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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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I am a student at UW-Milwaukee, as I sit and type this I am looking at a quiet study room in the UWM Union that has been occupied by those who are against Scott Walker and his bill. They have removed all tables and computers in this room, and replaced them with picket signs and air mattresses. They have been in this room since Monday, the 28th.

I write to you because I enjoy your show and I loved your calling out of the member of our Student Association who abused the email system for personal interest. I have emailed Scott Grove, the Union director, and await a response on what he plans to do with this group. I should clarify why this occupation upsets me, beyond the simple fact that I greatly disagree with their position.

That room belongs to them, but it also belongs to me, and to everyone else who pays to go to this school. They have removed the tables, computers, and in fact take up the entire space so that no one else can possibly use this quiet study room. They have covered the walls and windows around the room with poster and papers that I have seen all around the protests. I find it disgusting that my academic fraternity has to schedule appointments for meeting rooms weeks in advance, while they walk into a room in a high traffic area in the Union and are allowed to stay in there day and night for the better part of a week. I suppose what disheartens me most is that this is really an example of how their side sees the world to how I would.

They feel that, regardless of what is the best for everyone, regardless of the facts, regardless that they are a minority, they are allowed to do whatever they like because they think they are right. They claim that the entire student body is behind them while they are holding protests, where about 300-400 people show up (some which are non-students and others bussed in from Madison). UWM has about 30,000 undergraduates.

That is ridiculous to claim that they represent the majority, or I believe even a large minority, of the students at UWM. They yell that the teachers are enraged about this, but all my professors have showed up to my classes and shrugged off this movement. I even had one who told me that he would rent a room at the University to teach us should the classes be cancelled because he understood that we pay to go here and it is his responsibility to teach us.

That same professor is also a supporter of Scott Walker and understands what he is doing. The only professors that are really enraged are those in the liberal arts college, my guess is because they don't know the first thing about government financing, economics, or even where their salaries come from. I don't mean to go on for so long, but I have spent weeks watching the SDS yell and scream at people who don't agree with them, or have better things to do and I needed to speak out about it.

Thank you for being a voice of reason,

Jacob Sommerville


Here is a copy of Jacob's email to Scott Gore, the director of the UWM Union.

As a student at UWM, I would really like to have access to the quiet room near the Union Terrace Cafe. The students now occupying it make it impossible. Is there no way to ask them to relocate to a less intrusive area? To allow one group to occupy the whole of it for days on end, I feel is very wrong and unfair to all other students.


Gore's response:


Jacob...Thank you for taking the time to register your concerns regarding the current occupation of the quiet study area.The decision to re purpose the quiet study area was made by the campus administration with my endorsement.This space provides a secure and defined location for the occupation without compromising building security or disrupting the Union's programmatic function. May I suggest you use the Alumni Fireside Lounge as an alternate location for quiet study. Thank you. Scott Gore    

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