and meeting you all. I am section A03 Rep for the Business Law Group, have attended a multitude of events both virtual and online this year, and have been involved socially with the Robson Hall Jets & the Curling League.

I am looking forward to the upcoming year and I hope I can count on your vote!

Have a great week!

Housam Jeha

Hello Robsonites, 

If you haven’t heard, I am running for VP FInance of the MLSA! My vision is to make the most of my business experience to make for a better upcoming year (as we all deserve it at this point). I want to bring back in-person events and studies in a memorable way by maximizing our budget and having efficient planning and financing for student groups.
 
I envision a unified voice for students at Robson and look forward to being part of that collective voice. I am here for the students and look forward to being an executive member of the MLSA that will continuously hear concerns from the students and voice them to achieve the best possible outcome. 
 
If there are any questions or concerns that I can address, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

UMSU REP

Avril Brown_f

Avril Brown

Hello Robson! My name is Avril Brown. I am a 1L and excited to be running to be your UMSU Rep for 2022/2023!

I want to be your UMSU Rep to help re-connect Robson with what is going on with the University at large. Given that we are hopefully back on campus full time in the fall, I want to make sure that we all have a good transition not only back into the classroom, but on campus. As your UMSU rep, I would be happy to bring up any of your concerns about transitioning back, and share with all of you what is going on within UMSU. 

I am more than comfortable acting as a liaison between the students at Robson and with UMSU. While I have not been an UMSU rep before, I am very determined and motivated to learn, and want to help bridge the gap between Robson and UMSU. Having been at U of M throughout my undergrad, I’m very familiar with UMSU and its role in the university, and have also worked alongside UMSU as an executive member of clubs on campus. I am used to being in a leadership role through my work, where along with running and planning programs a large part of my job is addressing concerns of families and our employees. I am always happy to talk to people about their questions or concerns, and more than comfortable to find answers and advocate on any issues taking place. 

Some fun facts about me: when not studying, I dance in both a French-Canadian and an Italian folk groups (although I am neither French-Canadian or Italian) and I run social programs for youth with disabilities!

I am eager to become part of the MLSA, and work with UMSU to help connect Robson students. If you have any questions at all I’m always happy to chat! 

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to serve as your UMSU rep next year!

SENATE REP

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Chad Laferriere-Enns

Hello there!

My name is Chad Laferriere-Enns, and I am running to be your MLSA Representative to the University Senate. The University Senate is entrusted with all kinds of powers to make recommendations regarding University policy, and I consider myself someone up to task to represent your interests and those of Robson Hall.

I’ve studied extensively in the Faculty of Political Studies, examined policy at length and studied its implications on all kinds of folks. I’ve also worked in a wide variety of fields, most notably with Mini U Programs in the Department of Kin and Rec Management, where I wrote and administrated
programming while engaging with all levels of our university’s administration.

I also have an extensive history working with vulnerable communities, both at Siloam Mission here in Winnipeg’s North End, as well as overseas where I assisted the Australian Embassy in Iraq with emergency immigration measures in wake of the ISIS attacks of 2014.

I have a unique perspective that makes me particularly skilled when it comes to advocating for all kinds of folks, and I hope you will consider me to be your candidate as the MLSA Senate Representative.

Thank you!

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MBA REP

Eric - Profile Pic

Eric Gagnon

Hello Robson Hall,

My name is Eric Gagnon (he/him/il). I am a francophone 1L student currently enrolled in the bilingual program at Robson Hall, and I am running to be your friendly Manitoba Bar Association Representative. The MBA Representative is tasked with event planning and coordination, overseeing the MBA Mentorship program, and act as the liaison between the MBA, MLSA, and Robson Hall students at large. Given my background as an event planner and student advocate, I am excited to put my name forward to be considered for the position.

I have deep roots to the University of Manitoba, having completed my B.A., B.A. (Hons), and my M.A. at the UofM before joining the Faculty of Law. During my time at the UofM, I have been heavily involved in student affairs and advocacy. I was a Social Programmer for the Arts Student Body Council during my undergraduate degrees, and I was elected as a councillor for the University of Manitoba’s Graduate Students’ Association during my masters degree, where I served on every UMGSA committee and was chosen as part of the delegation that successfully lobbied Winnipeg City Council for the continuation of the U-Pass program in 2020. Outside of my involvement in campus affairs, I am an active member in my hometown of Sainte-Agathe, where I serve as the head organizer of the Cheyenne Summer Festival, the largest community festival in the municipality of Ritchot.

