If you are visiting this page, you or someone you know is likely hurting after experiencing a bias or hate incident on campus. That should never be part of the Wisconsin Experience and we want address the issue and provide you with resources you might need.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison values a diverse community where all members are able to participate fully in the Wisconsin Experience. Incidents of bias or hate affecting a person or group create a hostile campus climate and negatively impact the quality of the Wisconsin Experience for community members. UW-Madison takes such incidents seriously and will investigate and respond appropriately to reported or observed incidents of bias or hate.
If an emergency has occurred, please call 911.
You can also report an incident in-person at any of these offices:
(* denotes offices that may have staff available after normal business hours)
- Multicultural Student Center, 2nd Floor Red Gym*
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Campus Center, 123 Red Gym
- Dean of Students Office, 70 Bascom Hall
- International Student Services, 217 Red Gym
- McBurney Disability Resource Center, 702 W. Johnson Street, Suite 2104
- Residence Life/University Apartments*, Main office in Slichter Hall or any House Fellow
- Center for the First-Year Experience, 155 Middleton Bldg
- Center for Leadership and Involvement, 3rd Floor Red Gym
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, 70 Bascom Hall
- Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center, 333 East Campus Mall, Suite 10301
What is the official definition of a bias incident?
Definition of bias: 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.
What are examples of bias or hate incidents?
Incidents of bias can include, but are not limited to: slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, and harassment; that are directed toward or affect the targeted individual or group. Incidents of bias contribute to a hostile campus environment and can occur even if the act itself is unintentional or delivered as a joke, prank, or having humorous intent.
How does reporting work?
The bias incident reporting system keeps the targeted student at the center of the response process so that the student can decide how they want to proceed. When a report is submitted, the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator will examine it to better understand its impact on the individual reporting, any targeted populations, and the campus climate. If the person reporting would like follow-up, the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator will contact them to set-up a meeting and see what resources they need. Reports may also be submitted anonymously; allowing you to provide the information you feel comfortable providing. The more information you provide, the more proactive the University can be. The Dean of Students Office highly values confidentiality, and only crucial or emergency information is shared to appropriate contacts.
The Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator refers investigation and adjudication to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and University Housing; criminal investigations are managed by UWPD and/or Madison Police Department. The Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator also refers incidents involving employees to the Office of Compliance and/or the Office of Human Resources.
What is the response to a bias or hate incident?
Responses to incidents will vary based on the incident and the individuals involved. Some incidents will be referred to the student conduct process if there was a violation to our code of conduct or to law enforcement. It is important to note that the majority of incidents will not travel that path. This occurs for a variety of reasons including at the request of the targeted student or because the action would not be considered a violation of the conduct code.
Whenever possible, based on the information available, the Bias Response and Advocacy Coordinator and colleagues throughout the university will attempt to create an educational opportunity with students who have engaged in a bias incident. Although occasionally frustrating, this approach creates the opportunity to respond to a larger number of incidents while also maintaining the educational mission of the University.
Why should I report and incident of bias or hate?
It is important to report, so the University can best support the targeted student as well as aim to prevent future incidents. The purpose of the bias incident reporting process is to provide impacted parties of bias or hate incidents opportunities to be heard and supported, to understand and respond to situations that affect the UW-Madison, to educate and inform the community, and to create awareness of ignorance and intolerance as it relates to bias or hate incidents. The bias incident reporting process provides services to witnesses, bystanders, targeted individuals, offenders, or members of the community.
- What incidents have occurred on campus?
What help is available for targeted individuals 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 Vox (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.
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.
Bias Response Advisory Board Members
Kathy Kruse, DOSO
Satya Chima, DOSO
Jaimee Gilford, UWPD
Mariam Coker, ASM
Gabe Javier, MSC/LGBTCC
Luis Pinero, DDEEA
Tonya Schmidt, OSCCS
James Stein, Faculty/School of MPH
Susan Tran Degrand, School of Pharmacy/MDC Rep
Cleda Wang, University Housing
Andrea Lawson, UHS
Mike Peña, FP&M
How can I help educate campus about bias?
The Dean of Students Office is eager to attend student organization meetings, department meetings, residence hall programs, or other events to provide trainings and workshops. To schedule a workshop or for further information, contact email@example.com.
The University understands the tremendously negative impact bias or hate incidents can have on individuals and communities. The Log below provides a summary of incidents reported to the university. Previous compilation of reports are also available for review above.