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 and may be intentional or unintentional.
What is a hate crime?
As defined by the federal Clery Act, a hate crime is a criminal offense that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Hate crimes include more narrowly-defined categories of crimes and bias; all hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination means conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her protected class and that subjects the individual to different treatment by agents or employees so as to interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to participate in, or benefit from, the services, activities or privileges provided by the system or colleges and universities or otherwise adversely affects the individual's employment or education. (See Minnesota State policy 1B.1 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education).
How do we address bias speech?
The Bias Response Team may make recommendations to the president about ways the college can respond to reported incidents.
Recommendations may include, but are not limited to:
- Identifying the needs of the affected individuals, as well as those of the larger learning community.
- Providing support, resources and consultation to those harmed by the incident.
- Considering whether the incident has potential free speech or academic freedom implications.
- Updating college and external communities, as appropriate.
- Organizing and holding open forums for affected individuals as well as the larger community to gather suggestions, to reaffirm campus values and standards and to educate.
- Recommending incident-related topic program areas for additional trainings for students, staff and faculty.
All efforts should be made to identify and provide opportunities for the community that will enhance and encourage inter-group dialogue that focuses on relevant issues of bias and discrimination, and effective strategies for enhancing individual and community safety and well-being and reinforcing community values.
Who can you contact?
If you have questions about the Bias Response Team, please contact:
If you want to report a bias incident, please see “Reporting a Bias Incident” below.