By Alexandria Mason
Blindside: To catch (someone) unprepared; attack from an unexpected position.
This past Wednesday, 29 UW students were elected to serve on the Associated Students of Madison board. Of the 29 positions, 16 are held by student activists that aim to use their positions to bring about social and economic change through ASM legislation and resource allocation for underrepresented communities on campus. These students entitled their campaign The Blindside.
The Blindside is a coalition of student leaders from various backgrounds working to make institutional changes for students. With their newfound positions, the group hopes to foster more conversation and dialogue concerning issues of race, sexual assault, disabilities and accessibility.
“We will be vocal, we will be active implementing and proposing the policies that can institutionally change UW,” said sophomore and new ASM member Tyriek Mack. Mack was elected as both the School of Education and Student Services Finance Committee Chair.
The majority takeover indeed was a blindside considering the 11 percent voter turnout of a campus of over 40,000.
The Blindside looks to address the concerns of underrepresented students create an intersection in order to draw larger campus support and meet a greater need. While their current immediate focus is UW-Madison, if successful, the student leaders anticipate other campuses in the UW System observing their strategies and results and eventually executing such techniques on their own campuses.
Consisting of a variety of student leaders from different backgrounds looking to actualize diversity and equity, ASM allows the students to take their demands to “the next level” as the organization holds legal rights to recommend university policies, budgets, and candidates for UW employment. ASM also is responsible for distributing approximately $43 million in segregated university fees each year to different student organizations and resources as seen fit by the student appointees.
“Personally, I want to influence allocation of resources to support recruitment for underrepresented students. Our demands aren’t for political correctness. We are using ASM to gain economic justice and resources,” said Mack.
Feature image by Amber Arnold, State Journal