The Associated Students of Madison’s Equity and Inclusion Committee gathered on Zoom for their first meeting of the year Wednesday to discuss confronting equity injustices at the University of Wisconsin.
In the virtual meeting, Committee Chair Brandon Springer led a discussion about initiatives that could be taken to address equity issues at UW.
The committee plans to achieve change at UW through grassroots campaigns, among other initiatives. Springer said the committee will work from the ground up, involving more and more students until they eventually push UW’s administration to make social change.
“The Equity and Inclusion Committee aims to expand inclusion for all identities in and around our campus community,” Springer said.
To create this change, Springer said the EIC relies on other committees and groups to assist in pushing for change. Springer said the EIC plans to work with groups such as the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, the Multicultural Student Center and International Student Services. The committee said they are open to other groups who would like to join in their efforts.
EIC members contributed ideas for future grassroots campaigns. The proposed campaign ideas varied, focusing on specific issues such as transparency with how tuition money is spent.
EIC plans to build off its accomplishments from last year, such as the inclusion of anti-bias training in Badgers Step Up! — a training initiative focused on leadership development and responsibility around alcohol.
The committee also discussed plans to expand its Gender Inclusive Housing Campaign — a project it has been working on for two years. EIC member Crystal Zhao clarified the need for the campaign.
“Students are mostly assigned housing at UW based on sex at time of birth, instead of preferred gender,” Zhao said.
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Moving forward, Zhao said it is important to ensure students are comfortable on campus. Assigning housing based on preferred gender and including gender-neutral facilities are ways EIC plans to accomplish this.
While no consensus was reached, EIC members will continue to discuss different initiatives to better support UW’s students.