Humans of UWL: Henry Anderson


Photo taken by Anna Fischer.

Anna Fischer, Social Justice Reporter

Students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse are preparing for their upcoming final exams, and, for some, spring commencement. 

For The Racquet Press, this means needing to fill some soon-to-be-vacant positions like the photojournalist, which is currently held by UWL senior, Henry Anderson.

Originally from West Bend, WI, Anderson came to UWL to study archaeology and to “find a good career where he could be outside,” and later added art history as a minor.

“All of my anthropology classes have been very interesting, especially the classes I’ve taken with Dr. Vincent Her,” said Anderson. “One of my favorites was a class about Hmong-America and Southeast Asia because it’s a part of the world that I really didn’t know about.”

Anderson will graduate this spring with an archaeology and cultural anthropology emphasis, and an art history minor.

“I picked that emphasis because I like studying living people more,” Anderson explained. “Like dead people are cool and learning where we came from and our history is interesting…but I like knowing about what people think now.”

Anderson credits his late grandmother for his interest in art. “I like talking about art,” said Anderson. “Art history… honestly comes from my grandma because she liked art a lot, and she gave me a lot of books when I was a kid.”

When he’s not studying, Anderson is enjoying the outdoors as much as he can. Last fall, the senior joined UWL’s rugby team without any prior experience.

“I joined the game last semester when my friend asked me to come to try it,” Anderson said. “I was like ‘I don’t have the rugby body’ and he’s like ‘It doesn’t matter.’ So I went and tried it, and I’ve had a lot of fun playing it and made a lot of friends.”

Another outdoor activity Anderson enjoys is free climbing and “bouldering.”

“I got introduced to climbing because a couple of my friends did it up at The Bluffs,” said Anderson. “They invited me up there for some free climbing. Other than that I also like to boulder, or indoor climb, at the gym.”

After stumbling upon The Racquet Press table at Involvement Fest his junior year, Anderson would later be hired on as a photojournalist. According to him, the opportunity has been “stressful but fun.”

“The main reason I joined was that I wanted to have an outlet that wasn’t academic, where I could write creatively,” Anderson explained that he quickly discovered it was not exactly what he signed up for. “I did find an outlet where I could write, but it wasn’t the writing that I was exactly looking for. It was not what I expected, it was heavily edited, and there was no room for editorializing.”

Anderson said “writing without adjectives” was probably the most difficult adjustment he had to make. “Not using my own subjective opinion or experience about the event makes it difficult to write about…but I still like it because of that outlet.”

Anderson’s favorite articles he’s written include Photo Series: The Antique Center, a Hall of Memories and Photo Series: Lederho-down: Oktoberfest.

Overall, Anderson said he prefers picture-taking over writing. “For me, [taking pictures] was the more creative option; when I came looking for writing opportunities, the way I usually write involves a lot of subjective perspectives,” explained Anderson, “So having the ability to take pictures allows me to put my own voice in it in a different way.”

Another skill of Anderson’s is his wide-ranging musical abilities, which led him to release an EP in January on Spotify and Apple Music, under the name ‘Broken_glass.’

“I play piano, drums, guitar, and I can fake my way through the bass,” he humbly stated, “I’ve been in bands before and I miss it, but now I make music for myself. When I started, it was more hip-hop, now it’s transformed into more indie electronic music.”

Anderson’s favorite place to eat in La Crosse is Lindy’s Subs, particularly their “ham and turkey” option. While he does not have a job lined up for the summer, Anderson hopes to continue traveling the world and digging into his love of nature, history, and art.

“I’m moving back home for the summer to save up some money, and then I hope to travel to some cool places.”