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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Since 1892 l

Action Project Issue, April 2017



“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”


2 • Action Project Issue, April 2017 An independent student newspaper, serving the University of Wisconsin-Madison community since 1892 Volume 126, Issue 52

2142 Vilas Communication Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, Wis., 53706-1497 (608) 262-8000 • fax (608) 262-8100

News and Editorial

Editor-in-Chief Theda Berry

Managing Editor Negassi Tesfamichael

News Team News Manager Peter Coutu Campus Editor Sammy Gibbons College Editor Nina Bertelsen City Editor Gina Heeb State Editor Lilly Price Associate News Editor Noah Habenstreit Features Editor Hannah J. Olson Opinion Editors Sebastian van Bastelaer • Samantha Wilcox Editorial Board Chair Ellie Herman Arts Editors Ben Golden • Samantha Marz Sports Editors Bobby Ehrlich • Thomas Valtin-Erwin Gameday Editors Ethan Levy • Ben Pickman Almanac Editors Marc Tost • Ayomide Awosika Photo Editors Morgan Winston • Katie Scheidt Graphics Editors Amira Barre Multimedia Editors Lisa Milter Science Editor Julie Spitzer Life & Style Editor Cassie Hurwitz Special Pages Editor Allison Garcia Copy Chiefs Katarina Gvozdjak • Yi Wu Audrey Altmann • Sydney Widell Social Media Manager Jenna Mytton Historian Will Chizek

Business and Advertising

Defining the Wisconsin Idea The Daily Cardinal explores the future of the UW System’s guiding principle BY THEDA BERRY AND NEGASSI TESFAMICHAEL management team For our final Action Project, we decided to look outward from the university as opposed to inward, and focus on the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea, a guiding principle for UW-Madison for more than a century, states “that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.” Similar to this ideal, The Daily Cardinal prints a statement encouraging “that continual and

fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found” at the bottom of our front page every issue—a line used by former UW President Charles Kendall Adams in 1894. In the Cardinal’s emphasis on tradition and maintaining its reputation as a learning institution, we have something in common with UW-Madison that we wanted to explore. The Wisconsin Idea is not simply an idea but a call to action, emphasizing the importance of engaging with the community outside of campus. An

Editorial Board Theda Berry • Negassi Tesfamichael Ellie Herman • Jack Kelly Amileah Sutliff • Dylan Anderson Sebastian van Bastelaer • Ben Pickman Samantha Wilcox

Board of Directors Herman Baumann, President Phil Brinkman • Theda Berry Tyler Baier • Negassi Tesfamichael Grant Bailey • Janet Larson Don Miner • Ryan Jackson Nancy Sandy • Jennifer Sereno Jason Stein • Tina Zavoral Caleb Bussler

© 2015, The Daily Cardinal Media Corporation ISSN 0011-5398

For the record Corrections or clarifications? Call The Daily Cardinal office at 608-2628000 or send an email to edit@

essential part of a college education is being able to look beyond the bubble of your university to understand how it relates to the rest of the state, the nation and the world. Although not inherently political, the impact of the Wisconsin Idea changes and evolves with the political climate in the state and opinions of those in charge of the UW System. Looking beyond what this idea was and is, this Action Project issue also focuses on what it could be. The future of the Wisconsin

Idea will be determined by all of us; we urge you to consider what upholding or challenging this idea means to you. Do you have thoughts on the future of the Wisconsin Idea? We want to hear what you think. Please send all comments and concerns to Theda and Negassi at This is the final installment of our 2017 Action Project series, and it will be on stands all week. If you’re looking for our daily coverage, check out and stay up to date.

The Daily Cardinal would like to recognize

The Evjue Foundation, Inc. (the charitable arm of The Capital Times)

for providing the funds to make the Action Project possible.


Wisconsin Idea requires open-mindedness Business Manager Grant Bailey Advertising Manager Tyler Baier • Caleb Bussler Marketing Director Ryan Jackson

The Daily Cardinal is a nonprofit organization run by its staff members and elected editors. It receives no funds from the university. Operating revenue is generated from advertising and subscription sales. The Daily Cardinal is published twice weekly and distributed at the University of WisconsinMadison and its surrounding community with a circulation of 10,000. Capital Newspapers, Inc. is the Cardinal’s printer. The Daily Cardinal is printed on recycled paper. The Cardinal is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The Daily Cardinal are the sole property of the Cardinal and may not be reproduced without written permission of the editor in chief. The Daily Cardinal accepts advertising representing a wide range of views. This acceptance does not imply agreement with the views expressed. The Cardinal reserves the right to reject advertisements judged offensive based on imagery, wording or both. Complaints: News and editorial complaints should be presented to the editor in chief. Business and advertising complaints should be presented to the business manager. Letters Policy: Letters must be word processed and must include contact information. No anonymous letters will be printed. All letters to the editor will be printed at the discretion of The Daily Cardinal. Letters may be sent to opinion@


The state Capitol has recently been home to needed debate. SEBASTIAN VAN BASTELAER opinion editor


he Wisconsin Idea portrays the UW System as a guiding light, a beacon that shares its knowledge with all corners of the earth. We’ve been taught to stress the importance of this idea to show that the work done here in Madison changes the world. This is, in many ways, true: The things we do as a university, whether through research or other means, do make a palpable impact on the state of Wisconsin, and the planet as a whole. An important aspect of the Wisconsin Idea that often gets lost in discussion, however, is that it should be a two-way street. The concept focuses on the difference that the university and its operations make; it stipulates that the school has much to teach the world. What we often forget is that this is a reciprocal relationship; we as a school also have much to learn from the world. This argument may seem obvious: As is the case with

all universities, most of our accomplishments build off of the knowledge and innovations that other institutions and people have already put forth. In a broader sense, though, this point revolves around how the University of Wisconsin interacts with and improves its environs. And this can’t happen unless we all, as a student body and as a community, are also willing to hear what the people in those environs have to say. It can be difficult for many undergraduates to put themselves into the shoes of others. The idea that other people could feel drastically different about important subjects can be daunting. Before embarking on a service trip over spring break that took me from Madison to South Carolina, some group members joked that they were anxious about being in “the South”—a place entirely alien to many people. Though these comments weren’t taken seriously, they represent a viewpoint that many members of this community may actually espouse. For

plenty of people, those who look different, sound different and, most notably, vote differently, can appear to be of another species. We, predictably enough, ended up loving every person we encountered on the trip, and found talking to them to be one of the most pleasant aspects of the journey. By the end, these so-called “anxieties” were but a distant memory. What’s important to note, though, is that not many people have these experiences and realize these truths. Many college students don’t have the opportunity to meet everyday people from other regions, and some wouldn’t take the opportunity if they did. Understandably enough, we tend to gravitate toward those who are similar to ourselves. This, however, creates a dangerous positive feedback loop that undermines the very concept of the Wisconsin Idea. As someone who unabashedly communicates his political views, on this very opinion page and elsewhere, it was easy to find people on campus who had similar perspectives. What’s become apparent, however, is a palpable lack of debate in some social circles. An echo chamber can be created that makes some (even myself, occasionally) feel like they can’t voice alternative viewpoints at all. This deprives people of a vital formative experience in college, the opportunity to develop and test new ideas. In a time of unprecedented polarization, it can be often difficult to even imagine reconsidering political beliefs. The “other” party is so often painted as the enemy and their views as antithetical to American liberty and progress. Antagonism and rancor are hallmarks of the era

we live in, and it can often be all too easy to dig in one’s heels and refuse to budge. This is especially true in Madison, where the widespread agreement on various issues led many to believe that they’re inherently and irrefutably in the right and have an obligation to educate the millions of people who don’t “see the light.”

What we often forget is that this is a reciprocal relationship; we as a school also have much to learn from the world.

This level of pretension leads to a perversion of the Wisconsin Idea, and a misapplication of its principles. Seeing the idea as a mandate to use what we learn and do here—whether it’s cutting-edge research or political ideals—and foist it upon others does little move our state or nation forward. We should, of course, be proud of everything we have to offer, and continue to try to make our mark. But doing so without first realizing the mark that others can make and have made on us as a community, and embracing their ideas and differences, accomplishes nothing. And to a school that is ostensibly all about serving the world as a whole, that’s the biggest disservice we could do ourselves. Sebastian is a sophomore majoring in history. Do you feel that the community does enough to embrace alternative ideas and political viewpoints? Please send all comments, questions and concerns to


