The Milwaukee Journal reported that "The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse would charge students $1,320 over three years on top of annual tuition increases to expand and diversify its student body under a pilot program approved Thursday by the UW System Board of Regents."
"A major focus of the program is bringing in more low-income and minority students, of which UW-La Crosse has few. The university would hire new staff to help recruit and retain 500 such students. It would use $3.8 million to fund scholarships and other forms of financial aid."
"We are targeting two particular groups," Lostetter (UW-La Crosse vice chancellor for administration and finance) said. "Students from the bottom two income quintiles and students of color."
If this new fee/student tax is approved by Governor Doyle and the Legislature, I hope it will be challenged in court. The basic problem, as I see it, is that the program will discriminate against white students, not once, but twice. First, by favoring "students of color" over students of non-color or wrong color, the university is using irrelevant and discriminatory criteria to select students, rather than having a merit based system. Then, to add insult to injury, they will require all students, including those with pale skin, to pay towards a program that discriminates on the basis of skin color. Students of all colors who oppose racial discrimination should protest this tax. It is offensive enough that racism against white students is celebrated by our morally bankrupt Board of Regents, but now they have the gall to require students to pay more for an expanded program of racism. At the very least, they should have a conscience clause which would allow students to avoid paying into a reprehensible, discriminatory program. Or is it OK to discriminate against white people?