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Senate Corner

Senate works to connect with campus, students, community

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February 6, 2014

UW-River Falls means something different to each and every student.

Some say UWRF is a home away from home while others define their college journey by their experiences. Regardless of our individual experiences, we are a part of a campus community that cares, challenges, and supports each other.

Every single day, students can seek services from a variety of different areas including career, health, academic and professional. Departments from across the University work together to continually create a better environment for the people who attend, work and visit our campus.

We can choose to focus on the difficult times that lie ahead as the cost of higher education increases and the uncertainty of the job market, or focus our efforts to continually better our campus and the people around us.

The students of Student Senate believe in making a difference on our campus. They are reminded from time to time that life is not always easy, and they realize why their position is so important. Student Senate is said to be the voice of the student body, but that is only half of the story.

A voice is only as effective as the action that follows. Student Senate’s commitment to the students of UWRF is not taken lightly, and every issue and solution begins with first listening to our peers.

This past semester, Senate has worked hard to improve campus life and represent the needs of the students. Creating more inclusivity across campus has been a major goal for the year. During the summer, we made many changes in the University Center Involvement Center to create a more collaborative and inclusive space.

Recent changes during the break have been made to that space to further promote student involvement on campus. These changes include updated collaborative furniture, new banners that represent all student organizations and the addition of collaborative work stations. Also included in the renovation was an “Events This Month” calendar and a “Share Your Thoughts” board.

The purpose of the Involvement Center update was to make the space more appealing to students and to transform the area into a central location where students are able to get involved or inquire about getting involved in on-campus clubs and organizations. This space is also an informative area for campus events. The space will be further improved in order to promote student involvement through ongoing changes this semester.

In addition, a greater working relationship with the city of River Falls has been established to provide students with more opportunities to get involved within the River Falls community.

Over the winter break, student senators met with city officials to develop a greater working relationship, and the group identifi ed ways to partner with current and future programs. One topic of discussion is creating a single place online to search for volunteer opportunities within the River Falls community. Throughout the spring semester, the Senate plans to continue to offer suggestions and establish a greater connection with the city of River Falls for years to come.

Furthermore, Senate has been trying to fi nd the best way to represent and serve the students. A motion was recently passed on the fl oor called the “Student Shared Governance Modernization Act”, and this motion will restructure the operations of Student Senate.

The act will consolidate committees, defi ne policy review of matters regarding academic and budgetary concerns and more effectively represent the students of UWRF. For more information, please watch the YouTube video titled “UWRF Student Senate Student Shared Governance Modernization Act.”

Additionally, please visit the Student Senate OrgSync page for more detailed information and stay up-to-date with what is happening by liking our Facebook page at facebook.com/UWRF.Senate.

As a fellow student and president of the Student Senate, I wish you the best with your next semester, and I challenge you to get involved with the time you have left. Collectively we can make changes to better our campus community for the current and future generations, and Student Senate welcomes your help in doing so. UWRF is truly a home away from home for me, and I could not be more proud to represent the students of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Sam Tauchen is the 2013-2014 president of Student Senate.