Opinion: Underwhelming UBIT Meeting


graphic courtesy of UWP Communications

The University Bias Incident Team held a meeting covering the reports from the 2021-2022 academic year on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. in University Room South at the Markee Student Center.

Before the presentation started, UBIT polled the audience to discern who those that were students, staff or members from the community. Only three students were in attendance since the event was not very well advertised. One faculty member was in attendance, as well as a single community member. The rest of the audience were either on the UBIT staff or held high positions of power for the university. 

The presentation of the UBIT findings was ten minutes long and was done with prerecorded timing through PowerPoint. The findings from the last year were mostly targeted against race and sexuality. It was also noted that there was a 136.8% increase in reports from the previous year, 2020-2021. 

After finishing the presentation, the team opened the floor for questions. This part only lasted ten minutes. The audience was dismissed and thanked for their attendance. 

There were many problems with this presentation. First, the meeting was held for the campus body but was not well advertised as shown by the low attendance from non-UBIT campus community members. From the two UBIT presenters, only one was prepared to report on their findings.

In order to better help and understand hate and bias affecting students on campus, a team should have members that represent the demographics of UW-Platteville’s student body affected by these incidents. The UBIT has a lack of members from the LGBTQ+ community as well as differing ethnicities.

Finally, the motto for UBIT is “Hate is not a value at UW-Platteville,” but a ten-minute meeting to discuss a 136.8% increase in reports hinders the truthfulness of this motto. The slides with statistics flashed on the screen with barely enough viewing time to comprehend the material.  

There should be more of a preventative effort to stop these verbal attacks against people of different ethnicities besides having a conversation with the offender. 

Individually, each student can reduce their bias by staying updated on terminology surrounding gender, sexuality and race. Also, respecting a person’s pronouns and preferred name can help create a safe and healthy environment on campus. Speaking kindly to fellow students, faculty, staff and community members is a value at UW-Platteville.