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The College: 2016–2018 Bias-Related Incident Report
Introduction

The College of the University of Rochester—home to the undergraduate division of Arts, Sciences, & Engineering—is committed to a safe, open, and respectful campus, where every member is valued and welcomed. This is the College’s first public report on bias-related incidents since a reporting system launched in 2016. It covers two academic years: 2016–2017 and 2017–2018; moving forward, the College will provide annual reports on the status of bias-related incidents on campus.

The bias reporting system was first proposed in 2015 by the College Diversity Roundtable (CDR)—a student-centered committee composed of students, staff, and faculty appointed by the Dean of the College—in response to student concerns about creating a safe and inclusive campus climate. The CDR recommended a system be established for students to report bias incidents on campus to University administration. This includes incidents motivated by discrimination of an individual or group based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

The goal of the reporting system is to capture bias incidents on campus, address them in a timely fashion, and respond to students’ concerns about campus climate.

The College recognizes that not all behavior that violates the Communal Principles also violates the Student Code of Conduct. Some behavior, such as protected speech or conduct that some find offensive, may deserve a response that is not disciplinary. In such cases, we support those who are harmed and educate those who caused the harm. More generally, we seek to make one community in which all members can identify, comprehend, and avoid bias, stereotypes, and prejudices. The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center provides support and resources for students, faculty, and staff to foster a welcoming and inclusive campus.

1.
Understanding and Reporting Bias-Related Incidents

1.1 Understanding a Bias-Related Incident

A bias-related incident is characterized as a behavior or act—verbal, written, or physical—that 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 the College’s 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

1.2 Reporting a Bias-Related Incident in the College

Any member of our University community can report bias-related incidents via our online form. Receipt of a report initiates the Bias-Related Incident process. A staff member in the Center for Student Conflict Management triages the reports to the director of the Burgett Intercultural Center (BIC) or to the Title IX coordinator if it is a sexual misconduct incident. The director of the BIC will contact the individuals involved in the report, forward the report to the appropriate office(s), coordinate a response, and communicate with the University community (when appropriate). All reports of actions by University faculty and staff are forwarded to the Office of Counsel. In addition, reports of faculty bias also go to the respective school deans (sometimes to department chairs).

1.3 Anonymity

Bias-related incident reports are completely anonymous unless the individual making the report wants to be contacted to follow up on the incident. In that case, a name and email address should be provided for follow-up.

1.4 Confidentiality

We make reasonable efforts to share reports and related information only with those who need to know in order to address the reports. Complete confidentiality is not guaranteed. Some reports, such as reports of sexual misconduct, harassment, or criminal activity, must be shared with other University offices. As an example, any reports of sexual misconduct will be forwarded to the Title IX coordinator.

1.5 The College’s Bias-Related Incident Executive Team

The Bias-Related Incident Executive Team plays a vital community role in fostering an inclusive climate in the College and supporting individuals when bias incidents occur. When it is determined that an incident has the potential to disrupt the College 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).

In addition to meeting about specific incidents, the team meets on a semester basis to review trends and determine whether educational efforts are necessary. Regular updates and reports are provided to members of the College Diversity Roundtable on a semester basis as well.

1.6 Executive Team Members

  • Dean of the College
  • Dean of Students
  • Dean for Diversity
  • Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs
  • Director of the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center

Please note that, depending on the reported bias-related incident, any number of community members in the College may be involved in the follow-up.

1.7 Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center

The Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center (BIC) is a joint venture of the Office of the Dean of Students and the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering. It exists to promote cultural awareness and engagement; educate on issues of identity, culture, and diversity; and provide avenues for intersection and opportunities for collaboration.

The BIC works closely with students, staff, faculty, and offices across the College to foster a collaborative environment throughout the year. The staff develops resources that complement and supplement curricular offerings, explore the intersections of identity, build intercultural competence, and promote and encourage cultural understanding and appreciation among the College campus community. In addition, they provide opportunities for education and dialogue on topics such as race, religion, LGBTQ issues, privilege, intercultural communication, and bias-related incidents.

Students can feel free to utilize the intercultural lounge and LGBTQ resource area, which is an ideal location for studying, checking out books and videos, engaging in discussions, and gathering as a community.

2.
Summary Data

The data contained in this document refers to reports submitted via the online Bias-Related Incident Reporting System. The reporting system has only been in use for two years. The following data is broken down by academic year. Data was collected from August to August and includes reports submitted during the summer months.

2.1 How many reports of bias-related incidents in the College were submitted?

Bias-Related Incident ReportsUnique Incidents*Reports Submitted
2017–2018 Academic Year4558
2016–2017 Academic Year50129
Total # of Reports Submitted95187
*Unique incidents may have resulted in more than one report submitted.

