UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley is holding a reception for student leaders today at the University Club. While the meeting is intended to serve as a \meet and greet"" session, some students have said they will conduct a protest of it outside.
Student Labor Action Coalition members have said they will hand out literature to fellow student leaders, in an effort to put pressure on the university's ""unfair labor practices"" at UW-Madison.
Amidst any controversy that might arise, Wiley is moving forward with the meeting in order to reach out to students.
""If it works, he will continue it,"" said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Paul Barrows. ""It is an opportunity for folks to catch him on the side and talk to him one-on-one.""
Barrows said an array of groups will be present, including Associated Students of Madison representatives. He estimated that 200 leaders were invited to the meeting.
Today's meeting will be closed to the general public.
""He decided ... there are a number of groups he needs to be addressing,"" Barrows said.
ASM Chair Mike Dean said today's meeting is merely a launching point for future correspondence with Wiley.
""I look at it as an opportunity to talk with different people ... [and] pay attention to the different concerns,"" Dean said.
He said he will be speaking with the chancellor about conducting a ""listening tour"" from which a variety of student groups' voices can be heard.
""More students need to interact with him,"" he said.
Raul Islas, a SLAC student leader, is disappointed with Wiley's interaction with students thus far.
""I think it is a good opportunity to bring up issues...[however], it seems like they want to do everything behind closed doors,"" Islas said.
He said SLAC members wrote a letter to Wiley at the beginning of this month concerning unfair labor practices at UW-Madison, but the chancellor has not yet responded to it.
""Already he is starting out with a 'you can take your sweatshop stuff and shove it' attitude,"" he said. ""The unions have just been ignored.""
Islas said Wiley's lack of response was ""problematic"" for the coalition, since they and other unions want to take an active role in fighting unfair labor practices. He said Wiley is ""more beholden to private interests"" and ""basically [has not] taken an active role.""
C.J. Wilson, also a member of SLAC, said she was concerned that the ""administration [had not] responded"" to the coalition's recent letter.
""Having a student-leader reception is great .... But as far as addressing worker concerns, he is not doing a good job,"" she said.
Wilson said the coalition would be willing to work with the chancellor.
""They say they're for workers' rights, but they're not doing anything about it,"" she said.