When we say Wisconsin, do we really say it all? Or in other words, as a community, are we really doing everything we can to foster inclusivity for all groups and ideas, and additionally, what else needs to be said about this issue?
These are the questions The Daily Cardinal attempts to explore in the first installment of the Action Project series. This installment specifically focuses on diversity and campus climate issues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The idea for this issue came from The Daily Cardinal’s own quest to learn more about diversity on campus. From covering the complicated background of past diversity plans by our news team, to forming opinions by our editorial board, we found the crux of this situation to be a lack of conversation. Of course, there are multiple corners of campus focused on improving diversity and inclusivity, but for the majority of campus, there sometimes appears to be a disconnect.
For this reason, we want to bring the issue of campus climate to the forefront of discourse in a prominent way, as a call to action of sorts. We feel the lack of diversity in our community is one of the biggest issues facing this generation of UW-Madison students.
In this issue, you will find news articles, profiles and opinions as well as letters from the community. We believe we are not doing this issue justice if we do not let individuals on campus voice their own opinions.
The Daily Cardinal can’t claim to know everything about diversity or the campus social climate, and we acknowledge there are holes in our coverage. The Daily Cardinal is an organization of students learning through experience. For this reason, we welcome your feedback and continued discussion of your opinions.
The question permeating throughout this publication is whether or not campus truly encompasses everything and everyone it should and whether we’ve said all there is to be said about diversity. We haven’t said everything, but we hope this publication can at the very least open lines of communication between students and leaders, as well as provide a greater understanding of the campus social climate.
We ask you: When you say Wisconsin, do you really say it all?
The Daily Cardinal can’t say it all. The university can’t say it all. Individuals can’t say it all. But this issue aims to spark an ongoing conversation everyone can hopefully participate in and bring together UW-Madison students’ and community members’ stories. There is danger in silencing or choosing not to hear different perspectives. Furthermore, the conversation on diversity should never end. We will never be able to say it all, but we can continue to discuss, converse, listen and debate.
Change, progress and conversation need to start at an individual level and for this reason, we want to bring light to this situation. This project is not offering a solution to campus climate problems, because there is no perfect solution. It will take more than a university’s diversity plan or a student newspaper’s initiative to enact change. As individual people, we need to educate ourselves and make diversity a priority. Change is a ripple effect.
If we’ve made mistakes, missed something or portrayed an issue poorly in this publication, please let us know. On top of that, speak up on the issue itself. We don’t want to speak for others’ experiences so much as we want to provide the information to initiate discussion on campus climate as a whole.
We urge you to read this issue and respond. Respond to what we did cover and even more importantly, respond to what you feel is missing. This issue is about reaching out to the community and finding out what’s important. We will accept submission letters regarding campus climate throughout the semester and will continue publishing them because this conversation needs to continue.
On a different note, we would like to acknowledge this issue is funded by the Evjue Foundation, the charitable branch of the Capital Times. Named after Cap Times founder William Evjue, the Evjue Grant was created to “ensure that those without the power of wealth and station would have a champion in the never-ending quest for clean and just government.” The Daily Cardinal thanks the Evjue Foundation for supporting our project to shed light on under-reported issues.
This edition of the Action Project issue will be on stands all week. For complete coverage of news, arts, opinion and sports, visit www.dailycardinal.com. Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.