Student Handbook: Administrative Policies – Bias Incident Response

Relevant excerpt

Acts that are an affront to this core value of the institution will not be tolerated. Accordingly, Furman has implemented a Bias Incident Response & Support (BIRS) plan.

BIRS is not a disciplinary procedure. Rather, the BIRS plan ensures that an individual who perceives they are the victim (Complainant) of a bias incident have access to appropriate support systems. Furthermore, the BIRS plan coordinates the response to incidents affecting campus climate.

III. Definition of a Bias Incident

A bias incident is any conduct that serves no scholarly purpose appropriate to the academic environment and demonstrates bias against an individual or group based on any facet of the individual’s or group’s identities. Bias incidents may take the form of, but are not limited to:

  • Vandalism or defacement of personal or university property (e.g. drawing swastikas, hanging nooses, erecting burning crosses, etc.);
  • Display or use of epithets or slurs;
  • Culturally offensive gestures;
  • Theme parties that encourage people to wear costumes or act in ways that reinforce stereotypes or are otherwise demeaning; or
  • Electronic, physical, verbal, or graphic threats or intimidation

The expression of an idea or point of view some may find offensive or charged is not necessarily a bias incident. As a community of liberal learning, Furman University maintains its commitment to freedom of inquiry and excellence in the quest for truth.

For the purposes of the BIRS plan, a bias incident includes any of the following:

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