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Press Clipping: University of Wisconsin-Platteville Student Senate unable to visit DC sights during trip

Senate unable to visit DC sights during trip

October 10, 2013
By Rachael Shaff

While campus celebrated homecoming last weekend, Student Senate executive board members, minus one, attended a summit in Washington D.C. from Oct. 3-6.

The four-day summit could not have fallen on a more interesting time, Student Body President Joe Kluever said.

"If our flight (out of Dubuque) wasn't delayed, we would have arrived right in the middle of the shooting," Kluever said.

According to Associated Press, Miriam Carey, a Stamford woman, was shot to death Oct. 3 outside the U.S. Capitol after she tried to ram her car through a White House barrier. A law enforcement official said last Friday that she has been under the delusion the president was communicating with her. Carey's 1-year-old daughter was in the vehicle and unhurt. Stamford was suffering post-partum depression.

With the government shutdown also continuing, Senate also visited during a time when many government-run sights were inaccessible to the public. Their scheduled tour of the U.S. Capital was cancelled, although, they were able to witness a house vote from the galleries.

"It was definitely a weird time to be in D.C.," Kluever, who has visited D.C. before, said. "It was eerily quiet. There wasn't much going on. We couldn't even walk up to the Lincoln Memorial. They had it barricaded a mile away."

However, Senate executives did have a chance to learn from nationally-recognized student government leaders during the National Student Government Summit. American Student Government Association hosted the conference in the Hyatt Regency Bethesda on the north side of the city.

The trip was funded through student segregated fees. University of Wisconsin-Platteville governance groups are the only organizations granted funds for conference trips by SUFAC.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville was the only Wisconsin school to attend the conference. Private and public universities from all over the country participated in 44 workshops and 37 roundtables.

Kluever said keynote speaker Tom Krieglstein's "Dance Floor Theory" presentation stood out to him. Krieglstein discussed five stages of student involvement; the highest rank a five and the lowest a one. Fives are go-getters on campus, whereas ones are neutral or not very engaged in extracurricular activities. More than 60 percent of students on American campuses fall in the number one category, Krieglstein said.

"He talked about how the main goal isn't to get the ones as involved as a five, but to get them interested and engaged with what is going on campus," Kluever said. "And then he related everything back to a dance floor. It was a great presentation."

Student Body Vice President Joe Sigwarth said the emphasis on student involvement also inspired him.

"I felt one of the biggest things I learned was that you don't have to be on Senate to make a difference," Sigwarth said. "If you, as a student, work with senators, you can still impact campus in a great way. You don't have to feel pressured to join."

Sigwarth and Kluever said they both hope to get more students involved with Senate this semester. There are about 28 open senator seats between the three colleges.