Badger Herald gives up on diversity of topics


Apparently the Badger Herald will be dedicating the rest of the semester (practically) to confronting the question of “diversity.” The response in both campus papers to a couple of provocative columns has been so strong that Jason Smathers has decided to put everything else on the backburner. It sent the following email to a certain number of people (I have no idea how many) this morning:

Dear Jack Craver,

To stimulate conversation about race, ethnicity and minority issues on campus, The Badger Herald is asking members of the University of Wisconsin campus community to submit letters and guest columns attempting to answer the question, “What does ‘diversity’ at UW actually mean, and how should we address it?”

We encourage students from all walks of life to sound off on a range of issues relating to the racial and ethnic makeup of campus and what UW and its related bodies are doing to make this a more accepting, equitable and comfortable place for all students.

Jason Smathers loves this stuff. Gerald Cox knows what I’m talking about. Themes, special editions, boycotts. Gimmicks would be the less flattering term. They’re not all bad, and the thinking behind them are usually very idealistic, but the response is usually negative.

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5 Responses to “Badger Herald gives up on diversity of topics”

  1. Kevin Bargnes Says:

    So I assume we won’t be seeing a Craver column on this topic, eh?

  2. Jason Smathers Says:


    I’m not putting the rest of our content on the backburner. Today’s issue should be evidence enough of that. Writers can take up the topic if they want, but are not required to.

    And excuse me for trying to stimulate discussion on an item that most people like to stay mum on. I’m sorry if you think it’s gimmicky, but I think it’s pretty short sighted to refer to a change in the opinion page’s schedule or content a gimmick. If people don’t respond, they don’t respond. But it’s worth a shot.

  3. Jack Says:

    I admire what you’re doing – I don’t think it’s a gimmick to encourage the topic, but I think it’s unnecessary to require the writers to write only on that topic for one week. I should have added that although the response is usually negative, there might be a somewhat invisible victory.

  4. Gerald Cox Says:

    I’m just looking forward to seeing one of the Herald’s black columnists write on the issue.

  5. Kyle Szarzynski Says:

    Gerald, maybe you should submit something!

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