The Bias Prevention and Support Team contributes to the College’s efforts to live out The St. Mary’s Way by establishing a prompt, consistent, and sensitive process to respond to bias-related incidents. The Bias Prevention and Support Team (the Team) serves two primary purposes:
- To implement a prompt, consistent, and sensitive process to respond to bias-related incidents, aligned with The St. Mary’s Way. The Team complements and works with other campus entities to connect students, faculty, and staff who have been affected by bias-related incidents to the appropriate support and resources.
- To review the reports the Team receives to collect aggregate data, assess the campus climate, and identify educational and outreach opportunities.
File a Report
To report a Bias-Related Incident:
- Complete the Bias Prevention and Support Team Report Form (you may report anonymously)
- Post in the IDEA2 Comment Box
- Email OIDE@smcm.edu
Throughout the process, all individuals and reports are treated with privacy, sensitivity, and respect, and in accordance with federal, state, and campus guidelines.
For more information, please read the full policy and procedures.
When a Report is Filed
The process chart below summarizes the Team’s process:
Initial Assessment by Co-Chairs
Refer for Investigation as Policy Violation or Hate Crime
Team Implements Measures
- Support, Referrals, Education, Communication
- Record-Keeping and Information Sharing
The types of support and resources offered by the Team may include, but are not limited to: Meetings with Impacted Individual(s): Meetings to gather more information and support impacted individuals or groups in the aftermath of bias-related incidents
Resource Referrals: Identification of and referral to appropriate support services and resources, on- or off-campus
Conflict Resolution: Strategies for conflict resolution through mediation, restorative justice, or dialogue approaches
Engagement with Campus Leadership: Engagement to identify and address systemic issues
Prevention and Outreach: Efforts to increase campus awareness through training for students, faculty, and staff; educational materials; and support of programs and initiatives for all campus community members.
- Michelle Carter, Assistant Vice President of Equity and Inclusion (Co-Chair)
- Derek Young, Interim Dean of Students (Co-Chair)
Team members may consult relevant College faculty, staff, and legal counsel as needed.
Definitions of Bias-Related Incidents and Hate Crimes
Bias-related incidents are acts that demonstrate bias on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. As defined here, bias-related incidents are ones that do not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment prohibited by law (such as Title IX sexual harassment, Title VI or Title VII discrimination on the basis of race, ability-based discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and others). In many cases, the determination of whether a bias-related incident will be addressed by the Bias Prevention and Support Team or another College office or official will be based on the severity and/or pervasiveness of the reported conduct, as determined by a reasonable person.
Examples of bias-related incidents may include graffiti on the wall of a campus building or a theme party based on racial or ethnic stereotypes.
Hate crimes are addressed by the Office of Public Safety in conjunction with local law enforcement, not the Bias Prevention and Support Team. Hate crimes include numerous criminal acts (including vandalism, theft, simple assault, or intimidation) where there is evidence victims were intentionally selected because of their actual or perceived race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or disability. For more information, including the full list of criminal offenses that may be considered hate crimes, see the Office of Public Safety’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report.
For more information about the College’s prohibition on discrimination, see the Non-Discrimination Policy.
The Bias Prevention and Support Team policy language is adapted, with permission, from Davidson College’s Bias Education and Response policies.