What is Bias?
Bias is defined as any act that is motivated, in whole or in part, due to an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, veteran status, religion or religious practice, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, weight, political affiliation, medical condition, or mental health.
What are Bias-related incidents?
Bias-related incidents are incidents that occur on campus or an area that impacts the university community in which one can reasonably conclude is directed at a student or student organization due to that individual or group’s age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.
What are some examples of Bias-related incidents?
Some examples of bias-related incidents, include, but are not limited to:
- using racial, ethnic, or other slur as a joke or to identify someone,
- posting or commenting on social media combating bigotry,
- racial epithets written on a dry-erase board,
- ridiculing a person’s language or accent,
- racially themed parties,
- language and imagery objectifying women,
- insulting a person’s traditional manner of dress,
- defacement or vandalism (e.g. written slurs, graffiti, hate symbols, etc.), and
- hate messages.
Freedom of Speech and Response to Reports of Bias
In responding to reports of bias, SFA will not violate the First Amendment rights of students, faculty, or staff.
Even when an incident of bias occurs, disciplinary or corrective action may not be taken toward the offender if it is determined that the act of bias was a protected exercise of their freedom of expression.
As a result, in many situations, the AXE Hate Education Response Team’s response to a bias incident will take the form of supporting the students unfavorably impacted by the bias incident.
The team will facilitate services such as counseling, health services, or other referrals as needed to address safety concerns and to provide assistance and comfort to those impacted.
Overview of Team
The Axe Hate Education and Response Team supports the Lumberjack community in promoting an open and inclusive climate and will respond to hate/bias reports by determining the appropriate reaction to improve the civility and safety of the campus community. A primary role of the team is addressing bias-related incidents that do not rise to the level of a crime or a violation of university policy while protecting the First Amendment rights of all Lumberjacks. If the A-HEART determines the reported incident may warrant university disciplinary processes, the report will be forwarded to the appropriate university officials for review, and a member of the team will inform the incident reporter that the report has been forwarded.
The A-HEART promotes campus healing and supports campus efforts to build an inclusive climate respectful of the diversity of the Lumberjack family. Specifically, the A-HEART will develop targeted outreach as identified through campus climate surveys. The team will also address reported incidents of bias that are not direct policy violations as a non-judicial team through informal educational support and intervention.
Campus Climate Experience Form
The Campus Climate Experience Form is for students, faculty, staff, or members of the university community who wish to report behavior that one can reasonably conclude is directed at a student or student organization due to that individual or group’s age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.
This form can be used by community members to report an incident believed to impact campus climate and campus inclusion or an incident that is bias related. The form can be used to report:
- bias incidents
- safety and security concerns
- and other incidents or concerns that impact campus inclusion but are not listed above.
Campus climate experiences submitted on this form will be reviewed by the AXE Hate Education and Response Team to help improve the inclusion, civility and safety of the campus community. You can also submit a more thorough form using the link at the top of the Campus Climate Experience Form if you would like to give more details or want to be contacted for help or assistance.
Reports with limited information may limit the team’s ability to follow up on an incident. If you choose to include your contact information, a member of the team will follow up with you within two university business days from the date that the report was submitted.
View the Axe Hate Education and Response Team Reporting Protocol flow chart.
Bias-related incidents often do not rise to the level of a crime or a violation of state law, university policy or the Student Code of Conduct. If the A-HEART determines the reported incident may warrant university disciplinary processes, the report will be forwarded to the appropriate university officials for review. A member of the team will inform the incident reporter that the report has been forwarded.
This form is not designed to report incidents of discrimination, hostile environment, sexual harassment or Title IX violations and is not for reporting fraud, compliance or ethics of university employees unrelated to campus climate, inclusion or bias.