BIAS INCIDENT RESPONSE PROCEDURE
The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Plan is to provide a timely and effective response to incidents of bias and prejudice; to improve the campus climate; to ensure accountability, and to provide advocacy for persons affected by bias motivated incidents. This procedure is not intended to violate the individual rights of any persons, including the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
If you or another are injured or in any immediate danger, call 911 for assistance. If you witness or are the victim of a crime, notify the police at once 860-832-2375.
Bias Incident: an act of discrimination[i], hate speech[ii], harassment[iii], or retaliation[iv] by known or unknown offenders that occurs on the CCSU campus or property, and that one could reasonably conclude is directed at a member or group of the Central Connecticut State University community because of that individual's or group's actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, ex-offender status, gender, gender identity/presentation, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these or other related factors.
Critical incident: Critical incidents are those situations that might present a risk of significant bodily harm, property damage, legal issues, or media notification, and that require immediate action beyond the scope of a normal bias investigation.
Hate Crime: Connecticut's hate crime laws are in two broad categories. First, there are a number of laws aimed specifically at hate (e.g., Deprivation of rights. Desecration of property. Cross burning). However, other actual criminal offenses may also be hate crimes if motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias toward the affected individuals' status. Various elements, alone or in combination, determine whether or not a crime is a hate crime. All hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes. The CCSU Police Department is responsible for investigating all reports of crimes including alleged hate crimes. The CCSU Police may also involve other police agencies at the state or federal level depending upon the seriousness of the crime. The Office of Student Conduct will also investigate if the alleged offender is a student.
Victim/Person Affected: Not all persons affected by an incident will consider themselves victims. Many will, however, so the terms are interchangeable depending on the situation. Individuals affected by a bias incident are not always limited to those individuals or institutions directly targeted by the crime. For example, racist graffiti or vandalism on campus may target an entire population without actually damaging any of their individual property. While in this case, damaged university property belongs solely to the institution, indirect affected persons of such incidents are also the individuals whose status is evoked in the racist message. This Plan will advocate for persons affected by bias incidents, and also track bias incidents that are not perpetrated against any particular individual if such incidents generate an indirect, but unequivocal impact on the individuals or populations at risk (e.g., defacing of public property, burning down of student property, destroying certain books in a library, altering of road-side signs).
Complainant: Any individual reporting an alleged bias incident.
Report Recipient - Any faculty or staff member who receives a report or becomes aware of a bias incident.
II. REPORTING AN INCIDENT
There are three ways that incidents can be reported: 1) by the affected individual(s); 2) by a Third Party; 3) by a Report Recipient.
1) Report by the affected individual(s): CCSU encourages all members of the campus community who believe they are affected individual(s) of a bias motivated incident or crime to immediately report the incident to the Office of Diversity and Equity and, in the case of hate crimes, to the University Police Department. Although reporting is not required, it is strongly encouraged. Immediate reporting is an important factor in successful investigation and in order to take prompt corrective actions. When the report is made, the affected individual(s) must complete a Bias Incident Report Form (Attachment A). As soon as is practically possible, the Chief Diversity Officer or his designee will initiate the Bias Incident Report protocol (See flowchart, Attachment B).
2) Report by a Third Party: Any member of the university community can file a third party report to the ODE regarding a potential bias motivated incident, or, the case of a hate crime, to the CCSU Police. Even if the affected individual(s) does not wish to come forward, a report is encouraged, as it can provide useful information for protecting the community-at-large and connecting similar reports while protecting the affected individuals' anonymity.
3) Report Recipient: When the affected individual(s) of or a witness to a bias incident reports it to a faculty or staff member or another student, that person becomes a Report Recipient. He or she should contact the Office of Diversity and Equity and complete a Bias Incident Report Form (Attachment A). As soon as is practically possible, the Chief Diversity Officer or designee will initiate the Bias Incident Report protocol (See flowchart, Attachment B). The Report Recipient may also determine that it is appropriate to contact others, such as a Department Chair, or the University Police in the case of an alleged hate crime.
III. THE BIAS INCIDENT RESPONSE PROTOCOL
The Bias Incident Response Protocol provides a means for responding in a timely and effective manner to bias motivated incidents at CCSU. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) manages this process.
When a bias incident or hate crime is reported, the ODE will determine if it constitutes a critical incident, and immediately notify the Office of the President, the Executive Committee and the Marketing and Communications Office. Marketing and Communication shall issue a communiqu as soon as possible to notify members of the CCSU community and the media about the incident. All questions from the media regarding bias incidents or hate crimes are coordinated by the Office of Marketing and Communications.
