Students demand free tuition for black students at UW-Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Students demand free tuition for black students at UW-Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The student council at UW-Madison wants the university to make a big change to right what it says are past wrongs. 

Members of the Associated Students of Madison are demanding free tuition for black students. 

"It's just a very small community of black students on this campus," said Tyriek Mack. The junior who is studying economics is also the author of the resolution. 

"Who is this university benefiting," he asked? "It's definitely not the black people of this state."

The reason for the idea is the free tuition would serve as reparation for barring black people from education during slavery. 

"The idea that we live in this post-racial society is absurd," he said, claiming the effects of slavery are still lingering around. 

Currently, black students only make up 2 percent of the student population at UW-Madison, although a university spokeswoman says the proportion of students of color has grown from 11 percent to 15 percent over the last decade.

"We've increased enrollment of students of color and boosted financial aid for first-generation and other underrepresented students," a university statement read in response to the resolution.

"They like to talk about all the efforts that they're making but it's not enough," Mack added. 

The resolution is also calling on the UW administration to assess the test-optional admissions policy and increase need-based financial aid. 

"We will continue to partner with students on these efforts," a university spokeswoman said in a statement to 27 News. However, "it's unclear that the methods that they're suggesting are either legal or the best approach," it said in part.

Still, Mack says his idea doesn't have to be the only one.

"Why is this the only solution," he asked? "Where is your solution? That's the question I have for the students that don't necessarily agree with this."

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