Common Ground with… William Allen

Common Ground with… William Allen

William Allen, 23, is a senior at UW–Madison majoring in environmental studies and history with a certificate in business. Passionate about outdoor activities, Allen found a perfect professional fit at Fontana Sports, Madison’s long-standing outdoor lifestyle shop, where he combines work with his love for nature and promoting outdoor recreation.

Outside of academics and work, William enjoys staying active by hiking, running, and exploring Madison’s many lakes — a lifestyle that beautifully complements his academic pursuits and professional endeavors.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our community faces?

It’s very hard to find housing as a student. And in Madison, I think that is a challenge that a lot of people face, especially in the last couple of years. One of the reasons for that is because Wisconsin has become such a popular school. I can see why people like going to school here, I like going to school here.

What do you wish people in our community understood better?

In general, just lending a helping hand. That is always a good idea. If you see somebody that could use it, whether it is a friend or somebody you haven’t met yet. It could be just little things, such as holding the door for someone, for example.

What is one change you would make if you could that would make life better for people in our community?

There are a lot of things that we could do. One thing I would change I think is that people would just get along better. There are a lot of people who like to be divided and argue for small things. That’s one thing I like about Madison: There’s a good community feel in the city. So, the change I would make would be kind of fostering those kinds of community connections. There’s something that I think would help everyone.

What in our community gives you hope?

I’d say that a good thing that gives me hope here is that people like to work hard. People like to believe in themselves, and they believe in teamwork, especially in Madison. That’s what I’ve seen, especially at the university. A lot of people like to work hard and are doing cool things, whether it’s academically or as extracurricular activities, to make our community a better place.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

William Allen. Photo by Mafe Pavenello.
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