Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - Bias

Bias Definition

Click here to report a bias incident.

A bias-related incident is any deliberate act or attempt to injure, harm or harass an individual or group because of the person or group’s gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or any other legally protected status or because the alleged perpetrator perceives that the other person or group has one or more of these characteristics. Such behavior includes acts or attempts that may pose physical or psychological harm or threat to individuals or groups.

The United States Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Hate itself is not a crime—and the federal government is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. Bias related incidents and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias. However, it is important to note the distinction between the two. Hate crimes include a definable crime such as threats of violence, property damage, personal injury and other illegal conduct. A hate crime is an infraction of the law and may be addressed accordingly. A bias-related incident can be a violation of this policy but may not rise to the level of a hate crime, but all hate crimes are bias related-incidents. All incidents should be reported in order to determine the level and type of offense, to support the affected person(s) or group, to mitigate subsequent incidents by raising awareness of the offense, to develop an educational response, and to activate appropriate campus review and judicial processes when necessary to address individual or group behavior.

How Do I Report a Bias Incident?

If you have observed or experienced a bias incident, you are encouraged to contact a faculty or staff member with whom you are comfortable, call one of the following offices, or report online here.

North Manchester Campus

·         University Safety (260) 982-5999

·         Counseling Center (260) 982-5306

·         Human Resources (260) 470-2658

·         Multicultural Affairs (260) 982-5423

·         Residential Life (260) 982-5052

·         Student Life (260) 982-5052

·         Success Center (260) 982-5888

Fort Wayne Campus

·         Student Services (260) 470-2655

All reported bias incidents will be reported to the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) who will provide a summary report to the President’s Office; when appropriate will also notify University Safety.

Responses by the University

·         The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) will review submitted reports, verify facts and communicate promptly with the reporter. The CDO will offer services related to safety, counseling, or other supports as appropriate.

·         The Chief Diversity Officer will promptly document the report of the incident (i.e. who, what, when, where). Additionally, those directly concerned with the incident should take steps to retain any physical evidence.

·         The reporter will be asked what role they would like to play in responding to the incident.

·         The reporter will be assured that their physical and emotional needs are important and appropriate actions will be taken (i.e. possible relocation, academic accommodations, counseling, etc.) by appropriate Manchester staff.

·         Review of reported incidents may include representatives from the President’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, Counseling Services, Multicultural Affairs, Residential Life; Student Experience, Success Center, and University Safety to ensure that services and follow-up are occurring on a coordinated and timely basis.  Human Resources may be contacted when the reporter is a faculty or staff member.

·         When appropriate, enhanced safety measures (patrols, surveillance etc.) may be promptly initiated and directed by University Safety.

·       An incident related to a victim’s gender, sex, gender identity or expression may undergo a Title IX investigation.

Response to accused

·         If accused is positively identified, either the Dean for Student Experience and/or a designee from the Student Experience staff may contact that person or persons.

·         Administrative review will begin promptly and will be directed by the appropriate office. An investigative report will be generated.  If the act involves a crime, appropriate referral to the conduct system may be initiated.

·         The University Conduct System will be activated if the accused is suspected for violating the Student Code as defined by THE SOURCE.  A judicial referral may be made by anyone in the University community.

·         If the accused is a faculty or staff member, the investigative report will be sent to the appointing officer and the appropriate Vice President.  The appointing officer shall provide a copy of the report to the accused. The appointing officer shall take the appropriate action.

Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Assistant Director of Media Relations                               
  • Chief Diversity Officer (leader) 
  • Director of Counseling           
  • Director of Residential Life
  • Vice President for Student Life

Other individuals/offices may be included as needed.  They are, but not limited to Human Resources, and Student Services (Fort Wayne campus).

The group will meet as needed to review information available regarding reported biased incidents and implement strategies to educate and/or engage the campus community as appropriate.  BIRT does not take the place of front-line staff that may be dealing with student concerns.  The work of the BIRT is both preventative and responsive.