On Wednesday, the student government at the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated that black students should no longer be required to pay for tuition and housing at the school. The reasoning for this stems from how African Americans were barred from receiving education while slavery existed.
The group argued that students from suburban high schools were overrepresented, and this was largely because ACT and SAT scores are a key factor for admission at the university. They stated the continued usage of standardized tests such as these upholds “white supremacy,” as black students tend to perform worse than white students on these tests.
In recent times, the university has taken numerous actions to help increase diversity, in the name of improving race relations. However, this has not been enough, according to some of the student government representatives.
ASM student representative Tyriek Mack stated,
“If no one challenges the university’s empty promises, then the racial composition will remain stagnant.”
The resolution, which passed, calls for no tuition, fees, or housing expenses for black students. This amounts to a savings of about $20,000 each year for in state students. In addition to this, the resolution also asks for 10% of all received donations of the university to be used for similar programs to increase diversity.
As it stands, black students only make up about 2% of all students on campus. Yet, the total amount of “students of color” is about 15%, which does represent a significant increase over the past decade.
In recent times, the university has been attempting to initiate different programs to foster more diversity on campus. But, this resolution is very unlikely to be put into effect, as it is simply a non binding student government resolution which was passed. It certainly can be expected though that administrators at the Madison campus will continue to look for ways to further improve diversity.
What do you think about this program? Is this an effective way to improve diversity? Or should other programs be undertaken by university officials? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!