Spring election results tallied and announced

Behlke-Frey elected as new student body president and vice president.

Last week, the campus-wide student election took place on April 9 and 10 through PioneerLink. The election included referendum topics that will guide the next Student Body President and Vice President on what the students’ opinions are. Referendum topics included smoking on campus, extended academic building hours, campus transportation and campus sustainability. Although students wanted a smoke-free and tobaccoless campus, the majority did not want to ban vapes or devices that produced vapor. Students that wanted academic buildings to have extended hours chose Tuesday through Thursday to have hours extended until midnight. A majority of students would like to see the Orange Route go later in the night and also to see the stopping times be at least twenty minutes or less. Over 80% of students would like to see campus become more environmentally friendly in terms of energy usage. More than 70% pay at least ten dollars extra through segregated fees to improve the campus sustainability. After the Behlke-Frey campaign won the election, the following questions were asked: 

  How do you think the election went?

Kurstin Frey, Student Body Vice President Elect: “I think they went better than expected. We had the most voter turnout than we [University of Wisconsin-Platteville] ever had, and that was really important.”

How did campaigning go?

Frey: “Campaigning was a lot different than I expected it to go. We spent multiple nights until two or three in the morning chalking all across campus, which I’m sure everyone saw. Towards the end, we needed to be creative, and we set up a projector in the Markee to try and get people to come to our table with candy. That was somewhat efficient. Thanks to our wonderful group of friends who all helped. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Ben Behlke, Student Body President Elect: “Leading up to the election, creating a platform, that was one thing I thought was the most fun for me.”

Frey: “It was interesting because I thought it would be difficult and take long, but once we started going it just kept flowing.”

With the referendum topics, are you planning to implement them?

Behlke: “Starting with the first one [topic], according to the referendum, I mean personally it wasn’t definitive. It was 50/50. Not enough to move on that. Again, if it becomes an issue, or gets a lot of 1-10-5s [Feedback] about it, it can be an option we look into. However, at the moment, it doesn’t seem like a very big need on campus.”

Frey: “Then again, any [Student] Senator can make a resolution on it [smoking] and go for it if they wanted to. Everybody has the information [about smoking] though.”

Behlke: “However some stuff that was very interesting for us was the building hours; they [students] want to see increased [hours]. With transportation, they want to see an increase, which was big to us, and they want to see more sustainability on campus. And with over 70% of the student body saying they would pay into having more on campus, which was very welcoming. It’s very good for us to see, since those were some topics we ran on, and it’s nice to see that we’re in congruence that the student body holds.”

Frey: “With getting over 20% feedback, that’s also very helpful for what we can start on right away when we are sworn in.”

What are your future goals for UW-Platteville?

Behlke: “Now that I am a part of SigEp [Sigma Phi Epsilon], I’m going to try to be more involved on campus, but also keep the duties of being Student Body President, and try to improve campus as a whole, not with just our ideas during the campaign, but also the vast majority when they come to us with 1-10-5s or when student senators go and bring us ideas to Student Senate We are a fluid body. We are definitely not concrete.”

Being the second female Student Body Vice President at UW-Platteville, how do you feel?

Frey: “I feel excited, accomplished and proud. I’m really excited to start nominating more female representation and more female leadership roles. I’d like to continue encouragement of females being a part of Student Senate and getting women to join from all different colleges.”

What are you involved with outside of Student Senate?

Behlke: “I’m involved with SigEp, and a Stop the Hate Trained Facilitator. I’m also involved in both main political parties on campus, Democrats and Republicans. Being a part of that gives a feeling of all over campus. I’d feel wrong with just being in one of the groups. That wouldn’t be fair to the students, as well as myself.”

Frey: “I was the First Year Advocacy Senator on Senate. I really became involved with Welcome Weekend activities through the Leadership LLC that I’m in. I became a Trained Facilitator of Stop the Hate. I’m part of the Student Center Advisory Committee.”

How do you plan on working with the Administration?

Behlke: “I plan to keep those good relations that were set in previous sessions. However, we’re mainly looking forward to being able to work with the city [Platteville] more. We already have a good standing with administration. At the moment, I’m not worried about them not liking us. Obviously, we are going to have to be polite to them and try to keep good conversations going, while asking what the students want us to tell them. I mean that is our job to be that kind of bridge between the students and administration. We will definitely be looking forward to meeting with the city council, city manager and everybody involved with the city a lot more, since that [city and UW-Platteville’s relationship] seems the lacking part.”

How do you plan on working with other governance groups like Residence Hall Association, Segregated University Fee Allocation Commission and others?

Frey: “We have a good connection with the current President of SUFAC, who is newly elected. We have already been in contact with UGC. We have gone to two meetings just for campaigning. So we already know the people there and plan on keeping good contact with them and sending more reports in between us directly so everybody knows what’s going on. I know they already do that, but I don’t know if we can do it more in depth.”

Behlke: “We are definitely going to utilize the presidents’ council more since part of the stuff we ran on was trying to get Greek Life and Residence Life with declining enrollment issues that come up with retention and recruitment on both ends. It will be nice to meet with the people who are experts in those fields and come up with plans and ideas to meet their needs.”

What would you want students to know on campus?

Frey: “We would like student to know that Senate is for everyone, and we would love for more students to join because we have plenty of open seats. All you have to do is fill out an application. You can either email Ben or me, or find the application in the PIC (Pioneer Involvement Center).”

Behlke: “Please join Senate. If there are any issues that arise on campus, either look for your Student Senator or contact Kurstin and I. We will find you the answer. If there is no answer, we will go through any venue to find that answer.”

Frey: “Other than that, we want students to know that we are looking forward to next year. We are excited about it.”