Diversity, Climate, & Student Resources

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Campus Climate

UW–Madison is committed to creating a community where every person feels welcome, valued, and able to succeed. This is an ongoing and collaborative effort with initiatives across campus. This Campus Climate website tracks progress and reports on the outcomes of these initiatives. Join the effort to make our campus more inclusive for the diverse members of our community.

Department Community Standards

The UW-Madison Department of Sociology and Department of Community & Environmental Sociology
have endorsed a set of Community Standards designed to promote professional development and improve climate.

Department Climate Committee Procedures and Guidelines for Reporting Bias, Harassment, or Assault

Climate Committee Composition:

2022-2023 members:  Eric Grodsky (chair), Michael Bell, Jennifer Dykema, Chad Goldberg, Charlotte Frascona, Tina Hunter, Malliga Somasundaram.

Four tenured faculty, Department administrators, Graduate program advisor.  Two of the four tenured faculty will be appointed by the chair (with executive committee approval required for appointment).  One of these two appointed faculty will be from C&E Sociology.  The remaining two tenured faculty will be chosen by the committee, in consultation with the department chair, from a list of four tenured faculty nominated by the Sociology Graduate Student Association (SGSA).  Tenured faculty will serve two-year (renewable) terms to facilitate continuity.  In appointing the committee, the chair should make efforts to reflect the diversity of the department. The chairs of Sociology and C&E Sociology will work in consultation with the committee or may be members of the committee.  The chair of the Climate Committee will be elected once per year by its members.

Purpose:   To receive and act upon (as appropriate) concerns or complaints about the departmental climate, broadly defined.  Individual students (graduate or undergraduate), faculty, staff, postdocs, or others affiliated with the departments can report directly to any one (or more) member(s) of the committee.  All reports will be shared in regular meetings with the full committee.  The frequency of meetings is to be determined.  Students who wish to communicate concerns anonymously to the Faculty-Staff Climate Committee are encouraged to reach out to the SGSA Culture & Climate Committee (sgsa-ccc@wisc.edu), which will share concerns with the Faculty-Staff Climate Committee with the student’s (or students’) permission.

Objective: The goal of this committee is to provide a clearly defined, easily accessible mechanism for addressing issues or incidents that negatively affect department climate.

Purview: Concerns or complaints that cannot be resolved by other established pathways (e.g., discussion between student(s) and instructor, reporting to DGS, dept. chair, graduate advisor, undergraduate advisor, or training directors.)  The committee will take proactive steps to improve the climate and also respond to general climate issues that members are aware of.  However, it will not intercede directly with a specific individual or proceed with sanctions against an individual unless a formal complaint is made and the complainant requests that the committee take action.


  1. Committee member(s) receive report/complaint.
  2. Report/complaint is shared with the full committee.
  3. Committee determines if there is reporting responsibility (e.g., to Deans or Title IX, etc.).
  4. If reporting is mandatory, climate committee representative makes report. If reporting is not mandatory, climate committee provides information on reporting procedure (resources for reporting bias, harassment, assault can be found below).
  5. If complainant does not wish to file a report, committee discusses appropriate good-faith response (that is consistent with University policies/regulations), reports to chair, informs complainant, chair implements response.

Appeals: Any action that involves a sanction against another member of the community can be appealed to the committee (or to the chair).

Protections: Complainants’ request for confidentiality and anonymity will be honored to the extent allowed by university policy and law. Deliberations internal to the department will always respect complainants’ requests for confidentiality/anonymity. In cases that involve mandatory reporting (e.g., to the Title IX office or to the Office of Student Assistance and Support (formerly the Dean of Students Office)), the committee cannot guarantee confidentiality/anonymity.

Conflicts of interest: If a complaint is made to the committee that involves a member of the committee, that member will recuse themselves from all deliberations pertaining to the complaint. More broadly, if any committee member has a conflict of interest with a complaint, they will recuse themselves. Complaints may also be made individually to the Chair or Associate Chair of the Department of Sociology and complainants may request that they not be forwarded to the Climate Committee.

Record keeping: To ensure that committee activities and actions are recorded as precedents, anonymized summaries of complaints, actions, and resolutions will be placed in the chair’s folder. No names will be included in these records to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Collaboration: The committee will confer with the SGSA Culture & Climate Committee (and other leadership as necessary) to ensure that graduate students are apprised of efforts to address climate issues. This collaboration will also provide an additional pathway for students to report concerns, as they may raise climate issues with the SGSA CCC whose members can share them anonymously with the Faculty-Staff Climate Committee if the student approves.

