Earlier this month, several Wisconsin college athletes released a message via social media calling on the university and its athletic department to establish "a $2 million annual fund" to assist students of color.
On Wednesday, some sent a follow-up message to three administrators—chancellor Rebecca Blank, athletic director Barry Alvarez and interim deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer Cheryl Gittens—saying it has been "over three weeks" since their initial email and "we have not heard from anyone addressed."
Badgers, such as track and field competitor Armoni Brown and former basketball player Samad Qawi, posted messages on social media:
Current Wisconsin basketball players Aleem Ford and Trevor Anderson (and former Badger guard Brevin Pritzl) also posted the letter on their Instagram stories on Wednesday.
According to the statement released on Aug. 3, "this fund would raise money to provide scholarships for, but not limited to tuition, books, fees, room and board, and living cost for students of color who qualify through admissions to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison but financially may not be able to afford to attend."
John Lucas, UW's assistant vice chancellor for university communications, told AllBadgers.com on Thursday that UW is "following up with the students to keep the dialogue going and follow up on the progress with the Black W Crest."
Lucas also directed AllBadgers.com to Chancellor Blank's July announcement where she declared a plan to partner with the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association to raise "at least $10 million" in hopes "to recruit a more diverse group of students, faculty and staff, and to build a campus culture that welcomes and retains all groups, particularly people of color."
In mid-July, Wisconsin's athletic department announced via press release that it “will include a university crest logo with a black ‘W’” on its teams' uniforms as "a show of support, inclusion and unity from Badger [college athletes], the UW Athletic Department and UW-Madison as a whole."
UW approved that first request from a group of Badgers who previously asked to have the crest added to their uniforms with the recommended modification via a Google form petition in June.
Ed. note: AllBadgers.com also reached out to UW's athletic department on Thursday as well. We will update if there is any further comment.