Welcome Madam WSG President

Savannah Hernandez, Assistant News Editor

Recently confirmed Student Body President for the Whitewater Student Government (WSG) Jen Purcell plans to bring new initiatives to campus.

Purcell and Vice President Alex Ostermann found out what students needed and how they could help mostly while they were campaigning last spring.

“A lot of what we heard while campaigning was health for students, specifically mental health, safety for students, and community. I think if we continue to build a better community with administration, we can advocate for safety and health of students. That is my personal goal, but we also have a strong Executive Board who will do a great job leading committees. For example, Student Affairs will do a really great job advocating for better mental health services on campus.”

While Jen has many hopes for WSG this year, she also has issues that she believes need a lot of focus.

“I feel like the minority students have lost their voice,” she said. “I want to focus on making sure that minority students, the LGBTQ+ community, LU, BSU, Dream, and more are all being heard, not just the majority.

The WSG is the student section of four shared governance groups on campus, and its role is to make sure that the student voice is heard and understood at the administrative level.

“Our role is basically to find out what students need, what the current issues are, and make sure that all students are represented, not just the majority,” Purcell said.

Purcell is a senior at UW-W, double majoring in communications and journalism with a minor in marketing. She first joined WSG in Spring 2019 as Public Relations Director.

“I always wanted to get involved but didn’t know how to go about it. I’m someone who is driven to help people, and that is my goal. To be a part of WSG is a selfless job where you’re helping people, so it makes you a cognitive machine made to help students. [Diversity in the WSG] is something that we need to focus on because you cannot just represent what you identify with, you need to represent everybody.”

Purcell was inspired to take the role of Student Body President by strong, determined women that she has looked up to in her life.

“One individual I can think of is Michelle Obama. If you look at the work she did, she was very driven and determined, even if she was told no a lot. Looking at how she has been able to help other people made me want to help people, too.”

There are several traits that Purcell believes make a good Student Body President, and hopes to live up to those traits within her role.

“Empathy, servant leadership, selflessness, determination, confidence, and being personable and knowledgeable,” she said. “One thing I love is the Platinum Rule, which is treating others the way they want to be treated, rather than how you want to be treated. You take ‘you’ completely out of it.”

Purcell encourages students of all views to attend WSG Senate meetings to share their own ideas and make sure that their voices are heard.

“We have senate meetings on Mondays. There is a section in every meeting where anyone can share a concern that they have. Senate meetings are located in the University Center, room 259, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and sometimes it goes a little later.”

WSG had its first senate meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, and will have another on Sept. 16. Purcell encourages anyone who has an idea or concern to attend.

“My primary job is to represent the students. We have a good group that’s going to be able to keep up and look at what students are needing and how we can evolve and adapt to it. I am really excited, and I think we are going to accomplish a lot.”