Forty-five minutes into the conference, over 100 university students stormed the room chanting “power to the people” and “we’re more than our scores,” effectively shutting down the conference:
[CEO president Roger] Clegg introduced the study at an 11 a.m. news conference Tuesday at the DoubleTree hotel, 525 W. Johnson St. He was immediately peppered with questions from students and faculty members questioning the analysis.
After about 45 minutes, more than 100 students and others stormed into the room, chanting “power to the people!” and “more than our scores!” to a steady drumbeat. Clegg packed up his briefcase and left. Students took over the microphone and began to share personal stories about the value of diversity.
Police arrived on the scene to monitor the crowd. Three DoubleTree employees reported getting pushed or knocked down in the melee, but no one was seriously injured and there were no arrests.
Many white students at the protest “voiced support for an admissions policy that doesn’t rely on test scores, to help achieve more diversity.” After all, as the Journal Sentinel’s Eugene Kane notes, this is the same university that “photo-shopped a black student into a recruitment brochure because a real one apparently wasn’t available.” Right-wing columnist and founder of CEO Linda Chavez slammed the protesters as “undeniably dishonest and thuggish.” University officials responded by noting that “admissions were predicated on more criteria” than CEO used and said the policy complies with Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action.
Citing the report as an “attack” on the university’s diversity efforts, Interim Chancellor David Ward said, “Any student who is accepted at UW-Madison is here because he or she has the potential and the capacity to succeed.”