My Record Fighting for You
Over the past two years, I've spent my time advocating for student needs and making real changes that directly affect people. Here are a few of the the most significant things I've accomplished, or helped with in some way.
View the Tweet from UWPD
University Ave Road Closure
During Fall of 2021, University Ave had 2 lanes closed and the sidewalks. This forced closure of one of the largest intersections on campus resulted in students jaywalking across University Ave, which UWPD threatened to give citations to students for.
I worked with UWPD to ensure that no citations would be issued, and UW Planning and Facilities Management to convert one of the closed lanes into a pedestrian and bike path that students can take, along with creating a detour. Students had to fight for something as simple as a walking path, but I got it done and it made a direct impact on thousands of students' lives.
Increased Mental Health Funding
Through my role at ASM (The Student Government), I worked with Governor Evers' office to increased funding for Mental Health Accessibility on campuses. This nearly-year long process required frequent meetings with their office, UHS, other UW Schools, and Legislators. The Governor's Budget request will include money for Mental Health funds, and I'm now working on ensuring the State Legislature approves the request.
Protected Ethnic Studies Classes from the State Legislature
In February of 2022, the State Legislature wanted to replace existing Ethnic Studies class with a class on the First Amendment, or the Constitution. Two things that have very little to do with each other. This was another "Critical Race Theory" bill that republicans were pushing to erase the history of racism from being taught in our classes. I testified at a Committee Hearing, and eventually the bill got vetoed and failed to pass.
$15/hr Wage Increase
At the Start of Fall 2022, the Wisconsin Unions, and Housing & Dining announced they'll raise wages to $15/hr -- a plan they pushed up by over 2 years. Through ASM, I helped push for the largest UW employers to increase wages to $15/hr for all students on campus. It finally went through after a lot of resistance, and now smaller UW employers (The Libraries, Front Desks, etc.) are raising their wages to keep up with demand.
“[We] are in talks with Admin and Department Directors to increase wages for their student workers and expect them to go up too,” said Govindarajan. “ASM believes that ALL students across campus should have a minimum wage of $15/hr.”
- Daily Cardinal Quote of MGR
Empowering the Student Voice
Through my role at ASM, I worked to build grassroots movements to strengthen the student voice statewide. In March of 2022, I led an event called "UW Lobbying Day" where nearly 50 students statewide came to speak to their legislators about issues such as Affordable Housing, Mental Health, and UW Fossil Fuel Divestment and more. This kickstarted the effort bringing together the UW Schools to create a strong voice that empowers students to speak their voice, and be heard at the State Legislature. I planned the event again in February of 2023 with almost 150 students working together to lobby the Legislature.