A legislative bill requiring the approval of student-fee-funded building projects on UW System campuses by a majority of all enrolled students in two consecutive referendums has been proposed by Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, and Sen. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere.
UW student referendums have historically had low rates of participation, with the majority of enrolled students failing to vote on issues that ultimately may raise the cost of their education, as well as that of prospective students for years to come.
If this trend in student-voter participation continues, student government representatives are justifiably concerned that such a law, as currently proposed, would be a major impediment to most building projects.
A commonsense solution that may honor the intent of the authors of this legislation, while simultaneously guaranteeing complete participation by all students in construction-related (and other campuswide) referendums, would be to include the completion of an approved campuswide balloting initiative as a part of the required enrollment process for classes each semester.
No vote, no enrollment, no student. Could it be that simple?
Mark Steingraeber, La Crosse