Students read and relax on Bascom Hill.

Our Wisconsin

Our Wisconsin is an inclusion education program created to raise awareness of the diversity within our student population and to encourage an environment in which students are free to share their experiences and identities.


Historically, Our Wisconsin has been an in-person workshop taking place in the university residence halls. Beginning in Fall 2020 Our Wisconsin will be a two part, online interactive module. Additional opportunities to engage with programming about diversity, inclusion and social justice will also be available.

Chancellor Blank standing with Bucky the badger next to the Bucky statue dressed in a cap and gown for graduation.

As we introduce new students to Our Wisconsin, we are introducing them to their new home at UW and in the dorms and to the expectations we have for our community. As I have said many times in this space, a top priority of mine is that we have a campus where all students feel welcomed, valued, and supported.

-Chancellor Rebecca Blank

Inclusion education

The goal of inclusion education is to raise awareness of the diversity within our student population, and to encourage an environment in which students are free to share their experiences and identities. Inclusion education is the engine behind the Our Wisconsin program, which provides a workshop on diversity and inclusion to each first-year student living in the university residence halls.

Workshops

About the workshops


Our Wisconsin inclusion workshops are available to all undergraduate first-year students living in university housing. The three-hour workshop features structured dialogue, activities, and reflection. Each workshop is led by a co-facilitation team, including peer facilitators, and a staff or faculty facilitator. Our Wisconsin’s aim is to improve the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus climate.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will gain a broader awareness of the diversity on campus.
  2. Students will gain a greater appreciation for how individual actions and systems impact individuals’ experiences in communities and beyond.
  3. Students will engage in constructive dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
  4. Students will gain a greater sense of connection with the campus community.

I liked how we started as individuals, and by the end of the workshop we became a community.

-Student participant

Facilitation

As an Our Wisconsin facilitator, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on your own and others’ heritages, perspectives, and experiences.
  • Further your own and others’ understanding about other identities and cultures.
  • Think about the possible impact your actions might have on others.
  • Listen and believe when individuals and groups share their experiences.
  • Intervene and speak up for individuals and groups in your community.

Our Wisconsin facilitators will serve and connect with members of a co-facilitation team.

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Employment with Our Wisconsin

Applications are now closed. If you are interested in applying in the future, please contact Aaminah Long.

Requirements
Must be a student attending UW-Madison, or staff/faculty member employed at UW-Madison.
Must communicate effectively with a diverse team.
Must have baseline knowledge about diversity, social justice, and/or inclusion.
Must be capable of managing basic workshop administrative responsibilities.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience facilitating discussion and activities around identity.
Commitment to positively impacting campus climate at UW-Madison.

Even though I wasn’t comfortable sharing all of my identities it [the workshop] made me more comfortable with myself and it showed that I am not alone, and that my house is more diverse than it may seem at first glance.

-Student participant

FAQs

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Who has to take the program?

All incoming degree-seeking undergraduate students-including first-year and transfer students- must complete the online Our Wisconsin program. Other student groups and organizations will have the opportunity to engage in the Our Wisconsin online program as well.

How much time will it take me to complete the online program?

The online Our Wisconsin program Part 1 will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete while Part 2 will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The module contains several activities and concepts that may be new or require reflection. We suggest that students take breaks between sections and complete the program over a period of time that allows for reflection and processing. The program will automatically save your place in the module.

When do I need to have the program completed?

  • Part 1 of the program must be completed by Wednesday, September 30, 2020 and takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete.
  • Part 2 will automatically show up in your Canvas 30 days after you complete Part 1. You will receive an email to complete Part 2, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

It says the program is mandatory now. What does that mean?

The Our Wisconsin program is required for all incoming degree-seeking undergraduate students-including first-year and transfer students. Failure to complete the Our Wisconsin program will result in a hold on your academic record for registration the following semester. You will not be permitted to register for Spring 2021 until you complete Our Wisconsin.

If I have questions or concerns about the program, who should I contact?

Students can reach out to ourwisc@studentlife.wisc.edu  at any time with questions and concerns.

How are you tracking who has completed the program?

Incoming degree-seeking undergraduate first-year and transfer students will be auto-enrolled to the Our Wisconsin course in Canvas, which will track students progress and completion of the course.

I went through the in-person workshop last year. Is this different? Do I need to go through it again?

Beginning in the Fall 2020 semester the Our Wisconsin program will be different than the in-person workshop offered in previous years. The Our Wisconsin program is now an online module that is mandatory for incoming degree-seeking undergraduate students-including first-year and transfer students. If you are not an incoming degree-seeking undergraduate student then you do not have to complete the new Our Wisconsin program.

Can my staff, student organization, or program take the Our Wisconsin module? How can I sign them up to participate in Our Wisconsin?

Yes, learners who are not incoming undergraduate first-year and transfer students can still participate in the Our Wisconsin program. Contact us at ourwisc@studentlife.wisc.ed/u with the wisc emails of your participants (in a spreadsheet or line separated list) and we will enroll them in the Our Wisconsin Ongoing course on Canvas. Please allow up to a business week for group access.