A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison students interrupted a meeting of the school's Board of Regents on Feb. 5 to demand that the school hire mental health professionals of color and address grievances related to minority students (video below).
According to Campus Reform, a male student reportedly called on the Regents to acknowledge in public that the school system had work to do in restoring justice to students of color.
A second male student demanded an increase in funding for hiring mental health professionals, especially those of color, and mental health outreach programs at all of the University of Wisconsin institutions.
He also called for a study to be undertaken by the school to find out why there are a lack of mental health professionals of color employed by the University of Wisconsin.
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The second student also demanded that students, faculty and employees of color be allowed to vet new mental health programs and mental health professionals hired by the school.
The student recalled how his ex-roommate dropped out of the university because he (the roommate) was not comfortable being the only black student in classes, endured racial slurs from white students and could not tolerate the environment that minority students face on campus daily.
The protesters then shouted, "I got your back!" several times and left the room.
The BlackOut UW Board of Regents Meeting #2 Facebook page for the event states: "Our campuses are witnessing students wearing black face, racially charged incidents and students engaging in backlash against the protest of students of color."
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"Rather than standing behind students of color in an attempt to make our campuses better for all students our administration [The Board of Regents] has passed a Free Speech Resolution that protects speech that can be considered discriminatory or hate speech. This does nothing but perpetuate a negative and hostile learning environment for students of color."
The students also posted a detailed list of demands on Facebook.