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Supporting Inclusion

Bias-Related Incident Response

A bias-related incident is characterized as a behavior or act—verbal, written, or physical—which is personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, or age. 

Behavior reflecting bias may constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or our Communal Principles.

Examples of bias-related incidents include:

  • Defacement and vandalism
  • Racial epithets written on someone’s dry-erase board
  • Posting or commenting on social media related to someone’s identity in a biased matter
  • Racially themed parties
  • Using a racial, ethnic, or other slur in a joke or to identify someone
  • Threats, destruction of personal property, harassment, or threatening phone calls or emails
  • Ridiculing a person’s language or accent
  • Insulting a person’s traditional manner of dress
  • Hate messages and symbols
  • Language and imagery objectifying women
  • Other subtle (and extreme) examples of bias incidents

The University of Rochester strongly encourages reporting bias-related incidents that occur on campus.

2018 Reports

The University has released its 2018 reports on Diversity and InclusionSexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, and College Bias-Related Incidents to provide more transparency about issues of diversity, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. It’s the first time the reports have been released together, online, and in an easy-to-navigate digital format. Print-ready PDFs are available for download.

“This is part of a year-long effort to continue to build Rochester’s Culture of Respect, and to reinforce our Vision and Values,” says University President Richard Feldman. “Recommendations that came out of the independent investigation’s final report were an important catalyst for how we document and share this information. The reports have been the work of many hands, and I would like to thank all those who worked to create these important documents.

The University has published an annual Diversity Report since 2007. This is the first time that Title IX and Bias-Related Incident reports have been released publicly.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can report incidents of bias?

Any member of our University community can report bias-related incidents.

Can I report anonymously?

Yes! Bias-Related Incident reports are completely anonymous unless you want to be contacted to follow up on the incident. In that case, please provide your name and email address for follow up.

Are all reports confidential?

Depending on the type of incident reported and its possible severity or impact on the safety or well-being of others in the University community, the director of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center is required to forward reports of illegal activity, discrimination, or sexual misconduct to the appropriate University department. As an example, any reports of sexual misconduct will be forwarded to the Title IX coordinator. 

What is the role of the Bias-Related Incident Executive Team?

The Bias-Related Incident Executive Team plays a vital educational role in fostering an inclusive campus climate and supporting individuals when bias incidents occur. When it is determined that the incident has the potential to disrupt the campus community in a significant way, the Bias-Related Incident Executive Team is responsible for making an immediate determination about the incident, reaching out to others (if needed), and formulating a response (when appropriate).

Who are the Bias-Related Incident Executive Team members?

The Bias-Related Incident Executive Team may include any number of the following, as well as other members of the campus community, depending on the reported incident:

  • Dean of the College
  • Dean of Students
  • Dean for Diversity Initiatives, Faculty Development and Diversity Officer, and Director of the Kearns Center
  • Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs
  • Director of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center