Civic Engagement – Letter to the Editor

Tori L. Jennings, PH.D.

Just when it seems that the voice of the people matters no more, Senator Julie Lassa reminded me and my students that such skepticism ignores the everyday practice of civic engagement.

On Nov. 27, Sen. Lassa delivered a forthright and engaging lecture to my ANTH 339-Native Cultures of North America class. Senator Lassa, a University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point alumna, provided a fascinating overview of legislative decision-making, explained effective approaches to political action and addressed a variety of questions and issues concerning the Tribes of Wisconsin and their relationship to the state.

The senator shared a balanced and sometimes humorous look at the political process in our region so that we might better understand how civic mindedness becomes public policy. Sen. Lassa’s own life story growing up on a dairy farm in Central Wisconsin, attending UWSP and becoming involved in politics ?embodies the notion that local people can and do make a difference.

I am deeply grateful to Senator Lassa for generously sharing her time and insights with my students, and continuing the UWSP tradition of student engagement and public service. 

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