News and Announcements

ASM’s Call to Action on Pending Board of Regents Deal

Posted: 2023-12-08 22:59:46   Expiration: 2033-12-18 22:59:46

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


8 December 2023

Kate O’Malley, Press Office Director


ASM’s Call to Action on Pending Board of Regents Deal

MADISON, WI — Today, the UW System Board of Regents announced they will assemble tomorrow in a special virtual meeting to discuss a potential agreement with the State Legislature on diversity, equity, and inclusion and other funding matters. 

For months, the Wisconsin State Legislature has blocked pre-approved developments for UW-Madison, such as regularly scheduled pay raises and the construction of a new engineering building because of the UW System's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Investment in our staff and faculty, as well as the physical infrastructure that creates our wonderful 987-acre campus, is vital, but to propose that the well-being of marginalized students is the necessary cost for achieving these goals is a gross misuse of legislative authority.

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) stands in solidarity with our marginalized students in vehement opposition to the deal struck between the Board of Regents and the Wisconsin State Legislature. This deal tarnishes the student experience across Wisconsin campuses in its entirety, pushing important conversations out of our classrooms, residence halls, and student spaces. It disparages the prospect of belonging at our University for those of us who come from historically underrepresented communities. 

Students served by diversity, equity, and inclusion offices here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are often ignored. These populations include our 6,174 first-generation college students, our 5,267 Pell Grant recipients, and our 4,937 underrepresented students of color among our undergraduate cohort. They are our student veterans, our students who are parents, our queer and trans students, our non-traditional and returning students, our commuter students, and our white students. It is insulting to see the Board of Regents and the Wisconsin State Legislature reduce the concept of “identity” to exclude the diverse tapestry of students from across the state, nation, and world. 

Our students are once again told they are not a priority of this institution, and we challenge University administration to continue building systems of belonging, support, and empowerment for these students. If the UW-System desires success in its mission of cultivating a culture that extends beyond this University’s borders, the “Wisconsin Idea,” then it must support all of its students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds.

Students were informed of this agreement on the eighth of December, only one week before our final exams and less than twenty-four hours before the vote. Chancellor Mnookin’s statement describes a “lengthy and difficult process that has played out publicly and privately over the past six months.” It is egregious that this vote is occurring at the busiest point in the semester, inhibiting students from making their voices heard.

Across the UW System, students have been told protecting free speech is paramount. However, the vast majority of students have been given no chance to share input on this agreement. With that said, we can still attempt and strive to make our voices heard.

We encourage students to reach out to the Board of Regents with comments and concerns. The general contact email to reach all of the UW System Regents can be found here: Included below is a suggested template for contacting the Board of Regents.

We also encourage students to attend the Board of Regents meeting tomorrow, Saturday, December 9th, at 10:10am CT. The meeting will be virtual over Zoom, and the link for the meeting can be found here:

This issue began with the Legislature withholding pay for all UW System employees, cutting UW System funding, and failing to approve funding for the engineering building. As such, we also encourage students to contact their state legislators and demand they fund our Universities. Students can find their legislator’s contact information here:

Additional Resources

Let’s Talk

Open Reflection Spaces Map

Dean of Students Office: 

General Student Support Resources: 

Email Template to Send to the Board of Regents-

Dear Board of Regents,

My name is [YOUR NAME], a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am reaching out to express my strong support for the vital DEI programs that exist at the Universities of Wisconsin and to ask you all to reject the proposed resolution coming for a vote tomorrow morning. This agreement attempts to trade the safety and well-being of students for economic incentives, which is an unacceptable action on the part of a governing body that claims to care for its students.

The DEI initiatives that are in place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have enhanced student experience, furthered the Wisconsin Idea, and cultivated a culture of inclusivity for all campus community members.

[Your experience if you would like to share, DELETE OTHERWISE] 

I implore you to use your vote to stand up for the students you represent and oppose this resolution. Our futures are in your hands.




-- Associated Students of Madison: Kate O’Malley