News and Commentary

University Hosts ‘Welcome BBQ’ ‘Intended’ For ‘People Of Color’
USA, Kansas, Topeka, White and Colored segregation signs
Walter Bibikow via Getty Images

A “Welcome BBQ” that is intended for “self-identifying people of color” will be hosted next month at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — the same university that had a “racist” boulder removed from campus this summer.

According to a report from The College Fix’s Jackson Walker, flyers posted at UW advertising the event read, “All are welcome, intended for self-identifying people of color.”

The “Welcome BBQ” will reportedly be hosted by the school’s “Center for Cultural Enrichment,” where their stated mission includes “embracing all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender expressions, religions, classes, abilities, or any other aspects of identity we hold,” according to the report.

Walker noted that the event is advertised on campus in several dining hall locations, but, curiously, the BBQ is “not listed on the campus events calendar nor the University Housing events and activities page. In contrast, a ‘Latinx New Student Welcome’ is posted online.”

UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone told The College Fix “it is standard practice for Housing to use signs rather than online listings.”

“Regarding event promotion … it is standard practice for Housing to use signs rather than online listings to promote events organized within the hall intended primarily for hall residents,” McGlone said via email. “The Latinx Student Welcome is not organized by Housing and is targeted to a broader audience, which is why it’s promoted online.”

Earlier this month, a large boulder was removed from the campus after the Black Student Union and other racial justice activists complained about it being a “racist monument.”

The rock was allegedly tainted with racism since a journalist once used a racist term to describe the large boulder during the 1920s. The rock’s existence had apparently been oppressing students ever since.

Fox News outlined the “racism” of the rock, as defined by student activists:

Chamberlin Rock, which rests atop Observatory Hill, is named after a 19th Century geologist and former university president, Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, whose work centered on glacial deposits, according to a bio on the university’s website.

But it was a reporter’s reference to the rock in a nearly century-old Wisconsin State Journal article that prompted the push for its removal.

In October 1925, the university had the boulder excavated and placed prominently atop the hill to honor Chamberlin, who would die in Chicago three years later. The rock was a rare specimen believed to be more than 2 billion years old, and before it was installed on Observatory Hill, only about a foot and a half was visible above ground, according to the article. It was believed to have been carried by glaciers from Canada to Wisconsin.

In the 1920s, a slang term used to describe large dark rocks included the N-word, and it appears in coverage of the rock’s installation.

University researchers did not uncover other instances in print where the rock was referred to with this word, but they said the Ku Klux Klan was active on campus at the time of the rock’s dedication, according to an article in the same newspaper published earlier this week.

A senior and campus representative on the Madison City Council Juliana Bennett said the removal of the rock was another step toward a more “inclusive” campus. “This moment is about the students, past and present, that relentlessly advocated for the removal of this racist monument,” Bennett told The Associated Press. “Now is a moment for all of us BIPOC students to breathe a sigh of relief, to be proud of our endurance, and to begin healing.”

According to Fox News, Mr. Chamberlin will “get a new plaque in a building already named after him, and the boulder will find a new home near Lake Kegonsa on other university-owned land.”

Related: ‘Racist’ Rock Removed From College Campus After Black Student Union, Activists Complain 

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