University of Wisconsin-Madison
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SOAR Issue 2018
Soar Issue 2018 GRAPHIC BY LAURA MAHONEY
Confronting the Klan on campus: UW project hopes to unearth dark past By Sydney Widell ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
A student arriving on campus for the first time in the early 1920s would have found themselves at a university where parading down State Street in blackface, conducting mock peace pipe ceremonies on Library Mall and ridiculing Jewish and Asian-American students in student publications were normal behaviors, and where a campus fraternity called the Klu Klux Klan enforced white supremacy vigilantly and with limited opposition.
“The fact that UW has a history of racism on campus, marginalizing groups of people is reflected in who comes here and what our campus looks like.”
Christy Clark-Pujara co-chair public history project
Today, the researchers behind an upcoming public history proj-
ect that will aim to confront legacies of exclusion and injustice at UW-Madison say addressing campus’s present inequalities must be a priority, and that doing so is a shared responsibility. “Making sure that UW-Madison is an inclusive space is not the work of nonmajority students alone,” said Christy Clark-Pujara, one of the public history project’s cochairs. “Students inherit the campus’s legacy. The way the campus looks now is a result of what it was.” Clark-Pujara and Co-chair Stephen Kantrowitz say they hope the public history project will retrieve the voices and stories of those who endured a pervasive climate of violence and hostility on campus, and of those who struggled to change it. “I think this project could really change how people think about the history of the campus, the history of the community and what they mean when they say ‘I’m proud to be a badger,’” Kantrowitz said. “I believe in the power of history, and I believe that a fuller awareness and engagement with the complicated parts of a history makes you able to see the world in a richer, better way.” The project’s committee is in
its early stages of planning. So far, it has met twice to discuss the project’s framework. Ultimately, Clark-Pujara said she expects their work will produce a physical exhibit, an interactive online platform and maybe a publication of some kind, although she said it is too early to know for sure. One thing Clark-Pujara and Kantrowitz do know is that they want students to be involved with the process. “We will want students to be as close to the center of the research process as possible,” Kantrowitz said. “Part of our vision includes courses in which students do some of the research that produces this history.” Kantrowitz said he envisions the project intersecting with coursework, or even spurring the development of new courses that will help bring these stories to life. Additionally, Clark-Pujara recommends students stay aware as the discussions continue. “Actively seek out the places where this work is going on,” Clark-Pujara said. “Be more aware and pay attention.” The public history project is a response to a study published this spring that investigated the school’s association with the Ku Klux Klan. Chancellor Rebecca
Blank mandated the report last August, in the wake of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, South Carolina. The authors of the report
found that Porter Butts and Fredric March, two prominent “I think this project could
really change how people think about the history of the campus, the history of the community and what they mean when they say ‘I’m proud to be a badger.’”
Stephen Kantrowitz co-chair public history project
alumni whose names had been memorialized with the Porter Butts Gallery and Fredric March Play Circle at Memorial Union, had also been involved with the campus Klan. Following the report’s release, the Union Council debated whether or not it should remove March and Butts’s names from the Union. Ultimately, it decided that, beginning fall semester, the
names will be covered as the public history project proceeds. The authors of the report did not advocate for a name change, nor did they oppose one. Instead, they argued that any question of names should follow, rather than precede, systemic institutional change on campus. “If we can point to the actions of a ‘few bad people,’ we do not have to do the hard work of questioning and dismantling the “economic, political, social and institutional actions that perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources and power’ within our own institution,” the report said. As part of a commitment to making those systemic changes, the report also called on the university to renew its support to ethnic studies departments, to provide resources for underrepresented students on campus and to foster more inclusive graduate programs. Its authors pointed to the 2016 Campus Climate Survey as proof that these problems still persist on campus. According to that study, drawn from the 8,652 “representative” responses — 81 percent of UW-Madison’s over-
project page 6
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
SOAR Issue 2018
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Badgerloop team aims high for upcoming SpaceX Competition
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Attendees of all ages view Badgerloop’s newest Pod III, an electric-propulsion carbon fiber hyperloop pod. TYLER FOX science editor Ryan Castle, a 21-year-old junior studying electrical engineering, doesn’t live a typical college lifestyle. While many students’ typical day includes three to four lectures, some study time in the evening, and some Netflix to finish the night, Ryan spends over one hundred hours a week split between two things – his engineering co-op and the Badgerloop team. After he leaves his eight-tofive co-op, Castle returns home, grabs a quick bite to eat, and heads to the Badgerloop workshop at the UW’s Mechanical Engineering building. As the electrical systems director, Castle said there’s always work to be done for Badgerloop, the University’s hyperloop team that develops pods to compete in SpaceX’s yearly competitions. Many team members spent their evenings working together in their workshop to prepare their new pod for SpaceX’s upcoming competition, and these students have attained a high level of engineering and team leadership experience as a result of being involved with Badgerloop. “Our team goal is to provide a great experience for engineering students and otherwise to learn a lot about the competitions, passing SpaceX’s safety checks, and continue to work hard in the future to have great competitions,” Castle said. Hyperloop is Elon Musk’s brainchild to completely revolutionize public transportation – no small task in a country that is so largely dependent on personal vehicles. It involves using car-sized pods that travel down pressurized tubes at the speeds of modern airliners. The pods’ aerodynamic design coupled with the vacuum-sealed tubes in which they travel in results in very low air resistance and extremely efficient travel – which effectively solves a major issue that affects almost all public transportation today. As public transportation sys-
