In the Spirit of "Diversity", Our Wisconsin "Inclusion Program" Must Accept Christian Beliefs

True diversity means UW-Madison "Inclusion Program" must vindicate the right of Christians to express controversial beliefs

 

In the Spirit of "Diversity", Our Wisconsin "Inclusion Program" Must Accept Christian Beliefs

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273 people have signed. Help us reach 500 signatures.

In the Spirit of "Diversity", Our Wisconsin "Inclusion Program" Must Accept Christian Beliefs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is launching the "'Our Wisconsin' All-Student Inclusion Program" this Fall. It is a "diversity" program, which, in their words, is designed to, "improve the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus climate, as it is one of our core beliefs that every student at UW-Madison, regardless of their background or how they may identify, should feel safe, valued, supported, and welcomed."

As Chancellor Rebecca Blank has also stated, the 'Our Wisconsin' Program is, "an effort to build understanding and community on campus in the areas of culture, identity, diversity and inclusion."

Especially given the events which transpired in Charlottesville in the last 10 days, the goal of having a campus, "where all students feel welcomed, valued, and supported," is laudable.

However, there is a grave concern that the 'Our Wisconsin' program will actually function to tamp "uniformity" into unsuspecting Freshmen, rather than encourage true "diversity".

And, indeed, that possibility is clearly there. Because, whereas we know a lot about what the program seeks to achieve, we know very little about the actual CONTENTS of the program. And, it seems as though this is by design.

There are opaque references, like those above regarding "identity", and "how [one may identify]", but it is impossible to discover, from a readily-available, public source (including the 'Our Wisconsin' webpage), what EXACTLY will form part of the curriculum.

For a state university, this is wrong.

Why? And, what is the concern?

The concern stems from the fact that many such "diversity" programs, which have been similarly rolled-out at different universities around the country, have been used, not as a means to achieve a more 'welcoming' and 'supportive' student body, but, rather, as a means to clamp-down on free speech - especially, on that of Christian students.

And, that is why it is so important to know the contents of the program...particularly, when "identity" is one of the areas upon which the university administration wants to build "understanding and community" on campus - and, especially now, when "identity" is widely understood a buzzword used in discussions around gender ideology, (an ideology) which is antithetical to a Christian understanding of human nature.

In short, "diversity" should not mean that Christian students must give up their own identities. Rather, in the spirit of "diversity", Christians - and, those with sincerely held religious beliefs - should feel to free to charitably express their opinions about controversial issues, and still be respected as a full members of the campus community.

This is one of those places where separation between Church and State is vital - in this instance, not to have the State dictating to people of faith how they practise their religion, where they practise their religion, or restricting what people of faith may say about certain issues based on their religion.

Transparency, in this case, is, therefore, essential.

Chancellor Blank has said that the program "is not mandatory, but participation is an expectation." And, although this sounds a lot like double-speak (and, beneath her as a PhD), it at least affords the opportunity to Freshmen to opt-out...BUT, only if they know beforehand about the contents of the program.

And, not only for the students, themselves...But, also their parents have a right to know, as well, as they are, more than likely, footing the bill for their child's "university experience/education." So, it is only fair that they are included in the discussion about whether the new Freshman ought to participate in a program which might be offensive to their family's religion, or to their sensibilities.

With these things in mind, this petition - which is directed to the Chancellor of UW-Madison, Dr Rebecca Blank, and Cc'ed to the UW-Madison Ombuds Team, as well as to Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker - asks that: 1) All of the contents of the "'Our Wisconsin' All-Student Inclusion Program" be made public and readily-available, and also sent to the parents of every Freshman, and, or any other students who will be exposed to the program; and, crucially, 2) In the spirit of "diversity", that the contents of the program will expressly vindicate the right of Christians - and, those with sincerely held religious beliefs - to freely, but charitably, express their opinions about controversial issues, and still be respected as full members of the campus community.

Thank you for signing this petition!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9578

https://chancellor.wisc.edu/blog/after-successful-pilot-our-wisconsin-will-launch-more-fully-in-the-fall/

https://ourwisconsin.students.wisc.edu/

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Our Wisconsin "Inclusion Program" Must Be Transparent - Must Accept Christian Beliefs

For the Kind Attention of:

  • The Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr Rebecca Blank
  • Cc'ed to the Office of the Governor of Wisconsin, Mr Scott Walker
  • Cc'ed to The Ombuds Team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

I understand that the "'Our Wisconsin' All-Student Inclusion Program" is now being rolled-out during the move-in period for the beginning of this term, to all undergraduate Freshmen.

Especially given the events which transpired in Charlottesville in the last 10 days, your goal of having a campus, "where all students feel welcomed, valued, and supported," is laudable.

However, I am concerned that, for all of the good things which have been written ABOUT the program and for the very user-friendly webpage regarding the same, it is impossible to discover, from a readily-available, public source (like the website), anything about the actual CONTENTS of the program.

This is a serious lacuna in the roll-out of such a potentially divisive program. And, as a resident of Wisconsin, I think the CONTENTS of the program workshops should be made public.

This kind of transparency is essential so as to keep government honest, particularly at a public university.

Why might this program actually be 'divisive', rather than 'inclusive'? What is the concern, there?

My concern stems from the fact that many such "diversity" programs, which have been similarly rolled-out at different universities around the country, have been used, not as a means to achieve a more 'welcoming' and 'supportive' student body, but, rather, as a means to clamp-down on free speech - especially, on that of Christian students.

And, that is why it is so important to know the contents of the program...particularly, when you have also stated that "identity" is one of the areas upon which "understanding and community" should be built on campus - "identity", as you know, now being a buzzword used in discussions around gender ideology, (an ideology) which is antithetical to a Christian understanding of human nature.

So, that, if as you have said about that program, it "is not mandatory, but participation is an expectation," Freshmen and their parents can then openly discuss the contents of the program, and, together, make a mature decision about whether or not they ought to participate.

With these things in mind, we, the undersigned, ask the following: 1) That all of the contents of the "'Our Wisconsin' All-Student Inclusion Program" be made public and readily-available, and sent to the parents of every Freshman, and, or any other students who will be exposed to the program; and, crucially, 2) That, in the spirit of "diversity", the contents of the program will expressly vindicate the right of Christians - and, those with sincerely held religious beliefs - to freely, but charitably, express their opinions about controversial issues, and still be respected as full members of the campus community.

Thank you for your serious consideration.

[Your Name]

In the Spirit of "Diversity", Our Wisconsin "Inclusion Program" Must Accept Christian Beliefs

Sign this petition now!

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273 people have signed. Help us reach 500 signatures.