Student Association welcomes Pride Center peer educators for ally training and discusses a new Green Fund grant request


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

Alexia Walz, Managing Editor

On Wednesday, April 6, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met briefly to participate in ally training and to discuss a grant request for a sustainability coordinator entitled “As a Sustainability Program Manager”.

SA hosted guest speakers from the Pride Center Jamie Henk and Adam Whitney. Henk is also the Public Relations Director for SA.

In the first half of the SA meeting, senators participated in an ally training session moderated by Henk and Whitney who are both Peer Educators at the Pride Center. Senators learned about gender identity, correct usage of pronouns, privilege and how to be an ally. 

Henk and Whitney talked about resources on campus for the LGBTQIA+ community, including all-gender restrooms and gender-inclusive housing. Henk said all-gender restrooms are not in each building on campus, but can be found in every residence hall. Gender-inclusive housing is on the fourth floor of Laux Hall and the third floor of Reuter Hall.

Henk said students can change their name and pronouns on online applications including Canvas and Wings. “You can change your name in the whole system on Canvas, get your name changed on your [student ID card] and in Wings. For Canvas, you can not have multiple pronoun sets. So while you can change your pronouns and have your pronouns listed by your name, it still isn’t all-encompassing,” he said.

Local Affairs Director Amy Schweiner asked Henk and Whitney if parents get informed of name changes. Whitney said name and pronoun changes are system-wide. “If you do want to do that, be very careful if you are not out to your parents because it will put it in your mail, in emails, pretty much everything,” said Whitney. 

Henk said to be cautious of changing one’s name if parents are responsible for a student’s tuition due to name changes appearing on Wings, UWL’s Student Information System.

SA Vice President K.C. Cayo asked how students can get involved with the Pride Center. Henk said Rainbow Unity meets on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Transform meets Thursdays at 6 p.m. According to Henk, both organizations host “fun and educational” meetings, and anyone, including allies of the LGBTQIA+ community are welcome to attend. 

SA President Jared Zwettler said a Green Fund grant request for a sustainability coordinator was officially submitted. The grant must be approved by the Joint Committee on Environmental Sustainability (JCES) and the Segregated University Fee Advisory Committee (SUFAC) before reaching the senate. 

“It’s looking really promising, said Zwettler. “This is something that we’re really really excited about.”  Zwettler said the JCES and SUFAC approval process may take about a month.

University Centers Director Kyle Burke spoke of an upcoming TedxUWLaCrosse event on April 19 at 4 p.m. in The Bluffs, Student Union. The event, called Renewal, will feature Associate Professor of Communication Studies Dena Huisman, Biology Professor Barrett Klein, and UWL alumnus and Executive Director of Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) Shaundel Spivey as speakers. Registration is required for attendance

SA meetings are open to all students. UWL Student Association will meet again Wednesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. in Student Union 2310.