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Social media campaign asks La Crosse students not to gather during Oktoberfest weekend

Kaitlyn Riley

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Heading into what would traditionally be Oktoberfest weekend in La Crosse, nine community organizations teamed up to develop social media messages to encourage students not to gather.

Tommy Krob of Viterbo University gave a plea to his fellow students to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Did you know there are going to be just as many police officers patrolling La Crosse this weekend as any other Oktoberfest weekend?” Krob asked. “Please, keep you and the people around you safe from legal and medical trouble. Be responsible. Stay home this weekend.”

Partners for the social media campaign included the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, Western Technical College, Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions, Benson Management, La Crosse Police Department, La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health System, and Gundersen Health System. 

“Rates are skyrocketing here in La Crosse, and it is really that 20-29-year-old population,” Dr. Joseph Poterucha with Mayo Clinic Health System said in the video. “We have to do something about this. Things are going to get shut down, businesses, school. We’re looking at possibly you going back home. These are things you don’t want in your life. This is not the college experience that you’ve been looking at.”

The effort included creating Instagram videos and a graphic that can be used on any social media platform by all partnering agencies. They also wrote a letter to students addressing the best health and safety practices.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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