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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Forum stresses plan awareness

Approximately 80 UW-Madison students participated in a five-hour forum Saturday to raise awareness of the UW System's Plan 2008. The forum featured videos and discussions about the plan as well as diversity in general. 

 

 

 

The Multicultural Student Coalition and the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs helped with the forum, said Associated Students of Madison Women's Issue Diversity Liaison Angela Bartucci. She said the interactive nature of the conference offered a fun environment for students to learn about Plan 2008. 

 

 

 

'I like the idea of students being able to get together and come up with ways we can help the university figure out how to get a more diverse campus,' said Christine Pagelsdorf, a UW-Madison senior attending the forum. 

 

 

 

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Bartucci also said it was significant that students had organized the event.  

 

 

 

'I think this is really important because it is for students, by students,' she said. 'The goal of the conference is to increase people's awareness about Plan 2008 and also empower people to get involved in the fight to increase the diversity on campus.'  

 

 

 

Participants in the forum wrote a letter to UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley suggesting additional ways to implement Plan 2008 on campus. 

 

 

 

The forum was only the second one held since the initiation of the plan more than three years ago. UW-Madison senior Andrea Wise, a member of Generation 2008, the student group responsible for acquainting students with the plan, said students took the initiative to organize the forum. Plan 2008 requires two such forums per school year, she said. 

 

 

 

'I think we want to move away from thinking that it is only the administration, and it's only the higher sort of invisible university power that is supposed to be doing things for Plan 2008,' Wise said. 

 

 

 

Another feature of the forum was an emphasis on individual awareness and decision-making regarding the importance of diversity.  

 

 

 

'We don't want to teach anybody what to think, but provide a space for people to be introspective, and look at their own ideas and thoughts,' Wise said.  

 

 

 

Pagelsdorf said a diverse campus would increase what UW-Madison could offer its students. 

 

 

 

'I think that the more perspectives I am exposed to ... the more I learn,' she said. 'And that is why I am here.' 

 

 

 

It is estimated that less than 1 percent of students understand the plan's seven goals. 

 

 

 

'I think education [on diversity] is really important,' Bartucci said. 'A lot of people don't even realize how diversity affects every single person's education at this university.'  

 

 

 

Wise said one of the central ideas of the forum was how the quality of education and diversity are linked. 

 

 

 

'Without [diversity], no student can have a complete education,' she said. 

 

 

 

Bartucci agreed. 

 

 

 

'The workplace is diverse. This campus is 80 percent white,' she said. 'We need to be prepared for the real world.'

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