Former president sets precedent for future
February 10, 2011
The Student Senate is under new leadership after Leigh Monson resigned on Feb. 1. When Monson was elected president last year, he had several goals and initiatives that he wanted to address during his term. As president, Monson said he wanted to initiate conversations with the student body as a way to gain a better understanding of their thoughts and opinions. This is something that interim president Jason Keck said he wants to continue doing.
Monson also stated that he wanted to remove the sophomore on-campus housing requirement. Although the Senate didn’t eliminate the requirement during the time Monson was president, the need to seriously look into the elimination of the requirement is crucial for this campus. Last fall, UW-River Falls saw record enrollment and although the Riverview Hotel did not have to be used to house students, student housing will eventually become inadequate. Instead of building a new residence hall, the requirement to live on-campus should only pertain to freshman.
Another goal that Monson wanted to achieve that did not get addressed when he was president was reviewing the Cascade Avenue renovation plan to try and find an alternative.
Looking back at Monson’s time as president, although it was brief and some of the initiatives were not solved, several issues were passed through the Senate.
The Falcon Promise, an issue that initially caused much debate within the senate, passed unanimously Jan. 25, the meeting when Monson informed the senate of his resignation. Even though differential tuition will increase over the next three years, the money will help support students and ultimately enhance the quality of education at UWRF.
The Falcon Promise will fund undergraduate research, student scholarships, support additional tutoring and classroom renovations. One of the primary goals of a university is to retain students and increase the graduation rate and we think that if tutoring is enhanced and student scholarships grow, the university will see an increase in graduates. Our economy needs more college graduates out into the work force in order to remain an innovative and competitive state and country. We applaud the student senate for coming together and voting in favor of the Falcon Promise.
The senate under Monson also revised their election rules, something that posed problems during elections last spring. The Senate amended the campaign rules which now clearly define what it means to campaign and eliminates the restrictions on when a candidate can begin campaigning.
We wish the best of luck to Monson in his academic career and we hope that the transition of leadership is seamless and the Senate continues to work closely with the student body in an effort to build a stronger campus.