The University of Wisconsin-Madison has made a diligent effort in the last decade to make campus a more inclusive and diverse place. Through different initiatives, the university has successfully curated a diverse collection of students from all over the state of Wisconsin, with the exception of a few people from California and New Jersey. These people, hailing from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, have contributed to the ever-evolving climate of Wisconsin’s campus. Mary Cutaneo, a Catholic, expressed pride in her school for creating an environment that made even the Catholics feel safe.
“Yeah, UW is diverse,for sure!” said Cutaneo. “Just the other day, as I was walking past several Lutheran churches, I reflected on my role in the community. As possibly the only Roman Catholic woman on this campus, I feel a lot of pressure to show perspective students that I have been welcomed to this school with open arms. It’s honestly such a relief to know that even though I don’t worship Luther Vandross, like 90% of the school does, I can still feel comfortable being myself. I’ve met people of all different faiths: Lutheran, Methodist, Protestants--truly the whole gamut. Everyone is welcomed.”
Cutaneo, who comes from a very caucasian and very Italian family, almost didn’t pick Wisconsin.
“It was certainly a difficulty decision to make. I was in between Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While I do absolutely love corn, I felt like my being Catholic might not be as much of a shock here in Madison. I was definitely right.”
Cutaneo also shared that she is eager to venture out to different parts of Wisconsin in a vehement effort to engage with the “diverse groups represented in this wonderful state.” She is most excited to go to Milwaukee where is anticipating a “melting pot of different cultures and religions.