Student Life: Difference Between a Hate Crime and a Bias Incident

Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech School: Davidson College Statement Rating: Red Last updated: September 14, 2017

Relevant excerpt

A bias incident is also an offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity BUT may not rise to the level of a crime. Bias incidents include hostile environments and harassing behavior that is severe, persistent or pervasive to the point that it threatens an individual or limits the ability of the individual to work, study, or participate in College life. Bias incidents committed by students are considered violations of the student code of responsibility (Section V). Bias incidents committed by staff on staff may violate the College’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and will be handled by Human Resources.

EXAMPLES OF BIAS INCIDENTS

  1. Racial and Ethnic Stereotype Theme Parties – Student organizations and Greek letter organizations that host theme parties or Halloween parties that encourage people to wear costumes and act out in ways that reinforce stereotypes create a campus climate that is hostile to racial and ethnic minority groups.
  2. Bias in the Classroom – Professors who make pejorative comments or stereotypes about a protected class of people, i.e. females, religious minorities, racial minority groups, or people with disabilities are also guilty of commiting a bias incident. Because of the power dynamics that exist between students and professors, students may be reluctant about confronting the professor about the offense fearing that it may negatively affect their grade in the class.

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