Outreach: In addition to responding to reports/complaints, the committee will take proactive steps to develop and support a positive department climate.

Examples of grievances:

  • Discrimination based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity, or political views
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Power harassment
  • Climate concerns
  • Microaggressions


What To Report and How

Reporting and responding to incidents of bias

Bias is officially defined as “acts toward an individual, group, or their property that are so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that they create an unreasonably intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or program environment, and that one could reasonably conclude are based upon actual or perceived age, race, color, creed, religion, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other related factors.”  Incidents of bias or hate include such things as slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, and harassment directed toward a targeted individual or group. These words and actions contribute to a hostile climate even if the act itself is unintentional or is delivered with humorous intent.  More information is here.

Bias incident report form

Note that you may also report the incident in person to one of several campus offices listed on the Bias Reporting website.

Reporting incidents of discrimination

Discrimination is “conduct that adversely affects any aspect of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in an institution’s activities or programs, or has the effect of denying equal privileges or treatment to an individual on the basis of one more characteristics of that individual’s protected status or category.”  Specific bases upon which discrimination is prohibited are delineated here.  An employee wanting to file a discrimination complaint should contact the Office of Compliance in 361 Bascom Hall, e-mail: uwcomplianceoffice@wisc.edu, phone: 608-265-6018. Information about how to resolve concerns is available here.  A student who wishes to file a discrimination complaint against a fellow student who is acting in his/her role as a student should contact the Office of Student Assistance and Support (formerly the Dean of Students Office) (osas@studentaffairs.wisc.edu) at the Division of Student Life in 70 Bascom Hall, phone: 608-263-5700.  A student who wants to file a discrimination complaint against a fellow student who is acting in his/her role as a University employee (e.g., teaching assistant, res hall assistant, student hourly employee) or against any other employee of the University should contact staff in the Office of Compliance by e-mailing uwcomplianceoffice@wisc.edu.

Reporting incidents of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking 

Any member of the University community–student, faculty, or staff–who has been subjected to sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, violence, or stalking is encouraged to report these incidents to the University. In cases involving criminal misconduct, you have, in addition, the right to report to the UW-Madison police or to the local law enforcement office that has jurisdiction over the location where the incident occurred (e.g., the Madison Police). Note, however, that reporting is not mandatory. If you decide to report, you have several options:

University of Wisconsin Police Department (UWPD)
911 (on-campus), (608) 264-2677
1429 Monroe St., Madison, WI


Madison Police Department (For crimes that occur off campus)
911 (off campus), (608) 255-2345
211 S. Carroll St., Madison, WI

See also https://uwpd.wisc.edu/how-to-report-sexual-assault-domestic-violence-dating-violence-or-stalking-to-uwpd-or-to-uw-madison/ and https://uwpd.wisc.edu/tellus/.

The rights of students and employees who choose to report, as well as resources available on campus and in the Madison community are detailed here.

(a) Reporting sexual assault

Please be aware that any UW-Madison employee who is not a confidential resource is required, by state law, to notify the Office of Student Assistance and Support (formerly the Dean of Students Office) when they witnesses a sexual assault on campus or receives a report from a student that the student was sexually assaulted. The report does not have to include personally identifiable information, however. In addition, any UW-Madison employee who is not a confidential resource is required, by Title IX (a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance) and University policy, to notify the Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Hasselbacher (lauren.hasselbacher@wisc.edu, phone: 608-890-3788), of any reports of sexual assault they receive.

Moreover, any UW-Madison employee who is designated a Campus Security Authority has an obligation to report sexual assaults they are made aware of to the University’s Director of Clery Compliance, Jaimee Gilford (jaimee.gilford@wisc.edu), and to the Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Hasselbacher (lauren.hasselbacher@wisc.edu). The faculty and staff in Sociology with a Campus Security Authority designation are Christine Schwartz (chair), Ellen Jacobson (undergrad advisor), and Charlotte Frascona (grad program advisor).

Information about the Clery Act (a federal law requiring higher education institutions to establish security and safety policies and to disclose certain crime statistics) and the duties of Campus Security Authorities is here: http://uwpd.wisc.edu/crime-data/clery-act/.

(b) Reporting sex discrimination or sexual harassment

The campus policy on sexual harassment is here.

Students, faculty, or staff who have experienced sex discrimination or sexual harassment are encouraged to report this to the University. You are not required to do so, though. If you choose to report the incident, you may discuss it with a confidential resource, a University employee, or the police. (See the options listed above.)

