Student governance works with UW Fox and Fond du Lac

Megan Behnke, News Writer

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The Oshkosh Student Association at UW Oshkosh has started working with the Student Association at UW-Fox Valley and the UW-Fond du Lac Student Government Association.

OSA is the student government that represents all students regarding issues and policies relating to academic and non-academic scores.

FSA President Taisto Oney said the goal of the organization is to advocate for student needs and concerns on campus and doing it through their Senate, including discussing and passing bills and resolutions to meet the needs of their constituents.

“Our Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee handles the approval of club and organization budget proposals,” Oney said. “And our outreach committee works on volunteering and fundraising opportunities for our organization.”

OSA Chief of Staff Alex Novak said since the University is merging with both institutions, it’s important to work together.

“To make sure student voices are heard from all three campuses as we are to be seen as one University,” Novak said. “Maintaining transparency will help with communication and to build trust.”

SGA President Patrick Caine said each member of the association benefits in different ways, whether it be through the camaraderie or the fact that it looks great on a résumé.

“Each member of our group is different,” Caine said. “We each bring different strengths and opinions, which allows us to be diverse and be involved in so many great aspects of college and communal life.”

Oney said the organizations are in their preliminary structure where they meet biweekly to discuss things happening on all campuses.

“This system will be in place until next year,” Oney said, “when we have an actual governing structure in place that the Student Governance Working Group is working on finalizing.”

The OSA mission statement said the organization works collectively toward ensuring a prosperous collegiate experience for each student by representing, safeguarding and promoting students’ interests and rights throughout the pursuit of knowledge.

Caine said the organization accepts all students, no matter their intended major, allowing the student government association to be diverse.

“[We are] able to reach so many different aspects of our campus and our community,” Caine said.

Novak said students are benefitting from OSA because it offers various services for them, such as Student Level Services, Readership Program, Titan Transit Services and the Titan Discount Club. He also said it allows students to have their concerns heard, gives leadership opportunities and gives a chance to make a difference.

Oney said not much has changed since working with the other campuses.

“So far we have essentially operated the same as before the restructuring, although that will change when the new structure comes next year,” Oney said.

Caine said they have a group that consists of members from all three schools that discuss important topics related to the campuses.

“Otherwise, there are working groups throughout the University that members of each of the student governments are a part of,” Caine said. “I am fortunate that I have been a part of three of these work groups.”

Novak said there are three big takeaways from being part of the OSA, which are learning about UWO, having a say in important decisions and real-life work experience.

Oney said members have gained a lot from being a part of the organization.

“There are quite a few people who are really driven to make a difference on campus, and I’m glad they have an outlet to do that,” Oney said. “It has also created strong, lasting relationships, both personal and professional, between all of our members.”

Caine said his biggest takeaway from being part of the organization is the respect from peers.

“It’s the aspect that we are respected and held to a higher standard,” Caine said. “By not only our peers, but also our professors and other members of the administration.”