Belonging Education & Support System

California State University - Sacramento

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  • Speech Code Category
    Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
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The Belonging Education & Support System (BESS) is here to serve create an inclusive space of belonging and support by serving as both the reporting and response mechanism for addressing incidents of bias on the Sac State campus. BESS also provides belonging education to help us understand how to address our own bias. BESS seeks to empower the entire Hornet community (faculty, students & staff) to actively work toward a more inclusive campus by reporting any acts of bias incidents that we may witness or experience.


The purpose of BESS is to lead the campus efforts to reduce experiences of bias and promote a civil, respectful, and inclusive community that opposes any act of racism, religious intolerance, sexism, ageism, ableism, trans- and homophobia, or other forms of intolerance.


What is bias? Favoring of or against one person, group or thing compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Biases can be conscious or unconscious ― explicit or implicit. In addition, bias can be institutionalized into policies, practices and structures


What is a bias incident?

  • The Clery Act defines a bias incident as an incident or act performed based on a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability.

Categories of Bias


HATE INCIDENT: A “hate incident” is motivated by an individual or individuals' bias, stereotyping, or lack of tolerance for difference. Racial epithets or other targeted and historic terms meant to degrade, dehumanize, or devalue are forms of explicit and stated bias. Though hate speech is offensive, it is protected speech under the 1st amendment rights of the constitution.


MICROAGRESSIONS: The implicit or explicit act of constant verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward protected class or culturally marginalized groups.


BESS Team: Bring the Complaint to the BESS team for deliberation about systemic intervention(s) that can address the act of bias.

  • Recommendation Examples:
    • Policy Modification
    • Procedural Justice
    • Restorative Justice
    • Training Offered