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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Campus News

Wisconsin state statutes obligate UW-Madison to purchase prison-produced goods from Badger State Industries, and the university spent nearly $1.6 million on these in the 2015 fiscal year.

State statute prioritizes profitability over prisoner rehabilitation

Wisconsin state statutes mandate UW-Madison and other tax-supported institutions purchase from a prison industry program that explicitly prioritizes profit over the rehabilitation of prisoners, while paying inmates a significantly lower wage than that paid in the private industry. UW-Madison purchased $1,596,515 worth of prison-produced goods—largely furniture and signage—from Wisconsin’s prison industry program, Badger State Industries, during the 2015 fiscal year. According to a Wisconsin state statute, a list of designated purchasing agencies, including UW-Madison and UW System schools, must “offer prison industries the opportunity to supply the materials, supplies, equipment or contractual services,” which the Department of Corrections lists periodically.

Students taped pictures of Hitler and swastikas to another resident’s door Jan. 26.

UW-Madison responds to anti-Semitic residence hall incident

Members of the UW-Madison administration issued a statement Thursday on the Jan. 26 incident in Sellery Hall in which students taped pictures of Hitler and swastikas to resident’s door. University Housing and and the Division of Student Life quickly responded to the event, according to the statement, and an email was sent to residents of Sellery Hall notifying them of the incident.

Both middle school and high school students can enter a UW-Madison-organized crystal growing contest March 1.

UW-Madison organizes statewide crystal growing contest

The Molecular Structure Laboratory of the UW-Madison chemistry department is beginning its third statewide Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest March 1 for both middle school and high school students. Students are allowed to work either individually or in small groups to grow crystals from two safe materials, according to a university release. More than 500 students participated in the contest in 2015, and leaders of the event expect that number to rise in 2016, as it is the first year that middle school students can participate.

Quinn Dickinson, a research specialist at the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute, helped develop a new strain of yeast to improve biofuel production.

New technique could improve biofuel production

Research specialists from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center helped design a new strain of yeast that has the potential to improve biofuel production. Quinn Dickinson, a research specialist at the UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Energy Institute, and Jeff Piotrowski, the lead author of the report, used a method called chemical genomics to produce the yeast strain that could tolerate different ionic liquids, according to a university release.


Language barriers separate student body

UW-Madison international student Xiaofei Xu struggled to integrate with the local community on campus—until he studied abroad in Paris with roughly 30 other students during the fall semester of his junior year. Xu grew up in a city near Hong Kong and decided to attend UW-Madison in 2013, without ever visiting the campus. Both the school’s history and journalism programs were ideal for him, Xu said. There are more than 4,000 international students from roughly 130 countries currently enrolled at UW-Madison, though most are from China. According to Xu, academic programs for international students at UW-Madison are geared toward students in science or engineering majors, which covers most of the students.  But Xu, however, studies in the humanities, saying he hopes to graduate with a double major in history and journalism, while also learning French.



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