UW-La Crosse offers resources to improve community

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WLAX/WEUX) – Organizations throughout La Crosse are focused on improving the quality of life for struggling families. As strategies develop, UW-La Crosse is offering its resources to help those efforts.

“Our faculty are experts in their individual disciplines, and so that knowledge can translate well into meeting with some of the community need…on top of that, those experts are training students in those professions.”

The Women’s Fund of Greater La Crosse is one of the organizations connecting with UWL to determine where help is needed most.

“One group of students said, well we should really analyze the impact that COVID has had on La Crosse, another group said I really want to examine mental health issues in the community, another group wanted to examine homelessness.”

A public survey from Assistant Professor Kristina Laplant’s senior capstone course will not only guide the women’s fund, it gives students the chance to make a difference.

“I think that there’s a real desire and need, particularly from younger generations, to feel like they’re a part of the community. I just think that this project is a really great way of illustrating how it honestly does not take that much work to bridge these gaps. I hope that that is just something that they take with them to whatever communities they end up in in the future,” said Assistant Professor, Kristina Laplant.

Community engagement coordinator Lisa Klein says connecting students with the city is a priority for the university.

“We don’t want to be a city within a city, we are a part of the city, and we really, really want the community to feel welcome on our campus, and we want our students to feel welcome in the community.”

Organizations can reach out to UWL through the community idea exchange. There, they can pitch community-focused projects to work on with faculty and students. The “community needs assessment” has received more than 100 responses and will be available until the first week of December. 

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