Bias incidents and hate crimes are acts motivated by bigotry and/or hate based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion or disability. Hate crimes are those acts that violate criminal law, such as violence or vandalism; many crimes carry more severe punishments if the motivation for that crime is proven to be hate. Bias or hate motivated speech may be illegal such as harassment, threats, or disruptive speech. However, some bias or hate motivated speech may be constitutionally protected and thus not subject to university disciplinary action or formal investigation. Note: this definition is used for reporting and statistical purposes only and carries no independent punitive weight or authority.