Bias is hard to define, but the following is a framework for understanding what bias is and it may help someone decide if they are a target or witness of bias.
Bias occurs whether the act is:
A bias-based incident is one which has a negative effect on an individual or group and is based on or motivated by bias against race, color, creed, nationality , sexual orientation, gender, physical or mental disability, political or religious ideology, age, or any other distinguishing characteristic.
The incident is experienced as hurtful by one or many and may involve harassment, the creation of a hostile environment, property damage, verbal threats of violence, or physical violence. The incident may or may not involve breaches of University policies or state or federal law.
The above description may make someone think of the term "Hate Crime". However, these two terms are not the same. What distinguishes the two is the legality of the action.
For example, degrading someone because they are a person of color is a hate crime.
If someone is harassed or teased because of a disability but not to the point of violating a law, it is bias incident. As soon as the action crosses the line of violating a law, it may be defined as a hate crime.
The Bias Response Team understands that distinguishing whether something is a bias incident or a hate crime may be difficult. If you have a feeling, or just want to report the incident to be sure, feel free to make a report about what happened, and we can help you from there. Our staff can examine a situation and help a reporter decide what to do next.
View Annual Report
There are no reports available at this time. The Bias Response Team Annual Report will be made available at the end of the school year.
Lists of staff who can provide such advice are available in the following offices:
Disability Services for Students
Office for Civility Education
Housing and Residential Life, Residental Education
Multicultural Center, Assistant Director
Office of Student Life, Dean of Students
University Chaplains: Catholic, Jewish Protestant
Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services