Ice cream at the University of Wisconsin-Madison isn’t just ice cream: It’s a point of contention for many students because it’s apparently not inclusive enough.
What are the details?
Members of the student council at the Madison, Wisconsin, university are requesting that the college change ingredients in the school’s official ice cream. One ingredient, in particular, in the dessert violates some students’ religious dietary restrictions.
They’ve even gone so far to draft legislation, which they titled, “Ice Cream for All,” to make the ice cream more inclusive. At the time of this writing, the legislation has eight sponsors, including the chair, vice chair, and secretary of the Associated Students of Madison Student Council.
The university’s official ice cream, the Babcock, reportedly contains a beef gelatin additive. According to “Ice Cream for All,” this effectively ruins the ice cream experience for some minority students, rendering “certain communities such as the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and vegetarian unable to enjoy it without violating their beliefs.”
Though the council is intended to represent a student-type government, it cannot effect change, and can only make recommendations to the university on the ice cream. If the resolution passes, even though it may not convince the university to change the ingredients, the council intends to condemn university-sponsored events that feature the Babcock ice cream. Also, if passed, the council will recommend that the school officially acknowledge that the university’s official ice cream marginalizes some students.
A spokesperson for the University of Wisconsin-Madison told Campus Reform that the university already has inclusive alternatives on hand, producing and selling “‘super premium’ ice cream, sherbet, and Greek frozen yogurt options that are made with a plant-based stabilizer and are gelatin-free.”
The spokesperson noted that there is also the option of “lactose-free ice cream for people who are lactose intolerant.”
Council members want their own version of the school ice cream, however, because they believe they should have the best dessert experience possible.
The legislation adds that “it would be a gross act of discrimination to continue to deprive some minority students” of the experience of eating the ice cream.
“Symbolic issues like these have always and will always play a critical role in whether marginalized students and people feel welcome, included, and connected to their community,” a portion of the legislation reads.
The legislation will be voted upon on Wednesday.
(H/T: Campus Reform)