College News

College Republicans call to end ASM

College Republicans asked state legislators to reintroduce the opt-out proposal and to stand with them in opposition to the Associated Students of Madison, which is funded by and controls student segregated fees.

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UW-Madison College Republicans called on state legislators “make every effort to end” the Associated Students of Madison—the student shared governance body—in the wake of controversial divestment legislation.

In a statement released Thursday night, the organization asked state legislators to reintroduce the opt-out proposal and to stand with them in opposition to the student government, which is funded by and controls student segregated fees.

“We want to see the end of council, because the only purpose they’ve served on our campus is alienating groups on campus and pushing a political agenda,” Jake Lubenow, president of College Republicans, told The Daily Cardinal. “We strongly believe in the opt-out, which would effectively end most of the rest of ASM’s purpose.”

Their statement condemned the final form of “disgusting BDS legislation” ASM passed—although ASM representatives have denied any connection to BDS—and said they will continue to stand with the Jewish community. College Republicans cited the original divestment legislation that was tabled at a March 29 meeting, a bylaws change for a financial transparency committee that was introduced on Passover—and a standing injunction against it. They also state that a representative “attacked” ASM Grant Allocation Committee Chair Ariela Rivkin, a Jewish student and opponent of the legislation, before attaching amendments to include Israel to "watered down legislation.”

“We will do everything in our power to end ASM, as all they seem motivated to do is attack students on campus who disagree with them,” Lubenow said. “ASM’s blatant anti-Semitism will not be tolerated by our organization.”

Authors of the divestment legislation stressed before, during and after debate that this was not part of the BDS movement and did not target Jewish students. ASM Shared Governance Chair Omer Arain argued that representatives weren't taking a stance on political issues, but on a need for financial transparency.

While College Republicans claimed that currently the student government does nothing but hurt the state and UW-Madison, ASM spokesperson Jason Klein encouraged concerned students to get involved.

“Students who wish to see changes in the process of student governance should consider participating in it rather than advocating for its dissolution,” Klein said. “Any student can enter and vote in the ASM elections, which are held annually. Additionally, our grassroots committees, which typically meet weekly, are open for everyone to sit on.”

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