tems like airplanes and highspeed trains progress to travel farther distances without stopping, the issue of air resistance grows exponentially. Hyperloop solves thisissue resulting in an extremely efficient form of transportation. And the prospect of hyperloop isn’t as far off as it seems, at least according to Hyperloop One, a private company developing their own hyperloop track and funded by Virgin Group. According to their website, there are eleven routes currently in the planning stages of development, including routes like Miami to Orlando, Los Angeles to San Diego, and a triangular route connecting Houston, Dallas and Austin. Despite the initial excitement over hyperloop, the cost of this emerging technology is extremely high, as one leaked Hyperloop One document indicated a cost of up to $121 million per mile for a route in the Bay Area. This places a 100-mile route near the cost of $12 billion. Elon Musk hopes to offset some of the development costs by enlisting the help of colleges across the world, which is what led to the development of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Competition. With the first event taking place in January 2016, teams were first tasked with designing a fully functional pod to be visually evaluated by engineers at SpaceX. Competition included117 teams from six different countries,Badgerloop was one of three teams awarded a technical excellence award. In the next competition, teams were instructed to build fully functioning, scalable pods to be tested on SpaceX’s recently constructed 1-mile test loop. Team President Kali Kinziger indicated how much of a challenge this first competition was both financially and technically, as the team prepared for an entire year and amassed corporate sponsorships totaling over $140,000. Badgerloop was given an innovation award at this competition and later won an additional innovation award at the next competition, the only team to do so. Each year SpaceX changes the restrictions for the competitions
“pretty fundamentally every year,” according to Castle, so the teams are continuously pushed to innovate in new ways. Compared to last year’s pod, Badgerloop’s Pod III is much smaller and lighter, accomplished by shrinking the overall size and using a full carbon fiber outer shell. Though last year’s pod was able to fit a single occupant inside the pod, this year the team decided to go all in on maximum speed and removed the seat. SpaceX doesn’t require that the pods carry any occupants or cargo at this stage in the development, so to remain as competitive as possible, Badgerloop focused on upgrading its propulsion and braking systems while also staying as light as possible. “We have two extremely robust braking systems and they’re the strongest we’ve ever built, yet still remain extremely competitive in terms of their mass,” said Justin Williams, the technical director for the team. Williams went on to state how their suspension technology is similar to what is used in competitive motorsports, and that their brake pad system is used throughout the performance automotive industry. One of the many challenges the team faced was designing their pod to handle traveling at sustained high speeds, and with the wheels turning at a rate of over 33,000 rpm, this proved to be quite a challenge. Williams elaboratedon how the team had to re-machine their wheels and suspension system multiple times to ensure that all their parts met their precise design requirements. Though the goal of hyperloop is to travel at speeds of around 700 mph, Badgerloop’s newest pod aims to reach speeds between 200 and 300 mph. It can reach these speeds using an electrical belt-driven motor that turnsa single drive wheel running on a center rail. The team has lofty expectations for this year’s SpaceX Hyperloop competition, which occurs at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
Each competition is roughly a week and a half and is no vacation for the Badgerloop team. “Most of the time, it’s just like absolute hell,” Kinziger said. Given that their pod survives the roughly 30-hour drive to California, the team must then test and retest all their safety systems to be sure their pod doesn’t turn into dead weight as it hurtles down the track. Equipped with a wireless transmitter, the team can activate a kill switch within the pod that cuts all propulsion power from the engine and slows the pod to a stop.This is one of the systems that is vital in ensuring their pod’s safety. Last year the team faced major electrical difficulties because moisture leaked into their van that was transporting their pod, so Castle and the other electrical engineers spent much of the week frantically rewiring their systems. This didn’t prevent the team from finding success though, and other teams were willing to help as well. With competitors including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue, Virginia Tech and many others, the competitions demand the best the universities have to offer. Since Badgerloop was one of the very first teams competing, Castle added that this experience gives them a competitive advantage when compared to some of the newer teams. After learning from their past mistakes, the team expressed how relaxed and confident they are with their new pod, which is appropriate considering they are one of the most awarded teams competing.
“Most of the time, it’s just like absolute hell.”
Kali Kinziger team president Badgerloop
Despite facing such strong competition and tough design restrictions, ambition persists throughout the team, and Williams mentioned how the team hopes to “bring home a lot more than just an innovation award this year.” Even though the competition is fierce in finding who has the best pod, Kinziger stated how each team knows they are all working together towards the same goal: developing usable hyperloop pods. These students are at the forefront of emerging technology, and professionals all over the industry are taking notice, especially hyperloop’s creator Elon Musk. He shares the teams’ hopes that hyperloop becomes an integral part of mass transportation across the world. “Short of figuring out real teleportation, the only real option for super-fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment,” he said. “The Hyperloop is, in my opinion, the right solution.”