2.2 Who submitted the incident reports?

Reporter2017 - 20182016 - 2017Total
Undergraduate Student326294
Anonymous185270
Staff61016
Graduate Student123
Faculty112
Community Member022
Total # of Reports Submitted58129187

2.3 Who is the respondent in the reports?

Respondent*2017 - 20182016 - 2017Total
Unknown171734
Undergraduate Student(s)101828
Staff12618
Faculty6713
Community Member022
Total # of Unique Incidents455095
*Many members of our community may occupy different roles at the University. This chart indicates the role of the respondents while in performance of their responsibilities.

2.4 What types of bias are alleged in these reports?

2017–2018 Academic Year

Types of Bias*Unique IncidentsReports Submitted
Race/Ethnicity1822
Other†1116
Disability77
National Origin58
Political Beliefs12
Religion/Creed11
LGBTQ Identity11
Retaliation11
Total4558
*Individual reports that were submitted may have indicated more than one type of bias; however, the primary type of bias was chosen for reporting purposes. 
†“Other” refers to incidents where there is no clear motive for the bias.

2016–2017 Academic Year

Types of Bias*Unique IncidentsReports Submitted
Race/Ethnicity2236
Religion/Creed88
Political Beliefs713
National Origin37
Age33
LGBTQ Identity23
Disability22
Election Related155
Gender11
Retaliation11
Total50129
*Individual reports that were submitted may have indicated more than one type of bias; however, the primary type of bias was chosen for reporting purposes.

2.5 Where do these incidents occur?

Location of Incident2017 - 20182016 - 2017Total
Digital Context (emails, texts, etc.)71825
Residential Housing61016
Academic Building7815
Other-Not Listed8311
Painted Tunnel707
Walkways and Roads257
Off Campus325
River Campus Libraries303
Student Life Space112
Athletic Facilities/Fields022
Dining Halls011
Interfaith Chapel Grounds101
Total # of Unique Incidents455095

2.6 What happened with these reports once they were submitted?

2017—2018 Academic Year Actions TakenTotal # of Reports
Bias-related incident reports submitted to the Executive Team for review, response, and follow-up58
Reports sent to the Title IX Coordinator for review, response, and follow-up2
Reports sent to Office of Counsel for review, response, and follow-up3
Documented anonymous reports and followed up as deemed appropriate33
Individual meetings held with students and case conferences with colleagues42
Referrals* made for additional resources, education, and support18
*Referrals include but are not limited to the following: College Center for Advising Services, College Diversity Roundtable, David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity, Department of Public Safety, Office of Disability Resources, University Facilities and Services, International Student Engagement, University of Rochester Medical Center, Office for Residential Life and Housing Services, Office of Minority Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students (such as the CARE Network, Center for Student Conflict Management, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Parent and Family Relations, Rochester Center for Community Leadership, and Wilson Commons Student Activities), Simon Business School, and University Intercessor.

 

2016 — 2017 Academic Year Actions TakenTotal # of Reports
Bias-related incident reports submitted to the Executive Team for review, response, and follow-up129
Reports sent to the Title IX Coordinator for review, response, and follow-up8
Documented anonymous reports and followed up as deemed appropriate52
Individual meetings held with students and case conferences with colleagues24
Referrals* made for additional resources, education, and support28
*Referrals include but are not limited to the following: University Athletics and Recreation, College Center for Advising Services, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity, Department of Public Safety, University Facilities and Services, Office for Residential Life and Housing Services, Office of Minority Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students (such as the CARE Network, Center for Student Conflict Management, Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Parent and Family Relations, Rochester Center for Community Leadership, and Wilson Commons Student Activities), Office of the Dean of the College, University Counseling Center, and University Information Technology.
3.
Outcomes and Next Steps

Over the past two years, the Bias-Related Incident Reporting System has allowed members of our community a formal venue for submitting reports. Through this system, we have been able to respond, support, and provide referrals to students and members of our community in a timely fashion. Regular updates regarding these bias-related incident reports were given to members of the College Diversity Roundtable (CDR) on a semester basis. CDR is composed of students, staff, and faculty and continuously provides input regarding the Bias-Related Incident Reporting System. As such, CDR members assisted in providing initial feedback on how the data should be reported. Revisions from these focus group meetings were then integrated into the final outcomes.

Moving forward, we plan to raise awareness about this reporting mechanism for students. Aggregated data will be reported on an annual basis. There were also suggestions to implement a grading scale in which the seriousness, complexity, or severity of an incident can be identified through objective criteria.

The Bias-Related Incident Executive Team will explore this and other suggestions made by members of the CDR and our College campus community at large.