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Statement of Jeff Pertl,
President of United Council of UW Students,
in Support of Affirmative Action

January 16, 2003

“As an organization that represents college and university students across the state of Wisconsin, United Council of UW Students has historically supported, and will continue to support, affirmative action and policies that use race and ethnic background as a consideration in college and university admissions.

“The United Council policy platform clearly states our support of affirmative action and in January 2001, the students of United Council’s General Assembly reaffirmed that position by passing a resolution stating that the organization “unilaterally opposed any attempts to abolish race or ethnic background as a consideration in UW System admissions policies.” As students of the University of Wisconsin System, we acknowledge that affirmative action within higher education admissions policies ensures that universities and colleges are a diverse environment where students can learn not just from professors, but from other students as well.

“Recognizing the vested interest that the University of Wisconsin System has in seeing affirmative action policies, such as the ones being questioned in the Michigan cases, United Council has requested that the Board of Regents file an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of affirmative action in admissions.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that students, those elected to represent them and institutions of higher education rise up and declare their support of affirmative action policies. While we cannot be sure that all admission systems adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Supreme Court in Bakke, we must never falter in our defense of affirmative action policies. To do so would jeopardize the access to and quality of higher education for future generations of students.”

For more information contact:
Jeff Pertl, President
Office: 608.263.3422
Cell: 608.513.7140

The United Council of UW Students is one of the nation’s largest, oldest and most effective statewide student associations, representing approximately 145,000 students on 24 UW campuses.

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