On Wednesday, Sept. 15, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met in the senate chamber in the Student Union and passed resolutions in support of Afghan refugees and to promote fair elections in the UWL SA.
Early in the meeting, the SA appointed the new at-large senator Cassie Ziegler. They also appointed six out of the seven new student court justices. These individuals had been given the position at the end of the spring 2021 semester by previous SA president Cate Wiza. The new student court Chief Justice is Anya Kusnierewicz and the new justices are Siri Flores, Laurel Masters, Grant Mathu, Hannah Riegle, Sam Deno, and Ellie O’Brien.
The first resolution brought forward was to welcome and support Afghan refugees into the western Wisconsin area. According to the La Crosse Tribune, the United States Department of State has suggested that there will be 13,000 or more refugees from the country of Afghanistan who may be relocated from their homeland to this region of Wisconsin. Within the community, there have been many groups and organizations that have been working to make accommodations for the incoming individuals. Student senator Kyle Peters said, “The resolution is to reinforce the values of the senate to welcome, support, and respect all individuals.”
The resolution was supported by much of the senate and will be officially voted on and passed at next week’s meeting. Student senator Andrew Erickson said, “This could pass as a symbolic message so that people know that we care and accept them [Afghan refugees] into the community.”
The next resolution brought to the SA was the resolution to amend the UWL SA constitution in order to create and promote fair elections. Previously in the constitution, the executive cabinet would decide who makes up the election committee. The election committee is the group that helps decide who makes up the student senate. This resolution will now change who decides who makes up the election committee. The judicial branch is made up of the student court justices. This change to the constitutions will be voted on in the next senate meeting. Student Association president Jared Zwettler said, “We want elections to be as fair as they can be and so we will be handing over the election of the election committee to the student court justices.”