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UW-Madison Students Of Color Form Coalition To Fight For Equity For Marginalized Students

Coalition Statement Says Effort Was Launched After University Released Homecoming Video Featuring Only White Students

Bascom Hall, UW-Madison
Tom Fassbender (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A group of students of color at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created the Student Inclusion Coalition with a goal of fighting for “equity, inclusion and cultural humility across campus.”

A statement from the group said the effort was launched after a UW-Madison homecoming video didn’t feature any non-white students.

A coalition member said the group would give administrators a list of demands on Thursday and wouldn’t conduct interviews until after a protest at Madison’s Bascom Hall just before noon on Friday.

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But, a written statement said the issue isn’t just about the fall homecoming video from the campus. “Rather, this is about 171 years of exclusion, erasure and blatant disrespect toward marginalized communities and people of color at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” the statement read.

A video produced by the Student Inclusion Coalition, posted to Twitter on Tuesday, featured a number of unnamed students of color talking about their experiences at UW-Madison.

“I’m here to pursue my education not to educate others,” one student said in the video. “One semester of an ethnic studies course cannot summarize our lifelong experiences as people of color.”

Another student said the university needs to be better about helping students of color in the classroom.

“UW needs to commit to funding retention programs that support students of color across all majors,” they said.

A spokeswoman for UW-Madison said administrators weren’t doing any interviews on the Student Inclusion Coalition or its video on Thursday, but that a campus statement would be forthcoming.

Patrick Sims, UW-Madison deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, tweeted that he wants the campus to “become a better place for all students — especially students of color.”