The JVN Project

Action Project Issue, April 2017



Empowering youth and connecting communities through the art of hip-hop


the UW community, including the JVN Project, has not been as effective as they want it to be. Organizations have become siloed in their efforts to do something great, and Sanders hopes to see more collaborative efforts to engage the community across the campus. “I think that we have all become too focused on our own projects, and that has been a detriment, preventing us from making changes in the community that feel tangible, sustainable and gratifying to all parties involved,” Sanders said. Bridging the gap between those on the inside of the hip-hop community and those who don’t know about it is a group effort, according Sustaining a Community to Sanders. “We have to be willing to have conversations that frustrate us or The JVN Project works hard make us angry with people who to create and support possimply don’t know, and we itive images of the hiphave to be willing to be hop community in offended,” she said. Madison, as well Sanders as positive cresaid that both ative spaces sides need for young to be willpeople to ing to work express through the themselves. ignorance Sanders or fear sursaid that it rounding saddened hip-hop, and her to see that those how hip-hop on the outis perceived side need to be by those who willing to work O F understand it only towards underJV N PR as a genre of music standing that hip-hop OJ E CT - Tehan Ketema and not a community. wasn’t always a product, “I think if you are in the but an outcry from people community, you know better, and who were oppressed and needed to if you are not somebody who actu- have a medium of expression. ally engages with the community “Humility on both ends, period, is and only recognizes hip-hop as a big,” Sanders said. genre of music, then not only the Sanders has been with the proconcept is skewed, but the way you gram since the beginning. She is help young people is skewed, spe- graduating next May but has high cifically the young people who have hopes and big plans for the JVN used hip-hop as a way to feel free or Project. She hopes that it continues empowered or to escape traumas,” to expand, providing creative spaces Sanders said. “You are not using the and educating the community about tool young people are asking you to hip-hop. Sanders wants the JVN use, essentially.” Project to be a hub for the Madison Sanders said that she sees the community to express themselves Wisconsin Idea in the fact that a lot through an art form with the intenof students, faculty and members of tion of empowerment. the UW community have a lot of “I would love for hip-hop to be positive and great ideas. This isn’t humanized again, that’s my biggest enough, though. Sanders said that mission,” Sanders said. TO






for her to reflect on Nguyen, and for people who never knew him to learn about who he was and his work that is carried on through the program. The festival embodies the ability of hip-hop to empower others and to bridge communities, according to Sanders. “Elements in the Park” is a special portion of JVN Day that lets community members engage with all five elements of hip-hop: breakdancing, graffiti, DJing, MCing and the pursuit of knowledge through art. “[The festival] is a celebration of the life-changing spirit of hiphop,” Sanders said.



Right next to the Center for Limnology, where the Lakeshore Path begins, there is a stone with a plaque on it. Candles, summer flowers and a flag decorate the stone. People walk, run and bike by the stone every day. It is a reminder of what was lost on the Aug. 30 of 2012. John “Vietnam” Nguyen drowned in Lake Mendota saving the life of his friend that morning. Nguyen was a scholar of the First Wave program from Chicago studying at UW-Madison. He was active in both of these communities, a gifted hip-hop artist and a big influence on many lives. He was only 19. Today, Nguyen’s legacy continues to inspire in Madison through the JVN Project, an organization set up by those who knew him to keep spreading his positivity by using hiphop as a tool of empowerment in the Madison community. Zhalarina Sanders is the executive director of the JVN Project. She knew Nguyen and was also one of the project’s founders. “There was a lot of talk about how his work felt like it had just begun,” Sanders said. “The idea of the JVN Project came out of wanting to continue that work.” T h e J V N Project started out as a google doc shared with the members of the First Wave program—an effort headed by Sanders and a couple HOTO CO friends to keep Nguyen’s UR TE SY work alive. Three and a half OF JVN PRO years after its creation, the JVN J EC T - T ehan Ketema Project has a staff of 27 and has had 52 members help with the program “O u r mission is to focus since its creation. on telling the story first, encourag“A lot of people say it’s what keeps ing them to speak no matter how them [the staff] grounded here in it comes out, and not to be nervous Madison,” Sanders said. about others’ perceptions of their art,” Sanders said. “Getting young people literate and telling their stoReaching Out ries has been huge for us, focusing on any way of expressing yourself High school is a formative time within the elements of hip-hop.” and often a confusing one. Identities These weekly workshops encourare formed and emotions often run age students to think creatively and close to the surface—an ideal envi- express themselves through the vari-

ous elements of hip-hop, giving creative voice to their story. The JVN Project provides the resources to build a base in this creative expression through the “One Life” workshop series, giving students a safe place to experiment and try out the art. In addition to “One Life,” the JVN Project sponsors a monthly open mic and poetry slam called “Word Power” at the Goodman Community Center and the Lussier Community Center, alternating locations every other month. These slams are a place for those confident in the work they have begun in or outside of the workshops to begin practicing the craft of performing their art. “The workshops are to get young people writing, but the open mic is to give them a space to showcase their work and to compete with their art,” Sanders said. The JVN Project’s investment in the Madison community manifested in a big way recently, assembling a team to compete at the Brave New Voices international competition. Brave New Voices accepts one team per city of six poets, chosen by competing in and winning poetry slams throughout the year. For the first time in a long time, Madison will send a team to the international competition to compete and represent the city. “It took a lot of organizing on our end, to show that we are a legitimate organization that facilitates slams throughout the year that could assemble a team that would be competition-worthy,” Sander said.

ronment for artistic expression. Although, for anyone who has been through high school, finding spaces to do this can be challenging. That’s where the JVN Project comes in. The flagship program of the JVN Project is called the “One Life” workshop. Members of the organization go through a two-week training program to become facilitators for these workshops, as well as having ongoing meetings to create lesson plans for workshops that stay true to the project’s mission. These trained facilitators are then sent out to Madison-area high schools (East, West, Memorial and La Follette) once a week in groups of two to four to conduct a creative writing workshop. According to Sanders, workshops are typically 90 minutes long, although they often run over because the young people love to talk. The workshops are a safe place to speak with peers and engage outside of a conventional classroom setting.


By Eli Radtke

Celebrating Madison Through Hip-Hop One of the big events that the JVN Project presents every year is the JVN Day Festival. This festival began as a one-day celebration of hip-hop on the anniversary of Nguyen’s death. This year, the festival will expand to three days, showcasing everything from movies to community awards. “It’s my favorite thing we do, besides the workshops,” Sanders said. “We all are working 22-hour days, folks are running on no sleep and having the time of their life. I love to see the staff having fun. It’s a time where we as facilitators get to be creative and generative. Sanders also said it was a time

news 4

Action Project Issue, April 2017

UW, business ties create


The Wisconsin Idea is widely considered to be a testament to the importance of public service. Its spirit is widely cited in bettering the lives of Wisconsinites in areas as diverse as the formulation of labor law to best practices in milking dairy cows. But the university’s reach is not just civic—it is financial as well. In fact, the Wisconsin Idea even began in part as a way to ensure that the knowledge from state universities would be a way to for citizens to exercise power in their economy. UW-Madison is credited with generating an estimated $15 billion in statewide economic activity in 2015 and many of its programs are considered vital in producing the next generation of the state’s doctors, engineers and scientists. The economic impact of the university is so great that businesses in Madison and beyond find themselves on the frontlines, lobbying lawmakers against corroding a powerful engine that drives a range of industries across the state. Some say that this economic power, and the subsequent agency the university grants Wisconsinites to exert over their economy, has been diminished by cuts to state funding for the UW System. This has heightened the stakes surrounding the current budget biennium, and business and trade organizations are trying to make their voice heard. Understanding the university’s economic impact Fourteen businesses or economic and trade groups have registered as lobbyists for UW System funding in the 2017-1’9 biennium budget, according to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission’s database. These range from private groups such as the Marshfield Clinic to private groups such as the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce and the Dairy Business Association, which said that it is pushing for more funding for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. But even more organizations are engaging lawmakers about funding, just in less formal ways. Paul Jadin, president of the Madison Region Economic Partnership, said that his organization’s board of directors took a rare step and singled out funding for the UW as an issue on which they would lobby policymakers. Jadin noted that his group’s mission is to promote economic development in the Madison area but that the importance of the university required further action. “The issue for us is making sure [UW-Madison] remains an extraordinary asset for years to come,” Jardin said. “We want to make sure

that going forward we will have the ability to say that this is something unique to the Madison region and the state of Wisconsin and that we have that asset that very few regions in the country can claim.” It is not just Dane County that feels the impact of the university, however. Numerous partnerships fulfill the vision of Wisconsin idea architect Charles Van Hise and stretch the boundaries of the university to the boundaries of the state. Ryan Natzke, the chief external affairs officer and head lobbyist for Marshfield Clinic Health System, noted that UW-Madison is “vital” to the needs of upstate businesses as well. “One example is the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine program which specifically focuses on meeting the workforce needs of rural health care providers and is a critical issue that our state is facing,” Natzke said. “The impact of UW-Madison is truly statewide.”

university found that these startups—of which there were 311 at the time—contributed more than $2 billion to the state’s economy. Hoslet mentioned companies like FluGen, developed first in a UW-Madison lab working on a better vaccine against the flu virus, and Exact Sciences, a molecular diagnostics company now headquartered in University Research Park.

nering with BRP on this project will transfer to the workforce in a valuable way. “You know how to do the calculations to get what you want, but those always have some assumptions in there, and it’s kind of abstract,” McCabe said. “But this, being able to actually do it myself, most of the time, put it all together, you see where the equations fall short and where you need to have some practical knowledge on how things actually work.” Of the billions of dollars surged into the state’s economy as a result of the university’s many partnerships a significant chunk stems from partnerships with big companies like Johnson Controls and

