“UW 4 Whites Only”
A sign posted by some students of color to protest climate issues on the
UW-Madison campus
‘Why would they destroy buildings in their own communities?’” Breanna Taylor, UW-Madison 2019 Alumna, said. “The response would vary from time to time, but it
would initially point out how the people in those communities never owned anything and how the businesses being in those neighborhoods acted as a push-out of
businesses owned by the people in those same communities. The destruction was not to the community, but to the people that owned those businesses in those
neighborhoods. I feel like the student posting that poster operated in the same vein.”

Although the sign and its intentions might have confused some, a message was still received. Awareness spread across campus about an issue that some
students think doesn’t get enough attention.

“It was to point out a truth that everyone claims to know, but does nothing about,” Taylor said. “It was to show how students of color being on this campus had little
to nothing at an institution that claims to value ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion,’ and felt pushed out. There are so many more reasons why those posters were
posted, but let’s be real, the audience it’s intended for still doesn’t get it and probably won’t.”
By Angelica Euseary

On Friday, October 18, UW-Madison’s campus was shaken up by a sign that said, “UW 4
Whites Only.” Controversy stirred when the public found out the student who posted the
sign was a person of color.

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion at UW-Madison, Patrick Sims, tweeted
Friday morning in response. “I wanted to provide an important update regarding the
“whites only” sign outside of Science Hall,” Sims said. “The sign was apparently posted
shortly after 2 a.m. this morning and we have been informed that it was part of a protest
by students of color.”

Some students originally thought that a white student at UW posted the sign. People have
asked why the student of color posted the whites only sign and have had questioned that
method of protesting.

“This question reminds me of when riots would break out and people would always ask,
It is important to acknowledge that the university is taking steps towards what
to do about the sign. Sims has informed students that an update will be coming

Mr. Sims also tweeted, “Please be sure to inform interested parties that the
matter is being addressed and we are convening this morning to determine
next steps. A more formal update will be forthcoming later this morning.”

Students of color have a hard time on UW-Madison’s campus because of the
original intent of the space and how UW has previously handled issues of
race. It is important for students to take care of themselves and maintain their

“Students: channel your energy into rebuilding your communities,” Taylor said.
“Stop giving away your time, energy, health, and effort to the people who get
paid thousands to ‘sit at the table’ and do nothing. Getting a seat at the table
does not guarantee change. Shift away from the trope of ‘objects trying to
become subjects.’ TAKE what you need and build it into what they couldn’t.”