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Category: Opinion

Opinion: UW-Madison chancellor and state legislators use digital dodges to hide records from the public

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In March, The Washington Post reported that University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank sought to move a conversation around the COVID-19 pandemic and students returning to campus in the fall to a private portal used by presidents and chancellors of the 14 Big Ten universities.

Paul Fanlund: Do science advocates share blame for anti-vaccination pushback?

The Capital Times

Professor Dietram Scheufele is an award-winning and nationally recognized expert on science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and someone I’ve written about for years. He recently shared with me five thoughts about what could have been done differently to mitigate this stark divide over vaccine attitudes.

Badgers fans need to get vaccinated — Marilyn Lewis

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison and Madison need a return of fans in stands this year to make money. May I humbly suggest the university immediately announce that only fully vaccinated fans will be allowed at its venues such as Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, the Field House and the LaBahn Arena.

Voter suppression bills are the first move in a bigger battle

The Hill

Fighting for the rights of African American voters is a task that is both daunting and never-ending. Discriminatory redistricting creates a cyclical process that weakens political power for Black voters and political officials. This tactic is as discriminatory and as noxious as any other suppression legislation used during Jim Crow.

Steven Wright served in the Voting Rights Section of the US Department of Justice for five years. He’s a clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy

Education Week

Written by John B. Diamond, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education and a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s education school, and Jennifer Cheatham, a senior lecturer on education and the co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former superintendent of the Madison school district in Wisconsin.

Reduced funding for history education is extremely problematic

Badger Herald

As a history student at UW-Madison, I have seen many of these issues first-hand. Because of fears that the recent economic crisis would cause a new round of sweeping cuts to history departments, almost every major history PhD program in the country accepted almost no new graduate students, or far fewer than usual. Declining opportunities for history teachers have caused many bright and wonderful students to seek other career paths.

Meditation is sorely needed on the UW-Madison campus

Daily Cardinal

As we approach the end of this semester, many students are left burned out, exhausted and overwhelmed with the seemingly endless demands of college. Coupled with the increasingly demanding academics, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated students’ existing feelings of continuous stress. In fact, 71% of college students have indicated increased anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is essential for students to find ways of dealing with these demanding stressors. This is where meditation comes into play!

UW must take greater responsibility for students’ financial health

Daily Cardinal

Outside of loan options, students typically turn to financial aid and scholarships to finance their education. UW-Madison has multiple “Wisconsin Promises” in place for in-state students that qualify for financial aid, like Bucky’s Tuition Promise Plus, Badger Promise and the Financial Aid Security Track.

Breaking backs, hopes for the future: How UW perpetuates prison labor

Daily Cardinal

Students have long told UW-Madison that “it is not enough for the University of Wisconsin System to demonstrate optical allyship … by means of posting on social media, tokenizing students of color and providing resources for students and alumni to combat racism on an individual level.” Instead, they have called for the UW to make good on their promises and deconstruct the systems that “uphold racial inequalities.”

House bill does little to protect our local elections

The Hill

The bill makes huge strides for American democracy. No one should claim that dark money and large-scale statewide voting barriers aren’t noxious. Indeed, experts estimate that voter identification requirements may disenfranchise millions of Americans, and such laws disproportionately harm poor voters and voters of color. But no one, except the federal government, has the capacity to ensure fair federal elections at the local level. And sadly, For the People Act fails to do so.

Steven Wright served in the Voting Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for five years. He currently teaches Law and English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion

This current version of the Suez syndrome is, nonetheless, anything but the usual. Thanks to longterm imperial development based on fossil fuels, planet Earth itself is now changing in ways dangerous to any power, no matter how imperial or ascendant. So, sooner or later, both Washington and Beijing will have to recognize that we are now in a distinctly dangerous new world where, in the decades to come, without some kind of coordination and global cooperation to curtail climate change, old imperial truths of any sort are likely to be left in the attic of history in a house coming down around all our ears.

Alfred McCoyAlfred McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author of In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power and Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State.

UW administration reaction to Atlanta shootings falls short of what students need

Badger Herald

The intent of this statement is there, but the diluted semantics don’t provide much comfort. First and foremost, it’s clear they’re avoiding the word racism. When have you heard the term ‘bias crime’ before? It sounds like someone typed ‘hate crime’ but was told to substitute ‘hate’ for a more watered-down word. In this situation, who would that be serving?

