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What is bias?


Bias is hard to define, but the following is a framework for what bias is may help someone decide if they are a target or witness of bias. Bias is any physical, spoken or written act of abuse, harassment, intimidation, use of vulgarity, cursing, making remarks of a personally destructive nature toward any other person, and any restriction or prevention of free movement of an individual. Bias occurs whether that act is, intentional or unintentional or is directed toward an individual or group regarding race, color, creed, national origin; Sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, political, religious ideology, or any other distinguishing characteristic. All actions must not be defined as illegal.

The above list may make someone think of “Hate Crime.” However, these two terms are not the same. What distinguishes the two is the legality of the action.

The BRT understands that distinguishing whether something is a bias crime or a hate crime may be difficult. If you have a feeling, or just want to report to be sure, feel free to report what happened, and we can help from there. Our staff can examine a situation and help a reporter decide what to do next. We can work with a reporter as they are referred to other campus processes as well.

In some cases, where individuals are identified and violations of state or federal law may have occurred the BRT may have to report those incidents to other agencies. A reporter can always contact the BRT for more information on this process. The BRT will take all steps possible to ensure the privacy of reporters and other involved parties.  However, the BRT cannot guarantee complete confidentiality of all parties in all incidents.


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