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Leadership opportunities, campus planning are Senate’s high priorities

November 2, 2007

Strategic planning, leadership opportunities and campus architectural projects were all brought up by Chancellor Don Betz in a presentation to Student Senate during Tuesday’s meeting.

Betz spoke about the strategic plan “Living the Promise” and stressed its importance, as it will “guide what we do [as an institution] for the next five to seven years.”

Among the goals he outlined were continuing to work at sustainable community development, increasing global literacy and engagement, creating a culture of inclusiveness, and encouraging the development of engaged leaders. To meet these goals, it is vital that all students be involved, Betz said.

“This institution is as big as it’s ever been and will get bigger,” Betz said. “We need to be aware of our students, and feedback is essential to that.”

Recently, UW-River Falls received the largest donation in the history of the institution. Leona Spriggs, a 1938 graduate and longtime leadership advocate, recently passed, leaving a $1.4 million legacy to UWRF. The money will be used for leadership program recruiting, which is just the “nucleus of a much broader leadership effort,” Betz said.

Improvements to Ramer Field as well as a new Health and Human Performance facility are just a couple of projects in the University’s near future. Again, it is important that students be involved, Betz said.

“I’m looking forward to not a monologue, but a dialogue with students,” Betz said. “No one person is smarter than all of us combined.”

Kristie Feist, area coordinator for Residence Life, spoke to a motion proposing funding for prizes that will be given to residence halls that conserve the most energy.

So far, UWRF residence halls have been successful, with all but two halls having reduced their overall amounts of energy expended as of September’s averages. It’s good to see the halls doing such a great job already, Feist said.

“I think we’re on the right track,” Feist said. “It’s encouraging to see so many students get on board.”

The motion to help fund prizes for the halls that conserve the most steam, electricity and water passed by a unanimous voice vote.

The expiration of Chartwell’s contract was discussed as well. Students with input are encouraged to contact the Dining Services committee; input will also be sought through an in-depth survey that will be sent out to students soon.

Various committee representatives were appointed in a lengthy motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Overall, the meeting was meant to encourage input from senators and students alike. It is shared governance opportunities such as Senate during which students get their voices heard, Betz said.

“We encourage [students] to use the full range of opportunities available to you,” Betz said. “It’s good to be around [students and faculty] being the change they want to see in the world, as Ghandi said.”