Businesses go to battle for adequate system funding With the roughly $1 billion that research endeavors draw into the state, it’s no surprise that businesses around Wisconsin—and especially those in direct partnership with UW-Madison—were concerned to see the university fall out of its ranking as one of the top five research institutions in the nation last fall. “Those who do work more closely with us or understand better about how research rankings are composed have realized that a drop from five to six represents that we’re not, for the first time in fortysome years, in that top five,” Hoslet said. “I think people worried less about it as a single event as much as is this a trend that’s starting that will build on itself over time.” So how does the university get a return on its investment in the economy when it comes time for Gov. Scott Walker’s biennial budget? It’s all about askvice chancellor for university relations ing for advocacy from the business community, GE Healthcare. Charles Hoslet, vice Hoslet explained. chancellor for university relations In addition to chancellors at at UW-Madison, described how the many System schools includcompanies not only hire students ing UW-Madison making rounds but also lend a hand in research. throughout the state to talk to local “There’s a great partner- business leaders, university officials ship between us and Johnson have reached out to the MadREP, Controls and UW-Milwaukee, the Greater Madison Chamber working in battery technology,” of Commerce and Downtown Hoslet said. “There’s a faculty Madison, Inc., the last of which sent member here, they’ve got a lab at a formal resolution to the goverUW-Milwaukee, and so it’s a great nor’s office asking the state to more example of not just our university fully fund the university system. partnering with the company, but And beyond those larger busipartnering with another institu- ness conglomerates, Hoslet added tion as well.” These partnerships, which are often contracted to span several years, provide millions of dollars of support to the university in exchange for students-turnedemployees as well as the groundbreaking research involved in many of the contracts. But even smallscale businesses churn out money for the state, like startups whose leaders found their niche in that staunch research base of UW-Madison. A 2015 economic impact report on the

“We’ve got to do a better job of letting our legislators know why this is important.”

Statewide relationships benefits students, businesses That impact is equally beneficial for students who are involved in partnerships between the university and the business. Kieran McCabe, a graduate student in UW-Madison’s College of Engineering, described the project he’s been doing for the company BRP, which produces powersport vehicles and has an office in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Since September 2015, McCabe has been at work testing an Evinrude two-stroke outboard motor to ensure its new mode of fuel efficiency works in real time. BRP engineers modeled the design digitally, McCabe explained, and it is his job to validate it. “If you want to get into the industry and actually work for a company rather than a national lab, this experience is probably better,” he said. “My project specifically is more applicable to the kind of timelines and interests of a company that makes a product … it gives you a pretty good idea of how they work through a problem and the kind of things they’re looking at.” Many engineering students are given the opportunity to work on projects for a specific business or consortium of businesses. McCabe said he is in constant contact with engineers at BRP, who hear updates on his work and help him through any problems he might have. And although working on big engines like this specific problem involves isn’t the exact path he wants to take upon graduating, he said the skills he’s learned by part-


After the last budget cut of $250 million, UW-Madison fell in research rankings, leading businesses to lobby their state legislators for greater support of the UW System.

Charles Hoslet

he’s heard from individual business leaders who have approached their legislators about the matter. “They’ve been quite helpful in saying, ‘Yeah, I understand it, and when I run into Rep. X or Sen. Y, this is on my list,’” Hoslet said. The push from Wisconsin’s business community for adequate funding for the university has been a strong one this year, Hoslet described, leading to what he called a “good” budget on the financial side for the next biennium. This advocacy is also on an uptick from where it was before the state’s last budget, which dealt a $250 million cut to the UW System. Hoslet said because not many of the system’s budgets have been “horrible, terrible or critical at any one time” in the past, when it came time to ask economic partners to lobby for the universities in the 2015-’17 budget, those partners didn’t quite expect such a slash in funding. “Then we came up with the $250 million cut,” he said. “I think many of them said, ‘Holy cow, we’ve got to do a better job of letting our legislators know why this is important.’” Jadin said MadREP wrote letters to state legislators and to the governor expressing support for funding the university. In addition, they coordinated with local chambers of commerce to engage in more robust lobbying efforts. “You have to show some degree of unification,” he said. “Chambers of commerce and economic development organizations across the state have to show they’re on the same page and they have to show that their opinion matters to voters and therefore it should matter to the people who are accountable to the voters.” “In drawing that connection between funding for the UW and what’s good for business, it isn’t always obvious to every elected official,” Jadin added, noting that his group has to navigate the laundry list of complex budget issues to make the case for supporting public higher education. But even in the face of the cuts that have been dealt to the system, Hoslet said he and other university leaders are working hard to keep UW-Madison strong and keep the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea alive. He also explained that most of the challenges have come only in the last few years, meaning it will be easier for the campus community and those who support it, like businesses throughout the state, to find opportunities for improvement. “We’re working hard, everybody is, across campus to do that in whatever way they can. So I’m actually bullish on the future,” Hoslet said. “I’m certainly bullish on the future of UW-Madison and excited about


Action Project Issue, April 2017 • 5

SOME HIGHLIGHTS: The Daily Cardinal sits down with Chancellor Rebecca Blank By Nina Bertelsen, Sammy Gibbons and Lilly Price THE DAILY CARDINAL

On how UW generates an estimated $24 billion for the state’s economy:

There’s a number of direct ways in which we generate revenue for the state. We employ some 2,200 people here directly, not to mention our student employees and our students who come in, the number of ways in which people participate in our arts events and our athletic events, all of those are tax revenue. Other ways are hotels and restaurants and just spending at the state. Then there are indirect effects; if you’re an economist there’s these. When I go to the grocery store, that not just generates income for me but that also generates further income for the employees and the owners…

things, and there are bad ways to do these things. We have a number of examples in other states that have put various output measures in place in a bad way and we shouldn’t do that. A number of those states, as a result, have taken those out. You don’t want to destroy excellence by [only] putting money into your lowest-end schools, right? That’s an example of not doing it well. On freedom of speech: You’ve got to allow space for both the expression of an opinion, however unpopular as it may be, as well as protest. You have to make sure the protest does not stop the expression of an opinion, and that’s a very delicate balance.

vative voices on campus. I personally think they don’t personally understand a lot of the voices that are expressed here. I mean, I would guess that 90 to 95 percent of the presentations that go on on this campus have no political content whatsoever. On how UW-Madison has reduced time to degree: My predecessor, Biddy Martin—this is almost unbelievable in today’s current budget—actually did a deal with the legislator, maybe seven years ago, where we raised our tuition in a step function by $1,500 and put all of that money back into affordability and access. We did three things: We hired a number of faculty in those really big course areas where courses often close out, we

for that. And have the transfer students have options to be admitted, just as we also want to do the same for student who might spend their freshman year pretty undecided. On measuring professors’ time in the classroom: There’s nothing wrong with measuring workloads, most companies do it. If indeed we need to put a workload policy in place we’ll put a full workload policy in place, which looks at time spent teaching, advising, mentoring students. There’s actually a lot of overlap between those particular [areas, especially] with graduate students. And time spent in administrative work and outreach in the state, and our faculty to all of those. On hiring faculty only at retention level: W h e t h e r that’s true or not depends a little on which school or college you’re looking at … One of the effects of budget cuts is people retire and we haven’t replaced them in some departments. You have to look by the department to get that story. And it does reflect changes in student demand. There’s been real shifts in where students are majoring over the last decade. Resources move slowly around a university because faculty are here for long periods of time and we want them here. But there are shifts that do follow faculty.

On Wisconsin business as allies for state funding, support: Let me step back ... if you look at high-technology business, where there’s high-tech manufacturing or sort of cutting-edge bio things, health care or finances, increasingly if you ask where is the growth of these businesses clustered, they are clustered near research institutions and research centers. Just look at where there is really rapid economic growth in this country. There’s a big research institution, if not two or three, in the middle of all of that. We are one reason businesses On diversity at KATIE SCHEIDT/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO come here, one of UW-Madison: the reasons they Chancellor Rebecca Blank talked about budget, freedom of speech and more with The Daily Cardinal News Team on a sunny afternoon. One of the parstay here, for all ticular challengthe reasons we just discussed. We’ve seen schools where that didn’t substantially beefed up our advising so es right now is we do have external So, why it is they go to the governor happen in the recent past. we have more advisors per student and voices often on the political side that and talk about the importance of highWe had a Ben Shapiro event last we increased financial aid—big increase are saying things quite different from er education, is because we have very semester and I actually thought we in the internal financial aid dollars we at least what some group of internal real and immediate impacts on them. did that very well. We had a group started giving out. voices are saying. They want our engineers, they want of protestors and we talked to them It’s a fine example of how increased You’ve got at least some individuour recent graduates, they want our ahead of time and said “You can come investments can produce results. als from outside who are attacking us good writers and journalists for their in, but you have five minutes because for dealing with diversity and my role communications departments and they this event must go on.” The protesters On direct admission to colleges: in that—which is the communication want to be nearby the sort of research came in, they disrupted the event—it Our business school and our engi- role—is to say particularly to the outthat we do to stay in touch with what are actually went on seven minutes—and neering school are where we’re going side, that this is not about political corthe coolest new technologies that are they left at that point and the event to see [direct admits] most. And we’re rectness, and this is not about trying going to impact us and that [they] need proceeded. The protesters were in the quite unusual compared to our peers in to give in to student demands, this is to pay attention to and even be a part of hall, making it very clear as people that many of them [direct] admit pretty about a fundamental educational need helping to explore. came and went. much the whole class of the freshman of our students as they go to work in the But I thought that was exactly— year or a very high share of them. We 21st century. On performance metrics: when talking about creating a bal- [directly] admitted almost no one in They must be able to work in a diverse I have no concerns at all in saying that ance—not a bad balance, and I was their freshman year. and highly differentiated environment we need to be accountable for things like actually quite proud of our students with people from other countries, with graduation rates and retention rates, on both sides of that event in terms of How would [direct admits] affect transfer people from other parts of this nation and how we’re doing on the research how they handled that. Mr. Shapiro got students coming in? and with people from very different front and how are we doing with out- to give his full speech and at the same Well that’s one reason why you don’t racial and ethnic backgrounds. If they reach, and that’s the nature of all the time it was very clear that there was want to admit a really high share of can’t do that, they will not be very output measures being proposed. controversy about this. your class because a lot of your transfer successful in their careers. That’s an The devil is always in the detail, It’s clear that there are some people students who come in want those col- important message to get out to those right? There are good ways to do these telling us we don’t have enough conser- leges, and we’ve gotta preserve space who are critical of what we’re doing.


