Knowing how, where and when to respond to an incident or act of hate or violence is crucial, as is having the proper protocol in place to address the issue. At UW-Eau Claire, we have a system in place and we need everyone's help on campus to promptly and effectively identify and address incidents involving hate or bias within our community.
What is a bias incident?
Something a person does, says, or otherwise expresses that is motivated by bias related to age, race, ethnicity, sex, color, creed, religion, disability, veteran status, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, or any combination of these or other related factors.
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.
Why is it important to report a bias incident?
There are numerous reasons reporting bias incidents is important, such as:
- ensuring campus safety.
- creating an inclusive learning environment.
- supporting targets of bias; informing our community that hate and bias are real and occur on our campus.
- identifying problem areas to target prevention.
- determining where prevention/education efforts are needed.
- holding accountable those who violate the law or the university conduct code.
- educating those who may unknowingly engage in acts of bias.
Who should report?
Any person aware of a bias/hate incident or crime can and should report it. This includes the person at whom the behavior was directed, as well as friends, advocates or witnesses.
What to do
- If a crime is happening now or just occurred and someone is hurt or in danger, call 911.
- If a bias/hate incident has occurred during the business hours of 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., call the Dean of Students office at 715-836-5626 or visit them in Schofield 240.
- Any time of day, use this online bias/hate incident link to file a report.
What happens next
After a report is filed, the Bias Incident Response Team will review it and determine the next steps. The team includes:
Christopher Jorgenson (chair) | Gender & Sexuality Resource Center
Deb Newman | Housing and Residence Life
Dennis Beale | Blugold Beginnings
Joe Abhold | Dean of Students
Mike Knuth | Integrated Marketing and Communications
Teresa O'Halloran | Affirmative Action
Read the most recent Bias/Hate Incident Report
On a case-by-case basis, the BIRT team also consults with students, faculty and staff from other UW-Eau Claire departments, programs and organizations who can help the team make the most informed response possible to a report of a bias/hate incident.