Homecoming Video Backlash: University Responds

 

TALENT

STUDENTS AT UW-MADISON ARE CRITICIZING A HOMECOMING VIDEO THAT FEATURED NO STUDENTS OF COLOR.

 

TALENT

THIS VIDEO SPARKED MAJOR CONTROVERSY AND OUR REPORTER CAITLIN ROWE SPOKE WITH STUDENTS ON CAMPUS AND GOT IN CONTACT WITH SOURCES AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL. CAITLIN?

 

CAITLIN

THANK YOU, TALENT. IT BEGAN WITH THE RELEASE OF A VIDEO LAST SUNDAY FOR MADISON’S HOMECOMING, FEATURING STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS CELEBRATING THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR.

 

WIPE TO PKG

 

 

NAT SOUND (A SNIPPET OF THE VIDEO PERHAPS?)

 

CAITLIN

THE PROBLEM? EVERYONE FEATURED IN THE VIDEO WAS WHITE, SOMETHING THAT SENIOR PAYTON WADE SAYS IS PROBLEMATIC.

 

WIPE TO SOT

SOT: PAYTON WADE

“THIS IS THE ISSUE THAT WE SEE ALL THE TIME WITH THIS UNIVERSITY, WHERE THEY TRIED TO NOT INCLUDE STORIES OF STUDENTS OF COLOR. WHEN THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT THIS UNIVESITY, WE ARE SO OFTEN OVERLOOKED, AND WE OFTEN DON’T FEEL LIKE THIS UNIVERSITY IS OUR HOME.”

 

CAITLIN

ON A CAMPUS WHERE LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF STUDENTS ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR, WADE SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE REPRESENTED, AND THAT MORE BADGERS DESERVE TO FEEL AT HOME.

 

WIPE TO SOT

SOT: PAYTON WADE

“…. RECOGNIZE THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE AREN’T MANY OF US, WE SHOULD STILL BE SEEN IN THE VIDEOS THAT MAKE UP WHAT THIS UNIVERSITY CONSIDERS HOME.”

 

 

CAITLIN

WADE SAYS SHE THAT STUDENTS OF COLOR ON CAMPUS ARE UNDERREPRESENTED. UW STUDENT DYLAN HELMENSTINE, WHO WAS IN THE VIDEO, ECHOES THIS.

 

HE SAYS THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE DISCUSSION AROUND DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS, AND ENCOURAGES OTHER STUDENTS TO SEE HOW VIDEOS LIKE THIS EFFECT STUDENTS OF COLOR, AND THAT THE ANSWERS MAY LIE WITH THE INDIVIDUAL.

 

WIPE TO SOT

SOT: DYLAN HELMENSTINE

 

“IT THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO ADMIT TO YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE THESE INNER PREDJUICES BECAUSE OTHERWISE, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO IMPROVE YOURSELF EITHER. AND IF YOU’RE NOT IMPOROVED YOURSELF, YOUR’RE NOT GOING TO, YOU CAN’T EXPECT AN INSTUTION TO DO IT.”

 

 

CAITLIN

THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION WHICH OVERSEES THE HOMECOMING VIDEO AND APOLOGIZED LAST FRIDAY, SAYING….

 

 

WIPE TO GRAPHIC

“We stand with our students of color and hear their voices with a clear commitment to action, not only about the video, but their broader experiences of exclusion on campus. While we have a number of efforts underway aimed at improving campus climate, this incident presents an important opportunity to reaffirm our commitments to bring about meaningful change.”

 

CAITLIN

 

THE EMAIL CLAIMS THE UNIVERSITY PLANS TO DEVELOP MORE EFFECTIVE DIVERSITY TRAINING FOR ALL STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS, AND ESTABLISH REVIEW PROTCOLS FOR FUTURE CONTENT.

 

WIPE TO GRAPHIC

 

“WE WILL ALSO CONTINUE OUR DIALOUGE WITH STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY, STAFF AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS. YOUR COURAGE TO SPEAK YOUR TRUTH MAKES OUR CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY STRONGER.”

 

CAITLIN

 

“SPEKING THE TRUTH” IS EXACLTY WHAT STUDENST LIKE PAYTON URGE OTHERS TO DO WHEN CONTROVERSIES LIKE THIS ARISE.

 

“I WOULD JUST SAY IF YOU AGREE WITH ME, AND YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY JUST TO SPEAK UP ABOUT IT AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD BECAUSE WE ARE HERE AND WE DESERVE TO BE HERE.”

 

TALENT

 

THANK YOU, CAITLIN. HAS ANYTHING COME FROM THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION’S ADDRESS?

 

CAITLIN

 

YES, I SPOKE UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESPERSON MEREDITH MCGLONE, AND SHES SAYS THAT THE UNIVERSITY REMAIN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SEVERAL STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS IN TRYING TO DEVELOP MORE INCLUSIVITY. WHILE I DID TRY REACHING OUT TO THE HOMECOMING COMMITTEE, THEY DECLINED TO SPEAK WITH ME UNTIL AFTER HOMECOMING WEEKEND.

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