6 • Action Project Issue, April 2017



Decades of activism in Madison tie back closely to the university By Gina Heeb THE DAILY CARDINAL

Where is the

An unprecedented storm of protests resisting the Trump Administration have shocked state capitals across the country following the November presidential election—but for some in Madison, a long history of political and social movements tying back to the university have made the new wave of activism nothing but expected. “A lot of the activism that has happened in our city has originated on the [UW-Madison] campus, wheth-

Wisconsin Idea going,

country, like Berkeley.” Reflecting on his own participation in protests while a student during the 1960s and 1970s, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said the university fosters a type of activism within the city that is very distinct from other college towns across the country. “U.S. students have historically been less active than students in [other countries]; they have been relatively quiet,” Soglin said. “But [UW-Madison] was an exception. University students and workers have had a lot to say about shaping their nation’s future.”

his interests shifted to politics after he got to Madison. “What [my career path] came down to was going to UW-Madison,” Jacque said. “Having the Capitol at the other end of State Street gave me an outlet … it has always been a politically active campus. There’s a lot going on and that’s a positive thing.” Jacque was active in several anti-abortion organizations and served as president of a campus chapter of the Pro-Life Action League during his time as a student. “At a university like UW-Madison, it might be

“UW-Madison has had a long history of participating in the lives of the people of the state. It goes back to the notion that the boundries of the university are the boundries of the state of Wisconsin.” Paul Soglin mayor City of Madison


Madison has seen many protests in recent years, and most can be tied back closely to UW-Madison.

er it be during the Vietnam War or after Tony Robinson was killed or after the election,” UW-Madison professor Michael Wagner said. Leading up to Inauguration Day, a Facebook event was launched for the Women’s March on Madison, one of hundreds of marches organized worldwide to raise awareness about women’s rights on President Donald Trump’s first full day in office. The event, mostly publicized by social media, brought an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people to a march up State Street. It earned one of the highest participation rates per capita in the United States and trailed only behind Washington, D.C., according to the digital strategy company Reverbal Communications. “People often use the university as kind of a focal point to think about finding people who might want to be a part of a social movement or a protest, in planning those things and carrying them out,” Wagner said. Wagner still questions whether activism in Madison is unique from other college towns. “I think it’s no accident that there were larger protests in Madison than a similar sized town without a major university in it,” Wagner said. “And that’s true in other college campuses around the

Soglin became involved the civil rights movement in 1962, the year he arrived on campus, as he was elected to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was later involved in rallies opposing the Vietnam War and the Dow Chemical Company, which he ultimately led in later movements. “Political activity was as much a part of campus life as was going to class and studying,” Soglin said. “One thing that hasn’t changed—that unfortunately, the activism ebbs and flows in reaction to bad things.” What makes activism on the UW-Madison campus unique, Soglin said, is one of the university’s core philosophies, the Wisconsin Idea. “UW-Madison has had a long history of participating in the lives of the people of the state,” Soglin said. “It goes back to the notion that the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state of Wisconsin.” Though notable protests on campus, like those opposing the Vietnam War, have been seen as filling a Democratic agenda, activism in the city has reached both sides of the aisle. State Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere, said he set off for college with plans to pursue a medical career, but

harder to find groups, activism and beliefs on the right side of the political spectrum, but it certainly exists if you look for it,” Jacque said. “It’s a large enough university that there is interest in the broad spectrum of political ideas.” A smaller pool of conservative groups at the university, Jacque said, sometimes made for more interesting classroom dialogue. “Not all groups are going to feel like their message is met with the same amount of acceptance,” Jacque said. “But in my time at UW, I had a number of professors that appreciated they had me on campus so they didn’t have to play the devil’s advocate in different discussions.” Jacque said his colleagues from both sides of the state Legislature should respect political engagement by the public. “We should have a healthy respect for activism and people who get involved,” Jacque said. “You have people who want to make a difference and make change and there’s a tremendous amount of respect for that.”people who get involved,” Jacque said. “You have people who want to make a difference make change there’s a tremendous amount of respect for that.”

The future of the Wisconsin Idea following its progressive past “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state.” By Lilly Price THE DAILY CARDINAL

It’s been over 100 years since former Republican Gov. Robert La Follette led the progressive charge to reform Wisconsin and ultimately created a lasting progressive tradition. Now another Republican governor is in the driver’s seat, but this time is paving the road for a new conservative tradition. Headed by Gov. Scott Walker, with Republicans in control of both chambers of the state Legislature and President Donald Trump coloring the purple state a rich shade red for the first time since 1984, Wisconsin has shed its progressive title and donned a conservative one. The cherished Wisconsin Idea, though no longer directly related to its progressive origin, still shows the impact that Wisconsin’s political history continues to have on society and government today.

Charles Van Hise president UW-Madison 1903-18

Education at basis of progressive nature

In a historical context, the definition of the Wisconsin Idea is the UW System’s direct contributions to the state. Faculty assist the government in the form of serving in office, collaborating with legislators on public policy, offering expertise and helping to solve problems for citizens of the state through community outreach. Recognition of the importance of education laid the groundwork for the Wisconsin Idea in the early 1900s. Charles McCarthy, the first UW professor to be appointed to the head of UW’s legislative council, worked to ensure the university and government collaborated. The thought was if the state was going to invest large amounts of money in a world-class university, the Capitol should use the resources in their backyard to solve Wisconsin’s challenges. Innovation that came out of the university through the Wisconsin Idea also translated into

national policy goals. One example of this was when Edwin Witte, a university professor staffing the Wisconsin legislature, helped President Franklin D. Roosevelt plan Social Security. In terms of turning knowledge and research gathered at the university into real life solutions, the progressive tradition lives on in the now-conservative state. Innovation coming out of the university, however, largely encompasses economic issues rather than tackling social challenges. Part of the Wisconsin Idea includes fueling the state’s economy. In order to benefit the economy, citizens must be educated to protect Wisconsin’s status as an economically competitive state. In districts with medical complexes such as the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, medical research and cures pour out of the university and into the community and economy. “We’re still seeing a lot of innovation come out of the university system ... that says how do we take what was done in a petri dish in a lab in Madison and turn that into a viable enterprise that isn’t just about making money, it’s about pouring those resources back into the community,” said state Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield. “That ultimately help[s] the average citizen with whatever that medical issue or whatever that cure may be.” Sometimes medical cures reach the national or even the global level. “We’re still seeing the lineage and the legacy of what that progressive mindset was back 100 years ago with the university system,” Hutton said.

A budget not about the past, but the future

When Walker tried to rewrite the definition of the Wisconsin Idea in his last budget from expanding knowledge outside the confines of a classroom to “meet the state’s workforce needs,” along with a $250 million funding cut to the UW System, he was

met with fierce opposition. The universities staggered through the tuition cut but held onto their distinctive principle. In Feburary, Walker introduced his 2017-’19 biennium budget which championed student success, rewarding work and accountable government. The governor proposed investing over $105 million in the UW System in the form of a 5 percent tuition cut with $35 million to cover costs, $42.5 million in performance-based funding and $10 million in need-based financial aid. Although funding levels are not directly tied to the Wisconsin Idea, Walker is reflecting the importance of education in his investment choices. “If there’s anything we’re doing in terms of innovation, and I think the governor leads on, is ensuring that we are listening to the marketplace and that we are aligning our education system so our young people, whether they’re sophomores in high school or sophomores in college, are being aligned to where the jobs are today,” Hutton said. “Those need to go hand in hand because our education system is about the economy and the direct correlation to jobs and job readiness, at the end of the day, need to be paramount.” Political science professor and department chair David Canon explained that budgets and funding levels are not connected to the Wisconsin Idea because the community outreach faculty perform is done on their own time.One cut that could potentially directly affect outreach capability is the recent cut to the UW Extension, a service that promotes statewide access to university resources by having faculty work closely with other Wisconsinites. Democrats in the state Legislature do not feel the same way about Walker’s investments in K-12 funding and the university, going as far as saying Walker does not promote the Wisconsin Idea. “[Walker’s] been gutting public education and

now he adds a few dollars with strings attached because it’s an election year,” said state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, “He’s been going three steps backward, maybe one step forward for election year.” Risser is the longest serving state senator in the U.S. With 60 years under his belt, Risser has worked with 12 different governors, six Democrats and six Republicans. “Whether it be students or faculty or administration, they care deeply and passionately about the state and want to provide solutions to our problems.”

