Posted April 12, 2018
Election season for students on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus is quickly approaching. April 17th-19th students will be asked to cast a vote for the Student Government Association’s new president and vice president, as well as new college senators.
For the upcoming senator election, there are six candidates running to represent their respective colleges on campus. There are no senator candidates running to represent the College of Education and Professional Studies. According to Jacob Timm, the oversight and rules director for the Student Government Association, election rules state that “eligible voters may only cast votes for candidates running for college senator seats within their own college.”
Following is a Falcon News Service summary of the positions for each of the college senator candidates:
College of Business and Economics
Harrison Ressler is a junior majoring in data science with a focus on finance. Ressler is running for the senator position after gaining involvement as the Student Senate director of IT at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. As a current member of the Student Government Association as an at-large senator, Ressler believes he would bring valuable experience to the role of college senator for his college.
Ressler cites two problems that he wants to focus on if he should be elected. He cites students’ problems with the slowness and bureaucracy of student government. Secondly, he wishes to address the issue of having lock-ins again for clubs.
“I wish to make it more simple and approachable. To achieve this, I will help out individual students who need help with student government. On account of Association for Computing Machinery and Tabletop Board Games Club, clubs aren’t allowed to have overnight events anymore,” Ressler said. “I will continue to try communicating with the heads of UWRF to help find some sort of common ground where the clubs can have their lock-ins while still addressing the universities concerns.”
Ressler further points out that students in CBE should consider voting for him because of his connections with other members of the college and his participation in many different clubs and organizations on campus, such as the Association for Computing Machinery.
“Often times the ACM will bring up problems they currently face, and having someone that is involved in the club and is associated with the student senate is a large help,” Ressler said. “Connecting these students to their student government officials will help boost the voice that their clubs have.”
Shane Larson is a freshman majoring in business management. Larson is running for the senator position to not only be a part of the Student Government Association but to also give students a voice in their student government.
Larson is particularly passionate important issues relating to the health and safety of students on campus.
“I will be advocating for drug and alcohol abuse, stress management for students, sexual assault awareness, and improving campus by more parking, and more activities to get students involved during the cold winter,” Larson said.
Not only does Larson plan to work to improve the campus for all students, he also wishes to focus on the needs of the students in his own college.
“I plan to push for more outreach to businesses and establish more internship opportunities and connections for business students,” Larson said. “This will not only give business and economics students a better experience here on campus, but will help lead them to a successful future.”
Thomas Heid is a sophomore who is double majoring in business administration and finance and economics. Running for the position of college senator is an opportunity to gain more connections and learning opportunities in his college and in the Student Government Association.
He seeks to be an advocate for business and economic students on campus by being their voice and their connection to student government.
“I wish to both understand and utilize the inner workings of my college in such a way as to make the changes students long for,” Heid said. “As well as ones which provide opportunities for the college to best benefit the students it cares for.”
Being a representative with the ability to understand the concerns and priorities of his fellow students is why Heid thinks CBE students should vote for him
“I will make sure to always be open for students to discuss the actions of the college,” Heid said. “And will bring attention to what is brought to me by these students and faculty.”
College of Arts and Sciences
Adrianna Erickson is a sophomore majoring in political science with a minor in criminology. Erickson has prior experience in this position as she is currently the college senator for her college. Taking on this role again would allow her to accomplish some unfinished business as well as being in a leadership role.
Erickson would like to focus on creating a better campus environment for all students by addressing problems with parking, food options in dining services, and a shuttle that would connect the falcon center with the rest of campus. Additionally, being more environmentally friendly is also a focus of her re-election.
“I am also very passionate about everyone feeling safe on this campus,” Erickson said. “I hope to implement more blue lights and repair the broken ones. I want to create a green fund and use that to implement more recycling programs, create an office of sustainability and a campuswide Earth Day program.”
Her past experience and passion are two advantages that Erickson has that should be the reason why students should vote for her in the upcoming election.
“I was the representative last year and I did many incredible things including; writing the academic priorities, volunteering with mental health week and much more,” Erickson said. “When I see an issue that needs improvement, I will stop at nothing to fix it. I follow everything to the end and I hope that I am given this opportunity to prove so.”
Could not be reached by the time of publication; he failed to return several emails and voicemail.
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Michelle Schmitt is in her first year at UWRF and is majoring in food science and technology. She too draws upon her past experience as as CAFES senator this past semester as reason why she wants to continue on in the role of representing her fellow CAFES students in the decision-making processes in student government.
Schmitt will be focusing her efforts on trying to make various programs on campus more affordable to students.
Schmitt will be “advocating for reasonable and affordable student user fees, affordable educational and study abroad programs, especially in the field of agriculture, advocating for building connections for more beneficial internship programs for students in all majors, and advocating for curriculum growth through the addition of new programs and majors.”
As a member of CAFES, Schmitt has a personal interest to invest support and attention to initiatives and programs that will benefit the students of her college which, will make her a good choice to elect for the position.
“I will be dedicated to upholding the values and wishes of the students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences,” Schmitt said. “And look for every opportunity to promote and strengthen the college.”
The article may be found online at https://uwrfjournalism.org/2018/04/six-students-vying-to-represent-their-college-in-sga-elections-next-week/.