The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Olson, Breault stress students

Sophomore Student Senate Vice Presidential candidate De Anna Breault said she learned from a young age that giving back to her community was important.

A few years ago she was volunteering at a nursing home with her grandmother, who gestured to a woman and told her the woman had Alzheimer’s, yet her family didn’t visit her at the home, Breault said.

“It’s all about understanding and listening.”
Aaron Olson
Junior Student Senate Presidential candidate

Breault said she went over to the woman, struck up a conversation and wound up visiting the woman almost every weekend until she died.

“My grandparents always told me ‘talking to a stranger can change their life,’ ” she said.

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Breault and her running mate, junior Student Senate Presidential candidate Aaron Olson said making connections with students – especially those who they don’t know yet – is a key point to their platform.

The two will face juniors Emily Ascher and Michelle Madsen in this week’s Student Senate elections for the opportunity to represent students in the offices of president and vice president.

Olson and Breault said they have developed a number of ideas to reach out to students who might otherwise not have contact with Senate. For example, Olson said he has pledged to do an interview with a different student every day of his presidency.

“It’s about understanding and listening,” he said.

The results of the interviews will be posted in the Student Senate office every day, he said.

Olson also said he is looking into activities such as a “meet your senator day,” in which student senators would do an activity like serve food in the cafeteria to get out of their offices and interact with a number of students.

Student Senate elections
Today: Hilltop Center, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Davies Center, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Davies Center, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Haas Fine Arts Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Communication is key, but it’s really hard to do,” Breault said. “It’s about how to get them in (the office) or (senators) out there.”

Breault also said the communication breakdown often comes because students aren’t coming to senators.

“How many average students are in (the Student Senate office)?” she asked. “No one asks that. And if students aren’t going to do it, then we have to.”

The duo said they are no strangers to getting out and meeting students. As director of student services, Olson has helped lead events like House Day, Students with Disabilities Week and Don’t Dump It Donate It Day.

Olson said his and Breault’s Senate experience is another aspect their ticket has going for it.

“If you didn’t have Senate experience, then you really don’t know what you’re capable of,” Breault agreed.

Olson said he also has worked to help increase safety on campus, working for two years to install a blue light in an unlit area on Upper Campus. The installation of the light “is almost going to happen,” he said.

Their involvement on campus has helped to round out their collegiate experience, both Olson and Breault said.

“When I first came here I really hated it. I wanted to go home every weekend,” Olson said. “But I came to love this university. What did it for me was hard work and putting the time in.”

For Breault, her involvement on campus as a senator and as a Sutherland Hall Council president has helped keep her interested.

The duo has impressed Student Senate President Chad Wade with their enthusiasm.

“Aaron has worked very hard this year as student services director,” Wade said. “I think he’s had a good year, and I think he’s shown that he has leadership ability and qualities. De Anna has shown that she’s willing to work hard toward things they feel are important.”

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Olson, Breault stress students