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UWSA president wins human rights award

Upcoming ceremony on Dec. 10

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She may be small in stature, but she has been making a huge impact in human rights.

UWSA (University of Winnipeg Student Association) president Megan Fultz is one of the two recipients of the 2013 Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award on Nov. 28.

The Association for Rights and Liberties, The Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission announced the winners of the aforementioned award, as well as the recipients of the 2013 Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba. The award winners will attend a ceremony on Dec. 10.

Fultz, 22, said she was nominated for the award by someone she does not know.

"It’s quite flattering," Fultz said.

Fultz was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle bone disease. Fultz said she walks using a walker on a daily basis, and although it can be challenging at times, her condition influenced her perspective in a positive way and helped her get started on her human rights work.

For the past six years, Fultz has been involved with a variety of different organizations. She started working at international human rights organization Oxfam Canada. She has also worked at LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) Manitoba.

"It helped me understand that everyone has the right to be treated equally, and sometimes equality is more than everyone being treated the same," Fultz said. "If we’re really going to level the playing field for all people, then we need to make sure everyone has equal opportunity, and sometimes that means different things for different people."

Fultz will be UWSA president until April 30, 2014. She graduated from the university this past June with a degree in International Development Studies and Human Rights and Global Studies.

"I wanted to take a year to sort of have a little time out of school and prepare for my next challenge academically," Fultz said. "But I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to learn a lot of new skills and work at a dynamic organization."

As UWSA president, Fultz said her role is to be an advocate for the students.

"I am a facilitator of student needs. Whatever students tell us they need, we try to advocate for that on their behalf," Fultz said.

While she’s in the role, Fultz wants to help students feel more engaged.

"I think that we’re much more powerful as a collective. My main goal is to re-engage the students and what we can do to make their experience at the university a good one."

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