Progress 2022: Viterbo senior nutrition and dietetics major Laura Weidemann | Local News

Life is a collection of wonders.

Laura Weidemann

Laura Weidemann 

The clock in my PT Cruiser signifies the time: 3 a.m.! I huddle with mates to remain heat and gaze up at a lunar eclipse, talkative tundra swans within the darkness behind us. Our eyes momentarily seize starlight that traveled nice distances to achieve us. At the perimeters of our sight, the ominous silhouette of bluffs and barren timber makes the entire scene past something I might have imagined. This is a second of surprise.

From the once-in-a-lifetime experiences to empowering acts of kindness, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Viterbo University have been properties of surprise for me and lots of others. To illustrate, at retreats and inside campus organizations I observe the renewal of kindness from one “technology” of scholars to the following. Students, balancing busy lives with faculty, work, service and private life nonetheless discover alternatives to help each other. In these moments, I discover surprise.

Likewise, many cases of awe are skilled within the classroom. On a number of events I’ve witnessed friends courageously discuss matters deeply built-in with who they’re, unsure of the response they’ll obtain. They have been advocating for respect of lived experiences fairly than outdated ideas. Our college students push for change so future college students is not going to face the identical limitations. With nice admiration, I’m moved by how sturdy their voices are and the ability of their messages. I’m always in awe of younger individuals in La Crosse who converse out, stand, march and assemble for what’s necessary to them.

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Pandemics, worldwide conflicts, hate towards one another — all of them crumble the stable floor we discover consolation on. Our neighborhood continues to really feel the reverberations of the occasions from spring 2021. Viterbo University leaders took motion towards a extra welcoming setting and tradition for college kids to be who they’re and thrive.

To strengthen belief between college students and Viterbo leaders, my hope is that the restorative practices applied proceed as a way to stop future incidences of hurt. Practices like inclusive decision-making, fairness of voice, worth for all members, and genuine listening and sharing present all Viterbo members an opportunity to be heard.

The restorative mannequin, which is rooted in indigenous instructing, emphasizes interconnectedness. We discovered with the pandemic that what impacts one, touches us all. As a neighborhood, Viterbo college students, school, and workers have executed our half in mitigating COVID-19 circumstances on campus and our influence on the larger La Crosse neighborhood. The latest announcement by the Viterbo COVID-19 process power that masks will now be beneficial on campus — not required — is a long-awaited signal of hope and progress.

While I additionally want a way of normalcy, it will be a missed alternative if we don’t mirror on how the pandemic formed us as people and as an establishment. A phrase of warning for individuals who wish to rapidly dismiss the influence of COVID-19 on individuals’s psychological well being, bodily security, and sense of belonging. As a pupil chief, I discover myself in lots of conversations about easy methods to help college students who might really feel remoted, bodily or socially.

While these efforts is not going to resolve all of the tensions on campus, it’s a privilege to supply alternatives for self-discernment and neighborhood engagement. I imagine sparking curiosity and creativity are two methods to carry which means to college students’ lives. In different phrases, how would possibly we foster extra surprise and awe?

In extra methods than one, the Viterbo University pupil physique, school, and workers members have had our sense of safety challenged. The approach we transition from response to restoration within the subsequent section of the pandemic and continuous work towards social fairness will decide our resiliency towards future adversities. There isn’t any higher time to show to surprise than now.

Laura Weidemann is a senior at Viterbo University finding out vitamin and dietetics.

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