SOAR Issue 2018
UW-Madison students and faculty speak up about mental health awareness on campus By Grace Wallner FEATURES EDITOR
College students have a lot to worry about, from living in a new environment to stressful school work, but one crucial element of their lives is often left unattended — their mental health. Mental health is a nuanced, deeply personal and often avoided subject, but the resolve of UW-Madison students and faculty is strong as they fight to eliminate stigma and raise awareness. One of the students speaking up about mental health is Ben Wright, a graduate student in the math department who has struggled with mental illness during his own college career. Last year, Wright witnessed two different instructors making comments about suicide that he felt were
insensitive. He then requested that the math department be more conscious of mental health.
“Fighting stigma is an ongoing battle not only in the department and on campus, but in society as a whole.” Kathie Brohaugh math department Graduate Program Coordinator
For months after contacting administration, Wright felt that significant change was not being made. Recently, though, he became more optimistic about steps being taken.
A department-wide message was sent out asserting the importance of supporting students’ mental health and sharing resources available on campus, according to Kathie Brohaugh, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the math department. Mental health awareness training is set to occur at a departmental meeting in the fall. The math department also appointed associate professor Autumn Kent as mental health liaison, a new position that will serve as a line of communication between students and department administrators. Despite positive change, the comments further affirmed Wright’s view that there is not yet enough awareness on campus. Mental illness, in its many forms,
is widespread, especially for collegeaged people. One in five adults in the past year experienced mental illness, and the rates are highest in the 18-24 age group, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. “It’s a time of significant transition, being away from traditional support systems, and a time of constant stress,” University Health Services Communications Director Marlena Holden said. “From a biological point of view, this is also when many new mental illnesses present themselves.” Although a UHS study found 94 percent of students do not think less of a peer who seeks mental health assistance, 40 percent of students feel that they would experience stigma upon seeking health care. “Fighting stigma is an ongoing battle not only in the department
and on campus, but in society as a whole,” Bronaugh said. “The more we talk about mental illness, the more ‘acceptable’ it will be to ask for help.” Mental health affects not only students, but faculty and administrators. Brohaugh struggles with mental illness and hopes that by speaking up she can help others do the same. “I personally live with anxiety and depression,” she said. “I wouldn’t have the deep sensitivity and concern for others without them. My personal experiences being treated as the mental ill sufferer has fueled my passion for promoting mental illness awareness.” Being able to ask for help is sometimes vital, explained a graduate student and teaching assistant who suf-
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In a packed primary for governor, Democrats hope higher education reform can bolster their chances By Andy Goldstein STATE NEWS EDITOR
SAMANTHA NESOVANOVIC/THE DAILY CARDINAL
UW-Stevens Point’s proposed program cut of 13 humanities majors failed to stop activists from fighting for the programs’ existence. UW-Superior’s proposed cuts also faced student criticism.
With UWSP liberal arts programs’ future uncertain, campus community fights back against UW System’s choice to cut majors By Robyn Cawley COLLEGE NEWS EDITOR
With a decision less than two months away, UW-Stevens Point students and UW System administrators refuse to let the budget cuts mean the end to a liberal arts education. In a UWSP statement released in March, it detailed the decision to cut 13 humanities programs. This revealed the declining rate of students enrolling in humanities programs combined with the loss of state dollars and a $4.5 million deficit. And yet, the cuts affecting UW-Superior and UWSP are not isolated. The UW System has been plagued by significant cuts that could hinder the future of humanities, according to Brailey Kerber, the UWSP Student Government Association president. “No UW is safe from cuts of this nature when we are so underfunded. UW-Madison should be proactive to prevent cuts on their
own campus and show solidarity with the campuses already being hurt,” Kerber said. Under Gov. Scott Walker, the UW System has been at the receiving end of major budget cuts. In the 1970s, the UW System received over 75 percent of their budget from taxpayer dollars. Now, that number has decreased to around 17 percent, according to The Hechinger Report. Over the past six years alone, the UW System has suffered over $362 million in budget cuts, according to The Observatory. Specifically hit the hardest are UW-Superior and Stevens Point, both losing many liberal arts programs due to the cuts. “I am frustrated that it had to come to this. The UW System has been hurting for a while and it took these proposed cuts to bring attention to the lack of state support for our education,” Kerber said. With the loss of these majors,
UWSP would lose the university title, as it no longer would have the liberal arts programs to sustain the name, according to Bill Grunewald in a letter to the Stevens Point Journal. “A university strives to educate individuals who will, with that broad base of knowledge, improve society and promote certain universal ideals and truths,” Grunewald wrote in the letter. “If we are to advance society, we need universities.” Humanities programs have a history of low enrollment. And, where there are less students, there is less funding for more popular programs. So, what makes students shy away from humanities majors? Job outlook, according to Lexie Neeley, a leading protester and recent UWSP graduate. “There’s also a reigning belief that money equates to happi-
UWSP page 6
