MADISON, Wis. — For many students and alumni, Homecoming week brings a sense of community pride.
But after a recent incident at a football game where two Badger fans dressed in costumes depicting Donald Trump putting President Obama in a noose, for some students that pride has been dampened.
“Everybody on campus right now is a little shaken up and we want to bring this idea of community, and that we’re here for you, we’re all Badgers together, to this week,” Homecoming president Rheann Engelke said.
One way the university is doing that is through celebrating the anniversary of a historic campus program which guides campus diversity efforts.
“It’s the 50th anniversary of the 5-year program, which was a very early program for students of color in bringing them to the university and supporting them through, and that’s a first, so I’m really excited about that,” Sarah Schutt, the vice president of alumni relations and engagement for the Wisconsin Alumni Association, said.
The recent incident shows there’s still work to be done.
“You have these events that are happening that have kind of dampened the mood, and then on the flip side of that you have people kind of looking forward to a release from all of that, all the negative stuff that has been going on,” UW student and marching band member Ekenedilichukwu Ikegwuani said.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank released a statement on Monday that the fans involved in the incident of bias have had their season tickets revoked. And the campus will continue to move forward toward a more inclusive environment.