The University of Wisconsin-Madison had “It’s from China #CHINESEVIRUS” and “F*CK THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT” chalked on its campus on Wednesday.
The university is taking action against a large number of racist incidents against Asian and Asian American students on campus, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Asian American Student Program denounced the incident, saying that the world needed compassion and kindness during this time.
While not directly addressing the hateful incident, the university did acknowledge that racist behavior was not tolerated on campus and was aware of the rising number of incidents.
Administrative staff members released a statement that included a link to a virtual town hall that was held on Thursday to discuss the current campus climate.
“COVID-19 has affected all of us personally, academically and professionally, as well as physically, mentally, and socially. Even so, it’s important to remember: No one person, country, or ethnicity created this pandemic—disease does not discriminate,” the statement read.
“We are aware of an increase in bias incidents on or near campus and online that have targeted our Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi-American students and employees, particularly those from or perceived to be from China and East Asia.”
The town hall gave students an opportunity to hear the university’s response to the incidents, share their concerns and ask questions, according to the event page.
Over 350 students logged on to the virtual town hall where the administration said 25 bias reports were filed regarding the recent incident, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Eighty-one reports have been filed so far this semester, with more than half about Asian or international students being discriminated against.
Patrick Sims, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion at the university, also took to Twitter to denounce racist acts, encouraging students to report what they see.
To our students: If you experience incidents of harassment or discrimination, I encourage you to file a bias incident report, which will help us respond appropriately to ensure the safety of the community.https://t.co/HbC2A5W1jE
— Patrick J. Sims (@PatrickSimsUW) March 25, 2020
Around 14% of faculty and staff identify as Asian or Pacific Islander, as of fall 2018, according to UW-Madison data.
Feature Images via Asian American Studies Program, UW-Madison