In what is expected to be the most crowded primary ballot in recent memory, the 10 Democratic candidates for governor are using every opportunity to distinguish themselves from the rest. But when it comes to higher education policy, most of the candidates’ platforms center on one thing: being drastically different from those of Gov. Scott Walker. “As a member of the Board of Regents, Tony [Evers] has seen firsthand the damage Scott Walker has inflicted on higher education in Wisconsin,” said Maggie Gau, the state superintendent’s campaign manager. “When other states began reinvesting in higher education, Wisconsin chose not to, and it’s resulted in fewer classes and quality educators for our kids.” Evers, who leads the Democratic pack due to the name recognition brought along by years in statewide office, centers his campaign on his work in public education — beginning his career as a teacher, Evers became a principal, then administrator, and finally moved up to the state’s head of public instruction. Beyond undoing Walker-era changes, like boosting UW System funding and replacing seats on the Board of Regents, Evers proposes halving the tuition of two-year state schools, supporting tenure and shared governance, as well as allowing graduates to refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate. Many of his proposals echo platforms of Evers’ primary opponents, but others, like former state Rep. Kelda Roys, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma and former state party Chairman Matt Flynn, support doing away with tuition for two-year UW schools altogether. “To restore the excellence of public education in Wisconsin, we will fully fund public education, fully fund the UW System and WTCS, ensure that up to two years at Wisconsin’s public universities, colleges or technical schools will be tuition free for in-state residents, and reaffirm the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin,”
Flynn told The Daily Cardinal. In a field without a clear frontrunner, positions outside of the party consensus for cutting tuition, reforming student debt laws and increasing UW System funding are hard to come by. But Mike McCabe, a longtime progressive activist, proposed a new idea to stick out in the crowd: legalizing marijuana, taxing it and using the funds to boost state investments in education. “Wisconsin’s goal should be nothing less than debt-free edu-
“The University of Wisconsin is our crown jewel — and it’s the economic engine of our state.”
Kelda Roys former state Representative
cation for everyone in our state,” McCabe said. “[Our] current approach to higher education financing not only makes it harder for young people to find a path to the American Dream, but it’s also bad for our state’s economy.” Firefighters’ union head Mahlon Mitchell said, if elected, he would “take action to create a first-of-its-kind independent agency,” the Wisconsin Student Loan Agency. Mitchell proposes allowing students to refinance loans at lower interest rates through the agency, or borrow one-time loans to pay off private ones and then be allowed to pay that debt back at a lower rate. All candidates on the ballot, including Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, state Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire, Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik and attorney Josh Pade spoke at the Democratic convention in Oshkosh in early June with hopes of pulling away with party support. “The University of Wisconsin is our crown jewel
primary page 6
SOAR Issue 2018
UW’s Game Design and Development club lets students play, create, share By Brandon Arbuckle ARTS EDITOR
The city of Madison is home to many successful video game studios. Raven Software has helped develop entries in the “Call of Duty” series, while PerBlue signed a deal with Disney to make mobile games for the media juggernaut. For those who aspire to work in the industry, UW-Madison’s Game Design and Development club gives students the opportunity to make games of their own. Founded in 2015, the club holds meetings every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Room 131 of the Teacher Education Building. At the beginning of each semester, there are initial meetings to introduce new members and pitch ideas for projects. A typical meeting begins with Noah Kliemann, the club’s industry chair, going over recent events and upcoming game releases. The group also has social events, art workshops and guest speakers. Last semester, Dan Norton from Filament Games came to talk about how his company uses the medium as an educational tool. The club creates games using engines like Unity and GameMaker, both of which are free to use. Other available resources for students include access to lynda.com for video tutorials on these programs. The club currently has five
projects in development, with one of them being “Protagonist.” It’s a title that draws influences from games like “Undertale” and “The Stanley Parable.” UW-Madison sophomore and Game Design member Savannah Mann is the project’s leader. Featuring morality-based decision-making that caters to different playstyles, Mann said, “There’s four main routes, and each one reflects how people play games.” For certain presentational aspects of the game, she took inspiration from Supergiant Games, the studio behind “Bastion” and “Transistor.” The company’s newest game “Pyre” has music layering where the songs change as you navigate the level. With the help of coders, Mann was able to implement this concept into “Protagonist.” The project has been in development for roughly two years: In that time, many members have come and gone, but their ideas have remained with the game. “That’s where the club mentality comes in,” Mann said. The brainchild of 20 to 30 people, “Protagonist” has culminated into one cohesive project, and the game has benefited greatly from it. While still in development, the project’s team released a playable demo last month that’s open to the public. In addition to the club, the Teacher Education Building
GEAPHIC BY BRANDON ARBUCKLE
The club holds weekly meetings at 6:30 p.m. in Room 131 of the Teacher Education building. is also where you’ll find classes from UW-Madison’s Game Design department. Students of sophomore standing can take CURRIC 357: “Game Design 1” and CURRIC 277: “Videogames and Learning,” the latter of which focuses on elements and social issues related
It’s a dream of mine to work internationally someday.
