March 24, 2011- UW-Whitewater faculty “Truth to Power March” coming to Madison

The “Truth to Power March” begins on Thursday and finishes up on Saturday.

WHITEWATER – Some members of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater faculty are marching to Madison to hand deliver a letter stating their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill and proposed biennial budget.

In a special meeting last week, some faculty members approved the “UW-W Faculty’s Open Letter to the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate,” according to James Hartwick, associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

Billed as the “Truth to Power March,” the faculty members plan to undertake a 45-mile, three-day march to deliver the letter. Participants will gather outside Hyer Hall at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to begin a 20-mile trek, on foot, to Cambridge. On Friday, they will march from Cambridge to Madison’s East High School. On Saturday morning, the march will conclude with an approximately two-mile walk from the high school up East Washington Avenue to the State Capitol.

As part of the march Friday, faculty plan to meet at the Main Street bridge in Fort Atkinson at about 11:30 a.m. for lunch and a supportive rally with Fort Atkinson teachers and state workers.

In summary, the two-page letter protests the elimination of collective bargaining rights, the “stated and implicit” priorities in the bills, the “negative impact” on the poor and middle class, cuts to K-12 education, and cuts to the UW System. The complete letter appeared in Tuesday’s Daily Union’s letters to the editor.

Hartwick said this letter was a different letter than a separate letter approved by the Faculty Senate several weeks ago.

“This is a letter in which the faculty itself took a stand on the budget-repair bill and biennium budget,” Hartwick said.

He explained how the current letter came about.

“We had a faculty meeting, but prior to that, a group of faculty had been pondering the budget-repair bill and biennium budget got together and crafted a letter we submitted to the faculty for approval,” Hartwick said. “The faculty overwhelmingly supported the letter with a few minor revisions. The letter opposes the bill, and asks the Legislature to consider, or reconsider, the budget-repair bill and make significant changes to the proposed budget.”

Hartwick also discussed the march this week.

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