Student Association meets with Community Engagement Coordinator Lisa Klein and approves Green Bike Program


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

Andrew Bates, Student Government Reporter

On Wednesday, April 27, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Student Association (SA) met with Community Engagement Coordinator Lisa Klein to discuss her role and everything the Office of Community Engagement works toward at UWL.  

SA also passed numerous resolutions relating to UWL’s sustainability practices. These resolutions would approve the creation of a new committee, a program to encourage sustainable practices, and a staff position to oversee UWL’s footprint on the environment in order to develop sustainable practices.  

The office works as the primary liaison between UWL and the community to create connections and increase access to campus. The community engagement coordinator position was implemented back in 2019, and since then, faculty, staff, and students have logged more than 30,000 volunteer hours. 

Coordinator Klein attended the meeting to provide SA with an update on a community-engaged learning program, which is something the Community Engagement Office has been working toward. This program aims to help foster relationships between the UWL community and the La Crosse community through internships or volunteer opportunities.  

UWL now offers Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) courses, which allow students to gain hands-on experience working with community members.

Next, SA discussed the resolutions presented in the previous meeting to dissolve the current Green Fund Committee, create a new committee named the Green Advisory Committee, and approve bylaws for the new committee. The three resolutions were passed, making the Green Advisory Committee the official sustainability committee at UWL. 

SA went on to discuss a resolution to approve a Green Bike Program, which would provide a $4,400 grant to purchase supplies, tools, scrap metal pick-ups, and bike mechanic pay.  

This resolution is intended to support sustainability initiatives by providing the funds to recycle metal scraps, which would give students an inexpensive alternative for transportation that, by extension, reduces automobile congestion. SA passed this resolution, and the program will be implemented during the next academic year. 

SA then discussed a resolution to approve and allocate funds for a sustainability program manager, a new role oriented around student-focused and campus-wide sustainability initiatives. The new position would allow UWL to consider its carbon footprint, water usage, and electrical consumption in order to reflect upon the current practices and develop solutions that are more sustainable for the environment. 

SA discussed one final resolution, which was to approve the results of the recent SA election. SA will vote on this resolution next week, which will be during this year’s final meeting.