Editorial: Change of climate needed on UW-Madison campus

Editorial: Change of climate needed on UW-Madison campus

A 70 percent approval rating is usually pretty good. That’s roughly the percentage of students on the UW-Madison campus who say they feel welcome and respected — and thus safe — on campus.

But it begins to feel more disproportionate when you consider how many of those students are white and straight and then how many non-white and other minority students report feeling like they don’t belong and do not feel welcome. That’s something that needs to be addressed.

And it needs to be addressed by those on campus, and those of us in the broader society in general, including friends and families and communities from where majority students originate. Many of the unfriendly, even hostile incidents or comments directed at students with disabilities, of color, LGBT students and others are surely the result of unchallenged lapses of understanding, experience and empathy.

We have to use the first UW Campus Climate Survey results to make changes on campus, but also in the culture that prepares students for college in the first place.