Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Mecha de UW-Madison moves to Red Gym due to construction

New Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall building disrupts area
Abigail Leavins

The Mecha de UW-Madison house at 206 Bernard Court has been shut down due to construction in the area. The organization is being relocated to 207 Red Gym for the time being, according to the University of Wisconsin Student Affairs website.

On campus, the organization promotes higher education, community engagement, political participation, culture and history, with a specific focus on self-determination and education through art and workshops.

Construction for the Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall will take place on the block where the Mecha house sits.


As part of the construction process, which is expected to be completed in 2026, the Susan B. Davis Residence Hall and the former Zoe Bayliss Student Housing Co-Op building are being torn down. This construction is part of UW’s Campus Master Plan, which was implemented by former Chancellor Rebecca M. Blank.

The relocation of Mecha has been “rumored” for at least a year, but official information that the organization would be moved was communicated during the Spring 2023 semester, a Mecha Board member said.

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The Mecha Board member has met with various members of the UW administration, such as Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning & Management Cindy Torstveit and Chief of Staff for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Argyle Wade, to advocate for the group and their house since they joined Mecha in October of 2022.

Also proposed in the 2015 Campus Master Plan is a parking structure that would be located on the block that the Mecha house currently resides on, but the parking structure is currently in the very beginning stages of planning, according to the Mecha Board member.

Each instance when the timeline for Levy Hall or the parking structure was pushed back, Mecha has been forced out of their house, leaving members feeling they have been pushed to the side, the Mecha Board member said.

“We’re consistently an afterthought,” the Mecha Board member said. “Only does someone think of us when we rally and speak up to the majority white administration to heed our demands.”

The house is more than just a building to the organization, but a place where people can gather together in an intimate setting meant for them, the Mecha Board member said.

“We laugh there, we cry there, we grow there, we have so many of our first experiences there,” the Mecha Board member said.

The house is also a safe space for other student organizations. In recent weeks, Mecha has worked closely with the UW-Madison chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, offering space for students to grieve and share experiences amid ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.

Members of Mecha have turned the house into a home, making it a space that shows their culture and creates community on the UW campus, according to the Mecha Board member. Art is an important part of the organization — something they translate into their house.

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“There truly is no other space like this on campus,” the Mecha Board member said. “We paint on the walls, with the consent of other members … A lot of these newer, modern buildings are really nice, but there’s nothing quite like the feel of a home that’s old and frankly painted a ton of different colors.”

The Mecha Board member encourages students if they’re interested in fighting for spaces like these that are so important, reach out and get connected.

Student Affairs plans to bring an external consultant to campus, Nov. 27-29, to conduct more than 40 listening sessions with students related to student centers, programming and belonging. Two of these schedules sessions will be related to Mecha, Communications Director at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jenny Bernhardt said in an email statement to The Badger Herald.

The Red Gym, where Mecha de UW-Madison will be located for the forseeable future, serves as the home for several groups on campus, including the Morgridge Center for Public Service, Multicultural Student Center, International Student Services and LGBT Campus Center, among others, according to their website.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to remove the name of a Mecha Board member due to safety concerns.

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