Student Senate working to create an inclusive campus community

Senate passed two resolutions recognizing different cultural events



Student Senate recognized the largest represented minority group at UW-Eau Claire when it passed a resolution in support of the Hmong New Year.

The Hmong New Year will be celebrated from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15 at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center. Since the general public is welcome to attend, the resolution asks senators and students to participate and get involved.

Senator Mathew Riedel said passing the resolution is one thing, but actually attending the event and seeing what the Hmong New Year is about is another.

“For me it’s important, it’s special and it’s something we haven’t done before,” Riedel said.

Senate then moved on to pass a resolution supporting the Eau Claire powwow taking place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 to preserve and celebrate Native American culture and heritage. The Inter-Tribal Student Council is sponsoring the powwow.

Student Body President Jake Wrasse said the powwow held on campus is a powerful experience.

“It’s something that I think, given the history of our campus as well as the makeup of our community, is such a great event to have an understanding of,” Wrasse said.

Director Alison Wagener also expressed support for the resolution.

“I am 100 percent in full support of this resolution and I am really happy to see Student Senate passing resolutions like this,” Wagener said.

Since Senate passed two resolutions Monday night, both recognizing diverse events, Wagener said it’s important Senate drafts each of the resolutions with distinct differences to show strong commitment to supporting each event.

Coordinator Ashley Sukhu co-wrote both resolutions and said students have a lot to gain from attending both events since each are significant to members of the Eau Claire campus.

“I encourage people to participate because I believe it is from our personal interactions that we are able to break down barriers,” Sukhu said. “Though I would like to add that attending events such as these are only a fragment of the cultures, and by no means should participants culturally appropriate or tokenize.”

Sukhu said it’s important for Senate to pass these resolutions in order to do a better job of recognizing other cultures. One way to do this, Sukhu said, is to have representation in legislation demonstrating its importance and encouraging students to learn about one another.