College News

Outgoing ASM chair condemns university’s attitude toward students of color

Former ASM Chair Carmen Goséy issued a letter to the campus community condemning UW-Madison's treatment of students of color. 

Image By: Leah Voskuil and Leah Voskuil

The outgoing Associated Students of Madison chair called UW-Madison an institution that “lacks the capacity, courage, and integrity to protect communities of color” in a letter addressed to the campus community—signing it as “your woke, ratchet 23rd ASM Chair Carmen Goséy.”

Over the past year, communities of color have clashed with administration on their treatment of hate and bias incidents and other issues of diversity on campus. Tensions culminated in a controversial debate over divestment legislation last week, of which Goséy was a cosponsor.

Supporters of the divestment said that UW-Madison profiting off of these businesses that violate minorities’ human rights is shameful. After the divestment passed through ASM, many were angry by the university’s response which condemned the legislation.

In the letter, Goséy wrote that she was ambitious and hopeful to create change surrounding diversity and inclusion on campus when she began as chair, but said by the end of her term she felt “lost and defeated.”

“I was operating in a white position as a person of color,” Goséy wrote. “Now I see the University was not designed for the success of minority communities; it was designed for white students to learn about my oppression while not having to participate in dismantling it.”

Goséy wrote about the privilege most students have on UW-Madison’s predominantly white campus and stated that “all white people are racist.” For Goséy, her leadership position on ASM made her “a token for white supremacists.”

“I have struggled with the juxtaposition of my identity and representing a campus that does not look like me or remotely relate to my experience,” Goséy wrote.

In addition to asking students of color on campus to consider their place at UW-Madison, she argued that parents of people of color should think twice before sending their kids to the university.

Goséy declined to comment on her letter.

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