Sometimes running a daily newspaper takes its toll on the publication's components. In dealing with everyday production duties, we occasionally lose sight of the big picture. In hopes of changing this, we have come up with a group of topics that we believe are important to the UW-Madison community.
We plan to examine several aspects of these topics through a series of staff opinions over the course of the semester to provide more complete coverage of these key issues. We have realized that, at least in our staff editorial content, we are more often than not reactive, rather than proactive. We look inward because we strive to serve you better as an advocate of your rights, and we hope you as readers will place some measure of trust in the words we place on our pages everyday.
Our areas of concern follow:
Wisconsin has found itself at the epicenter of a national debate over the costs and benefits of embryonic stem-cell research. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation currently holds a patent on the process by which stem cells are isolated. With that technology, UW-Madison researchers have created five lines of stem cells eligible for federal funding. The university has an important role in this brave new world and we will address the issue from a number of angles as this is not only a health issue, but also an ethical, economic and legal one.
UW-Madison is a campus of many faces and disparate interests. Students have and will continue to face an attempt by the university to increase an intangible commodity that the university calls 'diversity.' Administrators have instituted a 10-year recruitment and retention blueprint called Plan 2008 to reach those ends. In addition, five race-based admissions policies at other colleges have been ruled unconstitutional in the last five years. Will Wisconsin be next? We will generate a discourse on these issues as well as others.
UW-Madison pulls a lot of weight in this town, in both the city and state governments. It makes sense that UW administrators could be powerful advocates for student rights. But are they? Does the university use its prestige toward good ends such as affordable housing for students? Or is the university cozying up to the city in an effort to gentrify the State Street area and reduce alcohol consumption? We will question whether the university's resources are being spent wisely and whether the city and state would respond to any student cry.
Globalization and its opponents
Globalization is clearly a mixed bag, rife with contradictions and inconsistencies. The concerns of anti-globalization forces are often dismissed as muddy and off-message. Over the next semester, we will go to great lengths to illustrate some of the most contentious points within the debate from both sides, anti-globalization advocates and their opponents. This issue is especially relevant because of the level of interest here at UW-Madison.