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University of Wisconsin Green Bay SDS meets with chancellor to discuss university’s silence on Palestine

By Dane Snudden

Green Bay, WI- On March 7, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) met with Chancellor Michael Alexander to discuss the university’s position on the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

SDS has been organizing events around the genocide since fall and have gotten the administration’s attention, particularly from a letter-writing event in November where more than 30 letters were written to campus administration and local politicians.

The student representatives that went to visit the chancellor were not told the context of what would be discussed and were only told that the chancellor had received their letters and wanted to talk. The group of five SDS members that went to speak with the chancellor wanted to be prepared, so an open letter was created to make demands to the university as well as explain who SDS is.

Chancellor Alexander attempted to run defense for the administration's silence on the issue, via the typical “I speak for an institution” rhetoric that has become commonplace. SDS eventually read through their letter, and their three demands: the divestment from military contractors, prohibition of military recruitment on campus, and support for education and humanitarian incentives.

Upon hearing the letter being read, Chancellor Alexander confirmed to the group that the school “would look into these demands” and that these are “not things that can be changed quickly.” SDS then proposed another meeting in a month to check in with the administration's progress toward their demands and the administration agreed.

UWGB SDS is growing rapidly and gaining a lot of support from the student body for their work on campus, and within the city via their partnership with the Green Bay Anti-War Committee. While the response from the chancellor was expected, it shows that the group is being treated as a legitimate force on campus and has even inspired further action.

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