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Category: Opinion

Honorlock at UW-Madison presents privacy concerns, perpetuates harmful learning environment

The Daily Cardinal

As schooling has been largely moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students across the nation are voicing their concerns about the use of digital surveillance programs to foster academic integrity. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students are specifically calling for the ban of Honorlock, an online proctoring service “that supports integrity, makes test-taking less stressful and saves everyone time and hassle,” according to their website.

Bungled quarantine in Witte and Sellery

The Daily Cardinal

Purge sirens roared from Sellery Residence Hall as UW chancellor Rebecca Blank implemented a mandatory quarantine for both the Sellery and Witte residence halls beginning Wednesday night due to the recent high rates of positive COVID-19 test results on campus.

Op-Ed: Clerking for Justice Ginsburg, we learned about the law — but also about love

LA Times

With marriage, as with everything else, the justice set a high bar. She tirelessly championed righteous causes and lofty ideals, and also devoted herself to the family she adored. She inspired millions of people she never met and also enriched the lives of those of us who were lucky enough to know her. It is difficult to lose her, especially now. But we know the best way to honor her is to try to live as fully as she did, embracing the values she held dear.

Miriam Seifter and Robert Yablon are associate professors of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. They clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2008-2009.

Two leaders urge colleges to encourage student voting

Inside Higher Ed

Chancellor Blank and Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow: If you are leading a college or university right now — or if you are making the academic year possible as a member of the faculty or staff at any one of our nation’s institutions of higher education — asking something more of your students in the midst of a global pandemic may seem impractical. But one assignment cannot wait. We urge you to encourage your students to register to vote, to become informed of the issues and the candidates, and to cast a ballot

Kaleem Caire: It’s long past time for UW-Madison to hire a Black athletic director

The Capital Times

Barry Alvarez turned UW-Madison into a consistent winner and contender in Division I sports as a coach and athletic director. He put fans in seats, recruited successfully and dramatically raised the revenues of the athletic department, and the visibility of the university in general. He will go down in history as one of the greatest athletic directors of all time. This is not about him.

Cardinal View: What did you expect?

The Daily Cardinal

As we have all experienced over these six months, the COVID-19 crisis has upended normalcy. From remote working to virtual learning, the loss of healthcare to the loss of loved ones, the coronavirus has forced us all to operate under a new, frightening reality. At the same time, it has brought into crisp focus our society’s greatest inequities and our leaders’ misplaced priorities.

UW reopening isn’t responsible — Joan Downs

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: There are vast numbers of such cautionary tales across the country. Why not heed these warnings, rather than put the campus and the community at risk of a potentially fatal disease?

Tom Still: Economy is tied to education

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, in a blog statement published Wednesday, detailed the steps being taken on campus to allow a “hybrid” reopening — some live classes, some online — and defended the plan as best for students. “Having students on campus and providing in-person instruction, where feasible, provides a better set of educational opportunities for students lacking suitable technology or spaces to effectively study at home,” Blank wrote.

The Problem with Implicit Bias Training

Scientific American

While the nation roils with ongoing protests against police violence and persistent societal racism, many organizations have released statements promising to do better. These promises often include improvements to hiring practices; a priority on retaining and promoting people of color; and pledges to better serve those people as customers and clients.

Many Tulsa Massacres: How the Myth of a Liberal North Erases a Long History of White Violence

National Museum of American History

However, African Americans have long known that they have deep roots in all regions of the United States. As the African American Bishop Richard Allen wrote in 1829, affirming that Black people belonged:See the thousands of foreigners emigrating to America every year: and if there be ground sufficient for them to cultivate, and bread for them to eat, why would they wish to send the first tillers of the land away? . . . This land which we have watered with our tears and our blood, is now our mother country.

Christy Clark-Pujara is Associate Professor of History in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island. Her current book project, Black on the Midwestern Frontier: From Slavery to Suffrage in the Wisconsin Territory, 1725 to 1868, examines how the practice of race-based slavery, black settlement, and debates over abolition and Black rights shaped White-Black race relations in the Midwest.

Paul Fanlund: At mid-pandemic, why is anyone obsessing about college football?

