Four years ago, around this exact time of year, me and eight other students, predominately of color, were elected into the 19th session of the Associated Students of Madison Student Council. We ran a progressive platform called the BOOP Slate that demanded:

1. Transparency between UW administration and the student body
2. Reform of the culturally insensitive allocation policies of our segregated fees (look into the defunding of student of color organizations)
3. An increase in student involvement (11.3 percent voter turnout)
4. An increase in administration accountability

Those in addition to many other issues. Due to a bogus technicality about canvasing, we were denied the ability to be sworn into our respective positions during the first meeting, where all leadership positions were both nominated and elected. The chair denied a motion to postpone these elections until the next meeting, intentionally barring elected students of color from both running and voting for leadership positions, a crucial moment that defined the direction of the work the 19th session would carry out that year.

‪#‎TheRealUW‬ is a student government that willfully denies students of color the ability to hold leadership positions in its council.

#TheRealUW is also the ability to win a majority of 16 seats occupied by students of all colors in the same space, four years later. (Shout out Blindside!)

The real UW is ugly, BUT FAM WE LIT, and we gon keep shining on ’em until they get it!

Devon Hamilton