Report Bias or Hate

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.

Report an incident

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:

  • Microaggressions
  • Slurs
  • Degrading language
  • Epithets
  • Graffiti
  • Vandalism
  • Intimidation
  • Symbols
  • Assault
  • Harassment

Why should you report bias or hate?

The purpose of the reporting system is to provide support and resources to parties involved in incidents of bias or hate 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

  1. A bias or hate incident is reported through the official reporting form.
  2. 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 Office of Student Assistance and Support highly values confidentiality, and only crucial or emergency information is shared with appropriate contacts.
  3. 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.
  4. If the person reporting the incident requests follow-up, the Office of Student Assistance and Support will contact them to provide support and resources.
  5. 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 cases involve faculty or staff as respondents, Human Resources and the Office of Compliance work on addressing the incident or concern.

Support for those who experience bias or hate

Hate and Bias incidents can impact a person’s mental health including but not limited to: sleep disturbance, depression, fear, distrust, isolation, etc. University Health Services has a number of services to support students including the following:

Targeted individuals are also encouraged to report the incident. If the person reporting the incident requests follow-up, the Office of Student Assistance and Support will contact them to provide support and resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the official definition of a bias incident?

A Bias incident is a 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 Office of Student Assistance and Support 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 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 Support and Assistance Program in their role as a student advocate.

UW-Madison Bias Advisory Board 2023-2024 Members

  • Dr. Beth Meyerand, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs, Provost Office
  • Caitlyn LoMonte, Director, Office of Inclusion Education
  • Cleda Wang, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Inclusion, University Housing
  • Craig Mayer, Director of Maintenance, Facilities, Planning & Management
  • Dr. Christina Olstad, Dean of Students, Student Affairs
  • Emmett Lockwood, Student, Associated Students of Madison
  • Raul Leon, Asst. Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Scholarship Programs, DDEEA
  • Tucker Copi, Campus Clery Act Coordinator, UW Police Department
  • Karen Stroud-Phillips, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Identity and Inclusion, Student Affairs
  • Heather Shimon, Science & Engineering Librarian, Libraries
  • Dr. Jennifer Horace, Assistant Director of Bias Support and Assistance, Office of Student Assistance and Support
  • Dr. John Zumbrunnen, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Provost Office
  • Kathy Kruse, Associate Dean of Students, Office of Student Assistance and Support
  • Kipp Cox, Director of Academic Services, Graduate School
  • Leslie Stilson, Access Consultant, McBurney Disability Resource Center
  • Luis A Piñero, Senior Special Assistant -Workforce Equity, Diversity Education, & Outreach, DDEEA
  • Ryan Podolak, Associate Director, Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
  • Sam Becker, Associate Director, Center for Teaching Learning and Mentoring
  • Dr. Sarah Nolan, Director of Mental Health Services, University Health Services

What is the Campus Climate Incident Group?

The Campus Climate Incident Group is a multidisciplinary team at UW-Madison that aims to provide timely, comprehensive, and culturally responsive recommendations to the campus and its leadership. In addition, the group will respond to campus climate incidents that harm and impact UW stakeholders and the campus community.

  • Co-Chair – Christina Olstad, Dean of Students
  • Co-Chair – Raul Leon, Assist. Vice Provost Student Engagement & Scholarship Programs, DDEAA
  • Cleda Wang, Associate Director of Residence Life
  • Kathy Kruse, Associate Dean of Students, Office of Student Assistance and Support
  • Jennifer Horace, Assistant Director of Bias Support and Assistance, Office of Student Assistance and Support
  • Kelly Tyrrell, Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications, University Comm.
  • Jenny Bernhardt, Director of Communications, Student Affairs
  • Liz Stanislawski, Executive Director of Communications, DDEEA
  • Marc Lovicott, UWPD Director of Communications
  • Sarah Nolan, Director of Mental Health Services
  • Tonya Schmidt, Assistant Dean of Students

*Additional members will join the group at the request of co-chairs as the process of information gathering, assessment, and recommendations develops.

Contact

Office of Student Assistance and Support

How can we help?

Call us at:
608-263-5700

Email us at:
OSAS@studentaffairs.wisc.edu

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Office of Student Assistance and Support
70 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive Madison, WI 53706-1380


Monday-Friday: 8:30am - 11:30am, 1pm - 4pm during Summer

After Hours Contacts

Crisis response:
Call Mental Health Services
608-265-5600 (option 9)
Emergencies:
Dial 911 for immediate help from the
UW Police Department
UWPD Non-emergency line: 608-264-2677