Definition of Bias/Hate: Single or multiple acts toward an individual, team, or their property that have a negative impact and that one could reasonably conclude is based upon actual or perceived age, race, color, creed, religion, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, martial status, spirituality, cultural, socio-economic status, or any combination of these or other related factors. Bias/Hate incidents include, but are not limited to: slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, and harassment; that are directed toward or affect the targeted individual or team. Incidents of Bias or Hate contribute to a hostile campus environment and can occur even if the act itself is unintentional or delivered as a joke, prank, or having humorous intent.
While some acts of bias or hate may be violations of the law and/or University policy, many may be considered speech protected by the First Amendment; which allows for the expression of hateful and intolerant statements and expressive conduct. In such cases, no formal action can be taken against the offending party(ies). However, the University has an obligation and the right to respond to such incidents in a manner consistent with the role of promoting a climate of tolerance, respect, inclusion and dialog.