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Student Council Passes Endorsements for Governor's Proposed Budget, Increasing Ethnic Studies & COVID-19 Vaccinations

Posted: 2021-03-11 20:05:10   Expiration: 2050-03-19 04:05:10

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Student Council Passes Endorsements for Governor's Proposed Budget, Increasing Ethnic Studies & COVID-19 Vaccinations 

MADISON, WI — On Tuesday night, the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Student Council passed endorsements for Governor Evers’ 2021-2023 University of Wisconsin System Budget, an increase in ethnic studies requirements, and Covid-19 vaccinations for UW students, staff, faculty, and administration.

With the endorsement of Governor Evers’ 2021-2023 University of Wisconsin System Budget, ASM voices its support for the budget and recommends the Joint Committee on Finance and the Wisconsin State Legislature refrain from amending the 2021-2023 Executive Budget for the UW System outlined in Senate Bill 111. It is essential to include student input into the funding decisions for Wisconsin’s public university system and we are pleased to see the governor’s prioritization of the UW system.

Representative Pankratz, the primary sponsor of this endorsement, had this to say: “I’m excited to send this endorsement to the Joint Committee on Finance and other state legislature leaders. I believe it is critical for students to provide input on how our colleges and universities are being funded, and I am pleased that Governor Evers has shown the value of the UW System through his budget.”

ASM also endorsed an increase in the amount of ethnic studies credits required for graduation from three to six credits starting with the class of 2026. With this, ASM encourages academic departments to collaborate with Ethnic Studies Departments to create individualized ethnic studies courses that can be incorporated into the existing curriculum. ASM also urges Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) and academic advisors to compile a list of Ethnic Studies classes that cross-list with other General Education requirements to ensure that students can graduate on time.

Diverse Engagement Coordinator Zhao, who has been working on this campaign for over a year, expressed enthusiasm: “We have worked on the increase of ethnic studies requirements for the past two years because we believe that it is a necessary step to create a more educated student body who is aware of the current racial climate. It provides historical context the tools for students to be active change-makers against bias on campus. We’ll continue to work with students and different academic programs to implement the increase and make it accessible to students who have concerns about their rigid curriculum.”

Outreach Director Cline shared her excitement, stating: “I am immensely proud of the work from our team, especially seeing that coordinator Zhao has been pushing for this since her internship. Increasing the Ethnic Studies Requirement is severely overdue at our predominantly white institution. It was extremely exciting and heartwarming to hear support from so many student organizations, advocates at Open Forum, and more, and I hope we can keep this energy up going forward!”

Lastly, ASM also endorsed the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines to immunize UW students, staff, faculty, and administration against Covid-19. ASM commends the work of the many people that contributed to the development and distributions of these vaccines. ASM encourages students to receive one of the above-named FDA-issued EUA or future FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are presented the opportunity by University Health Services or another healthcare provider. Despite the ongoing vaccination of the community, ASM encourages students to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing, even after vaccination, per university recommendations.

ASM instructs the university to continue providing educational materials on the COVID-19 vaccines to allow students to make the best health decisions for themselves including notices of availability and the risks and limitations of these vaccines.

Here are some words from Representative Unterberger, the primary sponsor for this piece of legislation: “The incredible work that has been put into the development and distribution of the multiple safe and effective vaccines aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 is highly commendable. The ASM Student Council and the highly trained scientists and student groups that co-sponsored this legislation recognize that work by endorsing these and future

FDA-authorized vaccines. I hope all students, faculty, staff, and administration at UW see this endorsement as proof that their fellow Badgers support the use of these safe and effective vaccines. It is up to us to step up when our names are called. I hope this legislation curbs any skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines in the broader campus community.”

The next Student Council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via a Zoom meeting.


-- Associated Students of Madison: Jacob Broehm