Fix Features

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Madison recently hosted a diversity forum that banned white, heterosexual students from attending, The College Fix has learned.

The public university, in advertising the event, declared that the Feb. 28 session was “specifically for self-identified LGBTQ people of color.”

It hosted a second diversity event a day earlier that apparently allowed heterosexuals, but not white ones.QPOC3

“Both of these sessions are intended for self-identified people of color,” a flier touting the event stated.

The sessions are part of a “Race and the Body” speaker series put on by the taxpayer-funded Institute for Justice, Education and Transformation Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Its webpage repeated the same admittance requirements as the fliers posted on campus.

“Ignacio Rivera will facilitate two seperate workshops entitled ‘Mapping Your Desires’ for people of color,” the website states regarding the race- and sexual-preference segregated events.

“They will offer a unique opportunity for students of color to openly dialogue and do internal work around sex, race and social justice,” the website states. “Both of these sessions are intended for self-identified people of color (POC). The Feb. 28th session is specifically for self-identified LGBTQ people of color (QPOC).”

According is his website, Rivera is a ”Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’ “QPOC2

“Ignacio’s body of work has focused on gender and sexuality; specifically on queer, trans, kink and sexual liberation issues within a race/class dynamic,” it adds.

The two workshops are part of the  Justice, Education and Transformation Multicultural Student Center’s 2013-14 curriculum and symposium theme: Race & the Body: Boundaries, Expressions & Orientations.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative lawfirm, sent letters to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University this week to inform campus leaders that they have ”needlessly” removed Bibles from their overnight guest rooms after receiving complaints from an atheist group.

Freedom from Religion Foundation had complained that allowing Bibles in guest rooms violated the First Amendment, and both universities acquiesced and booted the Bibles in recent months.

Alliance Defending Freedom, however, sent letters to refute the stance that the Bibles break the law.

“Public universities, which are the marketplaces of ideas, should understand that the First Amendment does not require them to purge something from campus just because it happens to be religious. Rather, the Constitution requires them to accommodate religion,” Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham said in a prepared statement. “The Bibles can legitimately stay because their presence in guest rooms is simply a discrete way of accommodating the needs of traveling guests. They are in no way a government promotion of religion.”

The letters to the two public universities state as much – and more:

“In reality, the First Amendment does not require you to remove these Bibles, and by removing them, you may have demonstrated the very viewpoint discrimination and hostility towards religion that the First Amendment prohibits…. The Supreme Court and numerous other federal courts have repeatedly condemned efforts to exclude or restrict religious materials and activities as viewpoint or content discrimination, both at universities and elsewhere.”

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A complaint by a pro-atheism legal group recently prompted the removal of all Bibles from nearly 150 overnight guest rooms inside a large conference center at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

The complaint stemmed from the seven-story center’s hosting of a “freethought festival,” thrown by the university’s secular student group in March, according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which filed the grievance with the school.

In a Nov. 4 letter to the university, an attorney for the foundation demanded the Bibles be removed, saying “state-run colleges have a constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion.”

“When a government entity like the UW-Extension distributes such material to visitors, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message, in this case a Christian message,” the letter stated.

On Nov. 25, campus leaders sent a short letter to the foundation saying they’d remove the Bibles by Dec. 1.

“We reviewed the concern raised about the placement of Bibles in our guest rooms and decided to remove them. We want to make sure all guests are comfortable in our lodging,” stated the letter, penned by Ray Cross, the newly appointed president of the University of Wisconsin system.

With that, 137 Gideon Bibles have been taken out of the Lowell Center.

University officials did not respond to telephone and email requests by The College Fix for comment.

Foundation attorney Patrick Elliot Elliott described the decision as a victory for the separation of church and state.

“While private hotels may choose to put any type of literature they want in their guest rooms, state-run colleges have a constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion,” he said on the organization’s website.

The bibles were placed in the conference center for free by Gideons International.

Founded in 1899, the nonprofit “serves as an extended missionary arm of the church and is the oldest association of Christian businessmen and professional men in the United States of America,” according to its website.

The group has a longstanding tradition of placing Bibles in hotel rooms.

College Fix contributor Samantha Watkins is a student at Point Loma Nazarene University.

IMAGE: NaroOhio/Flickr


Via Fox News:

This week, O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters’ traveled to Madison, Wis. to visit the University of Wisconsin. The institution was named the “Sexiest College In America” by The Daily Beast.

While one student explained to Watters that the title was earned through the “good genetics” of the student body, others’ explanations were much less scientific.

“We’re all really, really good looking,” one female student posited…

Wow, that’s deep.

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Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, writes at Minding the Campus about academia’s most popular buzzword, “diversity.” He says the term “diversity” has become interchangeable with “BS” in today’s hyper-politically correct academic environment

Here’s an instructive exercise:  The next time you read an article about “diversity” (see, e.g., the interview with the University of Wisconsin’s diversity honcho in Inside Higher Ed today), mentally substitute the letters “BS” for “diversity” every time the latter appears.  It’s amazing how much more accurate and understandable the article becomes!  (It’s even better if you spell out the word for which “BS” is the abbreviation.)

Here, I’ll get you started:

‘Strategic BS Leadership’

April 26, 2013 – 3:00am

By Scott Jaschik

College and university leaders talk all the time about their commitment to BS. And, on many campuses, students and faculty question the depth of that commitment. A new book, Strategic BS Leadership (Stylus) considers the steps colleges can take to transform their campuses. The author is Damon A. Williams, vice provost and chief BS officer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Read more here.

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College Fix/Student Free Press Fellow Andrew Johnson reports for National Review Online:

The University of Wisconsin–Superior became the latest school to join the Unfair Campaign, which looks to bring attention to the “unfairness” of being white. The campaign’s slogan is “It’s hard to see racism when you’re white” and claims that “society was set up for us.”

Below is a PSA ad:

A UWS spokeswoman told Campus Reform that the university is sponsoring the campaign because it is an “opportunity on our campus to talk about all privilege and to create conversation” as well as to “learn and to grow together.”

Read the full story here.

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