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Friday, 31 July 2015 09:22

5 questions for student regent James Langnes III

Written by  Edwin Scherzer
James Langnes III James Langnes III photo submitted

WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY --  Perhaps there is no greater sense of accomplishment than serving the community in which you live. For James Langnes III, a junior finance major at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, service has been a way of life. Separating James from his peers perhaps, is his age -- 19.

Langnes was born in Covington, Louisiana. His family would make multiple moves back to the Badger state, including a stint living in Darien until first grade and then most recently moving back to the area in 2012.

Langnes had enough online credits this past school year to enter UW-Whitewater in the junior class.

He served as a senator on the Whitewater student government body. He also was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker and later confirmed to serve as student regent on the Wisconsin Board of Regents. If you thought Langnes’ plate was already full, he then applied and was selected to fill an alderman position on the Whitewater City Council.

Langnes also has volunteered with the Walworth County district attorney’s office and the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

Asking Langnes for a few moments of his rare spare time, he shared some insight about why he enjoys service, his thoughts about government and his goals, in five questions ...

1. Have you always been interested in politics, or did it come from a family connection, or a sense of wanting to serve?

A. Politics is always something that has caught my eye. I became particularly interested when I was living in Virginia, with the nation’s capitol nearby.

Service to others is something my family has stressed throughout my childhood and I see politics as a way to give back. It was nice meeting top state officials. I look up to and appreciate them for their service to this state. 

2. Did you support the $250 million cut in UW System funding and what effect do you believe the cut will have on students?

A. The cut to the system was not up to the Board of Regents or UW administration. The UW system is world renowned in higher education and will continue to provide a top quality education to all students.

3. Did you vote for the new tenure rules, and do you think they provide enough protection for academic freedom?

A: I was not on the board at the time of the vote regarding tenure. I am confident that the Board of Regents will protect academic freedom.

4. What leadership roles did you hold in high school and do you see yourself continuing on a political path? Or will you just enjoy things while they last?

A. I really did not hold any official leadership roles in high school. I was a member of the football team through my senior year and I was in National Honor Society. Aside of that, I did an internship with the sheriff's department and volunteered in the district attorney’s office here in Walworth County.

Politics is something that interests me and I do not see that interest dissolving any time soon.

5. Given that we are in an election cycle federally, do you believe our current candidate process and Electoral College works for our nation? If not, what would you change?

A. The Electoral College system may not be perfect, but at this point in time there is no better alternative that I know of.

Bonus question: Is it time to start printing the “Langnes for State Assembly” bumper stickers yet?

A. I do not know what the future holds. What I can tell you is my passion to serve others is something that will be lifelong. Should the opportunity to serve the people of the great state of Wisconsin present itself, I would be honored to do so, and it would be something I would not pass up.

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