If elected as your MBA Representative, I will:

  • Ensure a fun and exciting transition back to in-person events.
  • Work collaboratively with the MBA to meaningfully match students with mentors
  • Effectively advocate for Robson Hall students during MBA meetings
  • Promote French language educational opportunities and access to justice issues
  • Foster connections within the wider Canadian Bar Association community

Jamie Robertson

Hi Robson! My name is Jamie Robertson, and I want to be your 2022-2023 MBA Representative.

Throughout my first year at Robson Hall, I have been involved with a PBSC project, the Robson Hall Debate Society, and Mental Health Group. I have gained an active involvement in the Robson Hall community through these positions which I have found very rewarding. I have also gained valuable experience in planning and organizing events that I am eager to apply as MBA Representative.

My vision as the MBA Representative includes a rotating mentorship program and more mixers to strengthen mentor-mentee relationships.

I would be excited to have the opportunity to be the MBA Representative and help the incoming 1Ls receive the best experience they can through the mentorship program, the welcome reception, and various mixer events. 

If anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out! I hope to receive your vote!

Thank you!

VISIBLE MINORITIES REP

Caitlin Madden

Hey Robson! 

My name is Caitlin Madden and I’m running to be your Visible Minorities Representative for the 2022-2023 year!

I am a 1L student and a proud 2nd generation Filipino-Canadian and bi-racial woman. I have been a student at the University of Manitoba since 2016, graduating in 2020 with an Advanced Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. I have a long history of being involved with Folklorama, as well as the University’s English Language Centre and Special Olympics Manitoba.

This year I was selected as the 1L rep. for the Diversity in Law Group. In this role I have been involved in the planning of various events targeted towards BIPOC students, where I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you! As the Visible Minorities Representative, I hope to continue to create opportunities for racialized students that facilitate connections with one another and the broader legal community.

As your representative, I hope to cultivate a diverse and inclusive community here at Robson Hall. I promise to be your voice and ensure that our interests are being met at the executive level.

I am very passionate about promoting diversity and inclusivity and I would be honoured to serve you as the Visible Minorities Representative next year.

Thank you for your consideration!

True Dash

Coucou everyone, my name is True Dash, and I am excited to be running to be your visible minorities representative for 2022/23!

A little about me, I’m a 1L out-of-province student in the French certificate program. I love to dance jazz, learn new languages, and love Mafia films!

As someone who identifies as a minority in various ways, I would love to be your representative. There are distinct challenges visible minority students face and I want to help in creating an inclusive environment. With everything being online, I feel there’s a lack of awareness and I want students to know that there is someone to vouch for your concerns and just someone you can talk to.

I have had the chance to be a part of PBSC, diversity in law, outlaws, and many other events and the amount of support I have seen and received personally has been a huge reason why I have succeeded my first year and I can’t wait to give that back.

Some of my specific goals are:

1. Plan (hopefully in-person) events that focus on mentorship both locally, and out-of-province.

2. Collaborate with the women’s and gender and sexual minorities reps to plan social events to build connections with other students.

3. Make myself available and communicate clearly to students so they know there is someone they can speak to and can communicate on their behalf to the MLSA and faculty to see effective change.

Why I’m qualified:

1. I have lots of prior experience at the UofG as a grad student rep where I met with faculty and offered suggestions and concerns to improve the program.

2. I was a volunteer coordinator where I planned events to welcome and connect new transfer students to the UofG and other minority student groups.

3. I have been the social media coordinator and events planner for multiple student groups and the Centre for new students. I love to talk and host events so I’m excited and ready for the heavy communication part of being your rep.

I can’t wait for when I can meet you all and hopefully serve you as your visible minority representative.

Thank-you!

WOMEN'S REP

Alyssa Thomas

Hello Robson!

My name is Alyssa Thomas, and I am running for the 2022-2023 MLSA’s Women’s Representative Position.

I am a 1L student and a proud Indigenous woman. Prior to law school, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg.

Over the years I have been a very active member of the community. Since 2018, I have held the Infinity Women youth representative position on both the Infinity Women Secretariat Board of Directors and the Manitoba Metis Federation’s Provincial Youth Advisory community. Through these positions, I have gained experience advocating on behalf of Metis women while planning and organizing events.

Currently, I am the 1L representative for the Environmental Law Student Group and a member of the Robson Hall Curling league.

As your women’s representative, I would love to organize networking events specific to students who identify as women. Through these networking events, I hope that we can create equal opportunity and uplift women in the law. I also hope that I can be an approachable face for women to contact if they have concerns that need to be brought to the MLSA.

I would be honoured to represent the women of Robson Hall next fall. If you have any questions or would like to reach out, feel free to shoot me a message! I’d be happy to chat.