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Bias Incidents

In order to flourish in an educational and work environment, all members of a college campus must feel safe and respected as equally valued members of the community.

Supporting Freedom of Expression
At St. Norbert College, we support the freedom for all to express their points of view and the open exchange of ideas. This is true even in situations where those points of view may run counter or potentially be inflammatory to some. However, freedom of expression does not give permission for anyone to engage in speech or behavior that is rooted in intentional displays of hate or to act on their biases in ways that intimidate or threaten the safety of other individuals. 

Bias Incidents
A bias incident is defined in the policy as “behavior that is hostile, harassing, intimidating or discriminatory and is based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability or other difference.” Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A classmate makes anti-Semitic comments
  • Your roommate uses the N-word in conversation
  • A coworker makes fun of another's surname, asking where they're really from
  • Insulting something by saying, “That’s so gay.”
  • Name-calling and graffiti
Bias incidents affect the well-being and success of campus community members and contradict the professed values of St. Norbert College, thus the college has the responsibility to be proactive in preventing and being prepared to address the full range of bias incidents. 

Hate Crimes
A hate crime is any bias incident that involves a crime of violence, property damage or threat. According to deferral and Wisconsin laws, that can include:
  • Written graffiti on the side of a student's car
  • A social media post threatening to assault a specific individual because of their membership in a protected category

While the majority of reported instances of bias-related actions on college campuses (including St. Norbert College) may best fit the definition of a noncriminal bias incident, hate crimes do happen on college and university campuses, and must be reported to meet Clery Act requirements.

Harassment and Discrimination vs. Bias Incidents
Visit the Harassment and Discrimination web page to learn more about the relationships between these topics.

Want to Know More?
View additional resources to learn more about bias-incidents and related topics.

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