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What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation that is motivated in whole or in part by bias based on an individual's or group's actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Bias often stems from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, and stereotypes. It may be intentional or unintentional.

What is a hate crime?

A crime motivated by bias against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

Can I submit a report anonymously?
Yes. To increase the likelihood that students, staff, and faculty will submit reports, we created an online report form that can be submitted anonymously. You may also choose to provide non-identifying contact information, such as a personal email account, if you would like an update regarding the status of your report. We want to obtain as complete a picture as possible about the experiences of our students, staff and faculty; this tool is a mechanism for accomplishing that goal. We cannot respond to anonymous reporters to provide feedback or information, but we welcome the contribution to our collective knowledge.

Who can I talk to if I’m unsure about making a report?
We want individuals to have information to assist them in making the decision as to whether they want to submit a Bias Incident Report including what options may exist through other available reporting opportunities. If you would like to talk with someone who can provide more information, please contact any member of the Bias Advisory Team.

What happens after I submit a report?
All team members will receive a copy of the report, which will be discussed at weekly team meetings to determine the next steps. The team will decide what appropriate follow-up activities, for examples asking facilities services to remove graffiti, reaching out to an affected community to provide support, or providing feedback to a department or individual.

Primarily, information received will be maintained in our database, providing us with an overall picture of the kinds of things our students, staff and faculty are experiencing. If the reporting individual wants to discuss the matter further and provides contact information, we will reach out to that individual.

What are the possible outcomes following a report?

Depending on the nature of the reported incident, the Bias Advisory Team may:

  • Offer support and information regarding available resources.
  • Offer options on how to report an incident for investigation and resolution in accordance with applicable University policy and principles of free expression.
  • Inform and consult colleagues regarding a possible institutional response.
  • Coordinate support for community healing and educational outreach.
  • Assess avenues for minimizing or eliminating future incidents of bias.
  • Catalogue incidents.

Individuals who submit a report and identify themselves may be contacted for more details. Anonymous reports also may be submitted. The team will compile and analyze data from submitted reports to inform future educational and prevention efforts.

Institutional responses may include:

  • Removal of graffiti or flyers.
  • Individual outreach to an affected party.
  • Connecting affected parties to relevant resources.
  • Educational workshops or seminars.
  • Notice to the community about the incident.
  • Offer of support and assistance to affected individuals/communities (typically in the form of counseling).

Will my report result in an investigation of the matter?
It is important to note that the Bias Advisory Team is neither an investigative nor an oversight body. In most cases, it will be entirely up to the person making the report to decide if they want to have a formal investigation initiated. If you submit a report and provide contact information, a team member can provide you with your options for having the matter investigated as well as offer information about relevant resources. In rare instances, we may be compelled by law to report a matter to an appropriate investigative body (Student Conduct, Human Resources, and/or Public Safety). This would most likely occur if the safety of a minor appears to be at risk or there has been a direct threat of violence.

What is the purpose of reporting bias incidents?
The Bias Advisory Team is designed to promote an inclusive community at Metro State University by providing a central, streamlined approach for reporting incidents of bias involving members of the university community.

The Bias Advisory Team has three primary goals:

  • Support those who have witnessed or been the target of bias-related incidents.
  • Refer to resources that can provide ongoing support.
  • Inform the Metro State community about the frequency and nature of bias incidents that are reported.