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​Hate/Bias Response Team (HBRT)

The UWSP Hate/Bias Response Team (HBRT) works to realize the UWSP commitment "to respect all regardless of race, ethnicity, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities/qualities, religion, nationality, or any other differences" and "to provide all Pointers the tools needed to feel safe and included," as promised in the UWSP Inclusive Excellence Declaration.

The UWSP HBRT exists to collect information on hate and bias incidents affecting our campus community (generating reports, suggesting policy change and training) and to provide support for affected parties.

Report a Campus Incident

Marshfield Stevens Point Wausau

 What We Do & Don't Do

What We Do & Don't Do

What we do:

  • Collect and compile incidents of hate/bias affecting the campus community by listing them on this website
  • Contact incident reporter (if known) to offer support
  • Connect reporter/victim (if known) to resources, if requested
  • Determine if the incident was a hate/bias incident
  • Refer the case to the appropriate department for follow-up (Dean of Students, Human Resources, or academic department chair)
  • Make recommendations for inclusivity training for faculty and staff, if fitting
  • Inform administration of incoming reports on a monthly basis through a monthly report sent (by the monthly on-call representative) to the SGA President, SGA Vice-President, SGA Inclusivity Director, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs by the 15th of the following month
    • Note: The monthly report will be shared with Common Council by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
  • Submit policy revision recommendations, as needed, to the Flag a Policy or Practice Committee 
  • Inform administration of annual reports and recommend policy revision through the year-end hate/bias report. The report will be written by the Committee Chair, with feedback/input from the full committee, shared, specifically, with the SGA President, SGA Vice-President, SGA Inclusivity Director, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs by July 15 of each year for the previous academic year. 

What we don't do:

  • Investigate incidents
  • Determine guilt or innocence
  • Penalize perpetrators
  • Infringe on first amendment rights

 Process Description

Process Description

  1. After a report is filed, the office of the Dean of Students and the Hate/Bias Response Team (HBRT) will receive the report.
  2. When the report is submitted with the reporter's name (non-anonymous reporting), a member of the HBRT will contact the reporter (usually via email) within 48 hours to discuss follow-up, support, and available resources.
  3. The reporter has the opportunity to have a meeting with the Chair of the HBRT and/or the on-call HBRTmember for the month to learn more about the incident. 
    1. ​The goal of the intake meeting is to provide the reporter with further resources (Counseling, Diversity and College Access, CASE, etc)
    2. Refer the reporter to other offices for further action, if needed (i.e. Dean of Students, Housing and Residential Life, Human Resources, Academic Affairs, University Police, etc)
  4. If the reporter does not respond or does not want to meet, no further action can be taken.​​
  5. Names and identifying information of individuals involved with the hate/bias incident are always handled privately and are only shared with appropriate individuals who need the information for follow-up.



When a hate incident breaks a law, it becomes a hate crime. Hate crimes include, but are not limited to, assault, arson, vandalism, harassment, threats to commit crimes, etc.

Hate/Bias Incident vs. Hate/Bias Crime

From the US Department of Justice website:

Hate Crime: At the federal level, a crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

Bias or Hate Incident: Acts of prejudice that are not crimes and do not involve violence, threats, or property damage.

 First Amendment Rights Considerations

First Amendment Rights Considerations

Please note that not every incident that is deemed offensive will qualify as harassment, and, while offensive, it may not be determined to violate institutional or system policies.  Each incident will be individually evaluated to determine if it falls under the classification of harassment. Consideration will be given to protect First Amendment rights, the rights to free expression, and academic freedom.  Please note UW Board of Regents Policy document 14-6.

While we are not able to punish offensive acts that do not fall under harassment, we are able to track these incidents so as to:

  1. Provide support for victims
  2. Connect victims to support and resources
  3. Design programming, or recommend the design of programming, that addresses intolerance
  4. Recommend changes in university policy and procedure
  5. Identify patterns of bias/hate
  6. Share aggregate data on bias/hate incidents in our campus community
  7. Guide campus leaders in practices to assist in preventing future bias/hate incidents

Please note that incidents of bias and/or hate that are not protected under First Amendment freedoms may be subject to punishment by the proper authorities. As stated in Regent Policy Document 4-21, these include: 

  1. Violations of state or federal law
  2. Discriminatory harassment
  3. Sexual harassment
  4. True threats
  5. An unjustifiable invasion of privacy or confidentiality 
  6. An action that materially and substantially disrupts the function of an institution
  7. A violation of a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction on expressive activities

According to the US Department of Justice website:

Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people cannot be prosecuted simply for their beliefs. People may be offended or upset about beliefs that are untrue or based upon false stereotypes, but it is not a crime to express offensive beliefs, or to join with others who share such views. However, the First Amendment does not protect against committing a crime, just because the conduct is rooted in philosophical beliefs (US Department of Justice).

 Team Members

Team Members

  • Samantha Samreth, Ph.D, P​ronouns: she/hers; Diversity and College Access Director; Chair; 715-346-4076 
  • Rebecca Schw​artz, Pronouns: she/her; Assistant Director for Housing Operations, Member, 715-346-3217
  • Lee Burke, Pronouns: they/them; Career Coach, Academic and Career Advising Center, Member, 715-346-3016
  • Brittany Kalish​, Pronouns: she/her; Assistant Dean of Students, Member, 715-346-2611
​​ ​

​Standing Against ​​Racial Injustice - Letter from the UWSP Hate and Bias Response Team

Dear faculty, staff members, and students,

As members of the UWSP Hate/Bias Response team, we, too, are saddened by the death of George Floyd and the continued oppression of people of color. We hope that the increased awareness of the systemic racism in our society, and the heinous killings of people of color, brings about real change. Effective change can only happen when marginalized voices are central and where the unified goal is a safe, respectful, and inclusive community for all people.

In his statement against (systemic) racism, UWSP's Chancellor, Bernie Patterson, writes "at UW-Stevens Point, we stand with all our students, faculty and staff members, our community and our nation against racism. We respect differences and welcome diversity. We foster an inclusive environment. Standing together in the face of adversity unites us and strengthens our resolve to make the world better"

The Hate/Bias response team is one small part of working towards fostering an inclusive environment. The formation of this group, in 2018, was in response to a Student Government Association request. Our mission statement describes that we exist to collect information on hate and bias incidents affecting our campus community and to provide support for affected parties. Students can report incidents of hate or bias via a web link and receive further information and be connected with campus resources. Systemic racism is a well-entrenched problem. The documenting of hate and bias serves an important role in working to acknowledge where it exists, identify trends, and provide tangible information to help inform policy, education, and reform.

We stand in solidarity with our students, colleagues, and other community members of color who face systemic racism daily. We uphold the legitimacy of Black Lives Matter and recognize the historic importance of this movement. We believe in the right of the oppressed to protest injustice and demand equality without the threat of retaliation. We strive to exemplify these beliefs in our personal and professional lives.

Note: To reach the UWSP Hate and Bias Response Team (HBRT), please email uwsp-

- Hate/Bias Response Team