Student body leadership reaches out

Within the thousands of students that attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, there is one with a name we should all know: William Kuehni. Kuehni is better known as “Willie” or the student body and senate president, hailing from Fennimore, Wisc. Kuehni is a political science and history double major in his senior year. Besides his title of president, he is not very different from any other student on campus.
“It’s been difficult so far this semester, I’m trying to keep on task and stay organized,” said Kuehni. “I have Jordan (Miller, student body vice president) and the senate to help me out, thankfully.”

Kuehni talked about how important Miller is to completing his daily activities. “We went to high school together, oddly enough,” said Kuehni. “We get along, despite the fact I’m a liberal and he’s conservative. This allows us to counteract each other, but accomplish a lot. And he’s a fun guy.”
Kuehni has responsibilities outside of his presidency that keep him busy. He works in UW-Platteville Catering Services and at his mom’s hometown restaurant and bakery, Timothy’s, in Fennimore. He is also preparing for his future by looking into different law schools.
“I love the college and university feeling, but I don’t know where I want to go or what I want to study, so don’t ask,” said Kuehni, with a smile on his face. “Constitutional law is my favorite, but I guess we’ll see where I end up.”
Kuehni’s day-to-day activities as student body president add up fast. “Class is always first on my list,” said Kuehni. “We’re all here for academics and that’s what I need to keep in sight.”

He spends multiple hours in the Student Senate office in the Pioneer Involvement Center checking emails, talking to students and staff that come in, and he also spends a lot of time reviewing and recommending policy for the senate. When Kuehni is not in class or his office, he is out talking to students and staff at meetings, events and athletics trying to learn more about what he can do with his position to help make UW-Platteville the best it can be. Kuehni has a lot of goals in his sights that he wants to see accomplished by the time his term of office is complete and he graduates from UWPlatteville.
“My main goal is to bring accountability, credibility and integrity back into the senate,” said Kuehni. “I feel as if in the last few years we’ve strayed from those qualities. Now we want to focus on representing the students as best as possible.”
Miller and Kuehni are also striving to make it easier for students to get more involved with the student governance system. The pair hopes to see higher collaboration on building connections between student groups, such as the United Greek Council and the Residence Hall Association, among others, to better help represent students’ needs. Kuehni discussed the shortcomings of his job, including working through the different levels of bureaucracy, miscommunication and healthy collaboration with administration.
“All of these things are struggles I need to face, but I want to help change this campus for the better,” said Kuehni. “I love it, but I want to see things that need to be fixed, get fixed.”
Kuehni wants to see progress in the senate and throughout campus in changing how things are done, but one of the reasons he took on running for the presidency was to have the chance to connect more with the students. He is part of multiple committees, tries to go to as many different campus events as possible, attends different student group meetings and talks to students as much as possible. Both Kuehni and Miller encourage students and staff to come to their office to speak to them or anyone else on senate, just in case they do not have the opportunity otherwise.
“I try to eat, sleep and watch football games,” said Kuehni. “But mostly I find myself working to change people’s lives for the better.”