Photo Credit: Babcock website
A Babcock outlet at W-M U.

This is a complicated political story, because on the one hand how can we not support students who don’t want to ingest ice cream with beef-based gelatin in it, but on the other hand this is such a crazy example of PC rule, we can’t help but wonder if this might not represent yet another sign for the end of civilization as we used to know it.

The student council at The University of Wisconsin-Madison last Wednesday issued a demand that the school change the ingredients of Babcock, its official ice cream, because it contains a beef gelatin additive, Campus Reform reported.

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A university spokesperson told Campus Reform that the school already “produces and sells ‘super premium’ ice cream, sherbet and Greek frozen yogurt options that are made with a plant-based stabilizer and are gelatin-free, adding that there is also lactose-free ice cream for people who are lactose intolerant.”

Nevertheless, Student Council Vice Chair Yogev Ben-Yitschak, with Council Member Jared Lang, penned legislation dedicated to liberating various religious groups and vegetarians on campus from the repression of beef-based ice cream.

Yogev Ben-Yitschak hails from Avtalyon, in northern Israel. He used to work for StandWithUs, a group that fights on campus anti-Semitism. One of his acts as deputy chairman of the Student Council was to force the renaming of rooms that were named after KKK members. So we think he’s a good guy.

But then again, do read his proposed legislation to alter a non-kosher ice cream into kosher. It’s a work of art and really, really scary:

Ice Cream for All

Whereas, the University diversity statement states “The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills 2 its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.”

Whereas, the campus climate report states among others that Jewish students, Hindu students, Muslim Students, and Buddhist students feel less welcome and less respected amongst the predominantly white, Christian campus, as well as feel the university was not committed to diversity,

Whereas, all badgers, regardless of dietary restriction, should have the freedom to enjoy the merchandises of university-related food producers,

Whereas, currently, Babcock ice cream is made using beef gelatin, which renders certain communities such as the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and vegetarian unable to enjoy it without violating their beliefs,

Whereas, Babcock Ice Cream is made on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is seen as a tradition by the university, including having flavors named after Chancellor Blank and Alumni Park,

Whereas, it would be a gross act of discrimination to continue to deprive some minority students of a UW-Madison tradition,

Whereas, animal gelatin is twice as expensive and not as shelf stable as vegetarian substitutes,

Whereas, the reasons given for not changing the gelatins, in the name of “tradition”, exclude Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Vegetarian, and Vegan students from partaking in eating the official, campus wide, traditional ice cream that is often listed as part of the “Wisconsin experience”,

Whereas, 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,

The Associated Students of Madison acting in Student Council do enact as follows:

Therefore, be it resolved, the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) acknowledges the marginalization of having the official campus Ice Cream not be inclusive to religious students on campus,

Be it further resolved, the ASM recommends the administration, unions, and dining halls, to acknowledge the marginalization of having the official campus Ice Cream not be inclusive to religious students on campus,

Be it further resolved, the ASM tasks the ASM student representatives on the Dining Hall Advisory Committee, which represents students on campus dining hall issues, as well as the ASM student representatives on Union Council, which represents students in the Wisconsin Unions, to discuss the Babcock Ice Cream issue in their respective committees,

Be it further resolved, that members of ASM will work with Babcock Dairy to bring about this change that will benefit inclusion efforts and will help ensure that all badgers feel welcome on our campus,

Be it finally resolved, the ASM condemns University sponsored events with Babcock Ice Cream and shall itself not host any events offering Babcock Ice Cream, until the matter is solved and finalized, as a show of solidarity with religious students that this campus “strives” to include.

If the measure passed, Ben-Yitschak told the Badger Herald, possible solutions could include replacing all beef gelatin with vegetable gelatin or simply expanding the variety of ice creams without beef gelatin. These solutions would be decided by ASM committees, who could work more closely with UW officials.

“The biggest thing about this resolution is that we’re not coming up with an answer right now, we’re saying that something needs to change,” Ben-Yitschak said.

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