University of Wisconsin-Madison student government demands 'reparations' in the form of free tuition for black students

The student government at the University of Wisconsin-Madison adopted a resolution Wednesday demanding the school offer “reparations” in the form of free tuition plus room and board to black students. The student resolution also says SAT scores are being used to uphold white supremacy. From the Associated Press:

The Associated Students of Madison said in a resolution that students from suburban high schools are overrepresented and that the consideration of ACT and SAT scores in applications restricts opportunities for the poor and thus upholds “white supremacy.” Race relations have been a contentious issue at the Wisconsin’s flagship campus for months and the university has proposed some measures aimed at improving diversity.

“The university’s rhetoric suggests that it is committed to diversity and inclusion, so this legislation compels the university to move towards action — which is imperative,” the resolution’s author, ASM Student Council Rep. Tyriek Mack, said in a statement. “If no one challenges the university’s empty promises, then the racial composition will remain stagnant.”

The resolution demands free access to the university for all black people, including former inmates. That means free tuition, free housing and no fees, Mack said.

Wisconsin News published the text of the resolution adopted by the student group. It concludes with five demands of the University including the final one on free tuition. “We demand Reparations for the Systemic Denial of Access to High Quality Educational Opportunities In the Form of Full and Free Access for All Black People (Including Undocumented, Currently, and Formerly Incarcerated People) to UW-Madison,” it reads.

Currently just 2% of the student population at UW-Madison is black. According to the 2010 census, the state is 86% white and 6% black. Overall, black Americans make up more than 12% of the U.S. population.

A spokesperson for the school indicated the administration supported the spirit of the resolution but noted that some of the suggestions it contained may not be legal.