UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Bias Incident Response Team

What is considered an act of hate or bias?

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 or pervasive, and are objectively offensive so as to 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 much 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, marital status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other factors.

What can I do if I witness or have been a victim of an incident of bias or hate?

Report it! - This reporting page has been set up to report any incidents that happen within our campus community.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is dedicated to fostering an inclusive community. For this reason the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) was formed, to help ensure the safety and health of the UWRF community. The members of BIRT are listed below.

The university urges all members of the UWRF community to report any incidents of bias or hate that have occurred on: UWRF property, buildings or housing; and/or UWRF sponsored events or activities, regardless of location.

The reporting process is intended to maintain the privacy of those who choose to use it. To that end, information provided by you will be kept private to the extent possible. Depending on the circumstances, informaiton received in this reporting process may result in additional university action. In such instances, information about a complaint is shared with those members of the University community who "need to know" in order to effectively investigate and addres the concern. If you wish to remain anonymous, please be advised that you will not be contacted by UWRF regarding any follow-up related to your report.

Team Members

Martin Olague - Director, Diversity Inclusion, and Belonging (Chair)
Dr. Cyndi Kernahan - Professor of Psychology
Dr. Kathleen Hunzer - Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Excellence and Student Success
Beth Schommer - Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
 

Contact Us

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

inclusion@uwrf.edu

715-425-3300

M - F, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

269 David Rodli Hall

FalconSync Portal @UWRFinclusivity @UWRFinclusivity @UWRFinclusivity