The Whitewater Student Government (WSG) prioritized addressing the concerns of students when it comes to the budget challenges. On Thursday, March 5, WSG hosted an event titled Student Budget Information, where senators and directors were present to answer concerns regarding the recent budget changes and campus overall.
Hosted by Speaker Davin Stavroplos and Deputy Speaker Ben Larson, students partook in a round-table discussion to talk about academic, campus and budget concerns with their senators.
“This [event] was almost a trial run,” said Larson. “We just put a piece of legislation in place last semester that cut SOCA reports and [replaced them] with this event instead, in hope to engage students more. We tried to pick a time and a date where students would be free.”
In the past, WSG required their senators to submit SOCA reports as part of their duties to address student concerns. Senators would choose a student organization to speak to about what WSG does, how to contact them regarding campus concerns and address any that the organization may have at that time. The reports would then be sent to the deputy speaker to review.
By hosting an event geared towards listening to student concerns outside of their office (located in the Warhawk Connection Center), WSG was able to address more student concerns than they typically would by doing a SOCA report.
One of the main topics of concern that WSG has been receiving from students is the budget challenge that is affecting the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Members of the senate have been taking student concerns into consideration when it comes to conversations with other pillars of the university about the budget.
“Students are mainly concerned on how it’s going to affect them going into their classes for next year and making sure that their programs are still here, even questions in regards to how it’s going to affect student organizations,” said At-Large Senator Charlie Kudy. “We’ve had the opportunity to explain the different facets of which the university gets funded.”
WSG plans to host more events such as this in the future, hoping that more students will attend to speak with their senators to discuss campus concerns.
“Three times a year, the Senate will host an outreach forum in various locations across campus,” said Speaker Davin Stavroplos. “Attendance was alright, and I am supremely confident that it will increase as we continue to work on student outreach.”
While more budget listening sessions will be taking place in the near future, WSG invites students to seek out more information by going to WSG’s website, Instagram or Facebook pages. Students are also now able to visit the new budget webpage, which can be accessed through the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s homepage.