University Apartments – Supporting and Respecting Others during COVID-19

University Housing received information of a bias incident on March 25, 2020. You as a member of our community, this bias incident may have impacted you.

Specifically, a UA resident was targeted based on their perceived racial identity. The behavior exhibited toward them was intimidating and created a great sense of fear for the safety for themselves and their family. Let us be clear, this behavior is not acceptable. COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race. Viruses do not discriminate. Racist behaviors or stereotyping are not tolerated at UW–Madison.

As Chancellor Blank has said, actions such as these are antithetical to the values of our campus and to our efforts to foster an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome, and able to thrive.If you have any information that would assist in the investigation of these incidents or would like to discuss how these incidents have affected you, please contact anyone from our Resident Support Services Team:

The Chancellor sent out an email on March 25, 2020,  stating “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.” The full text of Chancellor Blank’s email can be found online here.

We would also like to highlight information from that email about a virtual town hall that will take place today, Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 4 p.m.

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 on 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.

We understand the impact that incidents, such as these, can have; and extends well beyond the intended individual or group. We ask that you intervene when you feel you can safely and report incidents.  UW-Madison and University Housing respond to all bias incidents and may pursue disciplinary action if the behavior violates university policy. If you become aware of any future incidents that compromise the values of our community, please seek assistance from these resources in University Housing and on campus:

  • Report any immediate risk to your health or safety right away by calling 9-1-1
  • Report Bias Incidents at: http://go.wisc.edu/reporthateandbias
  • Report to a University Apartments staff member
  • Report any graffiti of University Apartments Property to the Apartment Facilities Office by calling 608-262-2037
  • Counseling at University Health Services: https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/mental-health/

We encourage you to learn more about what UW-Madison is doing to improve campus climate, including the Our Wisconsin workshops and the Bias Reporting process.

A community as diverse and vibrant as University Apartments only works when we show respect, dignity, and kindness to everyone who lives here. It is never okay, with words or actions, to make someone feel unwelcome in our community. We value each of you and the contributions you make to our community and to campus. The University Apartments staff team will continue to uphold the University Housing Core Value of Respect in all of our interactions with you and encourage you, especially during this difficult time, to do the same with each other.

Every Badger Deserves Respect.

Jolene Esterline, Director of Resident Support Services
Phillip Werman, Assistant Director of Resident Support Services
Andrew Werner, Assistant Director of Resident Support Services