Welcome from Wisconsin Union President Mills Botham
It’s that time of year again; back to school. And while many of you, like me, are wishing you could have just one more week of summer, there’s a great deal to look forward to during the academic year. Coming back to campus means coming back to the Wisconsin Union. With leadership opportunities and 2,300 student-led, mostly free events, we, at the Union, couldn’t be more excited that you’re here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While you’re a student here, you’re a member of the Wisconsin Union. We’re an organization that offers leadership, learning and entertainment throughout the year for UW-Madison students, other Union members, and guests.
On behalf of the Union, I invite you to kick off your year right with Sunburst Festival Sept. 1 and SUNSET SLAM Sept. 2. At Sunburst Fest, we’ll be giving out free food samples and Union t-shirts at Union South. There will be free events as well, including a silent disco, among many others. The next day, we keep the fun going with SUNSET SLAM, a welcome back extravaganza created by students for students. Stop by SUNSET SLAM at Memorial Union for food and fun.
Another way I recommend you start off your year is by savoring the last moments of summer on the Memorial Union Terrace. The Terrace will close for the season when cold weather returns, but in the meantime, the Terrace is open and serving brats, BBQ ribs, corn-on-the-cob, and hosting events to fill your social calendar for weeks. To top it all off, there’s nothing quite like the view of a sunset on Lake Mendota from the Terrace.
Most of the events I mentioned earlier are planned and managed by leaders in the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD), the student programming and leadership board at the Wisconsin Union. WUD student leaders have the ability to plan events they know our community will appreciate. They do everything from voting on which bands come to the Terrace to negotiating contracts for internationally known speakers. The Wisconsin Union is a place to find your voice, find friends, and invest time in topics about which you are passionate.
Whether you choose to be part of WUD or not, you are welcome to come to our events throughout the year. From attending a lecture put on by the WUD Distinguished Lecture Series Committee to watching films selected by the WUD Film Committee at Union South or the Terrace, we have activities for everyone. I know first-hand how these committees can make your college experience amazing.
I grew up in Madison, and before becoming Wisconsin Union president, I was commodore of the Hoofer Sailing Club. I learned to sail through Hoofers starting when I was 10 years old, and I’ve spent the last 11 summers of my life on Lake Mendota. The Sailing Club is one of six outdoor recreation clubs offered by the Union’s Wisconsin Hoofers, all of which are open to all Union members and are governed by students. There’s no better way to get involved in the outdoors at UW-Madison than through Hoofers.
While I am partial to Hoofers, there are many things that students can get involved in here at the Union. No matter how you choose to get involved with the Union, our programming and leadership opportunities will help you meet new people, have fun, and learn along the way. So, come to visit Memorial Union or Union South, and make the most of your Union membership.
With that, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Wisconsin Union and a new academic year. On, Wisconsin!