UW should work with tech colleges — Margaret Kolbek

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: As a former technical college instructor and wife of a 30-plus-year University of Wisconsin System branch campus instructor, I’ve had a long affiliation with both systems. Our three children attended the two-year UW System campus in our county.

Don’t let covid-19 keep kids from playing sports

Washington Post

Let’s start with an inconvertible fact: Being outdoors is very low risk. This holds for kids and adults. A new study, out in preprint but not fully peer reviewed, from the University of Wisconsin, which followed nearly 1,000 schools and more than 150,000 athletes, found that outdoor sports had half the rate of new cases as indoor sports.

Is it possible to have safe and equitable elections?

The Hill

Holding elections in the coming years will not be simple but it is within our grasp to have a safe and uneventful elections. Using proven scientific methods is the path to improvement.

Dr. Laura A. Albert is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Barry C. Burden is a professor of Political Science and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Column: UW’s plans for fall semester delusional, contradict existing COVID trends on campus

Badger Herald

Considering UW’s ineptitude last semester which resulted in the quarantine of two dorms and a halt to on-campus student activity for two weeks, it’s unsurprising there’s already a rise in cases when half of this campus operates under unproven measures to mitigate viral spread — such as excessively wiping down classroom and library desks — while the other half exists as though there is no pandemic at all.

Branch campuses need time to work — Mary Hoeft

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson has an idea for Wisconsin’s outstanding two-year universities. He’s wondering if they should be combined with the state’s technical school system. As a professor at one of UW System’s two-year campus for 49 years, I would like to answer President Thompson’s question with a resounding “no.”

Tech colleges may help UW campuses — John Poole

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: The campuses have been severely underutilized for the past several years, ever since the concept of regionalization was implemented. Many thought returning to our roots (Richland started as a branch of Platteville) would be the saving grace for the campus, but that hasn’t proven to be the case.

For Generations, African Americans Have Led Global Antiracist Movements

History News Network

Noted: Brenda Gayle Plummer is a historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in African American history, the history of U.S. foreign relations, race in international affairs and Caribbean history. She is the author of several books, most recently of In Search of Power: African Americans in the Era of Decolonization, 1956-1974.

Pleasure Practices with Sami Schalk: A recipe for rest

Tone Madison

As we approach a full year of this pandemic and attempt to survive sub-zero Wisconsin winter, many of us are tired; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I teach at UW-Madison and the beginning of the semester is always an intense energetic marathon for me so I find myself having to be extra mindful about resting. So this month’s piece isn’t about food, but about rest as a political practice of resistance.

Column: ASM aims to provide students with COVID relief

Daily Cardinal

Even after ASM proposed the solution and amendment that students become “Mask Ambassadors” — designed as a workaround to the policy which would allow the university to make payments to students — Heller stated that it could not go any further once again.

Advice About the End of the Pandemic, From a Combat Veteran


Someday, maybe soon, this will all be over. Things will start to get back to a kind of “normal,” whatever that may look like, and lives will begin to pick up where they might have left off. At least, that’s what many are hoping for.

Chad S.A. Gibbs served in the US Army from 2002-2009, including deployment to Iraq. He is currently a PhD candidate in the history of the Holocaust at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He tweets at @Chad_G101.

Paul Jadin: UW, broadband, inclusion are key to Madison region’s success

Wisconsin State Journal

First, education is king. Don’t ever allow UW-Madison to be anything but a premier, world-class institution. State and private dollars invested now will be leveraged considerably by virtue of the fact that most of the federal investment will go to expanded research at universities such as UW.

COVID-19 shows why it’s time to finally end unpaid college internships

The Conversation

Unpaid internships are often seen as an important rite of passage for college students. And with good reason. Studies have found that students acquire new skills and networks that enhance their job prospects.

-Matthew T. Hora, Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education, Director of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Mindi Thompson, Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ready for takeoff: Three simple guidelines for flying after vaccination

The Hill

It will take years until all air travelers are immunized, but we do not have to wait years until it is safe to fly.

-Dr. Laura A. Albert is a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a prominent member of INFORMS. Her research applies optimization and analytical methods to public sector applications including aviation security.