How to report an incident involving bias or hate at UW-Madison, including the actions taken following a report.
Hate or bias should never be part of the Wisconsin Experience. If you or someone you know is hurting, there are resources to provide support.
Hate or Bias should Never be part of the Wisconsin Experience
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all people. The institution values a diverse community where all members are able to fully participate in the Wisconsin Experience. As Chapter 17 of the UW System code states, the university can accomplish its educational mission only if living and learning environments are safe and free from violence, harassment and intimidation.
Incidents of bias or hate affecting a person or group negatively impact the quality of the Wisconsin Experience for community members. UW-Madison takes such incidents seriously and will respond appropriately to reported or observed incidents of bias or hate.
EXAMPLES OF BIAS AND HATE
Examples of bias and hate include, but are not limited to the following:
- Degrading language
Why should you report bias or hate
The purpose of the reporting system is to provide support and resources to the involved parties of bias or hate incidents impacting the UW-Madison community.
The reporting system allows the University to understand and respond to situations that affect UW-Madison students, to educate and inform the community about such events, and to create awareness of intolerance as it relates to bias or hate incidents.
The reporting system is primarily intended to be a resource for UW-Madison students. On occasion, the reporting system is utilized by faculty, staff and community members to report incidents that impact our student population.
How the reporting process works
- A bias or hate incident is reported through the official reporting form.
- When a report is submitted, a staff member will acknowledge receipt of report and offer to meet with the reporter to discuss next steps and connect them to resources.
Reports may also be submitted anonymously which may limit the University’s ability to respond to an incident. The Dean of Students Office highly values confidentiality, and only crucial or emergency information is shared to appropriate contacts.
- Responses to incidents of bias or hate will vary depending on the severity of the event and can range from referrals to appropriate offices on campus to restorative conversations between the targeted individual and the respondent.
- If the person reporting the incident requests follow-up, the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator will contact them to provide support and resources.
- When the student code of conduct is violated, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards begins their own investigation and will determine possible sanctions.
When criminal activity occurs, UWPD or Madison Police Department are notified and pursue their own investigation and respond accordingly.
When cases involve faculty or staff as respondents, Human Resources and the Office of Compliance work on addressing the incident or concern.
- An official log of the incident is made and published.
Support for those who experience bias or hate
Targeted individuals of bias or hate incidents may need immediate support. University Health Services (UHS) offers counseling and consultation.
The Multicultural Student Center also hosts discussion and dialogue groups on a weekly or bimonthly basis; they include Crossroads (LGBTQ+ students of color), Sisters in Solidarity (women of color), Ubuntu (Black and African American), and Tu Voz (Chicanx and Latinx). For more details visit msc.wisc.edu.
Targeted individuals are also encouraged to report the incident. If the person reporting the incident requests follow-up, the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator will contact them to provide support and resources.
FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS
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Official definition of a bias incident
Single or multiple acts toward an individual, group, or their property that are so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that they create an unreasonably intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or program environment, and that one could reasonably conclude are based upon actual or perceived age, race, color, creed, religion, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other related factors.
The above definition is used for reporting and statistical purpose only. It carries no independent sanctioning weight or authority.
Although the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a violation of law or university policy. The university values and embraces the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression, all of which must be vitally sustained in a community of scholars. While these freedoms protect controversial ideas and differing views, and sometimes even offensive and hurtful words, they do not protect acts of misconduct that violate criminal law or university policy.
Incidents of bias can include, but are not limited to: microaggressions, slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, assault and harassment.
Who else can I talk to?
The Dean of Students Office works closely with many other campus partners. If a bias or hate reporter would rather utilize another campus resource, they can connect with any of the partners below. These partners may have their own arsenal of resources, and can help fill out a Bias or Hate Reporting form.
What is the Bias Response Advisory Board?
The purpose of the Bias Response Advisory Board is to advise the process of responding to incidents of bias or hate and also support the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator in their role as a student advocate.
2019-2020 Bias Response Advisory Board Members:
- Kathy Kruse, Dean of Students Office
- Mick Miyamoto, Recreation and WellBeing
- Elisa Lopez & Mickey Kienast, Clery/UW Police Department
- Adrian Lampron, Associated Students of Madison
- Craig Mayer, Facilities, Planning & Management
- Gabe Javier, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
- Luis A Piñero, Senior Special Assistant -Workforce Equity, Diversity Education, & Outreach,DDEEA
- Ryan Podolak, Office of Conduct and Community Standards
- Will Hoffman, Unions
- Cleda Wang, University Housing
- Andrea Lawson, University Health Services
- Amy Kuether, Graduate School
- Heather Shimon, Steenbock Library
- Cheryl Gittens, DDEEA
- Michael Bernard-Donals, Faculty
REPORTING FACTS AND STATISTICS
Access current and historical data on bias incidents and sexual assaults at UW–Madison.