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WSG focuses on campus relationships, outreach

Nicole Aimone, News Editor

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Whitewater Student Government (WSG) President Thomas Kind, his cabinet and senate are gearing up for a semester of campus and community outreach.

A main goal of WSG this semester is to become more involved in the lives of students, faculty and staff, trying to ensure that everyone’s needs are taken care of.

In an effort to accomplish their mission, WSG will be hosting Administration Mixers in the Warhawk Connection Center (WCC), where all students and faculty are welcome to hear members of University administration speak about their backgrounds and respective university jobs. It gives students and staff an opportunity to familiarize themselves with administration and get to know them.

“Because you know that connection, on a relationship level, it’s really hard to just assume that everyone there is working to your best advantage, if you have never actually talked to them,” WSG President Thomas Kind said.

The mixers are also designed to create more transparency between the campus and administration, and challenge any preconceived notions anyone has, so they are able to better serve campus.

“This really gives students ability to say ‘Yes I have talked to you, and yes they are really friendly, and yes they want to see me succeed in school,” Hogan Veserat, vice president of WSG said. “This will extend the opportunity.”

Student governance leaders are focusing heavily on building relationships with students on campus, and assisting them with unmet needs that will improve their campus experience.

“I want people to know that WSG is there for them,” Veserat said. “The best way to go about that is making it an inclusive organization.”

To connect with students, WSG plans to use social media such as Facebook to increase engagement, along with email messages and flyer postings to make students aware of their campus events and involvement.

“I want people to connect with people,” Hunter Kastler, WSG Public Relations Director said. “That’s [communication] what’s going to be the most important, and most beneficial relationship for students.”

Bike Share

Another main focus of Kind and WSG this semester is continuing the bike share program that was started on campus four years ago, and ended this summer, when a former sustainability director worked with former Chancellor Telfer on creating a green fund grant, that paid for the program to start. However, the original program struggled.

“Some of the issues they had, was that it was an entirely free program, and the bikes weren’t the best bikes that you could get for something like this,” Kind said.

WSG will focus on improving and growing the bike share program this semester, by instituting semesterly check ups on the bikes, ensuring that they are safe, and look the best.

WSG would also like to continue growing the program from the current 17-18 bikes by shopping through surplus sales, if the bikes meet predetermined standards.

The program is meant to be at the same level as other larger universities, such as the University of California system, which houses a bike barn, which offers repairs and services for bikes.

At UC-Davis, the bike barn also provides many students with jobs, which is the direction that Kind and WSG would like to take with the Bike Share.

“Anything can happen, so saying that we’re going for that direction we’re going for that vision but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re there right now,” Kind said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to follow that direction.”

WSG is focusing on improving the Bike Share program, not only as a way to create jobs and accessibility to bikes on campus, but also to play a part in remedying the parking situation on campus.

“We have issues on campus with parking everyday, but there might not be a better way to fix parking then say ‘hey, bring your bike to campus, because you can get anywhere,’” Kind said. “And we want you to use your bike, and we’ll encourage you to use your bike.”

Streamlining Grievances

WSG will also be working on improving the process of submitting academic grievances this semester.

They will be working with many administrators to simplify the process a student follows when submitting a grievance.

Their goal is to create a single place where all grievances are reported and stored, so a student will be able to go to a single website and report any issues they encounter.

The website also includes examples of common grievances so students are able to more accurately identify and report their problem.  

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The student news site of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
WSG focuses on campus relationships, outreach