The morning after University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank denounced Associated Students of Madison’s vote of approval on a contentious divestment proposal, the body has called for her resignation.
After the unanimous vote to approve the proposal, UW released a statement highlighting the chancellor’s opposition to the “concept of BDS.”
The approved resolution highlights divesting from banks and private prisons that profit off of minority oppression and rebuke corporations that engage in resource extraction from indigenous lands without consent, harming indigenous people’s way of life, divesting from fossil corporations, border walls and arms manufacturers.
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In response, members of ASM along with various student organizations called for Blank’s resignation.
In an email to The Badger Herald, UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said Blank will not step down.
In a statement, ASM said the university “does not deserve” its students of color.
“Our faces are welcomed on pamphlets, yet our voices are silenced,” the statement said. “While we are constantly tokenized to benefit this university, the chancellor refuses to acknowledge our genuine concerns regarding involvement in the oppression in our communities.”
The statement reiterated how the divestment proposal is not BDS and that University Communications failed to recognize all Jewish voices, choosing to listen to only part of the community.
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Members of ASM and the various student organizations also pointed to how other “highly-esteemed” institutions such as Columbia University and colleges within the University of California system have passed similar legislation
“The university says that it is ‘driven by its obligation to maximize the impact of a donor’s gift on the intended program in the university,’” the ASM statement said. “In other words, the administration values profit over people.”
Ignoring the connection between maximizing profits and the oppression of students of color is active racism, the statement went on to say.
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The letter culminated with members of ASM accusing Blank of protecting racially insensitive incidents with the response of “freedom of speech.”
Some of the incidents mentioned included the arrest of a black student last spring, the Camp Randall noose incident and the attempt to bring the “alt-right” movement to campus.