Jolene Loetscher sports Augustana connections
The following is a transcript of a phone interview with Sioux Falls mayoral candidate Jolene Loetscher. The interview occurred on April 16.
What does Augustana mean to you?:
Augustana is my adopted college. I did not go to Augie, but it is the school my husband and I have adopted for athletics and we know a lot of the students there, which is always so much fun.
One of my companies has done a lot of work with the marketing department and the video pieces you might see, so we feel really connected with the school and to the students. And, of course, we always have fun going to Augie basketball.
Not too long ago, the first basketball game my daughter went to was the women’s final playoff game. It was super fun.
Two years ago, when the men won their national title, we went to Dallas to cover it for Augie.
As a whole, Augie is a key part in what makes Sioux Falls strong, what helps us when we are adding to the workforce. Then you look at all the other things—culturally and athletically—a university like Augustana brings into Sioux Falls, and they are vital.
How do you envision Augustana and Sioux Falls’ relationship during your mayorship?:
I think we will continue to be collaborative. We will be partners and continue to find opportunities for Augustana to lift the city and to help with some of the challenges we as a city face.
How can the city lift up Augustana?:
As we continue to look at workforce development, we have to look at how we will bring in young adults who will decide to make Sioux Falls their home.
Part of that is we as a city should make sure there are opportunities for students and eventually college graduates to do the things they want to do outside of work.
Do you have a message for Augie students?:
Go Vikings. Or to quote Rob Oliver, “It’s a great day to be a Viking.”
I think for Augie students what’s really important is to get out to vote.
And I know for many of them this may have been one of the first elections that they were able to participate in or follow, and it is important to get involved at a local level because the issues that a mayor and a city council work on are the issues that affect Augustana students day in and day out.
The quality of our roads, the safety of our city, our ability to have better transportation, the vitality of our downtown to have events and activities—those are things that are important to all citizens, but especially for Augustana students.
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