Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aren’t fond of the United States’ troubling history of legally barring black people from pursuing a formal education. Though more than a century removed from slavery, the Associated Students of Madison believes that their institution continues to restrict opportunities for black students.
Pointing to the overrepresentation of suburban high school graduates, ACT and SAT standards and contentious race relations on campus, the student government is now demanding free tuition, housing and fees for all black students, who only make up two percent of Madison enrollment. The plan also calls the administration to put aside 10 percent of donations as a means to bolster financial aid, the Associated Press reports.
The university has made aims, such as proposing a black cultural center on campus, in the effort to address its ongoing diversity problem. However, in the eyes of many students, there’s more work to be done. “The university’s rhetoric suggests that it is committed to diversity and inclusion, so this legislation compels the university to move towards action – which is imperative,” ASM Student Council Rep. Tyriek Mack said in a statement. “If no one challenges the university’s empty promises, then the racial composition will remain stagnant.”
According to the AP, the university “supports the spirit of the resolution,” but has not moved to abide by them. Read more here.