Bias-related conduct is behavior that by intent, action and/or outcome may offend, harm or threaten to harm a person or group. Such behavior is usually motivated by prejudice toward a person or group because of factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, gender or sexual orientation.
Some bias-related conduct comes in the form of speech that can appear to be offensive, derogatory or demeaning. Although these and other expressions betray the UW’s ideal of a campus community committed to honor and respect, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution may protect expressions of this nature. Regardless of whether or not a specific situation is punishable, acts of bias should be appropriately addressed. In the absence of a disciplinary procedure, an educational response may be warranted.