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What is the official definition of bias?
Definition of bias and hate: 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. Bias and hate incidents include, but are not limited to the following, when they rise to the level of the standard set forth above: slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, and harassment that are directed toward or affect the targeted individual or team. Incidents of bias and hate 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.
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 incidents?
Incidents of bias and hate 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. Bias and hate incidents are those that 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, martial status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other related factors.
How does reporting work?
The bias incident reporting system keeps the targeted student at the center of the response process, and the student targeted can decide how they want to proceed. It is important to report, so the University can best support the victim/survivor as well as aim to prevent future incidents.
When a report is submitted, the Bias Response Team will examine it to better understand its impact on the individual reporting, any targeted populations, and the campus. If the person reporting would like follow-up, someone from the Bias Response Team will contact them to see what resources they need.
Reports may also be submitted anonymously; provide the information you feel comfortable providing. The more information you provide, the more proactive the university can be. The Bias Response Team highly values confidentiality, and only crucial or emergency information is shared.
What incidents have occurred on campus?
Please view our Past Semester Reports: https://students.wisc.edu/past-semester-report/
What help is available for victims of bias?
Students who are victims of bias or hate incidents may need immediate support. University Health Services (UHS) offers counseling and consultation. The Multicultural Student Center (MSC) also has drop-in hours with UHS counselors on Tuesdays from 9:30am-11:30am and Wednesdays from 9:00am-10:45am; no appointment is necessary.
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.
Victims of bias and hate incidents are also encouraged to to report the incident. If the person reporting the incident requests follow-up, someone from the Bias Response Team will contact them to see what resources they need.
Bias Response Team Members
Joshua Moon Johnson, Chair, Division of Student Life
Ashley Smith, Graduate Assistant for Bias Education
Jaimee Gilford, UW Police Department
Mariam Coker, Associated Students of Madison
Gabe Javier, LGBT Campus Center and Multicultural Student Center
Jacqui Scott-Papke, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement
Tonya Schmidt, Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
James Stein, Faculty in School of Medicine and Public Health
Susan Tran Degrand, School of Pharmacy
Cleda Wang, University Housing
How can I help educate campus about bias?
The Bias Response Team is eager to attend student organization meetings, department meetings, residence hall programs, or other events to provide trainings and resources on workshops. To schedule a workshop or for further information or questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org