of Wisconsin’s student government members will move forward on drafting priorities to be included in the university’s next campus diversity plan, one that could include updates to the ethnic studies requirement.
This diversity plan will differ from the previous plans by focusing more on campus climate and dialogue and being able to understand all the different members of the UW community, Rep. Justin Bloesch said. The previous plans focused on increasing under-represented and low-income students’ representation on campus, he said.
Last year, the Ad Hoc Diversity Committee was created with students, faculty,
staff, ex officio members and community members to begin drafting a diversity plan to establish new policies and procedures to increase diversity on campus. The Associated Students of Madison supported the campaign to create the new plan.
ASM Vice Chair Mia Akers said the diversity plan is intended to
reach out to every student in some way, shape or form.
“The diversity plan will affect every student on campus and
every student benefits from a functioning diversity plan,” Akers said.
ASM will start by creating a list of priorities to include in the plan, Akers
said. ASM will also engage in targeted outreach with student organizations and
help conduct listening sessions to see what the most important issues are to
students, she said.
Currently, many multicultural student organizations are not
involved with ASM and the Diversity Committee will look to reform those
relationships, Jessica Behling, ASM Diversity Committee chair, said.
The committee will work on issues such as changing the ethnic studies requirement, addressing the social environment and
accessibility, Akers said. The Diversity Committee will work with the Ad Hoc
Diversity Planning Committee to ensure that all goals are attainable and will
be implemented throughout campus, she said.
Student Council also heard from Wisconsin Union Directorate
President Neil Damron and Memorial Union Reinvestment Student Project Manager
Katie Cary for a status update on ongoing construction projects at the union.
The redesign of the union is crucial because the building was
not handicap accessible and had a number of mechanical issues such as not
having sprinklers and plumbing issues, Cary said.
The reinvestment will maintain the stairs and grand entrance to the union,
Cary said. MUR is also looking to create a better personal dining experience
for students and members by adding different kinds of restaurants and a
two-story coffee house, she said.
Another goal of the project is to create more space for student organizations, Cary said, adding Hoofers Council already has some
The timeline of phase one for MUR is currently wrapping up and it will
be completed in Summer 2014, she said, with phase two beginning immediately.
The entire reconstruction should be completed by 2016, she said.
No estimate currently exists on the amount of funding that
will be required to complete the reinvestment project, Cary said.