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Bias Incidents, Hate Crimes, & Discrimination

Bias incidents and hate crimes are manifestations of broader patterns of social injustice and inequity. Therefore, bias incidents are not isolated from systemic problems faced by underrepresented communities. The Bias Resource Team works hard to support individuals and communities directly impacted by bias incidents and hate crimes, while keeping in mind the social inequities perpetuated by such incidents.

Definitions

As used in this protocol, the term 'bias activity' includes the following:

Bias/Hate Crimes -- defined as any criminal offense or attempted criminal offense that one could reasonably conclude is motivated, in whole or in part, by the alleged offender's bias against an individual's actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender,  immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice or sexual orientation.

Discrimination -- defined as a violation of the University's Harassment and Discrimination Policy, other applicable University policies and procedures and/or applicable anti-discrimination laws.

Bias Incident -- defined as acts that do not appear to constitute a crime or actionable discrimination, but which may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten, individuals or groups and which one could reasonably conclude targets a member or group within the University community because of that individual or group's actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice or sexual orientation.

Reporting Bias/Hate Crimes

Students, faculty, and staff who are victims of or who witness activity that is or could reasonably be considered a bias/hate crime, including but not limited to assaults, attempted assaults, destruction or damage to property or defacement of property should report such activity immediately to University Police by calling 289-8911, or anonymously, using Silent Witness. Where appropriate, the University Police will notify the Bias Resource Team of reports of bias/hate crimes occurring on campus.

Reporting Bias Incidents

Students, faculty, and staff who are the subject of or who witness a Bias Incident may report such incidents to the director of Common Ground. The Common Ground director will assist individuals making reports in identifying appropriate University resources for support and guidance, and will notify the members of the Bias Resource Team of such reports.

Reporting Discrimination

Students, faculty, and staff who are subjected to or believe they may be the subject of discrimination prohibited by University policies or applicable laws or who witness potential discrimination should file a complaint in accordance with the University's Harassment and Discrimination Policy. Complaints of discrimination may also be made, informally, to the director of Common Ground who shall assist the individual making the complaint in pursuing such complaint through applicable University policies and in accessing available University resources for support and guidance.

What to expect after submitting a report

It is important to report all bias incidents, no matter how minor they may seem. If you have questions about whether to report or what is likely to occur if you do, please contact the Director of Common Ground, Glyn Hughes.

  • Bias Incident Reports are reviewed promptly and, unless they are submitted anonymously, are also acknowledged promptly. Acknowledgments typically cover the following topics:
    • support needs of those affected
    • additional information about the incident
    • next steps and possible actions
  • Bias Incident Reports may be referred to and/or shared with offices or individuals responsible for investigating these incidents.
  • Members of the Bias Resource Team may meet to discuss the community-level effects of a given incident and - following established guiding principles - determine the appropriate course(s) of action.
  • In many cases the Bias Resource Team itself does not directly follow-up with victims or those reporting incidents, especially if it is determined that support is already being provided.
  • If you have questions about the status of a report you submitted, please contact Glyn Hughes.