Stop the dismantling of the Multicultural Academic Advising offices at UW-Milwaukee.
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Since Fall 2015, the UW-Milwaukee Upper Administration cabinet has had several conversations about restructuring Academic Opportunity Center (AOC), and the multicultural academic advising units in Bolton Hall. These changes would result in removing the multicultural advising units from the College of Letters and Science. Which will no longer allow the advising units to be affiliated with a school or college. In addition the administrative structure, the population each unit serves and how they service historically underrepresented and historically marginalized ethnic students will also be impacted. As such, a Director for the Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising (OUAA) was hired to create and implement a new, centralized office for all students who are undecided and intended. The newly-created OUAA will no longer allow for multicultural offices to exist to service students based on ethnicity, thus eliminating safe spaces for these groups. Dedicated, uninterrupted safe spaces are crucial to the academic and professional success of certain UWM students.
These changes will only impact the following multicultural units: American Indian Student Services, Southeast Asian American Student Services, Roberto Hernandez Center, and the office that I utilize the most, African American Student Academic Services. We as minorities will no longer have a safe place to go for our cultural concerns and confide with individuals who we have established relationships to serve as an ally and as an advocate for students and our families (other colleges and universities, such as Northwestern University, believes strongly in safe spaces). On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article stating that, "Only 1 in 5 black students enrolled at UW-Milwaukee graduates in 6 years”. These changes, announced on Thursday, March 9, 2017, under the newly created OUAA will further harm the success rate of underrepresented ethnic students at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We must act now to ensure that our voices are heard by doing the following:
1. Sign & share this petition. Share YOUR story on why these office(s) are important to YOU!
2. Contact your community elected officials today and strongly urge them to protect these departments so they can continue with their daily work advocating for underrepresented minority (URM) students.
3. Contact all the members of the UWM Campus Leadership Team:
- A. Chancellor Mark Mone at email@example.com and (414) 229-4331
- B. Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Johannes J. Britz at firstname.lastname@example.org and (414) 229-4501
- C. Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion & Engagement Joan Prince at email@example.com and (414) 229-3101
- D. Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Phyllis King at firstname.lastname@example.org and (414) 229-6175
- E. Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising Bill Hébert, Jr. at email@example.com and (414) 229-3775
4. Let your voice be heard on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) by utilizing the hashtag #ServeURMstudents #UWM so the wider audience can become socially aware about this impact on the lives on URM students at UWM.
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