Student Association meets to discuss bus routes near campus and the retirement of Larry Ringgenberg


Student Association logo. Image obtained from the UWL Student Association Facebook Page.

Julia Wille, Student Government Reporter

On Feb. 24, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met virtually and discussed bus routes near campus, Larry Ringgenbergs retirement, and the use of the Respondus Lockdown Browser. 

The SA passed the resolution to recognize March 1 as Larry Ringgenberg Day. UWL’s director of university centers, Larry Ringgenberg has worked at UWL since 1985. He is one of the advisors for SA and is retiring on Monday, March 1 after a 35-year career.  

Student senator representing the College of Science and Health, Jared Zwettler introduced the resolution and said he “brought the idea forward to honor Larry and his years of service at UWL. The resolution mentions most of the great work that Larry has done at UWL and establishes March 1 as Dr. Larry Ringgenberg Day.” 

The Senate passed this resolution with full support and made many remarks to Ringgenberg as a farewell on his last SA meeting. SA President Cate Wiza said, “one reason I believe he [Ringgenberg] is an effective leader is because of his integrity, intelligence, social ability, and experience. He is truly an inspiration and I hope to be a leader like him.”  

The SA also discussed the La Crosse Municipal Transit’s (MTU) bus routes on campus. Currently, the route five bus is on a 30-minute rotation, despite the standard hourly rotation of La Crosse MTU bus routesUWL pays for the bus line to come every 30 minutes because it is the most direct route between campus and Onalaska. It is also thought to be the route used most by students. SA discussed if this was the best use of UWL resources or if there was another bus route that could run every half hour instead of the route five bus line.

Many students said the bus is useful to get to the store or to work if they don’t have cars. In additionsenator representing the College of Business Administration Gabby Nejapa Jansen said, “it is helpful because there are not a lot of jobs in La Crosse near campus.” This will be an ongoing discussion and process for the university.  

Student Association (SA) also discussed the use of the Respondus Lockdown Browser by professors for online quizzes. Student senator representing the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Sophie Byrne introduced the topic. “Students have shared bad experiences with Respondus, being locked out or flagged because someone was making a noise in the house,” said Byrne. She said that is especially a problem for students who live with roommates or at home and don’t have access to private, quiet spaces.  

Byrne also talked about closed note quizzes. “Closed book tests aren’t good for learning and retention, in the real world you are able to look at a book and use other resources and refer to other people,” she said. 

Other senators shared stories about their experiences with the lockdown browser as well, including President Wiza.Students didn’t like how [professors] can see into their house and didn’t feel comfortable having those private settings be exposed to professors,” she said. 

SA also talked about the rooms UWL offers for students to take exams. Some senators said there aren’t many rooms and it is not feasible for students to be on campus for every quiz or exam. They also talked about the inability to go back and change answers after students move on. Senator representing the College of Science and Health Andrea Julson said, “it is very stressful to not be able to go back and change or edit an answer, every point counts in a quiz.”  

Wiza said that a discussion had started in regards to the lockdown browser last fall, but it had died down. She said that she will bring it up again and continue to keep the SA updated. Byrne also said that she will work to create a resolution to be given to the faculty senate that suggests stopping the usage of the Respondus browser to administer quizzes and exams.