UW First Wave scholar subjected to hateful language, spit on face in campus dorm

Dean of Students Lori Berquam says university is adopting an 'all hands on deck' approach

· Mar 13, 2016 Tweet

Erik Brown/The Badger Herald

Three University of Wisconsin students who live in Sellery Hall reported that a resident assaulted them out of hate and bias Saturday.

This is the third hate incident reported on campus in less than two months.

In a blogpost post named “UW-Madison is Wild,” Nora Herzog said a “boy” spit on her cohort sister’s face and insulted her with racist and sexist words. Herzog said it made her cohort sister, who is in the First Wave program, feel unsafe in her own home.

UW Police Department responded to the incident by issuing citations for underage possession of alcohol and disorderly conduct, according to a letter to First Wave scholars from Patrick Sims, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer.

Dean of Students Lori Berquam said the university is adopting an “all hands on deck” approach to deal with the incident, especially at a time when two incidents of similar nature already happened on campus.

“We’re not the campus I thought we were in terms of a welcoming environment,” Berquam said. “We’re not taking care of each other, we’re not stepping up to intervene when these type of things are being said.”

There will be a community conversation regarding the incident early this week, according to a letter from Cal Bergman, associate director of Residence Life, and Michael Perry, area coordinator, to Sellery residents,

“In University Housing, one of our priorities is to establish inclusive, respectful and caring communities,” the letter said. “This value and priority necessitates a response and action regarding all reported bias incidents.”

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On Jan. 26 students taped a picture of Hitler and swastikas on the door of a Jewish student’s dorm room in Sellery Hall. On March 9, stereotypical “war chants” interrupted a healing meeting for Native American sexual assault survivors.

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A student conduct investigation is underway at University Housing, and the student cited for disorderly conduct may be removed from the floor, the letter to First Wave scholars said.

Berquam said UW should be a place where all students have the freedom to enjoy themselves, study and explore without feeling unwelcome. Hateful behavior, she said, impedes that freedom and goes against UW’s values.

Berquam said the university will come up with a more comprehensive plan of action for when students return from spring break.

“Everybody needs to be talking about it, and everybody needs to be part of the solution,” Berquam said.

Marc Lovicott, UWPD spokesperson, said more details about the incident will come Monday.


This article was published Mar 13, 2016 at 8:02 pm and last updated Mar 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm


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