Student Senate discusses hate/bias incident reports on campus, meatless Mondays, and inclusivity statement

UWL+Student+Association+Facebook+Page
Back to Article
Back to Article

Student Senate discusses hate/bias incident reports on campus, meatless Mondays, and inclusivity statement

UWL Student Association Facebook Page

UWL Student Association Facebook Page

UWL Student Association Facebook Page

UWL Student Association Facebook Page

Luis Acosta Jr., Student Government Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Student Association met on Nov. 13, 2019, where they watched a presentation from former-Vice President Olivia Woodmansee and discussed the number of hate/bias incident reports filed this semester, the continuing movement for meatless Mondays on campus, and the finalization of the student government’s recommendation for the faculty senate to include an inclusivity statement in their bylaws. 

Woodmansee, who resigned from her position on student senate after her appointment to the UW-System Board of Regents, attended the meeting to present on the importance of the UW-System. Woodmansee explained how student senators can make their opinions matter. She said that both the Board of Regents and the Student Association interact with their communities through political advocacy and care for its advancement, so it is important for senators to express the needs of UWL students to the UW-System.

When Woodmansee began her term on the Board of Regents in April 2019, she said she realized that not many UWL students know what the Board of Regents is. She said her goal is to excite the student government with the potential they hold as public servants for UWL. Woodmansee holds one of 18 seats on the Board of Regents, holding one of two seats reserved for UW-students. The other UW-student seat is held by a non-traditional student. Each position on the Board of Regents is appointed by the governor of Wisconsin. UW-students serve two-year terms, while traditional members serve seven-year terms.   

“You hear how some people say ‘oh, I wish politics weren’t involved in public education’,” said Woodmansee, “but we are a public institution founded under state statute, so in our root core, we are political.”

Specifically, Chapter 36 creates the possibility for the UW-System to act under its own governance: Statue 36.01 is the public interest in having higher education be public in Wisconsin; 36.07 establishes the UW-System Board of Regents as a body corporate, making them the legal entity for Wisconsin public universities; 36.09 (01) allows for the system to act in a sort of governance position, which in term considers them as the “governing board” of the system; 36.09 (02), is the allowance for a UW-System president and the role’s many responsibilities, a role that is currently held by Ray Cross, who recently announced his plans to step down and retire from the board; and 36.09 (05), which describes students from each institution keep the special interest of the student body and are allowed to advise the chancellor on any issues with polices.

“This is where you come into play,” said Woodmansee, addressing the senate. While there are some freedoms that the senate is allowed, some issues still need to be passed through the board in order to be put into place. 

Inclusivity Director Faith Fisher told the senate that a total of 140 hate/bias incident reports have been filed this semester. Fischer explained how this may be due to students being more aware of what hate and bias looks like, and more students taking advantage of the program. Fischer reminded the senate of the process of filing a report through Campus Climate and said that her peers should relay this information on to their constituents.  

Sen. Erickson from Students for Sustainability told the senate that they collected 400 signatures for their petition for meatless Mondays this week.  The group is also planning on implementing an event at the downtown La Crosse Children’s Museum to educate children on the importance of practicing sustainable habits.  

At the end of the meeting, the senate discussed how they should phrase their wording for their recommendation that the faculty senate to adopt an inclusivity statement. Sen. Cayo initiated the discussion, as they discussed with Vice President Nielsen on what would be appropriate. Cayo opted for an “action based” diversity and inclusion statement, which the senate passed.     

Print Friendly, PDF & Email