If you decide to report, please be aware that any UW-Madison employee who is not a confidential resource is required, by Title IX and University policy, to notify the Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Hasselbacher (lauren.hasselbacher@wisc.edu), of any reports of sex discrimination or sexual harassment they receive.

(c) Reporting dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking

Again, students, faculty, and staff subjected to these incidents are encouraged to report them to the University and to the police; however, you are not required to do so.  If you choose to report the incident, you may discuss it with a confidential resource, a University employee, or the police. (See the options listed above.) If you decide to report to a University employee who is a designated Campus Security Authority (in Sociology the CSAs are Christine SchwartzEllen Jacobson, and Charlotte Frascona), that person will be obliged to report the incident to the UW Director of Clery Compliance, Jaimee Gilford (jaimee.gilford@wisc.edu), and to the Title IX Coordinator, Lauren Hasselbacher (lauren.hasselbacher@wisc.edu).

Title IX basics

More information about reporting

UW video about sexual harassment/assault reporting options

Right and Resources for Students or Employees Who Report Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and/or Stalking

Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Well-Being

Visit the Office of Human Resources’ Equity, Inclusion and Employee Well-Being website to find numerous resources, daily events, and communities to connect with on- and off-campus.

Gender and Sexuality Campus Center

The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center: Supporting LGBTQ+ students and their communities is a unit of the Division of Student Life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Graduate Research Scholar (GRS)

Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) communities are organized by the various schools and colleges within UW–Madison to support underrepresented students.

International Community Resources and Student Services

International Resources website is a central access point to resources available to the international community at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

International Student Services (ISS) offers a wide variety of services and programs to international students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The ISS staff provides information and programs to international students about the campus and community and provide support and assistance concerning visas and related immigration issues.

McBurney Disablility Resource Center

McBurney Disability Resource Center views disability as an important aspect of the diversity of UW-Madison and they are committed to creating an accessible and inclusive educational experience for students. They do this by partnering with students, faculty, and staff to design accessible environments and to provide academic accommodations so that students can engage, explore and participate in the Wisconsin Idea.

Resources for Historically Disadvantaged & Underrepresented Students of Color

Campus Resources

Black Graduate & Professional Student Association

Diversity@UW – Overview

Multicultural Graduate Network

Association of Asian-American Graduate Students

Multicultural Student Center (MSC)

Community Resources

The Madison Times (Minority-owned community newspaper)

Umoja Magazine (Publication geared toward the African American community

Centro Hispano (Programs geared toward the Latino community)

La Movida (Madison Spanish radio station with links to activities and organizations)

Wisconsin Hmong Life Newspaper (no website)
P.O. Box 258038, Madison, WI 53725-8038, (608) 257-9692

Legal Resources

University of Wisconsin-Madison Office for Equity and Diversity
(includes information on filing discrimination and harassment complaints, and a summary of relevant laws, policies & regulations for Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity)

City of Madison Department of Civil Rights
(includes an overview of the policies and procedures related to diversity issues within the city of Madison; for example, housing discrimination and access issues)

Resources for Student Mental Health

University Health Services (UHS) has a variety of health and mental health services that are available to students.

The the Office of Student Assistance and Support (formerly the Dean of Students Office) also offers a variety of student assistance services.

Navigate to each website to learn more.

Solidarity Student Group

Solidarity is a group of students of color in the Sociology department that seek to support and empower each other.

Sociology Graduate Student Association (SGSA)

The University of Wisconsin – Madison Sociology Graduate Student Association (SGSA) is a student-led organization.

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison as it works to create a diverse, inclusive and excellent learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners at the university. DDEEA accomplishes this work centered in the core values of community, inclusion, organizational excellence, transparency, accountability and social justice. DDEEA uses collaboration, leadership and seeding of new initiatives, consultative advice and the coordination of numerous institutional initiatives to support Campus, Wisconsin and the world.

Undocumented Student Support at UW-Madison

Undocumented Student Support at UW-Madison This website was compiled by the Multicultural Student Center to provide information about admissions, enrollment, financial aid, and support organizations for students who are undocumented immigrants.

University Religious Workers

University Religious Workers of the University of Wisconsin Madison (URW) is a professional association for staff and leaders of religious groups, campus ministries and faith communities at UW-Madison. URW exists to support our members and their work with UW students, faculty and staff.

UW Hillel

Hillel at UW-Madison provides a home for more than 4,000 Jewish students. Hillel is an independent nonprofit that partners with the university and supports students to cultivate a Jewish community, develop leaders, complement the classroom, and embody Jewish values.

Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center

The Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center (VSMAC) is a joint effort between the Office of the Registrar and the Division of Student Life.