Department of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion FAQs

Bias Incident

Does BIRT adjudicate and/or provide sanctions?

This body is not a conduct body. All conduct related concerns will be handled by the Dean of Students Office, Supervisor, or the Human Resources Office.

What does BIRT do when it receives information about a bias incident?

University of Wisconsin-Superior has a Bias Incident Response Protocol to guide its response to bias and hate incidents. When the Bias Response Team receives a bias incident report, it coordinates with university partners to provide care and support to community members who may be negatively affected, and engages in a collaborative, restorative process to educate community members about the harmful impact of bias incidents. This process is represented in the chart below:

Abbreviated BIRT Protocol Response

What is the purpose of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)?

The primary role of BIRT is to manage our bias response form, provide impacted party support, respond to acts of bias as appropriately, educate the campus community on bias, prejudice and hate, and produce routine reports of bias incidents.

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime, also called a bias crime or bias-related crime, is criminal activity motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator’s bias or attitude against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual protected class, such as their race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to the victim, members of the victim’s group and the community as a whole can feel victimized by a hate crime.

What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is characterized as a behavior or act – verbal, written, or physical – which is directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, veteran status, or age.   Bias incidents may be engaged intentionally or unintentionally.

Why is it important to respond to bias incidents?

Bias incidents have one important factor in common: they create a hostile working, learning or living environments and frequently have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical effect on individuals and communities.

What can I do if I experience or witness a bias incident?

All University of Wisconsin-Superior community members (faculty, staff, and students) are encouraged to inform the Bias Response Teams of bias incidents by clicking here (future link). Reports may be submitted anonymously, but the ability of the Bias Response Team to respond to anonymous reports is limited.

Can I report a bias incident anonymously?

Faculty, staff, and students can choose report anonymously utilizing the reporting form (not entering anything in the name field) or letting the BIRT member know that they would like to report anonymously.

Reporting anonymously will still provide the University of Wisconsin-Superiorr’s Bias Incident Response Team with information on our campus climate. This data will be used to improve our campus through education, programming, and other activities related to acts of bias, hate, and identity-based violence. The University still reserves the right to act if appropriate.