Katherine Walsh is an associate professor of political science at UW-Madison. Since 2007 she has gathered information about how the state perceives the university. Walsh’s research, published in her paper “The Distance from Public Institutions of Higher Education,” has exposed a rift between Wisconsinites and the university and the university’s failure to live up to the high expectations of the Wisconsin idea. By taking an innovative approach to the problems Walsh has highlighted, Wisconsin could join the forefront of the national conversation on how to restructure higher education.
Compared to the 2009 and 2010 Mifflin Street block parties, which were hazily remembered but mostly calm affairs, last year’s celebration was out of control. Although there were fewer arrests last year than in 2010, there were more than 20 trips to detox, three injured officers, three sexual assaults and two stabbings. I love reveling alongside my fellow students but Mifflin needs to be a party where everyone can go have fun and not get stabbed, so some changes need to be made.
People are often surprised when I tell them I am in a fraternity. I joined Delta Upsilon my freshman year and lived in the house last year, but I am no frat star. In the past two years, I’ve been to maybe three DU events, however I am close to active and inactive members. Considering I am a non-white member of an allegedly racist fraternity, I can speak to last week’s racial incident with some clarity. There are three things that I am sure of: excessively punishing DU is a mistake, disciplining the individuals involved needs to be firm and fair and DU’s proximity to the end of Frances Street is a factor that has been ignored.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Scott Walker quietly announced the creation of a legal defense fund in response to a John Doe investigation that has resulted in the arrest of several formal Walker staff members. The probe started with allegations of misconduct among his staff while he was the Milwaukee County Executive and has since expanded to investigating his gubernatorial campaign. Because of the probe’s secrecy—hence,“John Doe”—the full extent of its inquiries aren’t known. But the charges already levied against Walker’s former staffers expose the morally vacuous environment that has followed Walker from Milwaukee to the state house.
Invisible Children launched their Kony 2012 campaign last week, and since then it has been just about everywhere. The social media campaign almost immediately started getting coverage from media outlets. The 30-minute advertisement has done well garnering attention to its cause. But it has also inspired a surprising torrent of skepticism. Kony 2012 is drawing criticism because of several factual and social inconsistencies in the campaign, but the massive backlash to Invisible Children’s philanthropy has emotional roots.