SGA Superior Days delegation
Photo provided by UWS Marketing and Communications

The Student Government Association (SGA) of the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) is preparing to send 10 of its members to Madison, Wis. for the annual Superior Days lobbying effort which will take place over Feb. 11 and 12. This year’s focus for Superior Days includes city development, Medicaid, and access to mental health services. 

In a statement, Madison Hale, a member of SGA, said, “I am thankful for this opportunity as it builds connections on the key issues our community is experiencing and how we could resolve these problems.” 

Last week, the University received a $21,500 grant from the Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovations (CSII). This organization, a statewide network of more than 20 public and private universities and colleges, promotes the civil and rational discussion of civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovations. 

The first use of these funds will help cover the costs of sending the students and staff of SGA to join community leaders at Superior Days. The trip, an annual one for SGA, helps students experience the ins and outs of lobbying and state government. 

“I’m excited to see what the experience brings,” said Kaiti Rigstad, the SGA secretary, who is attending Superior Days for the first time. “This whole trip is a great way for members of the community to come together to address matters that the city of Superior and the surrounding areas and the people living there really need.” 

In addition to the gift from the Menard Center, students and faculty will be eligible for further funding opportunities, such as stipends, internships, and workshops. The UWS Center for Community Engaged Learning will lead internal campus efforts to obtain additional funding.  

“With the generous support from the Menard CSII, our Center for Community Engaged Learning will work with others on and off-campus engaged in civil liberties activities to elevate current efforts,” said Jenice Meyer, the center’s director, in a statement. “We are also excited for the potential to build capacity and direction for future civic engagement, voter registration, and other civil liberties types of programs.” 

Two new student internship programs will be developed this summer, working to promote civic and voter engagement programs on campus and possibly in the community during fall 2020.  

With similar amounts of funding expected over the next three years, time will be spent this spring exploring how to support further efforts. Ideas such as non-partisan candidate forums, efforts to increase voter engagement, Constitution and Bill of Rights education, and freedom of the press initiatives are all possibilities.