Satya Chima, an experienced advocate for students, has joined the UW-Madison Dean of Students Office as bias response and advocacy coordinator.
In the newly created position, Chima will assist and support students in reporting and addressing incidents of bias and hate both on and off campus.
“I see my role as serving students by incorporating a social justice lens while making space for them to process their experiences, as well as adequately and appropriately responding to incidents of bias or hate,” she said.
Chima earned a bachelor’s degree in feminist studies with an emphasis on law, politics, and social justice, from the University of California-Santa Cruz. She began her career in student affairs as a student mentor at the Multicultural Center at the University of California-Santa Barbara, before moving to Chicago to serve marginalized student populations at the high school and collegiate level.
While in Chicago, she served as restorative justice specialist at South Shore International High School as well a program coordinator at DePaul University’s Center for InterCultural Programs. During this time, she was also involved with transformative and restorative justice initiatives.
With a wide variety of experiences and insight under her belt, Chima comes to UW prepared to take on campus climate challenges.
Her goal is to build relationships with students so they know they have somewhere to go and someone to talk to about campus climate issues, she said.
“I’m a student advocate first and foremost and this means that if you’ve experienced a bias incident as a student of UW-Madison, you have me as a resource and an advocate to process your experience and make decisions about next steps moving forward,” she said.
Chima said Madison presents many opportunities.
“What I appreciate about being in Madison is the way in which folks build long-lasting community,” she said. “Because it’s so much smaller than Chicago or many areas of California, building community here means buildings friends with intention. I absolutely love the people I’ve met here and the way I’ve been embraced by this community.”
For those looking to act to improve campus climate and help eliminate bias, Chima recommends that everyone should “always remember that what we say or do has an impact on someone whether or not it matches our intention.”
“Make your voice heard. Encourage and demand inclusivity on our UW campus.” she adds. “Be patient. Change comes with time, patience and dedication to a cause.”
When not clocked-in at the office, Chima enjoys spending time outside with friends and family as well as her two kittens. “I’m a very social person and enjoy the company of others often,” she said.
Chima also enjoys dining out and taking advantage of Lake Mendota and Menona. “I’m still exploring but I’d have to say Lao Laang Xang is my current favorite [restaurant]. I’m [also] so excited to spend spring and summer in Madison relaxing by the water and enjoying the sun. It reminds me of home,” she said.
Communications Intern, Division of Student Life