Bias Reporting Definitions and FAQs
What is a Bias Incident?
To report a bias incident or hate crime, please use the Bias Incident Reporting Form.
Bias is a preconceived, negative attitude about a person or group based on their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, or disability.
- Bias incidents are any actions committed against a person or group that are motivated in whole or in part, by bias against the person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, or disability.
- Hate crimes are criminal offenses committed against a person or group that are motivated in whole or in part, by bias against the person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, or disability.
All hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes. Examples of bias incidents that fall short of hate crimes:
- Comments that express harmful stereotypes about the above categories, e.g., racial jokes.
- Graffiti on a dorm room white board that expresses bias against the above categories, e.g., sexist or racist language or images. (Note: If the graffiti constitutes criminal vandalism or property damage, it can constitute a hate crime.)
- T-shirts promoting a campus party with language and imagery that objectify women.
- Students posting fliers for the organizational meeting of a new white supremacist student organization.
Who can report incidents of bias?
Any member of our university community can report hate and/or bias-related incidents.
Can I report anonymously?
Bias incident reports can be submitted anonymously; however, filing an anonymous report may prevent the University from effectively investigating reported conduct that is criminal or illegal.
Are all reports confidential?
Individuals have the ability to submit a Bias Incident Form anonymously, should they wish to do so. However, if reporters share their identity, they may be contacted so that more information can be gathered, and the reporter’s expectations for resolution can be discussed. Based on the severity of the incident, and/or the reporter’s wishes for an outcome, the information shared may be discussed with other parties in an effort to come to a resolution. In all reports, the reporter’s privacy will be considered and respected.
Why are bias-related incidents of concern?
The University is committed to fostering a safe, respectful, and inclusive living, learning, and working environment for the entire University community. As community members at Coastal Carolina University, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other, and to take steps to appropriately address threats, violence, hate, and acts of intolerance.
What happens to my report after it is submitted?
When you report a bias incident, the Community Accountability Review Team will use the report to address issues of concern and provide appropriate education to the campus community. If you provide identifying information about yourself, we also have the ability to direct you to supportive resources on campus. If your report identifies conduct that is criminal in nature, or otherwise illegal, such as conduct that would constitute illegal discrimination or harassment, we may determine that law enforcement involvement is necessary.
Will I be required to appear in person?
Not necessarily. If you provide your name and contact information, we may follow up with you to gather additional information. However, your physical presence is not necessarily required in order for us to gather additional information.
If there is an investigation relating to my report, will I have to participate?
Individuals who report or witnesses to bias incidents will not be required to participate in an investigation. However, any additional information or participation in the follow-up process will better assist us in thorougly addressing the concern.
What types of bias incidents can I report to CCU?
All incidents—regardless of severity—can be reported. Once received, a determination will be made as to the most appropriate method of follow-up.
Glossary of Terms:
Please note that these are general terms used to aid in your understanding of reporting, but in no way reflect current CCU policies.
Anti-Bias: An active commitment to challenging prejudice, stereotyping and all forms of discrimination.
Bias: An inclination or preference either for or against an individual or group that interferes with impartial judgment.
Bigotry: An unreasonable or irrational attachment to negative stereotypes and prejudices.
Bullying: The repeated actions or threats of action directed toward a person by one or more people who have (or are perceived to have) more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress or harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological or any combination of these three. Bullying behaviors can include name-calling, obscene gesturing, malicious teasing, rumors, slander, social exclusion, damaging a person’s belongings, threats and physical violence.
Culture: The patterns of daily life learned consciously and unconsciously by a group of people. These patterns can be seen in language, governing practices, arts, customs, holiday celebrations, food, religion, dating rituals and clothing, to name a few.
Cyber-bullying: Involves using the computer or other electronic medium to send mean, hurtful or threatening messages or images about another person for the purpose of hurting or embarrassing the person, to pretend to be someone else in order to make that person look bad and/or to intentionally exclude someone from an online group.
Disability: an objectively measurable condition of impairment, physical or mental.
Discrimination: The denial of justice and fair treatment by both individuals and institution in many arenas, including employment, education, housing, banking and political rights. Discrimination is an action that can follow prejudicial thinking.
Diversity: Means different or varied. The population of the United States is made up of people from diverse “races,” cultures and places.
Gender Identity and Expression: a person’s actual or perceived gender-related characteristics, identity, or expression whether or not typically associated with the person’s sex at birth.
Harassment: Words, conduct or action(usually repeated or persistent) that, being directed at a specific person, annoys, alarms or causes substantial emotional distress in that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
Hate Crimes Data: information, incident reports, records and statistics relating to hate crimes.
Identity: A sense of self, of who one is. In the context of diversity, the term identity relates to the various cultural and social group memberships used by people to define, describe, or categorize themselves or others, including race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientations, abilities, and age.
Multicultural: Means many or multiple cultures. The United States is multicultural because its population consists of people from many different cultures.
Name-Calling: The act of using words, including labels, jokes or other expressions, to describe, demean, taunt or verbally harass a person or group of people.
Prejudice: Prejudging or making a decision about a person or group of people without sufficient knowledge. Prejudicial thinking is frequently based on stereotypes.
Scapegoating: Blaming an individual or group for something based on that person or group’s identity when, in reality, the person or group is not responsible. Prejudicial thinking and discriminatory acts can lead to scapegoating.
Social Justice: Social justice is the principle that every individual and group is entitled to fair and equitable rights and participation in all aspects of society. The social justice movement seeks to ensure equity and the fair distribution of advantages, including social, educational, economic, civil, and political opportunities. Its focus is to increase understanding of oppression and inequality and to take action to overcome them.
Race: A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution.
Ethnicity: Affiliation with a group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution.
National Origin: Related to the country in which a person was born or from which the person’s ancestors came.
Religion: A system of faith and worship, especially such a system recognized and practiced by a particular church, sect or denomination.
Sex: The characteristics of structure and function that distinguish a male from a female organism.
Sexual Orientation: Actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.
"A World Of Difference® Institute Working Definitions." A Campus Of Difference™ Saint Mary's College of California (2009): 191-93
Bias Incident Response Process