Students to honor Rep. Jill Billings

Jill Billings, La Crosse State Representative, will receive the UWL Higher Education Advocate of the Year award Monday, May 8.

Student Association names her ‘Higher Education Advocate of the Year’

UWL students are honoring La Crosse State Rep. Jill Billings. Billings will receive the UWL Higher Education Advocate of the Year award at 11 a.m. Monday, May 8, in the Hall of Nations, Centennial Hall.

The award honors individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving the needs of those trying to enrich the state through the value of a good education. Recipients of the award have a proven track record of advocating for the needs of UWL students and the institution in a variety of ways. Recipients of the award may be advocates for higher education endeavors both inside and outside the classroom.

Billings was selected because of her strong commitment to serving students on all fronts, says UWL Student Association President Jacob Schimmel.

“She has taken a very proactive role this year with combatting sexual and domestic violence on college campuses, and has been working with other legislative offices to try and craft policy to help survivors,” he says.

Schimmel says Billings and the UWL Student Association both recognize that this is an issue that needs to be taken more seriously and needs further work.

“We have been greatly appreciative to her office for working with us to provide ideas and framework for new resources to survivors of sexual and domestic abuse,” he explains. “Her willingness to reach out to students on this issue and welcome all input on this matter has been invaluable to ensuring that our voices are being heard in the legislature.”

Schimmel praised other La Crosse area state and national legislators for their assistance on a variety of student-related issues. “They have been an amazing resource and have always stood by us in advocating for our needs,” he says.

Students have presented the award periodically since 2009. Past recipients include: Rusty Cunningham, La Crosse Tribune; Sen. Jennifer Shilling, honored when she was a state representative; Rep. Ron Kind; and UW System President Kevin Reilly.