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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The engineering campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pictured in an aerial view during an autumn sunset on Oct. 5, 2011. Clockwise from bottom right is the Engineering Centers Building, Mechanical Engineering Building, Material Science and Engineering Building, Engineering Hall and Engineering Research Building. In the background is Camp Randall Stadium. The photograph was made from a helicopter looking south. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

UW-Madison news stories the Cardinal is watching this summer, fall

There are a few major storylines we will be monitoring throughout summer and into the fall. Here’s where five stand right now:

As the spring semester winds down, so too does our daily news publishing schedule. 

Our news team will continue to follow stories over the summer and periodically publish breaking news and features. 

There are a few major storylines we will be monitoring throughout summer and into the fall. Here’s where five stand right now: 

Will the University of Wisconsin-Madison obtain its new engineering building?

University leaders want to construct a new, 340,000-square-foot engineering building to accommodate surging interest in the program. 

Gov. Tony Evers included $347.3 million for the project in his two-year budget, though a state commission deadlocked on it in March. 

The engineering building’s fate will be determined later this spring and summer as Republicans on the powerful Joint Finance Committee work to draft their own budget proposal. 

The push for this building isn’t new. The late Chancellor Rebecca Blank and former UW System President Tommy Thompson advocated for it over two years ago

Evers’ proposal also includes establishing a new home for the Art Department as part of the plan to demolish the infamous Mosse Humanities Building. 

Shrinking off-campus housing options 

While new apartment complexes are going up, including on the corner of State and Gorham Streets, so are rent prices in Madison

UW-Madison has acknowledged they over-admitted last year’s freshman class and struggled to find space for everyone in dorms

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Those students are now entering an already squeezed off-campus apartment market. The student body continues to impact off-campus housing availability, even if the university is looking to rein in admissions this cycle. 

The city of Madison, UW-Madison and UniverCity Alliance are conducting a study to provide more data for this trend, the Wisconsin State Journal reported, and we’ll be looking for those results this fall.

Mnookin’s second year

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin described her first year as one of “listening and learning.” As she begins her second year at the university, we’ll be watching what campus issues she decides to focus on. 

Many of the issues we asked Mnookin about during our roundtable student media interview in November still remain relevant. 

They include bolstering UW-Madison’s research standing, increasing demand for student mental health resources and increased scrutiny from Republican state lawmakers on free speech issues. 

From her investiture, we can gather some of Mnookin’s goals: growing faculty, amplifying research and building deeper partnerships with industries and communities in the state. 

The power of the student vote

UW-Madison and other UW System campuses drew national attention after youth voters and campus organizers propelled liberals’ state Supreme Court victory in April. 

While we won’t see another major election for a while — Sen. Tammy Baldwin and the presidential contest will be on the ballot in 2024 — don’t expect student voters to fall out of the spotlight. 

Wisconsin’s Republican Party Chair visited GOP Badgers earlier this month, highlighting the importance of students’ role in statewide races. 

The Washington Post reported a Republican legal strategist told donors in April that conservatives should limit voting on college campuses. 

She criticized locating polling places “next to the student dorm so [students] just have to roll out of bed, vote and go back to bed.”

Increased union energy

A few weeks ago, the Starbucks on State Street became the latest store to file for unionization. Many of the location’s 50+ workers are part-time student employees. 

The latest union effort is part of a growing trend in Madison and nationwide. Nurses at UW Health hope one of three routes will help them secure union status. 

We’ll continue to follow union efforts surrounding campus, as well as students’ ongoing campaigns for higher wages.  

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Hope Karnopp

Hope Karnopp is the news manager and dabbles in music reviews at The Daily Cardinal. She previously hosted the Cardinal Call for WORT-FM and edited state news.

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