Why Report an Incident or Crime?

While bias incidents sometimes target specific individuals, they often violate an entire group or community. Graffiti on the wall, defaced fliers, and anonymous emails convey a clear message of intolerance. When a bias incident does target specific individuals because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic, even those persons not directly targeted may feel at risk. Bias incidents create schisms within the community, and may create hostilities and tensions between groups.

Often, no one knows who committed the bias-related act; the act is anonymous. However, it is important that anyone who sees evidence of a bias incident report it. Collecting accurate data about hate and bias incidents on campus aids the University in understanding the climate of our community, designing services and programs for the campus, and responding with quick and effective interventions to these incidents.

Reporting the incident may lead to an investigation, and if either a witness or the investigation identifies the person responsible, the University can hold that person accountable for their acts. When appropriate, a judicial response communicates a clear message about the standards and behaviors that are acceptable at the University.