After an effective senior year, Alex Vernon is stepping down as president of the Stout Student Association (SSA) and reflecting on his time here on campus. Darrin Witucki, SSA Advisor, said, “Alex has led a student government that respectfully yet firmly challenges campus administration, the system president, Board of Regents, legislators and the Governor on issues of importance to the student body.”
Reflecting on his favorite time in the SSA, Vernon said, “While I have so many great memories in SSA over my four years, I will say that lobbying for 180,000 UW System students in our nation’s capital was such an inspiring experience. Meeting with Senator Baldwin, Speaker Ryan and the Department of Education to advocate for student financial assistance programs proved to encompass the reason that myself and others are involved in student government – to inspire and enact positive change.”
Vernon was most proud of having been elected as the SSA president. Vernon said, “The fact that students placed trust in me to represent them at UW–Stout and UW System is humbling, and I will cherish this opportunity forever.”
Being SSA president involves a lot of hard work, and representing the entire student body is stressful. Vernon said, “There are issues and topics that need student stance and opinions on, and it’s certainly hard to represent the best interest of all students.”
Though the job has been hard-work, Vernon has greatly enjoyed his time as president. Now that he’s leaving, he feels bittersweet, “[b]eing involved in student government is such a rewarding and beneficial experience, yet it can be demanding at times. The lessons I’ve learned, people I’ve connected with and efforts our team has aided in has been insurmountable. It will be strange not hearing the Senate gavel bang at 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday evening, and it will be strange leaving an organization and campus that has been an active part of my life the past four years.”
The future of SSA is, as all things, uncertain. The recent elections will determine the next president, and Vernon addressed what he has to look forward to. He said, “The Stout Student Association aims to build off of previous Congress’ each and every year, and as always, we are looking for a steady and continuous foundation that can be built upon year-by-year. Many of our initiatives and efforts cannot be achieved in one single year, yet it takes multiple years of research and advocacy to advance. That being said, we are excited to pass down the torch to our next team of student leaders to build upon our efforts from our history.”
“Alex has kindness, humility and wisdom that are way beyond his years,” said Witucki, “He is an absolutely genuine and authentic person. He is able to cultivate friendly, open and honest relationships with a wide variety of people. He listens. He is thoughtful, and he cares. He takes on projects, duties and roles with real commitment and drive. I have been truly lucky to work with and get to know Alex.”
The next SSA board will be announced within the week of April 9 through the 13.
Everyone here at Stoutonia wishes Alex and the rest of the graduating members of the SSA luck in their future endeavors.