I was unsure of the role that learning a foreign language would have in my college years, but when I heard about the UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program, I knew that it was perfect for me. Suzy M. Geological Engineering Geology and Geophysics
Discover what Russian can do for your future: www.russianﬂagship.wisc.edu/soar
to games — it also fulfills the Comm B course requirement. Professor Aliah Darke, who teaches CURRIC 277, is a game designer herself. This gives students the chance to learn from those who have experience working in the video game industry. The university recently approved a Game Design certificate, but the finer details of the curriculum are still being finalized. Video games can still be a way to have fun — that much hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the definition of what a video game is. Today’s developers have elaborated on aspects like narration to tell stories we haven’t experienced yet in other mediums. “There’s so much that can be done in a game that can’t be done in stories,” Game Design board member Cindy Prentice said. “If you read about some tragic event that happened in history like Hurricane Katrina, it’s awful, but it’s just statistics. You might read a couple stories of a person’s recollections of what happened, but if you’re playing a game with a character who’s physically there on one of those houses, looking for food and terrified — that is a completely different experience.” Just like movies and music, there are many components in a video game: The main difference is that the first two are passive rather than active experiences. This unique level of interaction is why movies based on video games tend to be less than adequate, as directors are tasked with turning the dynamic moments of a game into a static, two-hour film. According to Prentice, the interactive nature of video games is what makes them more personal to us. “The actions you make change the experience for you, so no matter how the story is set up, it will be different for every person.”
This personalization can resonate deeply with college students, as some of today’s games contain commentary on politics, sexuality and even mental health. With each new generation of video game systems, the graphics in games have only gotten better. As developers become closer to achieving photorealism, this level of fidelity will pose challenges in the way of art design. “It’s gonna be interesting to see how [graphics] continue to be new and innovative,” Game Design board member Kaitlyn Brayer said. If anything, developers will have to be more clever to ensure that style isn’t sacrificed for life-like visuals.
“There’s so much that can be done in a game that can’t be done in stories.”
Cindy Prentice board member Game Design and Development club
As for the future of storytelling in video games, Prentice predicts a return to immersive and grounded experiences, with less titles breaking the fourth wall and being self-aware. The mainstream press often stigmatizes the medium, claiming them to be addictive and harmful to society. Much of the conversation is about what video games can and can’t be, but doing so keeps us from seeing what they already are. With groups like UW-Madison’s Game Design and Development club, students use video games to play together, create together and share together.
SOAR Issue 2018
Words of wisdom from a senior to first-years JAKE PRICE opinion editor
CAMERON LANE-FLEHINGER/THE DAILY CARDINAL
Lack of academic distractions can cause students to be overwhelmed by current events during the summer.
The arrival of summer and the return of reality IZZY BOUDNIK opinion editor
ummer break brings with it time spent with friends and family as well as the chance to reset and prepare for the year ahead. It also creates challenges, especially for first-year students, as it can be difficult to transition from high-paced collegiate life to life at home. In the era of technology, going to class can be a shield from the endless horrors of the 24-hour news cycle. What’s a better excuse for not being caught up on current events than spending time in the library in pursuit of an elusive 4.0?
I challenge anyone reading this to use this sumer to willingly listen to someone who has not had the same experiences you have.
That rationalization doesn’t hold much weight when political decisions that affect livelihoods and futures are constantly being made. However, once the first few weeks of June pass by and boredom begins to settle in, it’s easy to see how naturally we had occupied ourselves inside the campus bubble, and let other things fall by the wayside. There’s more time for endless newsfeed scrolling and turning on the television as the days get longer and hotter. When academic stress ceases, the stress of the world is all
too happy to swoop in and fill the gaps. Some students return home to an unsafe living situation, or to families who depend on the student’s part-time paycheck to pay the bills. Add that to a stream of constant tragedy and hopelessness splashed across the headlines, and not having any distractions for three months can seem unbearable. Although studying isn’t the most entertaining coping mechanism, it’s one students have access to for a large portion of the year, in addition to being surrounded by friends who support them. But what happens during the summer, when it’s harder to avoid big problems that affect us all? If you were somehow blind to the problems of the world during the semester, there’s not much protecting you now. I think this problem is being tackled the wrong way. Ignoring the stress of the world around us is impossible, so we must find ways to deal with it. The most rewarding coping strategy is to practice empathy. There are no shortage of people who need help and when we seek to understand them rather than avoid them, we improve not only our state of mind, but the lives of others as well. It might not be possible to donate $5 to every GoFundMe but it is possible to show care in other ways. “I understand you” or “I’ve been through something similar” are simple but powerful statements that everyone should make an effort to use more often. It is also equally crucial that we turn to people we trust when we are struggling with things that are happening to us or to the world around us. There is no doubt that it takes practice to open up to someone but the results make it worth it. Doing so will not make the next piece of breaking news less heartbreaking, but it might make it a little easier to keep going afterward.
Each year of college asks a lot of us. Some students set academic and professional goals with a plan to reach them each semester, yet, the same is not done in terms of personal and emotional growth. In an effort to better understand each other, I challenge anyone reading this to use this summer to willingly listen to someone who has not had the same experiences you have. Maybe that means reading up on the #MeToo movement or attending a listening session for a candidate that is not in your political party. When the school year begins, perhaps that means attending an event at the Multicultural Student Center or the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, even if you think you don’t “fit” in those spaces.
When academic stress ceases, the stress of the world is all too happy to swoop in and fill the gaps ... What happens during the summer when it’s harder to avoid big problems that affect us all?
