SGA seeks to engage with students
November 1, 2023
The UW-River Falls Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President have big plans for the 2023-2024 school year, which includes promoting the association and educating the student population on what SGA does.
Kalli Kubly, a senior in criminology and accounting, is the current SGA President, and has been involved for two years as the College of Business and Economics senator. Connor Tanck, a junior in horticulture, is the current SGA Vice President, and has been involved for one year as the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences senator.
“The Student Government Association is the governing body on campus that gives a voice to the students,” said Tanck. “We have student members from all over campus… whether that be the DIB office or a specific college. They are elected in by all the students.”
Kubly also said that SGA frequently meets with the Faculty Senate and Academic Staff Council, as much of the policies that these two organizations work on are presented to SGA, and vice versa. SGA also works frequently with the Chancellor and other UW System universities’ student government associations.
“I get to meet directly with the Chancellor every month, so that's nice [because] we get to know that important policies we want are out there,” said Kubly. “For the last few years, the student senate has been pretty active within the UW System. Each month Connor and I go down to Madison… to meet with the majority of the other student senate leaders to learn about what their colleges are doing, how we can improve, and how they can improve to make the best student senates.”
A major goal for the President and Vice President is to increase student engagement in elections and meetings, and also to increase students' knowledge about what SGA is and what it does. Tanck added that it’s important for SGA senators and directors to be involved around campus so students know who their representatives are.
“I think for the past few years, when you talk to students, a lot of the time there is almost a repulsion [for] student senate, where [students] don’t fully know what we are doing and… they don’t [know] how important their voice actually is,” said Kubly.
SGA’s Instagram, @uwrfsga, posts short recaps of SGA meetings, providing an initiative for students to be more involved without having to go to the meetings directly.
SGA is navigating many changes this year: finding a new Dean of Students, a position that serves as SGA’s faculty advisor; a college merger; three new deans; and other new responsibilities. Despite these changes, SGA has elected 11 new senators and regularly hosts Hump Day Cafe, which provides free coffee and bagels to students at the SGA offices in the University Center.
Tanck said, “I think this semester is going to be built by the students and what they want to see done. We are going to be here no matter what, but the best way we can serve them is when they speak to us when they come to meetings or when they join us in general. We’d love to hear from the students everywhere on campus.”