Student Association meets to discuss campus events and volunteer opportunities for students

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Image obtained from the UWL Student Association Facebook Page.

Maija Sikora, Managing Editor

On Nov. 4, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met to discuss campus events and volunteer opportunities for students. 

The first guest speaker of the night was Community Engagement Coordinator of Great Rivers United Way Julie Nelson. Great Rivers United Way (GRUW) is a worldwide organization that works to lift people out of poverty by providing funding for nonprofits. “Our mission is to unite people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities. I’m hoping I can encourage some UWL students to share their skills and talents to strengthen the community for everyone.” 

Nelson says that GRUW provides funding for many interconnected non-profit organizations, such as The Hunger Task Force, The Salvation Army, and CouleeCap. She says the secondary purpose of GRUW is to encourage community engagement. “We recently did a vote safe project with UWL professor Anthony Chergosky that aired over zoom and Facebook live; so we had the current attorney general and the previous attorney general, a Democrat and Republican talking about how to vote safely in the pandemic and how to make sure your vote counted.” 

Nelson says that United Way is creating a new facet of their parent organization called Student United and that it will be open to all students from UWL, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in creative fundraising and social events. 

“One of the main things we are talking about is equity and inclusion. How can we make sure that we are reaching out to all populations?” said Nelson. “So if you are interested in being part of our student board, they meet once a month, on the fourth Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. over Zoom.” 

She says they are also looking for someone to be on their board of directors, and says it is a good opportunity for someone who is interested in a leadership position for their resume. Nelson says that if students are interested, they should contact her at [email protected] 

SA President Cate Wiza announced that UWL would be aligning with the state of Wisconsin by hosting a surge COVID-19 testing event for off-campus students and faculty beginning Nov. 5, on the third floor of the Cartwright Center. Students can create appointments via the UWL COVID-19 testing page. 

“Off-campus students this is for you as well, it’s free,” said Wiza. She said that to take advantage of the testing, health insurance is not required. It is also not required to be showing symptoms to be eligible for testing. Wiza says that it is a good idea to take advantage of the testing at least once if not several times before going home for the holidays. 

Wiza also says that there will be a continuous unity event in the Clery Center through Friday and that the Recreational Eagle Center has also been hosting small events for those who are looking for safe stress releasing events. She says snacks and drinks are provided and masks are mandatory and encourage first-year students to attend as a safe social activity. 

To begin the officer report portion of the night, several senators gave thanks to those who participated in the election. Sustainability director Jake Meyers notified students of Green Fund updates, reminding students that Green Fund grants are due this Friday, Nov. 6. Students for Sustainability Senator Andrew Ericson commented saying that the Joint Committee on Environmental Sustainability (JCES) will be meeting on Nov. 13, to discuss grant approvals. 

Dr. Larry Ringgenberg congratulated the SA on the high voter turnout of La Crosse county, quoting an 88% participation rate.  

Pride Center Senator K.C. Cayo provided an organization update, saying that the Pride Center will be hosting an ally training on Nov. 6, at 12 p.m. They stated that the meeting information can be found on the Pride Center webpage or Instagram for those who are interested. 

The floor was then opened up to the discussion portion of the night, at which point the College of Science and Health Senator Andrew Ericson addressed an issue brought to him by his college of science and health constituents. Ericson said that students from a particular class, who wished to remain anonymous, were concerned with the amount and nature of instructional time being given to them for a three-credit course. He addressed the floor to initiate a discussion on the course of action. 

President Wiza extended the discussion by advising him to keep the anonymity of the students while collecting testimonials and address the issue to the dean.

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