The day-long event, which kicked off with speeches from Chancellor John Wiley and Provost Peter Spear, was intended to stimulate discussion of race issues on campus and promote a new campaign, entitled "Creating Community," a theme expected to be the centerpiece of Plan 2008 for the 2005-'06 school year.Crying over low attendance in the late afternoon? You had good attendance in the morning! How do you expect to come up with a plan to affect the decisions of real human beings when you have so little feeling for their humanity? Ordinary folks won't sit through a whole day of something like this. You're scolding them about that? I hope whoever makes the "more concrete plans" has more sense about why people do what they do.
Early in the day, enthusiasm for the new motif swelled, as each round table in the Great Hall filled with minority and white students and faculty. Later in the afternoon, however, the ranks diminished to around 50. The upbeat mood dissolved and the open-mic session took on an elegiac air as frustrated students and faculty lambasted the low attendance, perceived indifference of the campus and generally poor reputation of UW-Madison as a school friendly to minorities. Several speakers cried, and some angrily scorned Plan 2008's strategy, arguing there should be more concrete plans to diversify.
September 30, 2005
The Daily Cardinal -- a UW student newspaper -- reports: