Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent an email to all students Wednesday addressing the increase in bias incidents towards Asian American students and employees on and around campus.
In the email, Blank said the Dean of Students Office reported an increase in racial bias incidents towards Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier today, the Asian American Studies program Facebook page posted two photos of chalk writings. One, across the street from Memorial Library, called the virus the “China-virus.” The other, at the foot of Bascom Hill, insulted the Chinese government.
“The Asian American Studies Program denounce these anti-China and anti-Chinese acts found on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on March 24, 2020,” the post’s caption said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has no nationality or race. We stand with the world in compassion and kindness for those affected, as we adhere to the Safer at Home directive.”
Blank said in her email the University of Wisconsin-Madison does not tolerate any racial harassment.
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Blank said the Dean of Students Office will hold a virtual town hall tomorrow to address concerns members of the UW community may have regarding racist behavior on campus via Zoom at 4 p.m. Central Time in partnership with Multicultural Student Center, International Student Services, and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement.
“COVID-19 has affected all of us personally, academically and professionally, as well as physically, mentally and socially,” Blank said. “Even so, it’s important to remember: No one person, country, or ethnicity created this pandemic — disease does not discriminate.”
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During the town hall event, university officials will explain how they plan to respond to incidents of bias and hate and give students the opportunity to voice any concerns they may have about campus climate.
The Dean of Students Office responds to all bias incident reports it receives, Blank said. Any students who have experienced discrimination or harassment can alert the Dean of Students Office by filling out a Bias Incident Report.