Affirmative Action in Wisconsin

By: Justin Ware Email
By: Justin Ware Email

A group of UW students marched their way to the capitol Tuesday night, getting ready for a verbal battle over affirmative action.

"There are those, probably at least 50% in the nation who believe that it's wrong to use race," said Ward Connerly, wants affirmative action abolished.

Inside, a prominent figure in the fight against affirmative action laid out his case.

Ward Connerly, the chairman of the American civil rights Institute, has been successful in abolitioning the program in three other states already, and now has his sights set on Wisconsin.

"I'm not an opponent of quote, 'affirmative action,'" said Connerly, "I'm an opponent of treating people differently on the basis of race."

Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin is in the process of expanding programs that are intended to build a more diverse student body.

A direction UW grad student Daniel Kigeya applauds.

"The student body has to be consisted of different ideas and different perspectives," said Kigeya.

Kigeya says affirmative action programs not only help minorities, but also add to the overall college experience for every student.

Giving them a background that prepares them for a diverse, international community when they leave college.

"It only makes all students better prepared to deal with this global economy," said Kigeya.

UW junior Jeremy Wick says that diverse environment would be there, with or without affirmative action.

"If you have a student that's qualified," Wick, "whether it's white, black, asian or hispanic, they will be granted access to the University system, whether there's afffirmative action or not."

Wick says there are very few people who would hold back someone, based on the color of their skin.

And to deal with any racists, Wick suggests stiff discrimination penalties, not affirmative action.

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