The truth is that we take care of ourselves by taking care of each other. Asking questions, putting yourself out there, looking a little dumb - by doing those things and becoming more educated about topics that have the potential to divide and dishearten us, the world becomes a happier, safer place for your neighbor. And I promise that will make you feel better too, no matter the time of year.
he general hysteria at the end of high school is profoundly unique. College decisions, prom season, and graduation all come in rapid succession, only to be followed by a summer filled with excitement and slight anxiety. As people take trips to Europe and work summer jobs, everyone’s mind is focused on what is to come in the fall. Some people are elated at their school decisions, while others are underwhelmed. High school relationships are either stretched through a long distance arrangement or are reluctantly ended in August. There are plenty of different ways people come into their freshman year, but one thing is universally true: no one has any legitimate understanding of what is to come. Accepting this fact would have served me well my freshman year. Instead, I was paralyzed by indecision in the face of a seemingly endless sea of opportunity. After all, I already made the gigantic step of attending a school 2,000 miles away from home; how much more adventure did I truly need? The truth, it turned out, is that going to a big college two thirds of the way across the country is not that fulfilling on its own. You need to do more than simply go to class and hang out with the friends you made in the first couple of weeks to get the full University of Wisconsin experience. My reluctance to explore resulted in an underwhelming freshman year, which is not all that uncommon. Although I salvaged this unsatisfying first year by getting involved in a variety of organizations over the next few years, college is only four years, and wasting time only leads to regret that is impossible to fully recover from. This is not meant to scare incoming freshmen, but rather meant as a lesson to learn from. I know it sounds repetitive and hackneyed when tour guides say they “wished
they had gotten involved on campus earlier,” but it is so true. At risk of sounding like a pompous upperclassman who dishes out unsolicited advice, here are three recommendations for your freshman year. Take it or leave it. Firstly, research organizations over the summer. Whether it’s clubs or Greek life or something else entirely, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to explore before you get on campus. Otherwise the organization fair or rush will be incredibly overwhelming. Secondly, don’t feel too attached to the first people you hang out with. I know you want your high school friends to think you’re having a blast, but you don’t have to latch on to the first person you have a conversation with. Everyone wants to make friends quickly, and going to parties with your floor is fun, but don’t be afraid to keep putting yourself out there. Last, but not least, keep an open mind about people’s backgrounds. Yes, people from northern Wisconsin have a funny accent, New Yorkers can come off as abrasive, and kids from California may complain about the produce. Everyone is meeting and living with very different people from their hometown friends, and that’s okay. Embracing people’s differences and learning from them is all a valuable part of the experience. Having your entire college career ahead of you is something that every student is envious of. It may be tempting at times to sit back and be content with just being here, but remember that you are attending a world class institution filled with amazing people, minds and resources. Take advantage of them early; your future self will thank you. Jake is a senior majoring in economics and history. Do you have any words of wisdom for the incomng Class of 2022? Please send any and all of your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOAR Issue 2018
UWSP from page 3 ness, and if your discipline doesn’t yield a six-figure salary it’s not worth doing. What motivates some STEM students may be a high paycheck, but ultimately it comes down to talent and passion,” Neeley said. Simply saying “college is not just about finding a job” is not providing enough encouragement to future college students. “No one is saying that a public university shouldn’t prepare students for their future careers. But it is wrong to limit students’ choices to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and it is wrong to narrow the university’s mission exclusively to workforce training,” said UW-Madison sociology professor Chad Goldberg. UWSP lacked in their promotion of liberal arts majors, according to Neeley. On their homepage, they featured only non-humanities fields, while Point Forward, an effort to restructure their curriculum released in March, would work to “strengthen [their] core liberal arts curriculum.”
primary from page 3 — and it’s the economic engine of our state,” Roys said. The tech entrepreneur emphasized the importance of “restoring state funding and autonomy to the UW System,” as well as recruiting and retaining educators, making two-year
“Wisconsin’s goal should be nothing less than debt-free education for everyone in our state.”
Mike McCabe progressive activist
and technical colleges free and
This prompted Neeley to ask: “If we can’t show prospective students everything we have to offer, how can we get them interested?”
“No UW is safe from cuts of this nature when we are so underfunded.”
Braiiey Kerber president UWSP Student Government Association
At the end of April, the Portage County Board unanimously voted in favor of keeping the humanities programs. Their resolution announced a desire to maintain a diverse and comprehensive workforce within their local community. Reclaim the UW protesters have battled rain and snow to fight the proposal, but they are lacking in numbers. At their last event on May 9, only 50 people stayed despite the thunderstorms in solidarity. combating rising levels of student debt. Roys was the surprise winner of the annual convention’s WisPolitics straw poll, with the support of almost 24 percent polled, trailed distantly by Mitchell and Evers’ 11 percent each. These results are drastically different from public polls, which show Evers out front with Soglin, who received only a single vote in the convention poll, a far away second. The straw poll, while not scientifically significant, is often taken as an indication of where the support of dedicated party activists lies in the early months of the primary, though the growing pains of campaigning have yet to hit. Who will represent the party and it’s agenda for higher education come November is still anyone’s guess.
