UWL starts parent advisory board


Photo Source: https://news.uwlax.edu/partnering-with-parents/

Kayleigh Marshall, General Assignment Reporter

The Office of Student Life at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has established a new Parent Advisory Board to help link parents to UWL. This year is the first year of the Parent Advisory Board. Sarah Joslyn, First Year Experience Coordinator at the Student Life Office, said, “The Parent Advisory Board was started to strengthen the relationship between the University and parents/families.” 

On the application to join the Parent Advisory Board, which can be found on the New Student & Family Program Website, the Parent Advisory Board is described as “a group of current and former parents/ guardians who are committed to investing in UWL and its future as we prepare our students for lifelong career success”. But what does this actually mean?  

“The Board allows parents and family members to share their experiences with myself and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Vitaliano Figueroa,” said Joslyn. “[The Board] provides us what a sounding board as we explore new initiatives within the Division. By sharing their experiences and opinions, we can better understand the impact that the Division of Student Affairs is having on our students and their families.”  

The Board provides an extra mode of communication between parents and UWL and is an additional resource for parents as they navigate the transition of their children leaving for college. Joslyn said, “[The Board] allows for our parents and family members to learn more about the resources provided at UWL. It provides them with a deeper understanding of what we’re doing at the University and how that work will impact their student.”  

That Board was also created as another resource to help students navigate coming to college and leaving their homes. “It’s common knowledge that many students call home when something happens in their life at college, so we wanted to improve the communication link between families and the University,” said Joslyn. “When something did happen in the students’ life, family members will be more informed about University services and resources.”  

“The Parent Advisory Board is an opportunity to parents to provide feedback to the La Crosse campus community regarding their student’s experience (and parent’s experience, for that matter),” said Linda Mulroy-Bowden, member of the Parent Advisory Board and parent of Erin Bowden, UWL junior. “In addition, we are able to provide feedback on upcoming events, specifically family weekend.” 

“I think that involving parents is really important and breaks the stereotype of parents only being involved when something negative happens,” said Mulroy-Bowden. “I am a proud UW-La Crosse alum and also worked as a hall director in Wentz Hall. It’s so fun to be able to experience UW-La Crosse again as a parent of a student! I love to give back to the community that is giving her, and gave me, so much.”  

For a parent or family member to be on the Parent Advisory Board, they have to fill out the application on the New Student & Family Program Website. The requirements for a Board position, which can be found on the application, are to have at least one student currently enrolled or graduated from UWL, attend meetings that occur twice annually, share personal skills, and represent the council at events and connect with other parents.  

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