Friday, August 25, 2006

Oodles of Updates

As mentioned here, a lot of new things have been happening with Students for a Fair Wisconsin lately. It has been a hectic couple of weeks, and with all the new developments, we haven’t had much time to transition and update the blog. But the new blog is finally here (along with some updates to the old website while we await the new one), and here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

  • Fair Wisconsin has hired Andy Gordon to coordinate the campus campaign in Madison. He comes to our group with experience as a volunteer and intern Democratic Candidates, the Communications Chair of the College Democrats of Madison, and past involvement with ASM as a student council representative and slate organizer.

  • Our good friend Eli Judge, meanwhile, has stepped up as the Chair for Students for a Fair Wisconsin and is excited to build upon the great work Students for Equality did last semester. He and Andy have already been working diligently, crafting a fantastic fall campaign. Together, they bring an unrelenting energy and passion to the campus campaign and are going to do a terrific job ensuring that every student has heard about the proposed ban and why they should vote no on November 7.

  • In other campus news, Fair Wisconsin has also hired Erika Grace Nelson to coordinate the Milwaukee-area campuses and Andrew Moe to coordinate statewide on the La Crosse, Eau Claire, Stout, River Falls, Stevens Point, Oshkosh and Whitewater campuses. Both are doing tremendous work to educate and mobilize students throughout Wisconsin.

  • As for the blog – I will be working with a few others on campus media this fall. We plan to saturate campus newspapers statewide with features, letters, and editorials about the proposed ban and its harmful effects on students. Alongside these efforts, we will continue to blog with updates from the campuses throughout the state and with exciting news and developments both inside and outside the campaign. We will still be here, and we hope to post more frequently and more broadly – expanding beyond the boundaries of the Madison campus.

Finally, our update would not be complete without mentioning the terrific press students received in today’s Capital Times. Judith Davidoff’s piece, Swing Votes: Young People and the Same-sex Marriage Ban, discusses the importance of students statewide in defeating the ban. In the article, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, Kathy Cramer Walsh describes the enormous significance of the student vote: “I think the campus vote statewide will be the deciding factor.”

Davidoff also quotes our own Eli Judge quite extensively:

"I have never been more passionate about a subject in my life," says Judge.

A native of Illinois, Judge says he could see himself settling down in Madison after college, but not if the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage passes.

"What I see here is someone openly attacking my way of life and my ability to raise a family here," says Judge, who is gay. "I can't do that effectively if this amendment passes."

[…]

Judge says that he and many of his straight and gay contemporaries take political interference into their right to marry as a "personal insult."

"That's why people are starting to come out like armies opposed to this amendment," he says.

Indeed, armies are what we plan to have. This is the civil rights issue of our generation, and we plan to come out in full force to show the state of Wisconsin, our country, and the world that we will not put up with discrimination and that we will not accept the extreme, far-reaching consequences of this ban.

We have 74 more days, and we will work indefatigably to turn out enough students to defeat this ban.

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