UW-River Falls student group seeks to popularize interest in economics

Posted December 2, 2015

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has more than 150 student organizations that students can choose from. Six of those organizations are for students in the College of Business and Economics, and one of those is the Student Economic Society (SES).

According to the organization’s web page, the mission of the SES is to encourage interest in economics by students, faculty and community members. SES accomplishes its mission by sponsoring panel discussions and hosting guest speakers to increase awareness of economic issues.

Allen Alzouhayli, a 26-year-old non-traditional business administration major, is president of SES. One of the challenges for Alzouhayli and the group is promoting and encouraging interest in economics because freshmen and sophomores are not as interested in economics as their junior and senior peers.

“Juniors and seniors have a lot more interest in economics than freshmen and sophomores,” Alzouhayli said. “Once they learn more about economics I think they’re more interested in economics and once they mature they gain a desire for economics.”

Economics is so important to society that it is imperative students develop somewhat of an interest in the topic, Alzouhayli said. The knowledge is vital to avoiding another economic recession.

As president of SES, Alzouhayli said, “I promote the organization, promote economics, promote business, and, more importantly, promote the idea of sustainability.”

One of the videos that the organization showed during a recent event is “Mind Over Money,” a documentary that highlighted why economists failed to predict the 2008 recession and why people make so many irrational financial decisions. SES used the video as a teaching moment, so that the same recession does not happen again.

Another, more significant activity for the organization was having members volunteer at the Wilder Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that helps youth and other individuals in the St. Paul community. SES members went to SafeZone Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth in St. Paul and interviewed the youth at the center. The members asked the youth questions about their upbringing and the opportunities that the teenagers have had up to that point in their life. The SES members stressed that getting a college education could turn the teenagers life around. The members handed out UWRF College of Business and Economics cards that contained information about the school.

SES is one of the smaller organizations on campus, as there are a total of six members. Half of the members are in a leadership position such as the president and the vice president.

The faculty adviser of the organization is Professor John Walker.

Students interested in economics and SES may visit the organization’s page on uwrf.orgsync.com or contact Alzouhayli via email at allen.alzouhayli@my.uwrf.edu.