Student Association passes The Strategic Plan of 2016 to 2020, discusses student employment, and a Tenant’s Bill of Rights.

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Image obtained from the UWL Student Association Facebook Page.

Julia Wille, Student Government Reporter

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met virtually to discuss the SA approval of reinstating The Strategic Plan, student employment on campus, and Tenant’s Bill of Rights for La Crosse 

The strategic plan is an outline of the budget that was implemented in the years 2016 to 2020 and is being moved to be reinstated for the next five years. Originally, it was presented to the SA without any changes from the original outline. This plan would operate as guidelines that the university will use in the future to make budgeting decisions for the years 2021-2026. It was brought to the SA to be approved and sent to the Joint Planning and Budget Committee meeting to be further discussed. It has multiple stages to get through before it is approved however, the SA has pledged its support.  

This discussion created debates on how to include environmental sustainability. At the beginning of the meeting, students from Students for Sustainability came to voice their concerns about the negative impacts the passing of this plan could have on environmental efforts. “It is time for The Strategic Plan to be updated and sustainability definitely needs to be included in that, so I think you should vote to not pass on the resolution,” said student Grace McGrath. Three students spoke and requested that the SA not approve of the strategic plan out of concern for a disregard for environmental sustainability. 

After a debate, the SA agreed to add a statement to include awareness for Environmental sustainability. They included a statement that calls for the recognition of sustainability in the strategic plan and for it to be considered in the budget in the next five years. With this addition, the plan was passed by the SA.  

In the meeting on Wednesday, SA also discussed the upcoming budget cut and what that means for student-employment on campus. They talked about how the library is being asked to cut its budget by 3%. According to senator Ben Ringham “The problem is we have to cut $24,00 out of 13 entities on campus and we the students are trying to advocate for student jobs, especially now, but the library specifically was the only entity that would have to cut student hours first.”  

They have stated that to meet this cut, they will have to cut student employee hours as well as hours that the library remains open. This would be in effect in the 2022 academic year.  The discussion revolved around other possibilities for budget-cutting and what this could mean for the student employees and the libraryNothing has been decided, but it remains a topic of SA  awareness and discussion.

The final topic of the night was regarding the idea of a Tenants Bill of Rights being created and proposed for the city of La Crosse. This was an idea brought up by senator K.C. Cayo regarding the rights that renters have in La Crosse. They want to come up with a document that will further protect renters from discrimination, lawsuits, unsuitable living situations, wrongful eviction, and much more. They discussed possible issues that need to be addressed in the document.  

This topic is to be further discussed in the next meeting and will be developed throughout the semester.  

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