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Bias Related Protocol

Colby-Sawyer College values our diverse community and is committed to maintaining a humane atmosphere in which the sex, sexual identity, gender identity or gender expression, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, mental or physical disability, family or marital status, or veteran status, or genetic information of an individual or group are respected and not disparaged. 

Acts of intolerance require a response that asks all members of our community to uphold our shared values. Since incidents often fall beyond the reach of policy and laws, it is imperative that we respond as a unified community to denounce such behavior.

The following procedures are in place to efficiently and effectively address incidents which could be considered bias related incidents in a timely manner. 

​What is a Bias Related Incident?

Not all hateful behavior rises to the level of a crime. Bias Related Incidents refer to any act or behavior that is a violation of the college’s student Code of Community Responsibility (Code), the college’s Title IX Policies and Procedures, and/or for employees, the college’s Employee Handbook that is reasonably believed to be motivated by a consideration (real or perceived) of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, gender, national origin, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.


The college recognizes that harassment related to an individual's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression can occur in conjunction with misconduct related to an individual's race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, or disability. Targeting individuals on the basis of these characteristics is also a violation of the college policy. Under these circumstances, the college will coordinate the investigation and resolution efforts outlined in these policies as well as the Code of Community Responsibility (for students) and Employee Handbook (for employees), to address harassment related to the targeted individual's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression together with the conduct related to the targeted individual's race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, or disability.

A hate crime is defined by the Uniform Crime Reports as “a criminal act which was motivated by bias against any person or group of persons, or the property of any person or group of persons because of the ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the person or group, or bias based upon the perception that the person or group has one or more of those characteristics.”

Responding to Anonymous Bias Related Incidents

Often bias related incidents are anonymous incidents of graffiti or vandalism where the identity of an alleged perpetrator is unknown. There are also times when the complainant chooses to report anonymously. The reporting steps for such incidents are the same as for when the alleged perpetrator of such an incident is known or the complainant chooses to self-identify; however, the response varies to some degree.

Instances of the aforementioned behavior should be reported and will be investigated and may be addressed by the college’s student conduct system or via an employment action (Human Resources). Community members are encouraged to report this type of incident whether as the victim or as a third party. The college urges reflection on the impact of such incidents on an individual, on the group that individual may represent, and on the community as a whole.

Reporting Steps

Students, faculty, and staff who see or become aware of a bias related incident are expected file a report with Campus Safety.

  • The Bias Incident Reporting Form is an online form accessible from the Campus Safety, Citizenship Education and Diversity websites.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who witness or experience a bias related incident can also report it to Campus Safety in person or via email. 


  • Campus safety will conduct an investigation into the incident. The investigation may include taking statements from any and all witnesses, collecting evidence, and taking photographs.
  • If the incident is directed at a specific individual, that individual’s privacy will be maintained to the extent possible. Every effort will be made to ensure that the individual’s safety is protected.  The reporting party may self- identify or remain anonymous. Anonymous reporting; however, may impact the college’s ability to pursue appropriate action against the alleged perpetrator.
  • If the safety and/or well-being of the reporting party, the alleged victim, or the alleged perpetrator (respondent) is in question, both parties may be provided with options for supportive measures. Additionally, in cases that are referred to the hearing process, the vice president of student development/dean of students (or designee) reserves the right to impose interim measures on parties pending a formal resolution hearing.
  • Any attempt by a person to intimidate, harass, or punish an individual who is bringing a complaint or involved in the hearing process, will result in disciplinary action.
  • If a student or students are identified as alleged perpetrators (respondents), those students will be referred to the college’s student conduct system or Title IX Sexual Harassment process for resolution. Any retaliatory action against a complainant, witness, respondent or any member of the resolution process is a violation of the Code of Community Responsibility and/or Title IX Sexual Harassment process. If an employee or employees are identified as alleged perpetrators, those persons will be referred to the college’s Human Resources department for resolution. In cases when allegations are allegations of violation the college’s Title IX Sexual Harassment policies, the person(s) will be referred to the college’s Title IX Coordinator. 

Bias Incident Response Team

Once an anonymous bias related incident has been reported to and investigated by Campus Safety, the director of campus safety will notify the vice president and dean of students.

The vice president and dean of students will convene a Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT). This team will evaluate the known facts of the incident and determine a plan of action to address the incident and the community impact.

The BIRT Is:
  • Committed and organized to assist students who report instances of hate and/or bias
  • Dedicated to fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus community for all students
  • Focused on action oriented initiatives that will provide early intervention and education on acts of bias and hate for the campus community
The BIRT is Not:
  • An investigative unit or punitive body (BIRT will connect students with Citizenship Education for student conduct matters as appropriate)
  • Crisis or emergency services. Any student in need of campus safety, police intervention or immediate assistance should call Campus Safety at (603) 526-3300 or, if the student is in need of emergency assistance, local police at 911.
The BIRT May Recommend Some or All of the Following:
  • Sending out a campus wide email message from the vice president and dean of students that:
    • provides a brief description of the incident;
    • lists any information about initial steps that have been taken to address the incident; and
    • provides instructions about how to report information about the incident (or related incidents).
  • Posting a counter message or sticker that says “DON’T TOLERATE HATE” where the graffiti or vandalism occurred;
  • Making “DON’T TOLERATE HATE” buttons available for students, faculty, and staff to show support for/solidarity with the offended person or persons;  or in some other way, communicating an affirmative message consistent with the values of the college community and expressing support for the target(s) of the bias incident;
  • Individual or group meetings with those who have been impacted by the incident;
  • forums, trainings, or discussions about the impact of the incident on the community and steps the community can take to prevent like incidents; and/or
  • Informal resolution measures such as mediation, facilitated dialogues between parties if appropriate.

The vice president and dean of students will keep a log of all anonymous and self-identified bias related incidents including communications and responses related to each incident.

To satisfy Clery hate crime requirements the college must report instances of the following crimes when they are motivated by bias (either perceived or real):

  • Murder and Non-negligent manslaughter  
  • Forcible sex offenses
  • Non-forcible sex offenses
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Burglary
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Arson
  • Larceny-theft
  • Simple assault
  • Intimidation
  • Destruction/damage/vandalism of property