A University of Wisconsin house fellow was placed on paid administrative leave after several students complained about comments they made regarding the race of student visitors.
House fellow for the Multicultural Learning Community in Witte residence hall and UW junior Chuefeng Yang said they told students to limit the number of white visitors to the MLC in an effort to protect the intentionality of the space, according to an NBC15 article.
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According to its website, the MLC aims to create a safe space where a diverse group of students can support each other and learn from one another.
In an email to The Badger Herald, UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone wrote that after a recent floor meeting where residents were told to limit who they invited based on race, several residents filed complaints.
McGlone also wrote that while UW encourages students to have challenging discussions centering around the experiences of underrepresented students, no form of identity or personal background such as race can be used to determine who residents can invite as visitors.
“Discrimination is counter to our values as an institution,” McGlone wrote. “In addition, federal and state law prohibit the university from discriminating in its programs and services based on race.”
Yang was asked to meet with UW housing officials Tuesday morning. Yang was then placed on leave, according to NBC15.
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NBC15 reported that Yang said the way UW is handling this incident reveals a larger problem at the university.
“For so long, students of color on this campus have been begging and complaining and emailing and rioting and protesting for their needs to be met and yet for some reason, when five to six white students complain, all of a sudden it results in a person of color being removed from a space,” Yang said to NBC15.
UW’s investigation has confirmed student complaints and the university is currently working on the appropriate responses, McGlone wrote.