Northcentral Technical College (NTC) offers students many ways to engage with their community and begin making a difference even before they graduate. One of the ways students can get involved is through Wisconsin Student Government.

Several students participated in two different events at the state Capitol in February. The first was Central Wisconsin Days, which is an opportunity for businesses and community leaders to gather in Madison to meet with policymakers and discuss ways to move central Wisconsin forward. Participants were split into teams to focus on the issues important to the people, employers and economies of central Wisconsin. This event helped prepare the students for their second event, Wisconsin Student Government Legislative Seminar.  

Wisconsin Student Government is made up of representatives from the 16 technical colleges in the state. Student representatives get together throughout the year to network and discuss issues impacting technical college students and their access to education. Representatives also have the opportunity to hear from local legislators and ask questions related to the group’s mission.  

For the 2023-2024 school year, the focus was on increasing accessibility to childcare and equalizing Wisconsin grants. Their aim was to raise awareness of these issues during the 2024 Legislative Seminar. Next year’s group will work on a specific ask of legislators for the next budget.  

Sophia Bosi is one of the NTC students who attended both events. She joined Wisconsin Student Government as a way to get involved and meet new people.  

“It seemed really interesting,” she said. “Then, once I started to do it, I realized I actually really liked it.”  

While in Madison for the Legislative Seminar, the students had the opportunity to meet with state legislators and their staff. They met with Representatives Pat Snyder and Calvin Callahan and staff members from the offices of Senators Mary Felzkowski and Cory Tomczyk. In addition to discussing the positions of Wisconsin Student Government, students had the opportunity to share their unique stories and how support from legislators helps them achieve their educational and career goals.  

Max Xiong also attended the event.  

“It was really intimidating at first,” he said. “But then we realized they’re just people too, and they ran because they believe in something. They were very willing and open to listen to us.”  

The NTC students in Wisconsin Student Government meet throughout the school year to discuss the issues technical college students are facing, stay up to date on relevant pending legislation, and prepare for the legislative seminar.  

“We were able to focus on issues faced by students at technical colleges and non-traditional students,” Bosi said. “It was really cool being able to meet and connect with people from other colleges while doing something that has value.” 

This year, one of the issues of focus was childcare. A lack of access to affordable childcare can be a barrier to education and employment. The students hope to work with legislators to come up with ideas to address this issue.   

“Being a part of something so important was amazing,” Xiong said. “There was a sense of unity, of everyone working toward the same goal.”  

Both Bosi and Xiong are part of the University Transfer program at NTC and will leave at the end of this school year, but they said they hope they can continue to use what they have learned through Wisconsin Student Government. They recommend all students consider joining Wisconsin Student Government in the future.  

“I think it’s a really good opportunity,” Bosi said. “It’s a really good way to open up career opportunities and learn about what’s going on at the state level.”