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Higher Education is Not a Bargaining Chip: Stop Politicizing Our University

Posted: 2023-12-13 19:55:49   Expiration: 2033-12-21 19:55:49

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


13 December 2023

Kate O’Malley, Press Office Director


Higher Education is Not a Bargaining Chip: Stop Politicizing Our University 

MADISON, WI — Yesterday, the UW System Board of Regents announced for the second time in under a week they would assemble in a special virtual meeting to discuss the previously struck down proposal. In today’s meeting, the Board of Regents passed the proposal against the repeated calls from many students and advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) is disheartened and disappointed in the actions of the Board of Regents over the past week, as they do not accurately represent the many stakeholders of our University. We will continue to work to hold the Board of Regents, the UW System, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison accountable to their many statements about upholding diversity as a value. We call upon them to enshrine justice, equity, and belonging in the culture of our University.

The Board of Regents discussed committing to the sole tenet of their strategic plan related to DEI: “Enhance our focus on achieving a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for our students” and we will hold them to that commitment.

In the event that the Wisconsin State Legislature does not uphold their portion of the deal, we will demand the immediate revocation of this deal in its entirety and the legislative reinstatement of previously approved funding. We are appalled by the continued use of DEI in higher education as a political scapegoat instead of addressing the real issues students face at institutions of higher education, including rising costs of attendance, access to mental health services, and barriers to entry that begin in K-12 classrooms.

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

Additional Resources

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Email Template to Send to the Wisconsin State Legislators


My name is [YOUR NAME], a concerned citizen of the state of Wisconsin. I am reaching out to express my strong support for the Universities of Wisconsin and ask that you restore funding, approve pay raises, and approve the new UW Madison Engineering building. Investing in the Universities of Wisconsin is investing in the future of Wisconsin. Supporting our students, staff, and faculty is critical to the success of our economy and our state.

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] 




-- Associated Students of Madison: Kate O’Malley