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Standing in Solidarity

February 16, 2011

UW Student Government Leaders Stand in Solidarity

Students against Governor Walker’s proposed bill

As the rallies continue and the speaker’s list at the capitol goes through the night, University of Wisconsin System student government leaders gathered in the Student Activity Center to proclaim their support on the Associated Students of Madison’s stance on Governor Walker’s upcoming bill.

“This bill that was hastily put together by the Governor and his staff is now being rushed through the legislature,” UW-Marinette Vice President Tyler Borkowski said. “The people have spoken in tens of thousands; they are not in support of this bill.”

UW-Stout’s Vice President Andrew Steele said attacking higher education is not the solution.

“The recent release of the Budget Repair Bill shows great effort in reducing the state’s current $3.6 billion dollar deficit, but it will undoubtedly weaken the UW System and lower the quality of education the system is capable of providing,” Steele said.

He added without proper benefits and rights, graduates and public service employees will begin fleeing the state in search of better opportunities.

UW-Eau Claire President Dylan Jambrek agreed with Steele, commenting that many professors had indicated despite their tenured status, they are heavily considering leaving Wisconsin.

“They stay because of their passion for education, for their students and this state. If they leave, they take their incredible professionalism, proficiency and passion for learning to other states,” Jambrek said.

According to Jambrek, the budget repair may initially have been made in the noble effort of solving the state’s fiscal crisis but now only tears down Wisconsin’s most powerful economic engine—the UW System and Colleges which prepare students for the high tech jobs of the future.

ASM Vice Chair Adam Johnson said UW is the single largest economic engine in the state and the main catalyst for job creation and education.

“I want to believe the Governor when he says Wisconsin is ‘Open for Business;’ however without protecting and promoting our world class University system, he may find that there is no one buying what we’re selling,” Johnson said.

In response to Walker’s bill, rallies have been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, February 15th and 16th at the State Capitol at noon. ASM and UW System Student Governments urge students of UW to take part in the “Hands Off Our Teachers” rallies.

“Tuesday’s rally was truly powerful. The firefighter’s union came to stand in support even when they are exempt from this bill. The Department of Administration estimated over 10,000 people came to the capitol. That tells me something is incredibly wrong with this bill,” ASM Chair Brandon Williams said.

Jambrek said despite Walker’s campaign pledges, Wisconsin may be open for business, but it appears to be closed to negotiating.

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UPDATE: Madison Metropolitan School District has canceled class tomorrow due to teachers calling in sick. Brilliant. See you at the Capitol tomorrow! 😀

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