The United Council of the University of Wisconsin students is the nation's oldest
student association that has a long and proud history of advocating for the students and for social justice.
As is the norm for Fitzwalkerstan, because the United Council (UC) is a good thing, it could not be allowed to remain.
So late on Friday afternoon, when many people were mostly concerned with the three day weekend, the state Republicans decided to introduce and pass a UW-related omnibus. As most laws, the omnibus bill passed along party line votes.
Among the miasma which made up the omnibus, is a bit that attacks and basically defunds the UC. Even though the UC had been working closely with the Republican legislators on the UW budget, this had never been mentioned in any of their discussions (emphasis mine):
As United Council’s government affairs director Dylan Jambrek (a veteran Wisconsin student government leader himself) noted on Twitter late last night, not only did the JFC pass a two-year UW tuition freeze yesterday, Republican legislators thanked United Council for their work in helping to bring it about, even as they were plotting to defund the organization. “United Council has worked closely with GOP legislators this semester on the UW budget,” he writes, and “this was never discussed. This is simply a backstab.”So, if this was never mentioned in the meetings between UC and WISGOP, where did it come from?
Rep. John Nygren shed some light on this just before the Republicans performed their betrayal, citing a letter from the council at UW-Eau Claire:
Where did this assault on UC come from, and why is it happening now? One Wisconsin politics blog reports that Republican committee-member John Nygren said last night that the committee received a letter from the UW-Eau Claire student government calling for an end to the funding referenda. Wisconsin student activists I’ve spoken to since yesterday confirm that account.Well, that is the usual fascism and Machiavellian scheming that we're used to seeing from the Republicans. But outside of it being the UW-EC's student council, it still doesn't answer our question on who is behind that attack.
As to why the student government at Eau Claire — which is, bizarrely, a United Council member campus — would want to cut off funding for their own statewide student organization, that’s an interesting question.
Campuses become members of United Council via referendum, as noted above. At the moment the students of a robust twenty out of the state’s twenty-six public colleges (nine of thirteen four-years, and eleven of thirteen two-years) have chosen to affiliate.
The Eau Claire student government has been unhappy with United Council for some time, and released a lengthy critical report on the organization last year. Dissatisfied with UC’s response, the student senate this spring voted to disaffiliate from the statewide organization. That vote appears to have had only symbolic effect, however, given that the referendum mechanism for UC membership is a matter of systemwide University of Wisconsin policy.
So why didn’t the Eau Claire student government run a UC referendum? Well, it turns out that they did just that, barely a year and a half ago. In the fall of 2011, with nearly two thousand voting, the Eau Claire student body endorsed UC — and a 50% increase in the per student membership fee — by a 65-35 margin, despite a campaign against UC by the statewide group’s critics. What’s more, the turnout for that referendum was more than double that of the student government election that brought UC’s current antagonists to power.
As a result of that 2011 precedent, when the Eau Claire senate took up the issue this spring, the UC opponents on the body declined to even propose a campus-wide vote. Instead they declared that they “did not see a referend[um] as a feasible means to accurately gauge student opinion,” given their expectation that UC and its supporters would be present on the campus organizing for its passage.
This might get a little wonkish, but as a background note, UW-EC's student council was recently hijacked in a concerted effort by college Republicans. The president and ring leader of this group of thugs is one Corydon "Cory" Fish.
So who is Cory Fish? Well, besides being president of the UW-EC's student council, he is also a former intern for Robin "Popcorn Balls" Vos:
|Click to embiggen if you like seeing really bad hair.|
Fish is well on his way to being a true Republican. Not only does he make a good sockpuppet and minion for those in power, but he also is quite sufficiently endowed with the mandatory arrogance and maliciousness. '
For a case in point, there is the oily and false press release crowing about the impending death of the student's Right to Free Speech and Right to Association, but Fish couldn't resist putting this picture on his Facebook page, adding insult to injury:
Fish also shows that he is a typical Republican coward by having already taken the picture down.
But I gotta tell ya, the picture piques my anger as much as this one of the drunken, adulterous, whiny Randy Hopper wearing the Mighty Green:
I hope that the students at UW-EC wake up and see what has happened and oust the tick turds like Fish in all due haste.