The Student Inclusion Coalition (SIC) held a protest on Friday afternoon, Oct. 25, on UW-Madison’s Bascom Hill to publicly announce a list of demands the coalition had for UW.
About 200 people participated in the protest and, per request, wore all black. Protesters stood along Bascom Hill from noon to 1:30 p.m., cutting off the path from passersby and holding various signs that portrayed their frustrations with UW. They chanted phrases such as “we are SIC of UW,” and “we expect, we demand.”
Around 1 p.m., they marched from the bottom of Bascom to Bascom Hall, where the SIC board members began reading off the list of five demands.
The list was created to showcase ways in which the university could “commit to supporting the educational, professional and personal growth of marginalized groups on campus,” they stated on their Facebook page.
Their five demands were that the university:
1.) publicly recognize the sacrifice of past of color in addressing systemic racism and oppression on campus.
2.) Recognize the educational value of marginalized identity-based student affinity groups in supporting student engagement, belonging and retention and implement a permanent funding structure for student organizations that primarily serve and include predominantly marginalized groups, with funding allocated through the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs or Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion.
3.) Improve the support system for marginalized students on campus.
4.) Restructure the homecoming committee to ensure broader and more authentic engagement for marginalized groups on campus.
And 5.) Create a coordinated infrastructure to respond to acts of structural oppression.
Along with each demand, there were concrete actions SIC added to ensure UW would “implement and take the necessary steps toward the following demands during the 2019-20 academic year.”
The complete list of their demands can be found on their social media pages. Protesters were urged to decline requests for interviews prior, during or after the protest.
UW has yet to publicly respond.
SIC originally formed out of backlash from students after UW’s Homecoming Committee released a Homecoming video that praised diversity but featured no students of color. It was created to advocate for marginalized students on campus and be a catalyst for change.
The protest was their third act carried out, the first being a response video to the original Homecoming video that formed SIC, and the second being another video that detailed the marginalization and isolation students of color felt on campus.
SIC asserted on their protest event page that, “It is now on the administration to not only start creating a home for their marginalized communities deserve but to cultivate a higher standard of the Wisconsin experience for ALL students. We will no longer settle for less.”