Cory Mason state representitive D-Racine

Risser believes Walker’s 2011 budget was based not on the Wisconsin Idea or traditions but on what Walker though would sell nationally for his presidential run and that his current budget precedes a re-election run. The senator agrees with the belief of Charles Van Hise, UW’s president from 1903 to 1918, that university research should be applied to solve state problems to improve health and quality of life, environment and agriculture. For Risser, the Wisconsin Idea is a deep, solid conviction that the role of government is to assist the greatest number of people it can. “The first 11 governors up until this one, whether they were Democratic or Republican, I think promoted to a greater or lesser degree what we call the Wisconsin Idea,” Risser said. “They paid attention to the environment, improving health and quality of life in the state.” “Quite frankly, the current administration isn’t

promoting the Wisconsin Idea,” Risser said. Walker’s office did not reply to multiple requests for comment.

Differing interpretations

The Wisconsin Idea is held near and dear to many people. As a result, many people interpret the idea differently. For Canon, it is that professors at UW have a mission to serve the state broadly, help facilitate policy making with the state, work on government commission, and perhaps most importantly, engage in outreach to the rest of the state. “I get random phone calls from people around the state that want to call up and talk about something about Wisconsin politics ... they should be able to just do that as a taxpayer, just pick up the phone and talk to some professor about what’s going on and we should be able to tell them,” Canon said. “To me, that really shows we are reaching the people of the state to some extent. It really is a part of how we see our mission reaching the rest of the state.” State Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, also believes that the Wisconsin Idea is bigger than faculty and government corresponding, and needs to extend to all corners of the state. “There’s sort of a saccharin definition of the Wisconsin Idea of any professor working with a legislator is promoting the Wisconsin Idea,” Mason said. “To some extent that’s some of the remnants of it, but when I think of the Wisconsin Idea I think about the university and the legislature coming together to really tackle the state’s biggest problems and come to a solution that would be egalitarian and functional and would work in the real world.” Mason, who said he spends a lot of time thinking and talking about the Wisconsin Idea, said it’s on the decline due to a variety of factors. Even faculty who

have historically worked with legislators on public policy are hesitant to express their research for fear of political retaliation, according to Mason. Mason, Risser and Hutton, however, have all worked with faculty to gain their expertise on their proposed bills. Recently, Canon testified at the Capitol along with several other UW professors when the state adopted a voter ID law.

Future of the Wisconsin Idea

Despite funding cuts and concerns that the Wisconsin Idea is on the decline, some maintain their hope for the future of the Wisconsin Idea and the strength of the state overall. “Whether it be students or faculty or administration, they care deeply and passionately about the state and want to provide solutions to our problems. That’s remarkable and still a great aspect of the state,” Mason said. “There’s still sifting and winnowing of knowledge that occurs in the UW System.” The passion sparked from the Wisconsin Idea links back to the university in the form of a strong, successful alumni base. “That to me is what a community, a thriving community, looks like,” Hutton said. “As individuals and companies, meaning the private sector, are prosperous, communities are prosperous.” It will remain to be seen if Wisconsin will revert back to its heritage of promoting progressive, liberal activities or if the evolved conservative state will break new ground. Regardless, some have optimism for Wisconsin’s future. “Even with the budget cuts we’ve had over the last couple of budget cycles, we’re still a very strong university and I think we do play a really important role in helping make sure that the future of the state is going to be positive,” Canon said.




Action Project Issue, April 2017

Students address social issues in Wisconsin with help from UW fellowship By Sammy Gibbons THE DAILY CARDINAL

Former UW-Madison President Charles Van Hise defined the Wisconsin Idea as a goal: He wanted the university to impact lives throughout the state. UW-Madison freshman Caroline Hanson kept this message in mind while creating her project that focused on the issue of food insecurity on the local level, which she said is often overlooked “in people’s own backyard.” Hanson’s idea—The Patio Tomato Project—distributes fresh tomatoes to low-income families in the Madison area. She will also offer them educational materials about maintaining tomato plants and culinary ideas. Her project is moving forward with financial help from a grant she was awarded, along with six other students or groups, through the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship. The WIF awards roughly seven fellowships annually and aids students in implementing service projects that will impact the campus and

beyond. The program, which is open to students who hold sophomore to senior standing, offers logistical assistance as well as up to $7,000 in funding. It connects participants with a community partner and a UW-Madison faculty or academic staff advisor to address social problems that have been identified locally, nationally and globally, according to Wisconsin Idea Fellowship Graduate Assistant Garrett Grainger. “The whole notion of the Wisconsin Idea is to make the university and benefits of the university accessible beyond the ivory tower and to the residents of the state,” Grainger said. “We’re trying to use the resources of the students … we want to give [the grants] to them so they can go out into the community and address problems that the community is identifying as relevant and needs to be resolved.” For The Patio Tomato Project, Hanson teamed up with The River Food Pantry and was advised by Jeri Barak-Cunningham, an asso-

ciate professor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Barak-Cunningham has assisted in growing tomatoes, which they plan to distribute at community events and at parks in low-income Madison neighborhoods. They will send messages about the benefits of vegetables to children heavily and distribute further information about the produce. “We’re hoping we can increase that connection that people used to have to where their food comes from,” Hanson said. “There’s been a disconnect between … food that comes from the supermarket, what is this, how was it made. We’re really hoping to bridge that gap that has been forming.” Another recipient of the WIF will also target younger people, but instead of promoting healthy diets, UW-Madison senior Morgan Sanger and sophomore Renee Olley will encourage middle school girls to pursue careers in science, technologies, engineering and mathematics fields. Their project, Eva the Engineer: Young Girls at the Intersection of Engineering and Sustainability, will engage small groups of female students at Badger Rock Middle School in several educational and interactive sessions about civil engineering. “Starting them at such a young age, we can make an impact in the Madison area where we encourage and inspire these young girls to see themselves as engineers or scientists,” Sanger said. “Then, likely, some of them will stay in the Madison area and it will keep it a rich intellectual culture that we have with the university here. I’m hoping it has both individual impacts on the girls and lasting community impacts as well.” One other group is keeping their project close to campus. Lauren Silber and Maddie Zimmerman are working with the UW-Madison student organization Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment to facilitate workshops that “outline the meat and potatoes of dating violence,” according to Zimmerman.

Through research, the duo discovered there are several programs at UW-Madison that offer services or material focusing on sexual assault, but none that discuss dating violence specifically. The team connected with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, a Madison nonprofit organization, to form Relationships For Leaders, Advocates and Greek Students. “We talk a little bit about the statistics surrounding dating violence, bystander intervention and general red flags of dating violence,” Zimmerman said. “We’re pretty specified in our material. We’re not giving into the sexual assault world … we’re really trying to focus on dating violence because that seems like the most tangible relatable issue for college students.” Each of the students interviewed said they plan to continue expanding their projects, collaborate with more individuals and groups, and will maintain their work for years to come. “Van Hise, when he was talking about the Wisconsin Idea, he really wanted the impact to reach every family in the state of Wisconsin, and people have been interpreting that to mean every family in the world,” Hanson said. “We’re bringing the Wisconsin idea home by targeting those families in the state and following Van Hise’s intention.”

