What is a bias incident?
A bias incident is an act or behavior motivated by the offender’s bias against the identity of an individual or community. Bias occurs whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may be directed toward an individual or group. A bias incident may take the form of a verbal interaction, cyber-interaction, physical interaction, or interaction with property. Bias often contributes to or creates an unsafe/unwelcoming environment.
Can individuals who engage in bias-related incidents be disciplined by the University?
The University takes seriously its responsibility to appropriately balance its core values of protecting individual freedoms (e.g., freedom of speech, artistic expression, freedom of association, academic freedom) and ensuring equal and fair treatment of all. These values may sometimes be in conflict. There are many considerations when determining whether bias-related conduct violates the University’s expectations of members of our community. In so doing, the University is always mindful that academia is a unique place where the exchange of ideas, robust debate and artistic expression are critical to the University’s teaching and research missions. Investigation and adjudication of possible violations of university policy as the result of reported bias-related incidents are handled by the Office of Student Conduct. Any violation of the policy that is shown to be “motivated in part or whole by race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, genetic information, or age” will be considered an aggravating factor that increases the stringency of the sanction.
The Bias Response Advisory Committee holds no authority to investigate, adjudicate or otherwise intervene in bias-related incidents other than to make recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs.