This Tuesday and Wednesday, Apr. 6 and 7, University of Wisconsin-Parkside will hold its annual Student Government elections. The primary function of UWP’s Student Government is to establish a secure community in all aspects while keeping in mind the future and general direction of the school, as well as responding to constitutes. In other words, the local government maintains the school and its functions on a more personal level than the local or state government.
Paralleling larger scale government, the Student Government is broken up into three areas: the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
The PSGA is also composed of many committees that specialize in finance, curriculum, ceremonies and policy. The Segregated Fee Allocation Committee, also known as SUFAC, is responsible for distributing funds amongst the various organizations at Parkside. Candidates running for SUFAC have both budget allocation and equality in mind.
Like any major election, it is essential that each student takes the time to examine each candidate and vote on Election Day. Those who are elected will be representing the student body in some manner, and each candidate has an important message. Some of the candidates include Mike Degroat, Justin Irwin, Marley Wells and Jason Wolfe.
Sophomore Mike Degroat is a Psychology major running for a seat on the senate. Degroat would like to focus on maintaining diversity among organizations, as well as address the issues of clarity in the law to reduce the amount of noncompliance from the various groups. As an active community member, Degroat would also like to enhance that very sense of community at Parkside. Ultimately, Degroat would like to adhere to the student body and the over-all feedback. “If elected, my most sincere intention is to make sure the people’s voices do not fall on deaf ears. Somewhere along the way, I believe some of us have lost sight of the fact that politicians are servants of the people,” said Degroat.
3rd year student Justin Irwin is a Music major in Jazz studies, and is also seeking a senate position. Justin is an Eagle Scout who served two years as chairman of the Montcalm County Young Republicans organization. Currently, Irwin has been helping Chinese immigrants adjust to life in America, and if elected, would preserve and fight for minority rights. Irwin would also like to see budget cuts, as well as a more proactive Student Government. “I believe it is the job of the elected representatives to learn what the student body is thinking, and actually make an effort to speak with students. I wish to be the voice of the students,” Irwin said.
Senior Jason Wolfe is focusing on Business concentrations in Human Resources and Marketing. Wolfe is currently a senator and hopes to reclaim his seat on Student Government in the upcoming election. While serving on PSGA, Wolfe has accomplished various pushes in legislation, including making alcoholic beverages available to those students of age in The Den. As President of WIPZ Radio Broadcasting, he hopes to utilize his potential senatorial influence to help the Parkside radio station broadcast in Brickstone Eatery and Grill during lunch and dinner hours. Wolfe was not available for comment.
Senior Marley Wells is a Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice. Wells is hoping for a SUFAC-At-Large position, and would like to see the budget more fairly distributed amongst the organizations. Wells would also like to see further equality in the representation of minority groups at Parkside through committee groups. “My hopes for UW Parkside Student Government are that our power struggle will finally come to an end, and that Parkside as a whole can work together to make this a better environment for everyone, as far as learning, working, and living is concerned,” Wells said.