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WILL: UW continues to prioritize race on campus

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(The Center Square) – There are new claims the University of Wisconsin has not stopped using race to make decisions on its campuses.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Wednesday sent a letter to the university, asking the school to stop prioritizing one race over the other.

“We appreciate that the University of Wisconsin has made progress toward promoting true equality since the Harvard decision, especially during negotiations with the Legislature, but more work must be done,” WILL’s Dan Lennington said.

The Harvard decision from the United States Supreme Court that struck down Harvard’s use of race and racial preferences on its campus.

WILL’s letter said the UW’s latest offenses came with the awarding of several awards and fellowships.

They include:

● The Board of Regents 2024 Diversity Awards. On Feb. 9, the Board of Regents presented “Diversity Awards” worth $7,500 each to “students who are members of historically underrepresented populations (including African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and Southeast Asian), first-generation and/or economically disadvantaged.”

● UW-Madison Kemper-Knapp Fellowship. UW-Madison’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education advertises and administers a fellowship open to students “from underrepresented backgrounds, such as students of color and low-income first-generation students.”

● UW-Madison BIPOC Fellows Program. The “Community Engaged BIPOC Fellows Program” is a scholarship program for “undergraduate students of color.”

● UW-Madison Marion McCammond Award. This award is for an “outstanding student of color.”

The UW-Madison BIPOC Fellows Program is currently at the center of a federal civil rights complaint. The rest of the awards or fellowships, WILL said, leaves “some students will not be on an equal footing to compete for this scholarship based on race.”

WILL is also questioning similar race-based programs or awards at UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater.

“The University should continue its efforts by investigating remaining race-based programs, and reform those programs so that assistance and services can be distributed based on merit and need, not crude racial categories,” Lennington said.

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