Students: Chancellor failed minorities on pro-white agitator

Students: Chancellor failed minorities on pro-white agitator
Daniel Dropik

Student leaders are accusing the University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor of showing a lack of support for minority students after a man convicted of setting fires to predominantly black churches started recruiting for a pro-white party on campus.

Representatives of UW-Madison’s student government sent a letter Friday to Chancellor Rebecca Blank, urging her to denounce the group as racist.

The students also want Blank to participate in a cultural competency program so she can create policies that directly address racism on campus.

Daniel Dropik, a 33-year-old student, says frustration over the university’s efforts to improve the experiences of minority students led him to start a local chapter of the American Freedom Party, a group with deep ties to white supremacism.

Blank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an email, UW System spokesperson Stephanie Marquis said there is no policy from the Board of Regents prohibiting conducting a background check on students.

“The UW System wants to ensure students have access to higher education, including those who have served their debt to society, as well as protect student safety and welfare,” Marquis said. “The question as to whether a criminal background should be considered as part of the application process is a complex issue that requires thoughtful consideration, and President Cross will be reviewing the application process keeping this balance in mind.”