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Friday, June 14, 2024
UW professors address coastie, sconnie divide and stereotypes

sconnie coastie: UW-Madison professors addressed history of the ?coastie? and ?sconnie? stereotypes Tuesday as part of Ethnic Studies week.

UW professors address coastie, sconnie divide and stereotypes

Approximately 100 people attended a panel of UW-Madison professors that addressed the historical, linguistic, and contemporary social roots and implications of the ""Coastie"" and ""Sconnie"" stereotypes Tuesday as part of Ethnic Studies Week and the Jewish Heritage Lecture Series.

Jonathon Pollack, a Professor of history at Madison Technical College and a fellow at the UW Institute for the Humanities, said the Anti-Semitic connotation of coasties can be traced through the history of coastal Jewish student attendance and their reception in Madison.

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""Jewish students could get in [to the university throughout the early 1900's],"" Pollack said, ""but Jews were not guaranteed campus housing.""

According to Pollack, this led to the segregation of many coastal Jewish students in private residence halls off campus.

Founder of the popular Sconnie Nation store on State Street, Troy Vosseller, said he believes the primary housing segregation and its subsequent incarnations in private residence halls such as the Towers and Statesider perpetuate the possible economic and social animosity that can charge the usage of the two terms.

""To the extent that there is a derogatory usage of the word [""coastie""], I think that a lot of it lies in the first year student experience geographically: where they live, and I really think that it's worth looking into,"" Vosseller said.

James Leary, a Professor of folklore and Scandinavian studies, said the term and stereotype of the ""sconnie"" represents Wisconsinites as all ""jack-pine savages"" or fresh off the farm.

Leary said this stereotype fails to represent the culturally diversity within the state.

Argyle Wade, the Associate Dean of Students, said recent controversial usage of ""coastie"", such as Anti-Semitic comments led to the formation of this panel.

""Students need to think about the language they use and the way it impacts other people,"" Wade said.

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