DEI-101: Bias Acts Response Team Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville campus, Norwich campus, EOC)

Author: Student Affairs - Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity

Policy Summary

The College responds to bias acts, including hate crimes, according to procedures that have been ratified by President and are reviewed on a regular basis. The Bias Acts Response Team oversees the response to individuals and/or communities who have been affected by bias acts. Reports of bias acts by, or directed at, any member of the campus community, including off campus or online, will be reviewed by the Bias Acts Response Team.

Bias acts encompass a broad range of negative behaviors that target individuals or groups because of actual or perceived characteristics and/or membership in groups. For the health and well-being of the campus community, it is critical that individuals or groups who feel targeted and/or affected by bias acts can easily report incidents and receive services, as needed.

Bias Team Chair(s) is the first respondent to complaints sent through the online bias complaint process. Responses may include investigation and adjudication, as appropriate, by New York State University Police at SUNY Morrisville (NYSUP), the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and/or the Affirmative Action Office. Other kinds of responses (e.g., passive or active programming about bias acts, facilitated meetings among those who have perpetrated bias acts and those who have been targeted, etc.) are arranged on a case-by-case basis. Persons or communities who have been targeted will be contacted by a member of the team to discuss possible responses and options for investigation and adjudication.

The purposes of the bias team include:

  • Assist those who feel that they have been targeted in bias incidents to identify all of the remedies that are available to them.
  • Provide educational (not disciplinary or judicial) remedies in response to complaints of bias incidents (e.g., facilitated conversations for those who were involved, passive or active educational programming for groups, etc.)
  • Maintain a record of bias incidents and generate reports for use by the campus community.

Definitions of Bias Acts and Hate Crimes

According to New York State Penal Law § 485.05, a person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified criminal offense and either intentionally commits the act or intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

A bias act is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group based on the social identity categories of national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, marital status or any combination of these characteristics. The perpetrators may be known or unknown and the act may be verbal, written or physical and occur on the Morrisville campus or within an area that affects the campus community. Activity protected by the First Amendment will not constitute bias acts.

Information about the College’s response to bias acts and hate crimes is disseminated through the Office of Human Resources, the Chief Diversity Officer, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and the NYSUP Office. Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a hate crime or bias act is encouraged to seek assistance from any of those offices.

For more information about the Bias Acts Response Team visit the Bias Acts Response Team page.

Individuals or groups wishing to report a bias act can use this form.