UW Drinking Culture Affects Students Of Color Differently, Megyn Kelly Emerges As An Improbable Feminist Icon, Presidential Candidates Visit Wisconsin States A Week Before Election

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

The University of Wisconsin system’s drinking culture is well-documented, but one might not always consider the unique impact it might have on students of color. We find out more. We also look at the improbable rise of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly to feminism icon. Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump are both visiting the state today, just a week out from the election — we find out what kind of impact this will have on the race.

Featured in this Show

  • Study: Students Of Color Negatively Impacted UW-Madison Drinking Culture

    A new study found that students of color at UW-Madison — whether they drink or not — are negatively impacted by the campus’s drinking culture. We talk to one of the researchers about the various social and academic affects of the culture at the UW’s flagship campus.

  • Survey: UW-Madison Drinking Culture Has Negative Impact On Students Of Color

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s drinking culture is no secret. Earlier this year, the Princeton Review named UW-Madison the No. 1 party school in America.

    While excessive drinking can have an impact on all students, it can have a greater impact on students of color, according to a recently released survey called The Color of Drinking.

    One of the study’s authors, Reonda Washington, said the demand for this research came from students who were looking for data about how alcohol culture impacts student of color.

    “I started looking at research and nothing was there,” said Washington, the alcohol and drug prevention coordinator for University Health Services.

    After engaging in some focus groups, Washington and her team put together the survey and sent it out to 4,500 undergraduate students of color. About 500 of those students responded.

    Washington said 90 percent of survey respondents described UW-Madison’s drinking culture as negative. While the reasons for that vary, Washington said a feeling of exclusion was a common theme.

    “One (message) that kept coming up a lot was ‘drink or get out,’” Washington said. “‘Participate in our drinking culture or get out.’”

    What makes it extra difficult for these students is that they’re less likely to drink in the first place, Washington said.

    “Our students of color on our campus have the highest rate of nondrinking,” Washington said. “Sixty-six percent of our nondrinkers are students of color, as compared to the 33 percent of our white students (who) are nondrinkers.”

    In addition, Washington noted 65 percent of respondents said the university’s drinking culture impacted their overall experience at the university, including acedemics, self-esteem and safety. And 48 percent of respondents reported experiencing a “microaggression” from someone who was intoxicated.

    “One student said that … he was treated like less of a man and he was scrutinized more because he was now being characterized as a minority of a minority because he didn’t participate,” Washington said.

    Students of color also report avoiding certain areas of campus because of the potential for harassment from intoxicated individuals. The two highest cited areas were Langdon Street, home to many of UW-Madison’s fraternities and sororities, and State Street, the main bar drag near campus.

    Washington also suggested students of color may be avoiding major campus events, like last weekend’s Freakfest celebration, which takes place on State Street.

    “I had heard anecdotally from some of our students of color that they were just planning on avoiding that area in general, so that they didn’t put themselves in a situation where they could be harassed,” she said.

    For now, Washington said there’s much more research to be done. She said she plans on conducting the Color of Drinking survey again in the spring, this time including white students, to get a broader view of drinking on campus.

    The survey also lays out some strategies to try and help students of color, including supporting nondrinkers by providing more spaces and alcohol-free events and activities.

  • Megyn Kelly: Feminist Icon?

    Following several high profile clashes with pundits during the 2016 election cycle, some are calling Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly a feminist icon. We talk to a journalist about the unique context that gave rise to this phenomenon.

  • How Candidate Visits To Swing States Will Affect The Race

    Today– as Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine come to Wisconsin just a week out from the election– we find out how candidate visits to swing states will impact the race.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • Aarushi Agni Producer
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Reonda Washington Guest
  • Emily Jane Fox Guest
  • Mike Wagner Guest

Related Stories