The Capital Times

Granted, the loss of a University of Wisconsin football season is a massive disappointment for players and coaches and everyone involved with the program, and it constitutes a major financial hit to the UW Athletic Department. And there is the impact on bars and hotels and restaurants that do big business on home football weekends. But for the fans, it was always a pipe dream that they could return to Camp Randall this fall in what is often, ahem, a cheek-to-cheek experience because of the cramped seating in the historic old stadium.

A safe, healthy path forward from the ravages of the coronavirus

Journal Sentinel

We need consistent tactics to battle this virus. We support national standards for face coverings. Our nation needs uniform criteria for stay-at-home orders, reopening businesses and in-person instruction at K-12 schools. We support the AAMC’s guidance for face coverings. While there are horrible disparities among certain populations, and some location-specific challenges, the biology of the virus does not vary from city to city or state to state. National standards will allow all communities to make informed decisions.

Robert N. Golden, MD, is dean of the  University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Joseph E. Kerschner, MD is dean of the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine.See

Editorial: Making UW System ‘more relevant and relatable’


It is certainly not a surprise to this editorial board that former Governor Tommy Thompson is seizing the opportunity of serving as President of the UW System to encourage greater investment in the UW to leverage the system in meeting the immediate and future needs of Wisconsin.

Paul Fanlund: On race, a reminder that Madison is two cities

The Capital Times

Let’s be honest. Madison has always struggled to expand or even maintain its ranks of professionals of color. I’ve witnessed firsthand the turmoil felt by Blacks about the price their families pay to live in a city where their numbers are so few and their sense of being scrutinized so constant. Which makes the perspective of Patrick Sims so relevant. Sims came through Chicago’s troubled public schools to graduate from Yale University and earn a master’s degree in the professional theater program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Trump’s Wrong Logic About Learning To Speak Chinese


Noted: I grew up in New England with no family ties to China, and started learning Mandarin in grad school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the 1980s out of a curiosity about an Asia that was on the rise. I benefited from scholarship money, and spirited teachers like Arthur Chen and Clara Sun. The Chinese language is a wide window into one of the world’s most influential civilizations, richest economies, largest military forces, and biggest populaces; it’s also a country whose ambitions aren’t about to go away.

What It Will Take to Reopen Schools Safely

American Scientist

It will take coordinated effort from national, state, and local leadership, individual behavior change, and funding to bring the outbreak under control and to return to in-person schooling safely. Measuring exactly 6 feet in between desks will not be enough to achieve these aims; we need to think about the big picture and consider how each reopening plan stacks up against these goals.

Tom Still: Putting more ‘market sense’ into immigration

Wisconsin State Journal

The result was a dramatic reversal of a rule that would have kept hundreds of thousands of foreign students off U.S. campuses, including about 5,800 students at UW-Madison, and further complicated a fall semester that was already hard to manage from fiscal as well as educational perspectives.

David Blaska: UW-Madison professor sells plywood to students

Wisconsin State Journal

The frightening thing about UW-Madison professor Walter C. Stern’s column last Sunday, “To move ’Forward,’ we must confront troubled past,” is not how he tortures history to fit his ideology. It’s that he teaches his identity politics to your children’s teachers and — one suspects — many of the late-night visitors to State Street and Capitol Square this long hot summer.

Letter: Lincoln monument must stay on Bascom Hill

Wisconsin State Journal

It took a lot of courage to take the stand Lincoln did that caused the Civil War and the division of the North and South in one nation. Taking down his statue would be a total insult to his actions and those who fought and died for the result of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Tommy Thompson is just what UW System needs — John Powell

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: I remember a press conference to announce UW-Madison had recruited (poached?) an up-and-coming science researcher who arrived with two truckloads of high-tech equipment. Thompson and almost everyone else realized the university is a major driver of the state economy, and that increasing its profile is good for everyone.

Opinion: Black men and boys are especially vulnerable to mental health challenges because of coronavirus and police violence

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Somewhere in America, a 14-year-old Black boy is playing video games in his room, and his parents are satisfied that they are keeping him safe from COVID-19. But then, in Minneapolis, George Floyd is killed by a police officer, and his parents are reminded that their son’s life could just as easily be snuffed out.

Author Alvin Thomas is an assistant professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.