University of Wisconsin students protested on Bascom Friday to support the Student Inclusion Coalition of UW’s five demands for treatment of marginalized students on campus.
— The Badger Herald (@BadgerHerald) October 25, 2019
Students created SIC in response to a widely criticized and now-deleted video by the Student Homecoming Committee. SIC’s mission, according to a statement they released, is to fight for equity and inclusion for all and address the systemic marginalization of students of color across campus.
UW Student Inclusion Coalition releases ‘Home is Where WI Aren’t’ videoThe newly-formed University of Wisconsin Student Inclusion Coalition released a video entitled “Home is Where WI Aren’t” Tuesday night. The Read…
SIC’s five demands include: publicly recognizing the sacrifice of past student activists of color, recognizing and funding multicultural student organizations, improving support systems for marginalized students on campus, responding to acts of oppression and restructuring the homecoming committee to share funds with the Multicultural Homecoming Committee. The full list of their demands is available on their Instagram.
Protestors wore all black and posted signs with their demands at the bottom of Bascom Hill. They marched up and down Bascom before gathering at the top.
SIC member and UW junior Israel Oby addressed the crowd.
“If we can all come together, we can really make something happen,” Oby said. “But it’s going to take everybody.”
Students chanted “We are sick of UW” while marching, a reference to SIC’s hashtag #WeareSICofUW.
SIC member and junior Kingsley-Reigne Pissang told protestors to reach out to their professors and administrators and voice their concerns in order to help fulfill their demands.
“We have a lot of allies on this campus, even though it may not feel like it,” Pissang said. “There are a lot of resources on this campus that we may or may not know about.”
Dean of students Christina Olstad attended the protest, and Pissang told students Olstad wants to help them fulfill their five demands. Pissang encouraged protestors to come to Olstad’s office hours, posted on her website, to check in and offer feedback.
In a statement to The Badger Herald, Vice Chancellor Lori Reesor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Patrick Sims acknowledged SIC’s requests, and said they planned to review them. They also said they’re aware “UW may fall short” on their commitment to support all students.
“We appreciate and value the efforts and passion of the members of the Student Inclusion Coalition (SIC), including their videos, organizing and today’s action on Bascom Hill,” the statement read. “Moving forward, we will continue to partner and collaborate with SIC and students, faculty and staff across campus to make UW a better community for all.”
SIC members thanked protestors — including faculty and administration — for coming, but urged students to continue fighting for the demands.
Oby told protestors to take the fight beyond the protest until UW met their demands.
“We need everybody to keep pushing, and keep trying to improve this campus,” Oby said. “This protest is not enough. We need to keep applying pressure until our demands are met.”
Updated at 4:06 p.m.
In a statement to The Badger Herald UWPD Lt. Ryan Jesberger wrote that UWPD was present at the protest in partnership with the Division of Student Life and other involved stakeholders.
Jesberger wrote that he was glad no police action was necessary at the protest and he thanked the UW community for a safe and open discussion.
“The protest was peaceful, engaging, and well-organized,” Jesberger wrote.