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Statement on community respect and support

March 25, 2020

Fellow Badgers,

As we adjust to a virtual environment this week for classes, gatherings, and continued work, we want to reaffirm our commitment to a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our UW–Madison community.

COVID-19 has affected all of us personally, academically and professionally, as well as physically, mentally, and socially. Even so, it’s important to remember: No one person, country, or ethnicity created this pandemic—disease does not discriminate.

We are aware of an increase in bias incidents on or near campus and online that have targeted our Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi-American students and employees, particularly those from or perceived to be from China and East Asia.

We want to be clear that racist behaviors or stereotyping of any kind are not tolerated at UW–Madison—no matter if we are online, passing others in public, or quarantined at home. The Dean of Students Office and colleagues in Student Affairs are working with partners across campus to address incidents of bias and hate in real time, including reaching out to affected communities. The Dean of Students Office responds to every bias incident report received.

Join a virtual town hall

The Dean of Students Office, in partnership with the Multicultural Student Center, International Student Services, and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement invite students to a virtual town hall with university leaders tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, at 4 p.m. CDT. Learn more.

Join the virtual town hall via Zoom

During this virtual town hall, students will have the opportunity to hear about the university’s response to bias incidents, voice any concerns about our campus climate with our move to a virtual environment and ask questions.

A future session aimed faculty and staff is being organized by DDEEA and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Details will be shared soon.

If you are a student who has experienced harassment or discrimination, please file a bias incident report. Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance. Especially during this time of isolation and uncertainty, we encourage you to explore several of the university’s free mental health resources online, including SilverCloud for anxiety and stress management; Healthy Minds for resilience and mindfulness training; and LifeMatters for employees seeking assistance with life, work, family and well-being.

UW–Madison is remarkable because of the talent, creativity, dedication, and passion each of you bring to our community. We continue to uphold the university’s values of diversity and inclusion and ensure all members of our community are connected, protected and respected.

Stay healthy and safe, Badgers. Remember that we are in this together, and we will only get through it together.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Patrick Sims