Reporting and Response to Incidents of Bias/Hate
The University of Wisconsin-Madison values a diverse community where all members are able to participate fully in the Wisconsin Experience. Incidents of Bias/Hate1 affecting a person or group create a hostile climate and negatively impact the quality of the Wisconsin Experience for community members. UW Madison takes such incidents seriously and will investigate and respond to reported or observed incidents of bias/hate.
Reporting Incidents of Bias/Hate:
Submitting a Bias Report Form is a safe* mechanism for students to report bias/hate incidents. When a report is submitted, The Dean of Students Office will begin an investigation into the reported incident and notify a University response team. The response team is responsible for reviewing the report and developing and initiating any appropriate response. Responses may be formal or informal and directed at individuals, groups or communities. Responses may also include referrals to the university disciplinary process when appropriate. Specific information on the UW-Madison response plan for incidents of bias/hate may be found here.
Reports may be submitted electronically here, or by visiting the following offices where staff will assist students in submitting the report (+ denotes offices that may have staff available after normal business hours):
- Center for the First Year Experience
- Center for Leadership and Involvement
- Dean of Students Office, 70 Bascom Hall
- International Student Services
- LGBT Campus Center, Red Gym+
- McBurney Disability Center
- Residence Life/University Apartments (main office in Slichter/various hall offices, Eagle Heights, Community Center
Free Speech Consideration:
While some acts of bias or hate may be violations of the law and/or University policy, many may be considered speech protected by the First Amendment; which allows for the expression of hateful and intolerant statements and expressive conduct. In such cases, no formal action can be taken against the offending party(ies). However, the University has an obligation and the right to respond to such incidents in a manner consistent with the role of promoting a climate of tolerance, respect, inclusion and dialog.
1Definition of Bias/Hate: Single or multiple acts toward an individual, team, or their property that have a negative impact and that one could reasonably conclude is 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. Bias/Hate incidents 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 team. Incidents of Bias or 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.
*Reports that are submitted anonymously limit the ability of the University to investigate and respond in a formal manner. The confidentiality of those submitting bias reports will be maintained to the extent possible. Therefore, persons are strongly encouraged to identify themselves when submitting bias reports and participate in the investigation and response process.