Neeley understands the toll of activism but remains hopeful for future events. “Activism is hard, and it takes time and energy. You have to decide what’s important to you and make time to show up for those causes, because attendance speaks volumes to everyone watching to see how this all unfolds,” Neeley said. Goldberg encouraged students across the UW System to remain active and make their voices heard. “One word: organize. In addition, build coalitions: Work with students at other UW campuses. Partner with faculty and staff unions and other organizations that are resisting the radical restructuring of our university,” Goldberg said. The cuts will not be formally reviewed until August 1, according to UWSP. Kerber is hoping for that date to be pushed back exactly two months. “This gives us more time to create a new proposal or ways to restructure already existing programs,” Kerber said. “If a program should be discontinued, it would not be immediately eliminated.”
project from page 1 all student population often feels welcome on campus, just 69 percent of LGBTQ+ students, 67 percent of students with a disability, 65 percent of black students and 50 percent of trans or nonbinary students felt similarly. That information corresponds to a cascade of hate and bias incidents on campus within the last few semesters, as well as enrollment data that shows students of color make up a disproportionately small part of the student body. In fact, 19 percent of students of color and 21 percent of LGBTQ+ students reported experiencing incidents of hostile, harassing or intimidating behavior directed at them personally. Nearly one in three trans and nonbinary students and students with disabilities reported
experiencing similar behaviors, according to the report. Clark-Pujara said those dis-
“Students inherit the campus’s legacy. The way the campus looks now is a result of what it was.”
Christy Clark-Pujara co-chair public history project
parities really do affect the way students interact with campus. “Students of color and LGBTQ students do not feel the same
sense of belonging that white students feel,” Clark-Pujara said. “The fact that UW has a history of racism on campus, marginalizing groups of people is reflected in who comes here and what our campus looks like.” Some students feel the report’s recommendations did not go far enough, arguing that until the university chooses to remove the names of the Klan members, it continues to celebrate their legacy and creates a threatening environment for students. “No one is saying that we need to forget that this happened,” said Adan Abu-Hakmeh, who filed a hate and bias report against the university for failing to take action sooner. “The university is commemorating people who are racist, who are anti-human rights, who believe in white supremacy and who believe in privilege.”
health from page 3
GRAPHIC BY MAX HOMSTAD
Students and faculty spread the word about campus mental health, resulting in more informational materials distributed to reduce the stigma.
fers from acute mental illness and wished to remain anonymous. “I have lost four people to suicide, so I would much rather make the mistake of overreacting than underreacting,” she said. “We really need to educate ourselves with the facts even though it hurts. At my age, I’m more likely to die from suicide than cancer.” Families and students can educate themselves about mental health and where to find helpful resources in a number of ways, including an informational session held at SOAR. The UHS website has a page devoted to how families and friends can help if they think a loved one may be suffering from mental illness as well as a similar program called At Risk. Students can seek out help from UHS or the McBurney Disability Resource Center, which provide health care, therapy and educational accommodations. One of the most important things we can do is listen, according to the anonymous student, a belief echoed by others. “More than anything, I want to talk about mental health and listen to other people’s stories,” Wright said.
SOAR Issue 2018
New ticket policy puts efficiency over fairness SEBASTIAN VAN BASTELAER
Unopinionated Six months ago, I started a selfimposed hiatus from writing as I began my semester in Italy. Having consumed all the carbohydrates I can reasonably eat and said “alora” more times than you can count, however, I’m back. No ordinary issue would have been sufficient to awaken “Unopinionated” from its slumber. This is a topic very near and dear to my heart. For the past several years, on one frantic morning, Wisconsin football tickets have gone on sale to students. In a time-honored tradition, these brave football fans have rolled out of bed, logged into as many internet-connected devices as they could find, and anxiously stared at their screens in the hopes of winning the right to buy their set of vouchers. Some students inevitably would end up disappointed, but many of them came away satisfied, excited for another year of jumping around and definitely getting there in time for kickoff.
While some universities make it easer for older students to purchase tickets (or receive better seats) than younger ones, I don’t know of any that do the opposite
Last year, however, was even more stressful for all involved. The new website for purchasing tickets had myriad issues as a result from the high traffic, making many nervously wait for hours before finally giving them their tickets. I remember receiving constant messages and calls from people, making sure the issues weren’t just their own internet acting up. Clearly, something had to be done.
