Just a few weeks ago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison made headlines around the country when the college decided to remove a boulder that they deemed to be “racist”. Once named Chamberlin Rock, minority students rallied together to have the boulder, named after former university president Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, removed, stating it was used as a “derogatory name for black people in a Wisconsin State Journal story in 1925.” Now, with the boulder gone, the same university is set to host a delicious “Welcome BBQ”, but it’s only intended for students of color.
Having obtained a flyer for the event, which is set to happen on September 12th, the “Welcome BBQ” does state that it is a free event for “students of color”. More importantly, the event was organized to welcome back students who “self-identified as people of color.” The flyer does add, “All are welcome, intended for self-identify people of color.”
With the story somewhat unusual and causing a debate, UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone discussed the decision and admitted that it is not unusual for the campus to advertise that way.
McGlone told reporters, “Regarding event promotion … it is standard practice for Housing to use signs rather than online listings to promote events organized within the hall intended primarily for hall residents. The Latinx Student Welcome is not organized by Housing and is targeted to a broader audience, which is why it’s promoted online.”
As for the once-beloved boulder, it was relocated to land owned by the university near Lake Kegonsa. While a part of their history, one student admitted that they were glad to see it gone.“This moment is about the students, past and present, that relentlessly advocated for the removal of this racist monument. Now is a moment for all of us BIPOC students to breathe a sigh of relief, to be proud of our endurance, and to begin healing.”
Another student was sure to add, “It’s not the rock’s fault that it got that terrible and unfortunate nickname. But the fact that it’s … being moved shows that the world is getting a little better today.”