UW works to improve diversity amid student, expert concerns By Megan Provost THE DAILY CARDINAL

The recent year’s political and social climate has thrust the topic of identity into the spotlight across campus and throughout the country. More specifically, the question of diversity, what it offers to various communities, what changes need to take place in order for marginalized students to feel included at UW-Madison has been the subject of students and administrators alike. “Diversity on college campuses is important because the inclusiveness is what enriches college-life experiences,” Daiki Yanagawa, a member of the UW-Madison Asian American Student Union, said. “Not only does it accommodate students from different backgrounds, it also serves to unite these people to establish a strong sense of belonging.” According to Markus Brauer, a professor of social sciences at UW-Madison, the value of diversity on college campuses lies in what it contributes to students’ futures in the work force. “In today’s workforce, you have to be able to communicate with people from different backgrounds and to work in teams with people from different backgrounds,” Brauer said. “To know how to talk in a respectful way, to reach out to people who belong to different social groups is something you have to practice, and college is just a wonderful way to practice doing exactly that.” Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate Patrick Sims also spoke on diversity regarding learning from the experiences of peers, in addition to promoting a sense of unity. “From the perspective of our lived experiences as faculty, staff, students who work here, who live here at the university, finding ways where we can celebrate all the things

that make each and every one of us unique … I think we’ll find out that we’re more alike than we are different,” Sims said. In terms of UW-Madison’s efforts to promote and facilitate the presence of historically underrepresented groups on campus, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement currently houses six of the eight major recruitment pipeline initiatives: PEOPLE, Posse, the Center for Educational Opportunity, First Wave, the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Powers-Knapp Scholarship, according to Sims. The other two initiatives—the Center for Academic Excellence and the Academic Advancement Program—are housed in the College of Letters & Science. Sims said his office is also in the midst of a framework dedicated to addressing issues related to diversity and inclusion on campus. The program, titled Retain Equip Engage Lead Change, is set to occur over a nine- year period. The REEL Change consists of 18 initiatives divided into three sixinitiative phases, each taking place over three years. REEL Change’s first phase commenced in Fall 2014 with its first initiative—the Campus Climate Survey—which reached its goal of 20 percent student body participation, according to Sims. The program is currently in the third year of phase one. The most recent initiative, initiative six, focuses on “making sure diversity is a priority for philanthropic and fundraising activity,” Sims said. Achievements of initiative six include one renewed and one new grant for the CEO program, a new STEM grant, and a $600,000 grant from ACT Prep for the PEOPLE program, along with the university’s

first and largest single-donor gift of $10 million for Direct Match for the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program. “These are all the things that don’t necessarily see the light of day, but they help solidify that foundation that keeps the work moving forward in a positive light,” Sims said.

“Diversity on college campuses is important because the inclusiveness is what enriches collegelife experience.” Daiki Yanagawa member Asian American Student Union

Sims’ office has also recently launched another program, Diversity Inventory Project, which aims to “really understand what the university is doing with diversity,” Sims said. DIP is a product of the Strategic Diversity Update, which highlighted nearly 300 unrelated efforts that all related to diversity on campus. Sims said DIP is intended to promote the visibility and cooperation of these efforts. “We’re holding ourselves more accountable to ensure that we’re having the outcomes that we know are happening” Sims noted. “We’re getting the data, we’re asking the tough and hard questions that, for some, in other contexts, may appear to be politically or racially or ethnically motivated, but they’re there because that’s what good stewardship looks like.” Despite these efforts, however, data suggests that UW-Madison could improve its demographic diversity. According to the Data Digest for the 2016-’17 academic year, nearly 75 percent of the undergraduate student population enrolled during the fall semester

identified as white. The second most represented group, at nearly 6 percent, identified as Asian. According to Brauer, the disparity in representation is due in part to the university’s recruitment and admission restrictions as a statefunded institution in Wisconsin where, according to U.S. Census data, 87.6 percent of residents identify as white. While Brauer believes the university is doing an “okay job” within these constraints, he also believes that “there’s always room for improvement,” specifically regarding techniques used to promote inclusive environments and behaviors on campus. “We’re using sort of old-fashioned approaches from the Our Wisconsin [project] to diversity training workshops … of which we now know that they’re perfectly ineffective,” Brauer said. “It’s a phenomenal waste of everybody’s time—both the instructor and the people who are participating in these workshops.” Brauer said more modern methods such as social marketing could be applied in order to define optimal inclusive behaviors. They could also identify what currently prevents students from engaging in them and enumerate the benefits of engaging in said behaviors. Brauer cited social norms messaging, a means of communicating to people “what their peers think and what they do.” He also recommends “engagement and commitment methods” that have been effective in increasing the awareness of bias, the behaviors that constitute bias and which behaviors students should be engaging in. He said focus groups on campus have shown that students are less likely to reach out in class to students of different social groups out

of fear of saying or doing something offensive unintentionally. “We put people together in a room and we give them a bias awareness workshop or a diversity training workshop, and then we tell them ‘You are biased. Stop being biased,’” Brauer said. “It would be nice if, at some point, we tell students what behaviors we actually want them to engage in, and then how to do it and what they might get out of engaging in these behaviors.” Faith, a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians and a member of Wunk Sheek, expressed similar sentiments regarding heightening awareness of other cultures through facilitated conversation. She believes the university would benefit from a required program similar to the Tonight and Alcohol Edu programs that focuses on hate and bias. “I guarantee you, there’s time in someone’s life where they feel like they haven’t belonged,” Faith said. “You can take that feeling of someone not feeling like they belong or feeling like they’re excluded … and you can directly transfer it to how certain groups on campus feel when you do things that you say, ‘oh, it was just funny at the moment,’ but really, it’s not.” Sims said while there’s still a lot to improve upon in the realm of diversity on campus, and the progress being made is not as rapid as hoped, he believes they are headed in the “right direction.” “What keeps me here is the fact that Madison hasn’t given up. We’re stubborn that way,” Sims said. “Maybe it’s the badger … think of the tenacity, what it means to be a badger … we are committed, and we’re committed to the end and we’ll do everything we can to try and figure out and get it right.” LEAH VOSKUIL/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO


Action Project Issue, April 2017



From local to global: The Wisconsin Idea expands scope to reach the world By Hannah J. Olson THE DAILY CARDINAL


f John Bascom strolled through his namesake today, he would be pleased to find a university whose state focus turned global, whose Wisconsin Idea became a worldwide one. The Wisconsin Idea, inspired by Bascom, coined by Frederick Jackson Turner and championed by Charles Van Hise and Bob La Follette, gained traction in the early 20th century. Over the past century, however, globalization took Bascom’s desire—often paraphrased as “the boundaries of the university are the boundar-

ies of the state”—to the next level. Global health centers, leading science research, 20 Nobel Prizes and 38 Pulitzer Prizes, over 1,000 CEOs, the second largest producer of Peace Corps volunteers; the UW-system is no longer solely a state-influencing institution. 2011-‘12 marked the Year of the Wisconsin Idea, a time to reflect on the university’s mission. At the time, Gwen Drury, a Ph.D. student in Educational Policy and Leadership Analysis at UW-Madison, reflected on the history of the vision and how the statewide approach reached beyond in “The

Last year, UW-Madison ranked first in public university study abroad participants, with 1,082 Badgers spreading the WIsconsin idea across the world in the 2014-‘15 adademic year.

Wisconsin Idea: The Vision that Made Wisconsin Famous.” It began in 1862 when President Lincoln signed The Morrill Land Grsystemant Act, aiming to increase national infrastructures in an ever-growing country by incentivizing differently than other states, expanding its existing university instead of creating new schools within the state. Though it seems a stroke of genius looking at the the Wisconsin system today, Drury writes, it came about out of frugality. That unique approach strengthened a singular UW-System that physically reached the state’s corners and soon spread outside as well. As the world modernized, education followed. Today, a college degree is not bound to a single campus—with online options and expat opportunities—and a career could lead a graduate anywhere on the globe. Last year, UW-Madison ranked first in public university study abroad participants, with 1,082 Badgers spreading the Wisconsin Idea across the world in the 2014-‘15 academic year. It also ranked highly

Global health centers, leading science research, 20 nobel prizes and 38 pulitzer prizes, over 1,000 CEOs, the second largest producer of Peace corps volunteers; the UW-System is no longer solely a state-influencing institution. in international students, welcoming 6,440 in the 2015-‘16 year. A modern picture of the Wisconsin Idea in action is students who take advantage of their school’s opportunities as well as extracurriculars. One such student is Jenny Ostrowski, a UW-Madison student of international relations and African-American languages and literature who recently spoke at the UW Language Institute’s World Language Day event. She took a German gapyear, an Ecuadorian service trip

and a refuge volunteer mission in Greece. Combined with her Superior, Wisconsin German classes, community Emerson in Latin America and Arabic classes at UW-Madison, her broad-based learning experience extended the boundaries of her education beyond the state. An idea drawn up in a time when the model T was on the market, the years have changed the way it operates, just as cars have changed in look and efficiency. Today, Badgers are citizens of the world.

