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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Time for diversity debate is now

On Nov. 17, 2009, The Daily Cardinal published the opinion column ""Race deserves no place in university admissions."" Over the past several days we have witnessed a significant reaction to the article by students on campus, and it is obvious the article sparked a dialogue regarding issues of diversity at UW-Madison.

Opinion columnist Andrew Carpenter had a right to express those views, views held by other students on campus, though we do genuinely realize that the wording of his article may have offended many students in its language. And Andrew deserves credit for being willing to take ownership of those views and defend himself publicly about such a topic.

Yet we must still point out that we do not agree with the opinions expressed in the article: Those are the opinions of the writer and do not represent the views of The Daily Cardinal Editorial Board or this newspaper as an organization. We have seen confusion since last week about Andrew's position at the paper and want to clarify that he is a staff member offering his own viewpoints; as a newspaper we do not share his sentiments in the least.

However, we do believe the article and others have touched off a debate on campus about what the nature of diversity is and how students view issues of race, ethnicity and the complicated ways students confront these issues.

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For many students on campus, these issues are not abstract discussions about enrollment levels or socioeconomic backgrounds, but deeply personal realities that speak to how they live every day. These are not and should not be discussions reduced solely to questions of race, but should look at the way people often avoid these questions, including UW-Madison administrators. The campus' newest diversity program, ""Inclusive Excellence,"" seeks to do just that: come up with a way for the campus as a whole to discuss the issues of diversity and how few have been able to establish just what that means on campus. So let us know how you feel about these issues, and let's see if we can find an answer to them, if there is one to be found.

We want all readers of the campus newspapers to realize that we actively seek out a range of opinions and look forward to a greater level of debate on this topic in the ensuing weeks. In particular, when we return to print next week we will be kicking off Diversity Week on The Daily Cardinal opinion page. It is our hope that this will continue the dialogue that has begun and lead to healthy progress on this serious and important issue. 

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