Local Activism Matters Too

With Trump’s election this year, activism on national issues is on the rise. The Women’s March, the March for Science, and anti-Trump rallies regularly consume both the news cycle and the majority of our political thoughts. However, despite tumult on the national scene, we must remember that there are real issues in our Madison/MMSD community as well, which all of us have the real potential to change. Here are some problems to get you started:

     1. Middleton Sportsmanship Award


This January, a white athlete on the Middleton Girls’ Basketball team posted on her public instagram after losing to Madison East that the (mostly black) players would “end up working for her anyway.” This follows repeated incidents of Middleton basketball fans shouting racially-tinged remarks at the opposing team. The team and the Middleton-Cross Plains school district both apologized, which arguably would have been enough to resolve the issue.


Then, two weeks ago, the Middleton team won the WIAA sportsmanship award for girls’ basketball. This is absolutely absurd: even if you don’t think the instagram post was a big deal, that and a past history of racism should instantly disqualify the team from a sportsmanship award. If you agree this is unacceptable, reach out on Twitter or social media, or tell the WIAA directly via their contact form on their website.


  1. MMSD Recycling


Many students have claimed to me that MMSD does not recycle, and the blue classroom recycling bins are simply dumped in with the trash. Anecdotal evidence aside, this is fortunately false; however, it is alarming that this myth is so widespread. In fact, it speaks to a complete lack of transparency about recycling and waste disposal around our district. We should be pushing kids to recycle, publishing statistics about the waste we generate, and constantly working to make MMSD a greener institution.


  1. Memorial Auditorium Renovation


Ever notice the sole cushioned seat in the back-middle of the aud? I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with that—and therein lies the problem. Every concert and musical, we push for donations to renovate the auditorium. But aside from the one seat, some assorted cosmetic changes, and the new plywood acoustic panels, it’s very unclear what tangible gains have come from the effort. I’m certain that there are probably some legitimate obstacles to further renovation, but I wish there was community outreach and involvement to A) let us know what the obstacles are and B) let us unite to overcome them. At any rate, anyone who’s used the aud knows we should be making a much bigger push to get change underway!

– Jack Votava

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