Student Life: Diversity and Inclusion- Bias Education and Response

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. The college will not discipline students for offenses that do not violate college policy.

In addition, bias incident response is not intended to prohibit or discourage the exchange of ideas that occur in the classroom or workplace. As stated in the College Constitution, Davidson College is committed to the principles of free speech and academic freedom. In discussions of controversial, sensitive, or political topics, ideas may be exchanged in a way that causes others to feel bias. If this occurs, the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion offers opportunities for support, learning, and increased awareness. These opportunities are voluntary and are not intended to impinge on the rights of others.

Examples of Behaviors that may be Considered 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 committing 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.
  3. Harassing Comments in the Work Place – Making sexual comments, jokes, or gestures may create a hostile work environment. Even displaying pictures and items that convey sexually inappropriate messages may also contribute to the climate in the work place. Various people can be negatively affected by these comments and images, including bystanders.

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