News and Announcements

ASM Supports a Moral Restart

Posted: 2020-09-04 16:37:45   Expiration: 2050-09-21 03:37:45

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

ASM Supports a Moral Restart

MADISON, WI — As newly elected student leaders, we are disappointed with the University's leadership in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to publicly support the Teaching Assistant Association's (TAA) demand for a Moral Restart. Our positions on campus reopening are as follows:

Online Classes:
We support a move to fully online classes, with only rare exceptions when absolutely necessary. Online classes should be offered with equity and access as a top priority. Disability access services currently provided by McBurney Disability Resource Center must be expanded, with greater access to captioning and transcription services and other support necessary for online learning. Accommodations should be made so that all students (whether international or domestic) facing circumstances which might hinder them from accessing synchronous classes, can access all lectures and required course materials asynchronously without being punished by attendance policies. In addition, we support creating faculty rights to suspend students from attending the physical portion of “hybrid” classes if they fail to comply with CDC guidelines and the Madison Public Health guidelines regarding COVID-19 while in the classroom. Finally, we do not support honorlock because it creates many barriers for students that are not justifiable for use.

University employees should receive continued support for their safety and livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis. We support paid leave for all employees and improved policies surrounding caregiving and accommodation options. The University should provide continuity of employment and payment for all workers during the pandemic, without furlough, firing, or layoffs of university workers. The University should also include staff in decision as to whether or not they are required to work in-person or remotely.

Minimum wage:
We support a minimum wage of $15 per hour. We also call for employment and payment continuity for all University and student workers who are hourly, part-time, or salaried during the COVID-19 pandemic. The University should not shift the burden of the fiscal crisis onto low-income workers and vulnerable communities and therefore reinstate the $15 per hour promised wage for hourly workers and extend it to student workers.

Labor Unions:
University decision makers must meet with campus labor unions and lobby the State Joint Committee on Employee Relations to approve the trades workers’ contract.

Testing and Contact Tracing for all of Madison:
We support the continuance of free testing sites on campus. However, we also call that for attendance at any campus sponsored in-person activities or events, there must be a negative test on file that was taken within the past week.

Campus Housing:
We support lowering residence hall capacity, with priority given to those students who lack alternative safe housing or access to the internet for online classes. Having dorms at around 90% capacity is unsustainable and unsafe to university students and housing workers. With the reduction of residence hall capacity, it is vital to decrease the risk for potential spread of COVID-19 as students leave campus. We support quarantine periods for any students who have tested positive, come into contact with an individual who has tested positive, or might otherwise be at risk of spreading COVID-19 in their local communities. We also support refunds being provided in all cases where students must leave campus or secure special accommodations for housing.

Encouraging Students to Take Health Seriously:
We are aware that student voices were not included when making decisions about the Smart Restart Plan and we demand that students be involved with the decision making process moving forward, with priority given to students living in University Housing. We support administrators being more upfront by providing direct information on what consequences for non-compliance look like. We also encourage administrators to include students in the conversations pertaining to what those consequences are. We urge students to follow both the CDC guidelines and the Madison Public Health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and encourage them to take advantage of the mental and physical health resources that are available to them through University Health Services (UHS). 

In support of a safe and moral restart for students, workers, and the Madison community,

Matthew Mitnick    
Chair, ASM

Aerin Leigh Lammers  
Vice Chair, ASM

Katie McGlasson    
Shared Governance Chair, ASM    

Jacob Broehm
Press Office Director, ASM

Kevin Jacobson    
Shared Governance Campaign Director, ASM 

Brandon Springer
Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair, ASM

Lennox Owino    
Nominations Board Chair, ASM

Crystal Zhao
Diverse Engagement Coordinator, ASM

Emma Cline
Outreach Director, ASM

-- Associated Students of Madison: Jacob Broehm