In Kazakhstan partnership, UW-Madison globalizes the Wisconsin Idea By Jake Skubish THE DAILY CARDINAL


f the guiding principle of the Wisconsin Idea is indeed to bring knowledge beyond the state’s campuses, UW-Madison’s partnership with Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan may be the most extreme manifestation of that goal. “It takes 29 to 32 hours to get there,” Elise Ahn, the project manager for the partnership, said. “If you’re lucky.” Despite this distance, UW-Madison faculty and staff have been making the journey to Astana—the capital of Kazakhstan—since the partnership began in 2010. For the past seven years, UW has been advising Nazarbayev as it develops its School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Since its inception in 2010, NU has sought the aid of UW-Madison and 12 other international universities in its mission to become a world-class research institution. According to Yoshiko Herrera, the partnership’s director, the relationship was originally intended

to serve NU’s engineering school. But when a Kazakhstani delegation visited in 2009, their tour coincided with a campus visit from President Barack Obama, complicating their schedule. “Just to fill their time, [College of Letters and Sciences representatives] and others said, ‘Let’s tell them about a liberal arts education’” Herrera, a UW-Madison political professor, said. “Because of that visit ... they decided to start a school of social science and humanities.” The current contract between the universities includes a variety of areas in which UW-Madison provides consulting, including academic advising, library development and student mental health and well-being. The partnership has provided these administrative bodies with an opportunity to share their expertise. “There are all kinds of administrative structures within UW that are quite rigorous, but typically … these other units don’t get to share their knowledge,” Ahn said. “From a higher education standpoint, it’s really interesting

“The role of the university goes beyond just teaching and learning. [It] has been to bring knowledge and the community together, and I think that’s capatured very much in the ethos of the Wisconsin Idea.” Elise Ahn project manager UW-Madison and Nazarbayev University partnership

because [the partnership] kind of moves away from the more traditional model of research exchange to include these different units.” And while such administrative processes seem simple at UW-Madison, they’ve proven to be difficult for a country born from the Soviet Union. The Soviet system tended to be highly bureaucratic and moving away from that model has been a challenge. “When you think about the collapse of the Soviet Union, there’s a lot going on. We basically have to recreate a lot of different structures,” Ahn said. “Even a small thing like, ‘How do you set up a library structure to promote research?’ … This is the kind of stuff that you don’t think about until it isn’t there.” The library partnership has been an example of how UW-Madison has helped NU despite these lingering bureaucratic tendencies. UW-Madison staff have aided the promotion of digital projects at NU’s library, and have helped NU transition to a more modern classification system. “I have been told by a number of people at Nazarbayev that the library partnership … is critical to their future,” Ed Van Gemert, UW-Madison’s vice provost for libraries and university librarian, said. Making these changes wasn’t easy: The two universities’ time zones are 11 hours apart, and UW-Madison staff would often teleconference with Astana early in the morning or late at night. The distance, Ahn said, compresses the time UW-Madison staff have to build relationships. “It’s challenging for a lot of people on both sides to make that effort,” Ahn said. “I mean, it’s hard for a lot of people to call their parents. So proximity is challenging.” The benefits have not been

“Everyone who has gone from UW-Madison to Nazarbayev [University] has had a wonderful experience, and has come back feeling enriched.” Ed Van Gemert vice provost for libraries UW-Madison limited to Nazarbayev, though. In a tangible sense, the partnership is financially beneficial for UW-Madison, which makes money by providing NU with consulting services. But the collaboration has also allowed staff to better understand a culture known to many Americans solely through the movie “Borat.” “Everyone who has gone from UW-Madison to Nazarbayev has had a wonderful experience, and has come back feeling enriched,” Van Gemert said. “So even though we think we’re giving more, I think we’re getting as much as we’re giving.” Some, however, think it’s wrong for UW-Madison to reap benefits from a nation that is democratic on its face but authoritarian in reality. Although Kazakhstan is making some progress toward democracy, elections remain unfair and the country ranks poorly in measures of corruption and press freedom. Herrera, though, said she thinks promoting higher education in such a country will have positive consequences. “These are flawed political systems but … civil society ties, these horizontal linkages,

are not making us worse off,” Herrera said. Ultimately, the partnership’s mutual benefits has led the schools to expand their relationship. In 2016, UW-Madison started providing services for NU’s School of Engineering, and Nazarbayev students studied in Madison through the Visiting International Student Program. Despite these forthcoming plans, the partnership’s future is somewhat of a paradox: If UW-Madison does a good job improving NU’s programs, NU may no longer need any help. “The aim is, essentially, to work yourself out of a job, right?” Ahn said. “It should really move from being this contractual partnership to being more of a collaborative institutional relationship.” No matter how long the partnership with NU lasts, Ahn said the collaboration has been positive, and has been an example of the Wisconsin Idea in action. “The role of the university goes beyond just teaching and learning,” Ahn said. “[It] has been to bring knowledge and the community together, and I think that’s captured very much in the ethos of the Wisconsin Idea.”



Action Project Issue, April 2017

More than just a game: Tindal, Dixon overcome extreme odds to earn degrees By Bobby Ehrlich The Daily Cardinal


n Derrick Tindal’s freshman year at Madison, 1,500 miles away from his Fort Lauderdale home, the defensive back played in 12 games and made two starts, one at safety and one at nickelback, and accumulated 10 tackles. It wasn’t a bad start for a firstyear Badger. A lot of freshmen don’t even come close to seeing the field as much as Tindal did in 2014. But what’s more impressive is that he compiled these numbers while going through a tragedy no teenager should have to endure. November 3, 2014, Tindal’s mother died of cancer, bringing a four-year battle to a devastating end. “It was a mom, you know, you only get one of ‘em,” Tindal said. “Still to this day, i t kinda hurts to know that I don’t have her here anymore.” It was a tough blow to a kid who had been through a lot growing up in Fort L au de r d a l e. The city is one of the most dangerous in Florida , according to a 2014 report done by the FBI, which stated that residents had a onein-15 chance of becoming a crime victim. But Tindal worked hard throughout high school, playing well enough on the gridiron to earn attention from UW. Four years later, he is set to earn a degree in human development and family studies, a major that he believes has helped prepare him for his future. But without football, the senior may not have even had the chance to leave Fort Lauderdale or earn the degree that he is about to complete. “I mean, I always had NFL dreams growing up, but where I come from it’s a slim chance that I even make it out or get a chance to play. Fort Lauderdale is a big place, so there’s a lot of people who are playing, but the number of people who are in jail or dead, my friends who are still on the streets, it’s a high number,” Tindal said. “I look at Facebook and Instagram and I just see all the things that’s been going on down there, people getting shot, killed in my neighborhood, around Jessi Schoville Cardinal File Photo

my neighborhood. It’s always childhood. His parents were made me reminisce, like, ‘Man, divorced, but they were still that could’ve been me.’ So, I’m there for him through difficult very proud of myself for this.” times. He spent most of his time He is now poised to be one of during the week with his dad the defensive leaders on a unit and stepmom, whom he considthat prides itself on being one of ered a second mom, and most the best in the country, all while weekends with his mom. growing into a man that’s ready “I guess I looked at it like, to take on the next chapter of many people don’t have a dad in his life. their life, especially where I’m Throughout his time at from. And I was lucky enough to Madison, Tindal has realized have one, so I stayed with him,” that he wants to help people. he said. “They were very great. Through his classwork, he came But it wasn’t all great. I ain’t up with the idea of starting a grow up rich, with a silver spoon program that helps underprivi- or anything like that. I did some leged kids by providing them bad things I’m not proud of. But with mentors. they stayed there for me and “I just want to get them a helped me as much as they can.” chance. I want to be able to go That life experience, coupled back, help with what the neighborhe’s learned at hoods. Not just UW, has given my neighborTindal the “This place not hood, all the skills he needs only develops you neighborhoods to achieve his academically or as around,” the goals of creata football player, senior said. “I ing a program but it also helped just want to to help undersee younger privileged me mature as a kids get a betchildren. young man.” ter chance.” “Using the Tindal’s things they teach inspiration me and then the D’Cota Dixon came not only things I already safety UW Football from his know from classes, but being from that also from situation gives his rough me a better view on things,” he said. “I see it from a professional standpoint and then from me actually living in the standpoint.” And Tindal isn’t the only de f e n s ive back to

emerge from a difficult childhood. Safety D’Cota Dixon, who burst into the spotlight after his gameclinching interception against LSU last year, grew up just south of Tindal in Dade County. Dixon had an unstable home life, with a mother who struggled with substance abuse and violent boyfriends and a stepbrother who provided for the family through gang activity.

But like it did for Tindal, football safety’s unique skillset will provided an avenue out of trouble make him successful as a sports and an opportunity at an education. psychologist. “I not only get to experience “He cares about people deeply playing Power-5, top-notch foot- and beyond surface-level conball, but I also get to get a world- versations. So that’s right in class education, and I get to pur- his wheelhouse,” Smith said. sue a career “Coming from and develop,” such a hard Dixon said. background, “This place it can be really not only develeasy to mini“It’s always made ops you acamize other me reminisce, like, demically or people’s strugas a football gles, but he has ‘Man, that could’ve player, but it a unique abilbeen me.’ So, I’m also helped ity to recognize very proud of me mature as other people’s myself for this.” a young man.” struggles. That doesn’t There’s not a mean there sense of pride haven’t been or ‘You haven’t speed bumps been through Derrick Tindal and roadwhat I’ve been cornerback UW Football blocks along through.’ He’s this journey. able to empaDixon came to thize with peoMadison thinking he wanted to ple no matter where they are at study zoology. That plan changed on the pain scale.” after he failed biology, and he But for now, Dixon’s main quickly changed course and set focus isn’t becoming a top sports out a new path for himself. psychologist. While he still has “I found out that I just like NFL aspirations, he is on track helping in general, helping and to graduate in Spring 2018, a serving people. So I decided to milestone he’s ecstatic to achieve. do rehabilitation psychology,” “I’m really looking forward to Dixon said. “One, because of psy- getting a college degree. I feel like chology. I love the way people kinda big-time or professional think, the way people react, and or something like that,” Dixon I love trying to understand why said, grinning ear-to-ear, swellpeople make the decisions they ing with pride at the fact that he do and the rationality behind the had overcome substantial obstathought process. It definitely was cles to earn a degree appealing to me, so that’s kinda from one of why I really went with it.” the country’s He now has his sights top universet on becoming a sports sities. psychologist, combining his love of sports with his passion for helping people. This summer, he will intern with one of UW’s sports psychologists. This is a

career path that his mentor, Brian Smith, said fits his persona well. Throughout his college career, Dixon has become involved in several Christian organizations on campus, including Athletes in Action. There he found Smith, wh o has worked closely with Dixon over the last year, giving him advice and talking through his problems with him. He said the senior

Brandon Moe Cardinal File Photo


Action Project Issue, April 2017



Volunteer options abound to promote Wisconsin Idea MADISON SCHULTZ opinion columnist


UW-Madison dropped out of the top five for the first time in national research rankings since they began in 1972.

