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May 08, 2008


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marcus medler

I can only stand amazed that the world of the University is still in some corners of the U.S. still a place for a high order of discourse and a place for moral inquiry. Years ago, the University of Wisconsin(my place of study and an institution I had a naive love for), was embroiled in a divestiture issue. Many will remember that Universities held financial interests in South African business enterprises that were by most accepted humane standards inhumane. They did not reflect Wisconsin business practices nor the prevailing morals of the state. However, the regents argued that their fiduciary responsibility over ruled their moral disgust of the South African practices. Great arguments(today these are seen as ridiculous) were presented to justify not divesting from these stocks. In the end, and it took a long while, the Regents divested and South African policy towards their majority population changed. Did this change come in part due to moral actions taken by Wisconsin Regents? Our civilization demands this moral inquiry and the public discourse over the legal justification of torture. You must and others too must, press your administrators and your University community to deal with this issue. My University has often failed me, but when that divestiture happened I was pleased by the ethical stand it took.I am sure it contributed to the eventual change in South Africa.

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