Vice Chancellor addresses Student Senate on the University’s response to COVID-19

University’s student attorney speaks to senators about compensation for his work

Vice+Chancellor+addresses+Student+Senate+on+the+University%E2%80%99s+response+to+COVID-19

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The fifth meeting of the Student Senate began at 6:02 p.m., Oct. 26 in the Davies Student Center. The university’s student attorney came to address the senate in relation to his pay and also commented on the creation of the commission on student housing. 

Vice Chancellor Warren R. Anderson also spoke to senators on the University’s COVID-19 response and plans for the future.

Attorney Harry Hertel addressed the Student Senate to ask for help on seeing that he gets paid a fair wage for his time. Hertel works as the University’s student legal service and comes to campus once a week to help students. 

Because Hertel has not taken health benefits for years, he said he’s saved the university thousands of dollars and said he deserved more for his work. 

When asked what he thought about the bill passed last week creating a commission on student housing, Hertel said he thought it was a good idea. 

He said there are always issues with landlords — that they sometimes take advantage of students who don’t know what rights they are entitled to — and the university used to keep a list of land-lords with a bad reputation, he said. 

“There was a student list of landlords who were on a s— list,” Hertel said.

After being asked if there was anything student’s ought to know, he said they should contact the attorney office if they have any legal questions.

“If they’re thinking of renting a property, bring it in and have me look at it,” Hertel said.

He also recommended if students get fined or arrested, even by university police, to make an appointment to see if there is anything to be done to help. 

Hertel can be reached on the second floor of Davies inside the Student Senate Office where appointments can be made. Students can also call to make an appointment at 715-836-4646 or email [email protected] 

Hertel owns a private practice in Eau Claire called “Hertel Law”. For non-student, non-university related legal help, the office can be reached at 715-832-4330 or at www.hertellaw.com.

Campus and COVID-19

Anderson addressed the Senate on the University’s progress with handling COVID-19 on campus. Anderson suggested that despite what some are saying on social media, the university is handling the pandemic very well. 

Anderson said the university has built infrastructure to increase the levels of testing for the virus in a very short amount of time and will continue to increase its testing abilities. He also put forth the potential of testing all students on a regular basis. 

“We are looking at the possibility of testing every student, twice a week,” Anderson said.

Anderson added nothing like that is set in stone and the student body will know as soon as anything is decided. 

The vice chancellor said while the university wasn’t perfect, he wouldn’t be here if it was as bad as some say on social media. 

“Do we have issues and challenges? Absolutely,” Anderson said.  

When asked about whether the university will resume in person classes after Thanksgiving Break, Anderson said because COVID-19 cases on campus are low, they may not cancel in-person classes. However, he said because people will go home and interact with many people and then come back to classes, it may result in the rise in cases. 

“For us to stay face-to-face, it will take some discipline from everyone,” Anderson said. 

Kristof can be reached at [email protected].