News and Announcements

Letter of Endorsement for an Increase in Ethnic Studies Requirements

Posted: 2021-03-04 15:40:46   Expiration: 2050-03-12 04:40:46

ASM Logo  Associated Students of Madison
  333 East Campus Mall, 4301 Student Activity Center, Madison, WI
  Website:   Phone: 608/265-4ASM   

Letter of Endorsement for an Increase in Ethnic Studies Requirements

MADISON, WI — During the academic year 2019-2020, 18% of the 31,000 University of Wisconsin-Madison enrolled undergraduate students identified as “minority” including Black, Indigenous, Students of Color1, emphasizing the need to create a more inclusive campus environment. Furthermore, over the last year, there has been an increase of hate and bias incidents, the majority consisting of microaggressions regarding race/ethnicity2. UW-Madison is responsible for providing students with the knowledge to become more understanding and empathetic individuals. Increasing the Ethnic Studies Requirement is a way to combat current systemic racism and encourage a dialogue around its history.

With an increase from three to six credits for the Ethnic Studies Requirement, UW-Madison has the opportunity to produce a graduating class with greater cultural awareness and a more holistic understanding of the current racial climate. The Ethnic Studies Requirement was originally established to “better prepare students for life and careers in an increasingly multicultural U.S. environment, add breadth and depth to the University curriculum, and improve the campus climate"3. Six credits will not only promote deeper engagement with Ethnic Studies classes, but also create a more supportive and welcoming environment for students and faculty of color.

In light of new efforts to dismantle racism, the Ethnic Studies Review Committee of 2016-2017 recommended the increase of the Undergraduate Ethnic Studies Requirement from three to six units, including at least one upper-division course. The Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA) also encourages the increase, providing support and participation from TAs on campus.

With the increase of campus bias incidents and the national conversation regarding anti-racist systemic changes, the Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) and the TAA officially endorse the effort to increase the Ethnic Studies Requirement from three to six credits. ASM also encourages academic programs to collaborate with Ethnic Studies Departments to create courses that can be cross-listed to fulfill multiple requirements and make the curriculum more accessible to students in various disciplines upon adoption of the Ethnic Studies Requirement increase.





The following Registered Student Organizations and Community Partners have also endorsed this initiative:

Alpha Kappa Psi Alpha Mu Chapter 

ACLU UW-Madison

Amnesty International

Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association 

Badger Support Network

Bell Magazine

College Dems of UW-Madison 

Diverse Occupational Therapist

Filipinx-American Student Organization 

Indonesian Student Association

Lao and Cambodian Student Association 

Moda Magazine

Multicultural Greek Council

Open House Gender and Sexuality Learning Community 

Partners in Health

Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity Pride in Healthcare 


Tibetan Student Association of Madison

Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. Kappa Gamma Chapter 

Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers

Student Alliance of Reproductive Justice 

UW-Madison BIPOC Coalition 

Vietnamese Student Association

Wunk Sheek

-- Associated Students of Madison: Jacob Broehm