The ODE will then notify those university offices/officials deemed appropriate. These may include:
University Police Department
Counseling and Wellness Center
Office of Student Affairs
Office of Student Conduct
Student Government Association officers
Within 24 hours of receipt of a Bias Incident Report, the Chief Diversity Officer will convene an Ad Hoc Response Committee, to include the Director of Marketing and Communications, the University Ombudsperson, and other appropriate university officials determined on a case by case basis. The Response Committee will determine the appropriate action, including the development of an Action Plan, if needed. In the case of Critical Incidents, action plans must be approved by the President. Depending on the circumstances, investigations of the incident might be carried out by the ODE, the Office of Student Conduct, and/or the CCSU Police Department.
The ODE will notify the person who filed the report of the recommended action by the ad hoc committee.
The University Ombudsperson will be the main contact person for the affected individual(s) in the incident.
IV. ASSISTANCE FOR AFFECTED INDIVIDUAL(S)
The University's highest concern is for the emotional and physical well being of persons affected by a bias motivated incident or hate crime. The person(s) affected shall have access to all university services that can help them maintain emotional and psychological well-being and provide for their safety. For example, affected students may require assistance in changing their academic program or living arrangements if these changes are reasonably available. The ODE (2-1653) will be the first official point of contact for facilitating affected individual(s) access to all needed services.
Role of the Ombudsperson
The University Ombudsperson will neither investigate nor adjudicate complaints relating to a bias motivated incident or hate crime. In the event of a bias incident report, the University Ombudsperson will be notified by the Office of Diversity and Equity, and will serve as the direct contact between the affected individual(s) of the incident and the Ad Hoc Response Committee. The ombudsperson will make every effort to contact the affected individual(s) within 24 hours and, while respecting whatever decision they have made, he will encourage them to get some type of assistance.
The Ombudsperson will also ensure that other appropriate services are made available to the affected individual(s). These may include, but are not limited to:
Informal mediation efforts as appropriate.
Referral to the Counseling and Wellness Center to meet with a counselor who will provide additional emotional support and assist the affected individual(s) in sorting out feelings associated with the incident.
If Appropriate, referral to the Women's Center
Appropriate medical referral, if needed.
Referral to the appropriate university offices for advice on discrimination complaint procedures, contractual remedies, alternative housing assignments, or academic assistance.
Office of Diversity and Equity 860-832-1653
CCSU Police 860-832-2375
Counseling and Wellness Center 860-832-1945
Office of the Ombudsperson 860-832-2216
Human Resources 860-832-1751
Office of Student Conduct 860-832-1667
Academic Affairs 860-832-2228
Student Affairs 860-832-1601
Chief Administrative Officer 860-832-1776
Student Government Assoc 860-832-3740
Women's Center 860-832-1655
Bias Incident Report
If you have been a person affected by or a witness to a bias incident, please complete and submit this Report to the Office of Diversity and Equity. The filing of a Bias Incident Report is taken seriously, and by submitting a report, you are attesting that the information provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Submitting information about bias incidents is important. It provides the notice necessary for CCSU to accurately monitor and appropriately respond to activity that negatively impacts the climate and well-being of our academic community. Thank you for taking the time to complete and submit this report.
1. Individual reporting alleged bias incident (Complainant):
Name/Department or Residence Hall
E-mail address (Optional)
Are you the affected individual(s)? Yes ___ No___
If No, please identify the affected individual(s) (if known) _________________
2. University status of Complainant(s):
University status of Affected individual(s) (if known):
3. Date and time of alleged bias incident: _______ / ________ / ________ __________a.m./p.m.
4. Location of alleged Bias Incident (be specific)_______________________________________________________
5. Information about suspected offender (if known):
Relationship to affected individual(s):_______________________________________________________________________
University Status of suspected offender: _____________________________________________________________________
6. Type of Bias Incident (check all that apply):
7. Suspected Motivation of Bias Incident (check all that apply):
Gender Identity or Expression
Other (please identify):______________________
8. Summary of Bias Incident (Attach additional sheets as needed): ______________________________________________________________________________________
I affirm that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
Signature of complainant
[i] An act of discrimination is the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor or against, a person or thing based on the group, class or category in which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.
[ii] Hate speech or fighting words are those personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction. They are words that are directed to the person of the hearer, and which by their very utterance tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. (See Opinion of the Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut directed to David G. Carter, Sr. Chancellor, Connecticut State University System and dated November 1, 2007.)
[iii] Harassment is the chronic unwanted and unwelcome treatment of another that has the effect of interfering with an individual's work, educational performance or status or creates a hostile environment. It must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive. The conduct must also be considered sufficiently serious to deny or limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program or must be sufficiently severe so as to substantially interfere with a person's employment opportunities.
[iv] Retaliation is discrimination against an individual or group that has opposed any practice made unlawful or because the person or group has made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing regarding another person or group's unlawful conduct.