Student Voices Naming and Re-Claiming Diversity


As a group, as a community, as a collective we can achieve diversity. This means solidifying an understanding of what diversity is. It is climate. It is creating and fostering an environment where all voices and all people are welcome for who they are. Devon Hamilton, a student at UW, wrote about the importance of climate, or the environment we foster, just earlier this month. It is important to nurture a world we want to see. Students have been responding in a number of ways to various matters of diversity, including responses to attacks on affirmative action.

(WBSU response to the Not Fair campaign)

The “unfairness” being addressed in this campaign is tied to a misguided notion that somehow, in an aim for diversity, students of color have taken spots at the university that were “meant” for white students. That point becomes entirely moot when the facts are laid out: according to UW-Madison’s registrar, in the Fall 2013 UW-Madison saw an enrollment of 43275 students, 31036 were categorized as Caucasian.

At this Fall’s convocation the chancellor said that this year’s incoming freshman class was the most diverse that the university has seen. Diversity is more than numbers. How do we foster an environment where students feel proud to be at this university? Where they dream of contributing to the growth of Madison rather than escaping to a better place? These are questions I’ve asked myself in this first year. The existence of the “I Too Am UW” campaign is a way for marginalized students to assert our place and right to the title of Badger.


(Images courtesy of I, too, am UW-Madison’s Tumblr page.)

Last week, after a meeting hosted by Professor Richard Davis and Vice-Provost Patrick Simms at the School of Music, where a number of students spoke on their experiences surrounding diversity, a graduate from the school put the matter into perfect perspective for me. She said, “Diversity is not a person. A person is not diverse. You are not diverse. I am not diverse. WE are diverse.”

One of the latest issues is the potential consolidation of the Afro-American Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Chican@/Latin@ Studies departments into one ethnic studies program and there will be an open and free event to ” clarify current developments in Ethnic Studies at the UW-Madison and provide an opportunity for participants to offer their insights on future planning.” 

The combination of voices, the articles written, the panels and meetings attended, the questions asked and the demands made will all contribute to diversity on this campus. Diversity is not vague and unattainable, it is a possibility much closer than many have taken the time to imagine. We don’t have to wait 5 or 10 years to improve the experiences of all Badgers. Let’s begin today.


Job Board: April 25th, 2014

Transportation Intern, Morgridge Center

Application Due: 4/30/2014

Description: This person will be responsible for maintaining and editing the online transportation module through Adobe software. They will also be responsible for responding to student transportation needs, expanding google maps through the Center, and collecting and analyzing data for monthly reports.

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Planning & Program Manager (Middleton, WI), American Family Insurance 

Application Due: N/A

Description: This person would be assisting the director with management, providing key stakeholders with project performance assessments, and ensuring timely communication to the stakeholders about projects and changes.

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Project Engineer, Intertek 

Application Due: N/A

Description: This person would be responsible for providing technical support to sales teams in order to help determine the scope of new projects. They would also work on conducting engineering interviews and visiting manufacturing facilities in order to

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Recruiting Inside Sales Trainee, Apex Systems

Application Due: N/A

Description: This person would be utilizing tried and true recruiting resources to attract professionals. They will be preparing candidates for the interview process and conducting skills testing along with other pre-employment investigations.

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Unit Controller-Fluno Center, Aramark

Application Due: N/A

Description: This person is responsible for ensuring that the Fluno Center’s accounting priorities are met. They will lead process improvement initiatives, coordinate and conduct an annual ARAMARK Audits, and construct and demonstrate Labor Analysis results for all departments among other responsibilities.


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Employee Wellness Coordinator, Office of Human Resources and Development (UW-Madison)

Application Due: 5/8/2014

Description: This person will collaborate with stakeholders, assess needs, identify gaps and work towards improving the effectiveness of population-based wellness promotion a UW-Madison employees and campus community.

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Introducing: The BellHops


by: MSC Communications Intern, Hiwot Adilow

In November I wrote about a musical ensemble being organized by Taylor Scott. She was recently interviewed by Communications Professor Sara McKinnon about the ensemble’s development and growth into a multi-arts collective called The BellHops. The BellHops “believe that everyone’s experiences matter and as fellow artists, it is their responsibility to help tell each other’s stories.” 

From Left to Right: Leland Pan (Violin), Frances Shepherd (Violin), Lauren Koehler (Flute), Zach Seaborne (Alto Sax)

From Left to Right: Leland Pan (Violin), Frances Shepherd (Violin), Lauren Koehler (Flute), Zach Seaborne (Alto Sax)

These stories have been weaved together into a 60 minute production entitled Honey In My Tea, which is being featured in the 2014 Line Breaks Festival in Promenade Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts.

Taylor Scott

Taylor Scott and Sara McKinnon giving performance feedback at a rehearsal 

Honey in My Tea explores themes of survival, resistance, and womanhood. It is a reality check that invites the audience to stand with the storyteller, creating a solution within the performance. The narrative is informed by both the experiences of ensemble members and the exploration of themes in works by Audre Lorde, Nina Simone, and Paolo Freire among others.

Video by ensemble member Sydney Parsons

See The BellHops performing Honey In My Tea on Thursday, April 24th @ 6pm and Friday, April 25th @9pm.

