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Letter to the editor

Oppression at UWRF — everybody needs food to survive.

April 1, 2011

Dear Intelligent UWRF Student Voice Readers,

The concept of oppression is a big concept to wrap your head around, especially when it’s happening on your campus. But it’s obvious to those who are being oppressed, I should probably back up right now and say that oppression can be defined as “marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior”. In layman’s terms, it means denying one group of individuals due to a trait that they have in common.

Where this comes into context is that the Food Science major is being suspended at UWRF. Any student that is admitted to the program, including a change of major within the next year must contractually be allowed to graduate with their chosen major within a reasonable period of time. The documentation for the suspension of the major does not require any data as an analytical approach. This contradicts the University’s Core Value of “Continual Improvement” defined as “We strive for excellence through decisions based on information and analysis”.

The document does not allow for the opinion of the minority opinion to be heard- and as there is little support from the department with a Food Science faculty of smaller numbers, there has been very little support to have the opinion of those in the major to be heard. At an open forum on Monday, March 28th the Dean of CAFES stated that he met with students two years ago. What was failed to mention was that those students had to fight to get into his office to try to talk to him, and that there has not been a continued source of communication between students and administration throughout the process. It has yet to be officially announced to students that their major has gone through the channels of being suspended.

The suspension document has been signed by the Animal and Food Science Department Chair all the way up to the Provost and Chancellor. The Chancellor has stated that he had to “take off his hat as an analytical chemist and disregard his training and sign it because it reached him through the appropriate channels”. This sounds similar to that saying of “If everyone jumped off of a bridge, would you do it too?” Normally, I am able to say that I am quite proud to be a Falcon, but when events such as this occur, without looking at data, especially that there is a proven growth in the industry within the last few years, despite an economic downturn, and that Wisconsin is one of the largest employers of the Food Industry, I feel ashamed. This is supposed to be an Institute of Higher Learning, not an Institute of Student Oppression.

Andrew Sisulak
Food Science Club Treasurer &
Food Science Major