Associated Students of Madison Rep. Katrina Morrison has proven her commitment to bringing student voices not only to Student Council, but to university administration. She has worked tirelessly, against all odds, alongside University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Dean of Students Lori Berquam to ensure administrative leadership cannot continue to ignore our demands, and is our best candidate for ASM chair.

Since December 2016, Morrison has served on the Board of Regents task force on campus climate, working hard to seek out input from students. Her working relationship with administrators and Regents proves she has the dedication and will to showcase our concerns to the most powerful and influential leaders of the UW System.

In a letter to the editor published last Friday, the author spoke of the need to host a competitive election for ASM chair, citing Wednesday’s divestment legislation as a primary argument against Morrison. In response to this, it should be noted Morrison did not originally support the March 29 divestment resolution. As a responsible chair would do, however, she pursued the voices of those who continued calling for divestment and sought to understand the legislation and the needs of these students.

Katrina Morrison is the best candidate to lead UW students as ASM ChairThe chair of the Associated Students of Madison is a powerful position tasked with representing the student body to the University Read…

The letter further asserts divestment will hurt the 5,000 Jewish students on campus. The legislation, seen here, calls for university divestment from private prisons, border walls, fossil fuels, arms manufacturers and banks that finance these industries. The only section that mentions Israel is the one regarding arms manufacturers. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid and, combined with the second-largest recipient, Egypt, accounts for 75 percent of all U.S. military aid. Importantly, Egypt was also named in the resolution. Students on this campus believe human rights must be discussed in many different international settings.

We have worked alongside Morrison and watched her grow into an inspiring and charismatic leader. Morrison has achieved a great deal during her session in ASM. She has unceasingly advocated for the expansion of Our Wisconsin, an inclusion initiative for first-year students, to improve our campus climate and create a healthier academic environment for all. Our Wisconsin proves to all of us her innovative determination leads to concrete reforms in our violent campus climate.

She has also led the effort to spearhead a pilot program calling on the university to make menstrual products easily accessible in buildings across campus. These initiatives flourished because of Morrison’s dedication to her constituents and improving student life on campus.

ASM demands Chancellor Blank step down following approval of divestment resolutionThe morning after University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank denounced Associated Students of Madison’s vote of approval on a contentious Read…

In regard to this new motivation to call for a competitive race, it is clear this is not the spirit of the push for open elections. It is true Morrison has been a vocal supporter of the divestment resolution, which, though controversial, seeks to create a more inclusive campus environment. She stands for what is right, and shows real courage and leadership when faced with pressure and disrespect from the administration.

This is what we need from the chair of ASM, one of the principal institutions of shared governance on campus and the voice of students: someone who has a clear and powerful voice and is willing to use it to advocate for students on this campus.

We are in support of Morrison’s spirit and pursuit to create a campus that is accountable and inclusive to all students by embracing the controversy and being prepared and willing to take a stand when a stand is needed.

We urge those in ASM to also realize the intent of this push against Morrison. Despite the nearly unanimous support of the divestment legislation, this slander against Morrison is, plain and simple, a push to demonize her and diminish her institutional advancement, silencing the voices of those who must be heard. For those who will be voting members, we urge you to consider Morrison’s contributions to this university holistically, and whether her support for a bill that was nearly passed unanimously should be grounds for nullifying the virtue of her work at UW.

ASM unanimously approves contentious divestment proposal to mixed reactions from campusAfter five hours of debate and nearly 50 people appearing before open forum, the University of Wisconsin Associated Students of Read…

Morrison’s loving and kind presence commands attention and has earned the respect of so many figures on this campus, both students and administrators. In these spaces, she does not simply endure and survive, but thrives and prevails. Under petty scrutiny, she has unflinchingly championed legislation and programs to better the lives of students forgotten on this campus.

Morrison defies norms and expectations. She is strong and resilient. Her passion is radical; her leadership can and will be revolutionary.

To those who refuse to see more women of color in power, I truly hope your ignorance will change once you recognize what women of color have done for our campus and what they will continue to do for our communities.

We feel so privileged to call Morrison one of our closest friends and a fellow student leader. She has done remarkable work and we know she will continue to do an exceptional job moving forward. We urge the 24th session to take her leadership and her triumphs into account when they vote Monday.

Samuel Park ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in neurobiology and sociology. He is a representative on the Student Services Financial Committee. Omar Jandal ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in finance. He is the director of the Wisconsin Union Directorate Society and Politics.