UWGB’s Student Government Elections Ramping Up

By Mallory Allen, Mara Allen, Lindsey Gloede, and Abbi Pflum


Student Government Association elections are in full swing on the UW-Green Bay campus, with a number of important positions up for grabs on the ballot.

Student Government Association, or SGA, has been an organization at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay for many years, and the club holds elections every academic year for their Executive and Senator positions. Since the majority of this year’s representatives are graduating, there are quite a few positions that will need to be filled. With that, hopefuls are getting ready to show the students at UW-Green Bay what they plan to do to support them.

SGA was created with the purpose of giving students the opportunity to listen to other students’ needs and address them alongside the university’s administration. “I appreciate that there is an organization on campus that works to advocate for students. Being heard is important to my peers and me, and having that outlet is important for my experience here at UW-Green Bay,” said sophomore Bailey Venden.

Members of SGA from all different positions sit down to discuss agenda items before their next bi-weekly senate meetings that occur Mondays at 5:15 pm.

The Election Process  

Only a select few SGA positions are elected by the entire student population. Thus, over the next few weeks, hopeful candidates will be campaigning and talking with their fellow students about the issues that want to be addressed on the UW-Green Bay campus. Positions that will be on the ballot this election season are President, Vice President, and a number of Senator positions.

As of last year, another position – University President – was added to the SGA ranks. The role of this position is to oversee all of the campuses’ Student Government Associations at UW-Green Bay (the main campus, along with Marinette, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan SGAs). This position is the bridge between all of the UWGB campuses and students and also works closely with the university administration to make sure each campus is being heard equally.

Harrison Thiry, who currently holds this position, is graduating in the spring, so his position will also be on the ballot this semester.

University President Harrison Thiry and Speaker of the Senate Zea Miller host a table talk to gain student input and recruit new members.

Changes in the Near Future

UWGB’s Student Government Association is on the horizon of major change within its organization. Many individuals who have been a part of the organization for several years will be graduating and retiring from their SGA roles.

Alex Langreck is one of those students. Langreck is currently serving as the SGA Vice President for the 2022-2023 academic year, but he held other positions within the organization prior to being elected to this role. “In the past, I served as a senator. I also served as the Chair of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.” Being such a seasoned member of the organization has its perks, as he has had many achievements within SGA. “One of the biggest accomplishments that I helped put together in SGA was Lobby Day. This event allowed us as a group to travel down to Madison to talk to representatives about different issues pertaining to the university, including mental health services. In the following year, we received more funding to help employ more counselors at the university.”

Of 15 SGA executive positions, a total of 9 members will be graduating and thus vacating their roles. Because this is such a large chunk of the organization, departing members said they are anxious to fill these roles. “I think that virtually everyone on this campus, faculty, staff, or student, has found something that they want to change. Whether it be a campus garden, legal services at school, or simply wanting quality food, we all have things that we’d like to see change. The Student Government Association (at least for me) makes that change a reality. I’ve seen so many meaningful changes happen through my time here, and a large part of that is through the President and Vice President. Voting in Student Government elections is so important, especially when you’re looking at the direction you want the university to take. You really want someone that represents students well and will advocate for them no matter what,” Zea Miller, Speaker of the Senate, mentions.

Members of the 2022-2023 SGA met with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to discuss issues that UW-Green Bay students are facing, including mental health advocacy, staff shortages, and funding cuts.

The Few Remaining

One SGA member not graduating this year is junior Riley Drew, the chair of the Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee. He works with other committee members to allocate money to different student organizations and departments on campus that are funded by the Segregated Fees that students pay each semester. Drew has been part of the organization since 2019 and has seen many students, including himself, create change within the university thanks to the Student Government Association.

“I have been particularly inspired by how the Speaker of the Student Senate, both presently and in the past, have done enormous amounts of work to ensure that students’ voices are heard and that SGA runs smoothly, oftentimes without much acknowledgment or praise,” said Drew.

New Journey Ahead

Although the organization will be facing a challenge in the coming year with so many positions to fill, many of the current members are looking forward to a new beginning.

Drew explained, “My greatest hope for SGA is that we can become a vibrant and viable organization. Despite the good work it has done, it still suffers from invisibility – due partly to structural issues, like the fact that this is primarily a commuter school, but also due to SGA’s somewhat insular nature. I think the easiest way we can fix this is by growing our membership.”

The SGA election this semester will run from April 12-14. Ballots will be emailed to every UW-Green Bay student’s campus email. Each student can only vote once. The organization hopes that students will get involved, either by voting or running for a position themselves.

“I encourage everyone even contemplating joining SGA to go for it! It is really easy, and you can make a huge difference on campus by doing so,” said Drew.

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