Research at UW still vital despite drop in rankings view Cardinal View editorials represent The Daily Cardinal’s organizational opinion. Each editorial is crafted independent of news coverage.

Presenting findings at a research conference is a dream for many students and faculty here at UW-Madison. However, for researchers such as Tom Bryan, that moment of pride for your hard work might be overshadowed by the recent drop in research rankings at your institution. Every year since 1972, UW-Madison has been ranked one of the top five research institutions in the nation by the National Science Foundation. Research at UW-Madison and across the UW System is driven by the Wisconsin Idea, a philosophy that the boundaries of the work of the university is not bound to campus and that research conducted at the university will benefit Wisconsin residents. However, in 2015, UW-Madison dropped to the sixth spot for the first time since the inception of these rankings. Research expenditures by UW-Madison dropped from the third highest in the nation in 2014 to the sixth highest in 2015 according to the NSF. That was a $40 million drop in the span of one year. UW-Madison’s decreased expenditures send a scary message that research is being devalued. Not only is research integral for a modern society, but it directly helps improve the lives of people across the state, country and even the world. This drop in research expenditures is coupled with President Donald Trump’s recent budget proposal, which, according to The Washington Post, will cut the National Institute of Health’s federal funding by $6 billion, almost one fifth of their usual funding. Not only is this budget cut frightening for federal scientific research, but it will also have a ripple effect on the work of smaller institutions as well. The NIH only uses a small portion percent of their annual budget for its own research. According to the same Washington Post article, upwards of 80 percent of federal funding is given as grants to over 300,000 research facilities.

Being such a highly ranked research institution comes with its perks. It helps to attract and retain faculty who are at the forefront of their fields, according to Natasha Kassulke, manager of strategic communications for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. “Faculty and students are looking for a place to work and pursue their higher education,” Kassulke said. “They are looking for the best and the brightest. As a high-ranking research institution, we have a better chance of recruiting and retaining excellent faculty and students.” However, with the university spending fewer research dollars, this could have a disastrous effect on the future of UW’s impact on the state, and beyond. “Research at the university has always been very important to solve problems and improve quality of life in the state of Wisconsin,” Kassulke said. “Less money leads to less progress, and ultimately can impact quality of life, environment and health of people across the state.” For graduate students on campus, the impact of decreasing research dollars has already become apparent. According to Rob Lundgren, a researcher for UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, it’s now harder to get funding. “I know there is some funding through Nelson that is now only available if you’re already a dissertator, or farther along in your studies, just because they have less to allocate for those sorts of purposes,” Lundgren said. “Obviously, traveling for research—or to present your research—is very important for overall work.” Other researchers have noticed a drop in morale among their colleagues as a result of the declining research dollars. “It affects overall pride in your institution,” Bryan, graduate student and also a researcher for the Nelson Institute, said. “When you read news articles about the UW

falling in rankings, and these articles are national news, it makes you feel less proud to be part of an institution where the national argument is that we’re kind of floundering.” Aside from morale, a drop in rankings and funding has a real impact on the effectiveness of of research at UW-Madison. “This public presentation or awareness that research funding is declining can also inhibit the image of other people as to the research strength of the university,” Lundgren said. “It can even lead to less research opportunities or less funding in the future.” Our university and its proud academics have pioneered things such as the Social Security Act, bone marrow matching systems and the discovery of Vitamins A and B. Research at UW-Madison has the potential to change lives, policies and laws, not just in the state of Wisconsin. Academic curiosity and research directly propel the Wisconsin Idea, a philosophy that drives the UW System to create positive impact within our state, and also outside of its borders. If the university is to decrease the value and importance of research by decreasing research expenditure, it is going to lessen its impact. “Here at UW-Madison, we are taking our research and applying it in a clinical setting, or even in a farmer’s field,” Kassulke said. “Currently our [research] funding is received in all 72 counties of Wisconsin. If that were to decrease, we may not be able to reach as far and wide.” We do not want to decrease the people we reach, but increase our impact. It is our moral obligation to stay true to the Wisconsin Idea and continue to make positive change for the people in our state, and to those beyond it. Research helps to maintain the core values of the Wisconsin Idea and bring positive change, and we cannot let budgetary constraints and political stances threaten that. The people of Wisconsin have maintained a reputation of academic excellence, and we must continue that tradition. Have you noticed any effects of the falling expenditures on research at UW-Madison? Please send comments, questions and concerns to

he Wisconsin Idea is a phrase that is tossed around quite often at our university. I remember hearing it described at SOAR but not really understanding what it meant. According to our school website, the broad premise of the Wisconsin Idea is that “education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom” and, more broadly, that it reflects the “university’s commitment to public service.”

Every person should try and leave the world a little better than they found it.

Essentially, UW-Madison is not just committed to supporting outstanding academics, but to making sure its students are using their education to help better the lives of both the local, national, and global community. Public service is the essence of the Wisconsin Idea and its importance cannot be stressed enough. Every person should try and leave the world a little better than they found it and our university is encouraging its students to do just that. By emphasizing the necessity of public service in our school’s philosophy, the university makes sure that it is providing the resources and faculty that allow us students to be able to give back to the community. The University’s commitment to volunteering is quite evident through its Morgridge Center for Public Service. The Morgridge Center’s mission is to “connect campus and community through service, service learning and community-based research to build a thriving democratic society.” Through the Morgridge Center, students can search for numerous volunteering opportunities on an online database.

Public service is the essence of the Wisconsin Idea and its importance cannot be stressed enough.

Students can find opportunities related to causes they are passionate about, such as homelessness, accessibility and disability and LGBT advocacy just to name a few. They also list options related specifically to your major so you can find service opportunities and apply what you have learned in the classroom to a service related, real world setting. Also on the Morgridge Center website are service trips students can take where they can volunteer over breaks and make a meaningful impact on various communities outside

of school. Another huge part of the Morgridge center is Badger Volunteers, where students sign up for a semester-long commitment to volunteer at different organizations throughout the community, where they spend their time for a few hours every week. Badger Volunteers is a great example of how the university encourages students to give back, and this is a meaningful way for students to become more involved in the Madison community. Besides the Morgridge Center, students can also become involved in service through dozens and dozens of student organizations on campus. On the Wisconsin Involvement Center website, students can filter and look through countless organizations that are solely dedicated to service. Advocates for Diverse Abilities, Lions Club and Amnesty International are just a few of the diverse service organizations that students can join to explore and discover causes to which they are dedicated.

All of these various service organizations and resources prove that UW-Madison takes the philosophy of the Wisconsin Idea seriously.

One of the greatest examples of our university’s commitment to public service is our relationship with the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization that is solely about giving back and helping community development. The noble people who join this organization are not doing it for money; they are doing it out of their pure desire to help make the world a better place, in whatever little ways they can. UW-Madison is ranked the number one university for producing Peace Corps volunteers, and there are currently 87 Badgers serving in the Peace Corps worldwide. These people embody the principles of the Wisconsin Idea in action. Their education at UW fostered within them a global spirit that encouraged them to make their mark on the world through volunteering. All of these various service organizations and resources prove that UW-Madison takes the philosophy of the Wisconsin Idea seriously; the commitment it makes to public service is not just empty words. An education at UW-Madison promotes well-rounded individuals who are determined to take their experiences in and outside of the classroom to give back to the larger community. UW-Madison inspires Badgers to have a giving spirit that goes beyond the classroom and has an impact greater than themselves. Madison is a sophomore majoring in English and communication arts. Please send all comments, questions and concerns to

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Action Project Issue, April 2017


Who is represented at the UW System’s flagship?

Percent of in-state students proportional to county’s population 0-24 percent 25-49 percent 50-74 percent 75-99 percent 100+ percent GRAPHIC BY THEDA BERRY

The map displays student representation at UW-Madison compared to each county’s share of the state population. The darker the red, the more represented a county is, and a white county would be less represented compared to their share of the state’s total population. For example, Dane County is dark red, as it is the most highly represented county at UW-Madison. But Florence County, which just has three students at UW-Madison, is white, as it is one of the least represented counties at the university. This map doesn’t represent other data, such as UW applications or certain demographics from each county, and instead just focuses on total population. The figures for county populations were from the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s estimate for 2016, which combined to a total of 5,775,120 people. The number of students from each county with in-state status was based on fall 2016 enrollment data. The total number for these students came to 22,757 people. —Peter Coutu

Action Project Issue, April 2017  
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