Bias incidents are acts of conduct, speech, or expression that target individuals and groups based on certain characteristics such as race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Examples of bias incidents include:
- A public speaker who makes homophobic comments about members of the LGBT community.
- Anti-Semitic or Islamophobic flyers distributed on campus.
- Sexist or racist jokes told in public.
- Verbal insults directed toward a person of color.
- Defaming e-mails sent to a student cultural organization.
Some bias incidents may violate university nondiscrimination policies, the Student Conduct Code or other University policies. Other acts of bias may either not be severe enough to violate policy or be protected expressions of speech. The protection of freedom of expression, including controversial speech, and sometimes even offensive or hurtful words, is vital to a community of teachers and learners. Nevertheless, personal threats or other acts of misconduct violate university policies and those policies will be vigorously enforced. You should report bias incidents so the university can determine if policies have been violated and support persons who feel victimized.