Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) are referred to as such because they’re mostly just that and the gap between them and most diverse schools is quite considerable. To address this disparity in racial representation, Black students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made demands of their University. They are not playing games.
According to The Associated Press, the Associated Students of Madison sent university officials a resolution demanding that Black students receive free tuition in response to the negative effects slavery and a history of racism has had on Black students’ attempts to achieve a higher education.
“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, who wrote the resolution, said in a statement. “If no one challenges the university’s empty promises, then the racial composition will remain stagnant.”
Free tuition and housing, admittance of former inmates and using 10 percent of the university’s donations to support financial aid efforts were among the list of demands made by ASM. It’s argued that doing so could save Black students up to $20,000 a year.
University spokeswoman Meredith McGlone informed the AP that 11 to 15 percent of Wisconsin-Madison’s student population consists of students of color, but only two percent are Black. She did acknowledge that work needs to be done on campus, but doesn’t know if ASM’s current strategy is the best approach.
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