For more information about the Line Breaks Festival visit:

Fast-a-Thon Event Round-Up


Pictured Above: The MSA Executive board at the end of the Fast-a-thon

This post was submitted by the Muslim Students Association (MSA). MSA is a cultural, social, educational, and religious organization dedicated to learning, activism, and spirituality on campus. MSA is open to all UW and Madison community members regardless of faith, race, or cultural background. Anyone interested in Islam or Muslims is encouraged to join. This organization provides you with a great environment to meet Muslims, learn from renowned lecturers, and practice Islam as freely as possible. The MSA holds numerous events every semester that range from socials, to volunteering opportunities, speaker events, interfaith dialogue, and many, many more.  


Pictured Above: Dhool Siad and Asly Warren at Fast-a-thon

Fast-a-Thon is an annual event, held by the Muslim Students Association (MSA), that allows students of different backgrounds to come together to celebrate the culture of fasting in Islam. This year, at Ogg Hall, we highlighted the rich diversity that exists in the Islamic faith to create a sense of unity on our campus. Muslims are from all over the world and MSA strived to show that in this year’s Fast-a-thon.

One of the main objectives of this event was to educate the campus about Ramadan and fasting in Islam. Ramadan is a pillar of faith in Islam and is the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Although Ramadan was in the summer, we as the MSA wanted to showcase it to the campus community in the year. The event started with a short presentation about Ramadan and fasting and was followed by a poster exhibition from cultures around the world. Each poster showed the culture of that country and how Ramadan is celebrated in that culture. After the poster exhibition, a delicious free dinner was served from restaurants around the Madison area. The food ranged from Indonesian food to Arab food and everything else in between. All in all, the event was well received by the attendees and many people left the event with more insight on the Muslim World and the beautiful cultures that exist within it.


Pictured Above: Volunteers serving the delicious dinner to break the fast

Job Board: April 18, 2014

Website Content Editor, Wisconsin Union Human Resources

Application Due: 5/15/2015

Description: Persons in this position will be responsible for editing and maintaining content on the Wisconsin Union website. They will also be responsible for managing statistics on website usage and distributing reports on those statistics.

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Poverty Analysis Intern, Morgridge Center 

Application Due: 4/30/2014

Description: This position primarily requires interns to create information sheets detailing poverty facts and statistics supplied by the Institute for Poverty and Research. Applicants should have strong writing abilities and high organization. There is also an opportunity to receive course credit for this work.

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Break Dance Instructor and Hip Hop Dance Instructor, PEOPLE Program

Application Due: 4/23/2014

Description: As part of the PEOPLE Program’s pre-college summer enrichment program they expose their students to various cultural and artistic avenues through their fine arts courses. This course is on Break Dancing and Hip Hop Dance.

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Zumba Instructor, PEOPLE Program Continue reading

HAPPY Tuesday!

HAPPY Tuesday from the MSC!

Pharell Williams, his hat, and Oprah Winfrey are bringing us all the feels today!

Before Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was nominated for an Academy Award, before it reached the top of the Billboard charts, before it garnered 182 million views on YouTube and before it sold more than a million copies, it was just another song that wasn’t even getting played on the radio. Then, on Nov. 21, 2013, Pharrell released “Happy” with a music video and everything changed.

“Zero airplay, nothing. And the next thing you know, we put out the video on November 21 — all of a sudden, boom,” Pharrell says. “When I say, ‘Boom,’ I mean boom.”

People around the world responded to “Happy” by uploading videos of themselves dancing to the catchy song, from Malawi to Iceland to Washington, D.C. During Pharrell’s interview for “Oprah Prime,” Oprah plays a montage of these videos. As Pharrell watches, he becomes overwhelmed and begins to cry.

“It’s overwhelming because it’s like, I love what I do and I just appreciate the fact that people have believed in me for so long, that I could make it to this point, to feel that,” Pharrell says through tears.

“I get it,” Oprah says. “I so now get why it’s so infectious, because it came from such a clear space that the energy was absolutely uninterrupted by anything other than allowing it to flow from heart to heart. And that’s what happens when you see it.”

“Oprah Prime” airs on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Originally posted on the Huffington Post on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

…And the happiness continues tomorrow, as Janet Mock will arrive on the UW campus to speak about her book Redefining Realness at Union South in the Varsity Room from 7 PM to 9 PM.

Rated P Arts Festival: Recap

The Filipino American Student Organization hosted the 4th annual Rated P Arts Festival on April 5, 2014. This year’s theme was the Art of Social Media. Cayden Mak, the New Media Director at 18 Million Rising, facilitated two engaging workshops on how to create an effective online campaign through social media.

Source: Filipino American Student Organization

Source: Filipino American Student Organization

The first focused on identifying our message. Often times we see campaigns or petitions that don’t really make sense or give the audience a reason to care. Cayden illustrates that understanding the story of self, us and now can help make that connection and influence people to get involved. During the workshop we thought about issues we have as individuals and as a group, how we handled them, and the results our actions made. We then applied that process to the issues of now. Cayden says one of the most important parts of a campaign is being clear and concise about what you hope to achieve and how your audience can help you do that.

The second focused on finding a vehicle for that message in digital spaces. In order to choose which social media platforms work best, you should work through possible weakness or limitations your campaign might face for that particular platform. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and others all have strengths and weakness for different objectives. Once you understand what your audience does on those sites, it will be easier for you to deliver your message. If you have organized a rally, sit-in or conference, Cayden says you might want to think about live streaming it so people around the world can feel engaged as well.

For more resources about organizing and Cayden’s work, check out: