- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2019

A student working for a multicultural community center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is on paid leave after reportedly making white students feel unwelcome.

Chuefeng Yang, who works as a house fellow for Witte Residence Hall at the university’s Multicultural Learning Center, is on leave pending an investigation after telling other students not to bring too many white people to the dorm, Yang told a local NBC affiliate.

“I say things like, ‘Don’t bring too many white students around,’” Yang told the station. “It’s not to say white students are not allowed here. But it’s just to say, ‘Let’s make sure we’re protecting the intentionality of this space.’”

“For so long, students of color on this campus have been begging and complaining and emailing and rioting and protesting for their needs to be met and yet for some reason, when five to six white students complain, all of a sudden it results in a person of color being removed from a space,” Yang continued.

“Is it truly that they’re so uncomfortable around me they don’t feel safe, or is it just that they’re uncomfortable because for the first time in their life, their whiteness and their white privilege is being challenged?” Yang said.

The university confirmed that it was investigating the incident after some students complained.

“Recently a number of MLC residents reported that in conversations and at a floor meeting, they were told to limit who they invite to visit them based on race,” Meredith McGlone, a university spokesperson, told the NBC affiliate in a statement. “An investigation confirmed that this happened and University Housing is working on the appropriate responses.

“We want to be clear that neither race nor any other form of background/identity shall be used as a basis to determine who residents may invite to visit them. Discrimination is counter to our values as an institution,” McGlone said.

Students protested outside of the University Housing office on Monday in support of Yang, demanding that the university apologize and reverse its decision.

UW Director of Housing Operations Jeff Novak thanked the protesters for coming out and said he would review their demands, The Badger Herald student newspaper reported.

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