U of Wisconsin leaders applaud court decision securing student fees

by Liz Bogut

For some University of Wisconsin-Madison leaders and students, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday concerning student fees was an enormous victory.
“I am tremendously gratified that the Supreme Court has upheld the right of students to allocate their fee money democratically,” said Katharine Lyall, president of the University of Wisconsin-Madison system in a statement released Wednesday.
For others, the decision was upsetting.
“Clearly, I am disappointed with the decision. I don’t know what else you want me to say,” said Amy Schoepke, one of three former University of Wisconsin-Madison students who originally brought the suit against the university in 1996.
Lyall said the decision not only supports freedom of expression on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, but confirms any university’s mission to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas.
Adam Klaus, chairman of Associated Students of Madison, said he was pleased by the Supreme Court decision.
“This is a victory for students and free speech not only for the University of Wisconsin, but for campuses across the country,” Klaus said.
Klaus said he was especially surprised by the decision of the Supreme Court because it was unanimous.
Jordan Lorence, the attorney representing the students who sued the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said he did not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“Obviously, I am disappointed in the Southworth decision today,” Lorence said.
Lorence said the decision would not be the end of the litigation in the Southworth case or a similar case he is handling at the University of Minnesota.

Liz Bogut covers faculty and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3217.