Image retrieved from FaceBook.
At the end of the spring 2021 school semester, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) elected new leadership for the 2021-2022 academic year. The new SA President Jared Zwettler and SA Vice President K.C. Kayo have already set goals and plans for what they would like to see done for the year.
The SA is the formal governing group at UWL and is made up of three branches, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. “Student Association is made up of elected officials from all walks of campus life to craft and implement resolutions, advocate for student issues, and work with other governing bodies on campus,” said Cayo.
Zwettler is a junior majoring in Political Science with a double-minor in Public Administration and Statistics. In his free time, Zwettler “spends a lot of time working with community organizations and grassroots campaigns to bring attention to important issues in our community,” he said.
Cayo is a senior with a double major in English and Political Science and a minor in Social Justice Studies. They are a “queer activist in the La Crosse area and have worked with several progressive campaigns to organize the youth vote around issues we care about.”
While the duo was running for their positions last semester, one of the main pillars of their campaign was to promote accessibility and transparency. As the school year starts, they intend to keep up that goal. They are looking to get more student involvement in budgeting processes in student government. Zwettler said, “We would like to accomplish this by creating resources to help students interpret their tuition bills, creating additional seats on committees for at-large students, and addressing accessibility barriers within Student Association.”
They will also be continuing the SA’s commitment to environmental and sustainability goals on campus. They are planning to continue to support and promote UWL’s Green fund organization and its grant proposals. Cayo said, “We will help advocate for a part-time Sustainability Coordinator on campus. At this time, we are the only UW school that does not have at least a part-time person employed in this position.” They also plan to continue down channels of adding sustainability as a long-term pillar to UWL’s strategic plan in the future.
This upcoming school year is planned to be back to a majority of in-person courses since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked about the plan for the upcoming semester, Cayo said, “This depends entirely on students and vaccination rates! Individuals are required to wear masks indoors on campus to ensure that everyone is safe. As of now, we are expected to have all our courses in-person.”
The 2021-2022 COVID-19 response will be changing and evolving as the academic year begins. Zwettler and Cayo want to work with SA to help the campus come back in a safe and responsible manner. Zwettler said, “Our main focus will be on improving the COVID-19 vaccination rate for our campus in addition to building community safely through events like Eagle Fest and Involvement Fest.”
As the 2021-2022 school year begins, there will be many new aspects to campus life. The SA is hoping to help facilitate that and make progress towards accessibility this year.