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What UW-Madison’s Graduation Got Right & Wrong [Up Against the Wall]

UW-Madison photo.

I have a love-hate relationship with the UW-Madison. On one hand, I love the university; it’s physically beautiful with its setting along Lake Mendota, with Bascom Hill, and with Bascom Hall looking straight down State Street to the state Capitol.

After being told by my counselor two weeks into my freshmen year that I’m “the type of student who will fail” and after being rejected by the dean of the business school the first five times out of six tries to enter the business school, (yes, me), I later graduated with B.S. in economics and an M.S. in real estate from the UW-Madison. I also taught courses there, including having created the first sustainable development course in the world; coming from a guy the dean thought as a loser. So yeah, sometimes I hate the university.

I do love going back to the UW, but I’m also frustrated at some of the behaviors of the UW leadership and decision-making when I’m there.

First, I attended the graduation ceremony this past weekend, and I have to give the UW credit for a job well done, yet call out the Chancellor as well. The ceremony itself was well planned and well-orchestrated. The pomp and circumstance was wonderful. My favorite part was the Madhatters singing Sweet Caroline. There were nearly 8,000 students present and probably around 50,000 spectators in Camp Randall. The whole thing went off without any real problems.

The ceremony itself went well, until a small group of pro-terrorist protestors pulled out a Palestinian flag and held it up and started a shouting match with other students. From our vantage point, it seemed the protestors were trying to shout down the chancellor while she was speaking. On one hand, I give Chancellor Mnookin credit for appearing to thread the needle in regards to the illegal protest camp and the protestors on the university mall.

After a couple weeks, she finally got them to de-camp and leave just hours before graduation ceremonies began. Who knows what she really promised them, but the word on the street is that she would have anyone who protests or disrupts the graduation ceremonies arrested. You know, like, really arrested, this time. Not like last time, (ahh, yea, sure) when the police forcibly removed the illegal camp out, took the disruptors to another location, supposedly wrote down their names, and then released them scot free – only to see some of them go right back and set up a new camp!

Gee, golly, “whad” you think was going to happen when the UW leadership makes it clear that there are never any consequences to law breaking? (Well, you know, unless you’re a conservative protesting the UW, in which case, you’ll probably be arrested and cancelled – at least if you decided to camp out.)

What really happened during those phony arrests was that the police took the disruptors away and released them; you know, the same ‘catch and release’ program Biden invented with the 15 million illegals he has let into this country. The arrests weren’t real arrests. Real arrests involve taking criminals to the Dane County jail, booking them in, with finger printing, a mug shot, DNA sample, probably a cavity search, and locking them up until they can get a hearing on Monday or later.

So that’s why there was a protest at the graduation ceremony in the stadium because the protestors knew there would be zero consequences to them; worse case, they get kicked out and miss out on a few speeches in the hot sun.

But what really bothered me is the swipe that the Chancellor took at “white men” when she commented that the first two graduating students at the UW dating back 175 years ago were “white men”; insert smirk, which she did. (I noticed she didn’t comment about the fact that 90% of the nursing graduates were women.)

And of course, one of her main speakers was the head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, i.e. the race police. (What does that person do anyway?) And the university is hiring new DEI positions (now renamed) and hundreds of other positions – all the while complaining endlessly to the Legislature that they don’t have enough money. There are professors getting paid well-into-the-six-figure-salaries who don’t even teach a course or don’t publish based upon legitimate research, but the university claims it is still broke. (By the way, did you see that new Bakke fitness facility; holy crap, it’s unbelievably nice. Taj Mahal would not be an exaggeration.)

But apparently we aren’t working hard enough to support all those professors at the UW – just like in the Hunger Games.

It’s fashionable to blast white men these days, especially at elite universities, but if you want white men to continue to donate to the UW, maybe, just maybe, you might want to keep your mouth shut. I mean, the last three chancellors have been women, so how bad is it really? So maybe tone it down.

Where the chancellor did well was highlighting the unusual achievements of many individual graduates on Saturday. That was interesting. Such creativity – from all kinds of different kinds of students. She should have just finished with that, rather than leaving a bitter taste in our mouths.

Like I said, I have a love hate relationship with my alma mater. I would love to like it more, but they just keep pushing alumni like me away because we don’t fit their idealistic view of the world.

Wisconsin Right Now is a news organization focused on covering the news from a conservative point of view, in particular on politics and policy issues through analysis and opinions, and is protected by the first amendment of the United States constitution. WRN and the columnist does not make endorsements of candidates or urge a vote for or against any candidate or issue. On October 18 and November 23, 2023 Donald Trump tweeted out on Trump’s Truth Social account T. Wall’s October 6th column on Trump’s property valuations. T. Wall holds a degree from the UW in economics and an M.S. in real estate analysis and valuation and is a real estate developer. Disclaimer: The opinions of the writer are not necessarily those of this publication or the left!

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