Last Friday, in an email sent out to all students, the solution was unveiled: a panacea sure to cure the ills of the system. Starting this year, there will be one day during which students with junior or senior standing can purchase tickets. The next day, those with freshman and sophomore standing will do the same. This will likely ease the strain on the website. Furthermore, the email was certain to assure the reader that “An equal number of student football season tickets will be available for purchase during each day of the undergraduate student sale.” Seems fair, right? Wrong. Even a cursory consideration of this plan reveals a serious flaw in it: The numbers do not add up. According to the university’s “Enrollment Facts at a Glance” for the Fall 2017 semester, around 5000 freshmen, 6500 sophomores, 7650 juniors and nearly 11,000 seniors constituted the undergraduate student body. Assuming similar numbers next year, that would mean that nearly 18,650 students will vie on the first day for the same number of tickets that 11,500 students will purchase on the second. Put in percentages, the 62 percent of students who are considered juniors and seniors would have the same number of tickets available as the younger 38 percent. This should be a legitimate cause for concern for older students, who will have at least 64 percent more competitors than their younger counterparts, if numbers remain essentially the same from last fall to this upcoming one. Before writing this column, I decided to contact the ticketing office to be sure I wasn’t jumping to any incorrect conclusions. I emailed and asked whether or not sophomores with junior standing would be included in the junior class, and whether or not that meant that demand will be higher on the first day than the second (although the supply is staying the same). After four days, I received a concise reply: “Hello, this is correct. Please find more information here,” followed
by a link to the page on the Athletics site explaining the policy — a page I had already visited numerous times to be sure I wasn’t mistaken. The decision-making process behind this choice wasn’t explained to me, nor was there an effort to assuage any fears about not getting tickets. AJ HARRISON/PHOTO COURTESTY OF UW ATHLETICS
With Ellenwood in the heptathlon and Hoare in the 1500 meters, Wisconsin was one of five schools to have men’s and women’s individual national champions The detrimental effects of this proposal would be felt throughout the NCAA Division III’s more successful conference.
While some universities make it easier for older students to purchase tickets (or receive better seats) than the younger ones, I don’t know of any that do the opposite, punishing those with higher standing simply because they have been in school longer. If this is truly the way the system works, it will serve as an affront to those who have already been loyal fans for several seasons. I will not make assumptions about the rationale of the change or the considerations that went into it, but at the moment, there are some serious issues with this new system — or at least there appear to be. The athletic department should address these problems and explain whether or not some students will have a much higher chance at getting tickets than others, as their messages have implied — and if so, why. Potential alternative solutions abound: The system could have listed students alphabetically and divided them in half, or even randomly assigned students one of the two purchase dates. The current plan, however, is insufficient: It gives an unfair advantage to the younger students. If this argument is somehow mistaken, however, this should also be explained. Either way, the students of UW deserve better — no matter what time they show up to the games.
TONY BURKE/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
Under the new policy, juniors and seniors will have 64 percent more competitors than underclassmen for the same tickets
Track and Field
Hoare and Ellenwood cap off stellar season, career as champions for a breakout season, then heptathlete Georgia Ellenwood’s title In college track and field, out- served as the icing on the cake of a door nationals is king. Results historic career in Madison. Already at nationals set the lens through a seven-time All American coming which an athlete’s season is defined, and two-time Big Ten champion whether that’s dominating, break- entering the meet, a national title out or disappointing. was the only piece of hardware The 2018 Division 1 NCAA that the Canadian senior had not Outdoor National Championships, captured in her UW career. held June 6th-9th in Eugene, Oregon, “I think I’m still processing the provided the perfect whole thing and it setting for a pair of doesn’t really feel like Badgers to collect I won yet. I think it their first national hasn’t really sunk in titles, capping off a yet,” Ellenwood said standout year and a to UWBadgers.com. standout career. “So many great hepSophomore distathletes who have Hoare’s winning time in tance runner Oliver come through the the 1500 meters Hoare, competing program. To know in the 1500 meter that I’m one of them run, was first to and I’m the best one Hoare’s last lap, the the punch. Despite that’s come through fastest in the field having captured Wisconsin hasn’t four Big Ten titles really hit me yet.” in both track and Ellenwood didn’t Ellenwood’s winning cross country this take the overall lead score in the pentathlon year, the Sydney, from Georgia’s Louisa Australia native Grauvogel until after was an afterthe fifth of seven Years since the last UW thought amongst events, but her winrunner won a men’s the favorites comning performance 1500m titlle ing into the meet. was built on the back Most of the attenof a strong start. The tion from the senior set personal media — and the bests in the 100 meter other racers — was hurdles and high focused on three-time national jump, and entered the second day of champion and NCAA record-hold- competition in second place. er Josh Kerr of New Mexico. With one event remaining While the rest of the field Ellenwood and Grauvogel were expended valuable energy trying nearly neck and neck, separated to run Kerr off their heels in the by just 15 points. With each second last lap, Hoare waited patiently in the 800 meters, the final event, before unleashing a kick in the worth between 12 and 16 points final 150 meters to claim the title Ellenwood needed to keep the in a time of three minutes and Georgia sophomore on her hip to 44.77 seconds. The result came as a assure herself the title. In the end shock to many, but after dominat- Ellenwood dominated the race, pulling Big Ten competition all year, ing away to beat Grauvogel by more Hoare was primed to stay competi- than four seconds and collapsing to tive on the national stage. the ground in joy and exhaustion. “The caliber of the field this Both victories came in events the year was incredible,” Hoare said Badgers have often had success in, to Letsrun.com after the race. “I but where the top spot on the podireally wanted to go out and see um has been elusive. Hoare’s win what I could do … It’s hard to put made him the first Wisconsin runyourself as the winner, but I really ner to capture a 1500 meter national gave it my all and came out with an title since 1950, while Ellenwood is amazing win.” the first heptathlon champion in If Hoare’s win was the capstone school history.
By Cameron Lane-Flehinger SPORTS EDITOR
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