Whitewater Student Government plans to increase involvement

With the end of the fall semester approaching, Whitewater Student Government is placing finishing touches on programs to increase student involvement and teacher feedback.

WSG Student Affairs Director Danielle Jordan is currently working on two main projects, both taking effect early next semester.

Johnson

The first, an involvement initiative, aims to get students more involved in campus organizations, Jordan said.

Jordan, a peer mentor, said the feedback she has received suggests students aren’t ready for organizations in their first semester at UW-Whitewater.

“When I talked to my freshman, the feedback that I got back was that they’re not ready to join because they don’t know the workload or what they were actually going to have to do first semester, so they didn’t join so they could experience first semester academically,” Jordan said.

WSG Vice President John Jensen said involvement is an important aspect of not only college life but beyond graduation too.  Jensen said WSG hopes to give students a second opportunity to explore student organizations.

“With a competitive job market, it’s not about grades anymore,” Jensen said. “It’s about what organizations you can put down on your resume, what leadership positions did you hold, and what’s really going to make you stand out.

“We want to give them the opportunity to re-look at some things they might have looked over their first semester here at Whitewater.”

Jordan said organizations are always looking for new members and having an involvement fair in the spring will allow students to explore student organizations.

“I just think now that people have kind of found their niche, they can take another step in finding an org that fits their needs, fits their major, just something they can do to have fun,” Jordan said.

Jensen

“I think it will be really beneficial because yeah we have the one in the fall, but I think that some people just aren’t ready to join … now in the spring they might feel awkward going in and joining a club.  It’s not an issue, orgs are always looking for people to join.”

WSG President Patrick Johnson said though statistics show students involved in organizations do better academically, it’s not about that at all.

“It’s about getting involved, networking … networking is a huge thing, and job opportunities can come out of that,” Johnson said. “Landing a job could be because you have experience, so we want to get people involved so they feel like they’re credible in the world.

Jordan said the involvement initiative will begin Jan. 29, 2012.

According to Jordan, WSG is also working on another project, the Teacher Voice Project, exploring what teachers want from students.

“We’re always questioning the students to find out what they need from everybody but we’re never questioning the teachers or faculty members,” Jordan said. “It’s just to hear the teacher’s voice of what they need from students, to kind of figure out how to make the relationship between teachers and students better.”

Jensen said he’s excited to see what results the project will show, especially in regards to how students and teachers learn.

“I think what they found with the student voice project was students really like having their professors being what they’re calling ‘co-learners,’” Jensen said. “Students are interested in learning with a teacher rather than from a teacher.”

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