Katie Cronmiller and Amy Vida will be the Student Government Association president and vice president for the 2015-2016 term.
“The climate we’re going into is going to be very different this year, because across the state right now people are trying to figure out how to survive this budget cut and a part of that is figuring out how student fees and segregated fees play a role and if they can somehow be used to cover some of those budget cuts,” Cronmiller said.
She said another concern is the proposed transition to a University of Wisconsin Authority. This shift from state to system leadership could alter the UW’s management of tuition and construction of each university. The focus is now on how SGA and other students will adjust to such changes.
“One of the things we’re going to have to work on this summer and throughout next year is making it clear that student funds are for the things that students want to fund,” Cronmiller said. “It’s going to be a tricky conversation discussing how we can maintain student authority and student involvement in shared governance and ensure that students are involved in the budget discussions.”
Vida said her biggest concern is making sure students are at the center of the decision-making process for campus-wide issues.
“I think that we can create a more engaging campus atmosphere, and I believe that UWSP is currently striving to do just that,” Vida said. “A project of my personal passion is our academic services, including improvement of the Tutoring-Learning Center.”
Another major concern Vida and Cronmiller would like to tackle is academic advising.
“There have been a few working groups and advisory committees, but we still have not had a conversation about how to fix advising concerns on campus. I would like to really push that as a student concern and restart the conversation as a whole,” Cronmiller said. “I think we need to reconsider our entire advising model in order to best serve students, and while this is a daunting task, I think it is a necessary one.”
Cronmiller said they are also proposing a universal script and set of instructions for course evaluations that, if passed, will go to Faculty Senate for consideration.
“We want to better educate students about the evaluations and possibly develop a First-Year Seminar in which we can access all freshmen as they’re coming in and explain in an in-depth way what the evaluations are for and what type of constructive feedback they should be giving,” Cronmiller said.
Over the next year, Cronmiller and Vida want to increase communication and work directly with campus planning and Parking Services to better address parking concerns for non-traditional and commuter students.
“I am dedicated to serving students and representing student concerns here on campus, and I’ve tried to do just that while serving as vice president this year,” Cronmiller said. “We have worked very hard this year to try and be more open and communicative with students, and I would certainly work to continue that in the future.”
Both students have extensive experience working with SGA and hope to use their knowledge on academic and university affairs to better improve the lives of current and future students through established communication.
“I want this place to thrive and I want it to make a positive impact on the individuals who live, work and learn here,” Vida said. “This place has changed my life, and I want to do what I can to give back.”