Alumnus challenges University

Native American Lecture Series brings a call for change

Killian Jauch, News Editor

   The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater hosted a public lecture by alumnus Doug Kiel as part of a Native American Lecture Series Tuesday, Nov. 27.

   Keil, a member of the Oneida Nation, challenged the University on its relationship with Native American nations in Wisconsin and specifically indigenous students.

   “There has been a severe lack of progress over the past 15 years at this university and many throughout the state,” Keil said. “I urge the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to hear my concerns.”

  He offered several suggestions of adjustments the university could make on policy, especially in emphasis to recruiting Native American students.

   “Many universities around the state, including here in Whitewater, don’t make an effort to assist indigenous students in getting to college,” Kiel said. “There needs to be an effort to make that relationship with Native American nations, and with that growth in relationship will come support.”

   Kiel, a member of the UW-W class of 2005, also spoke about his experiences as a queer Native American student.

   Many students who attended left with a different perspective on modern Native American nations.

   “I had absolutely no idea that there was still so much difficulty for Native Americans,” said Freshman, Lauren Wallace, “I can’t imagine going through the same things they do.”

   Some even echoed Kiel’s response to the supposed lack of action.

   “I might be wrong, but I haven’t heard of any sort of Native American Students organization here on campus,” UW-W junior Marcus Orlandoni said, “I’d be interested to know how many students here are a part of a Native American nation.”

   Students clearly understood the call that Kiel made.

   “We need to do a better job at supporting these students,” Orlandoni said. “From what he said, I think we definitely could be doing a better job.  As a student I’d like to know what we are able to do to help these students.