Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Student association plans for upcoming year

Increasing student involvement is high on the agenda of the La Follette School Student Association's new president, Joe Fontaine.

"One of our primary goals is to get all students involved in working through LSSA," Fontaine says. "Board members will take leadership roles, but we want to establish a norm where LSSA supports everyone's ideas and efforts to enhance the program."

2007-08 La Follette School Student Association Officers

President: Joe Fontaine

Vice President: Sam Austin

Secretary: Katie Davis

Treasurer: Natalie Feggestad

Alumni Chair: Alexis MacDonald

Community Service Chair: Kim Zamastil

Faculty Chair: Emily Engel

Fund-Raising Chair: Arla Dauscher

Graduation Co-Chairs: Katie Miskell and Shayna Hetzel

MIPA Chair: Carrie Traud

Social Chair: Jennie Mauer

LSSA e-newsletter offers advice for new students: 2007

LSSA serves students by hosting social events, connecting students to community service opportunities, acting as a faculty liaison, and providing current students with a connection to La Follette alumni.

Incoming social chair Jennie Mauer is already rallying folks to attend a Madison Mallards baseball game on June 8. "Friday's game has a 'Star Wars' theme, and they'll be showing the first movie after the game," she says. For news of future events, students should keep an eye on the LSSA message board, a feature the association introduced in fall 2006.

During the academic year, LSSA meets regularly to discuss and act on faculty issues, alumni relations, the graduation celebration, courses and fund-raising. Activities in 2006-07 included pizza sales to raise money for the graduation celebration and participation in the polar plunge in support of Special Olympics Wisconsin. The association also organized the February 2007 alumni reception in Madison.

"I look forward to working with faculty and staff at La Follette to improve connections between current students and alumni, both here in Madison and elsewhere--including Washington, D.C.," says new alumni chair Alexis MacDonald. "These connections can be invaluable, as recent graduates enter the job market and as La Follette seeks to promote its reputation throughout the state, the nation, and the world."

"LSSA makes a huge contribution to the life of the La Follette School," says Associate Director Karen Holden. "LSSA is responsible for the alumni reception which is important not only for students' own networking but also to La Follette's nurturing of support from alums for La Follette programs."

LSSA will emphasize getting incoming students involved in policy and social events, Fontaine says. "We want to make a greater effort, in everything we do, to incorporate incoming, first-year students into the program and into LSSA."

For example, LSSA is taking a larger role in orientation August 27-29. "We are sharing with La Follette's staff our ideas for how to improve on our experiences last year," Fontaine says. "We are planning more substantial social events during the course of that week, taking responsibility for providing more information student to student, and having a greater personal presence at orientation."

Other goals include expanding fund-raising and writing a constitution for the student organization, Fontaine says.

Holden says she appreciates the advice on orientation and LSSA's help with student recruitment and ideas for program improvement. "The willingness of these students to commit to leading this organization in the same year they will be looking for jobs and doing their workshop reports is to be lauded and very much appreciated," she adds.