Harassment and Bias Prevention: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is a bias-related incident?

Bias-related incidents refer to language, images or behaviors that demonstrate bias against another person based on but not limited to his or her membership in a group, based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, or an individual’s particular characteristics, role, or behavior.

Expression of ideas or points of view that may be offensive or inflammatory to some, may not necessarily be a bias-related incident. The College does value freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. This value of openness protects controversial ideas, but it does not protect harassment or expression of bias or harassment aimed at individuals that violate college policy.

What is harassment?

When these acts are intended to harm an individual or have the purpose or effect of unreasonably or substantially interfering with an individual’s safety and security by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment they can be defined as harassment. These acts defined as harassment may be based on a person’s identity characteristics or they may not.

What are some examples of bias-related incidents or harassment?

Depending on the totality of the circumstances, writing a racial epithet in erasable marker on someone’s dry-erase board, making fun of another person because of his or her language or accent, or making insulting comments about someone’s traditional manner of dress or geographic origin are hypothetical examples of a bias-related incident. Additional examples include stalking or threatening a person, sending unwanted or intimidating packages, letters, computer messages, text messages, telegrams, or phone calls, particularly if the intent is to harm or intimidate.

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