Bias Incident Committee
As part of the University’s commitment to an inclusive campus community, the Bias Incident Committee has been developed to address incidents that occur on-campus or at any Bryant-sponsored events.
Dr. Daniel Ames
Dr. Terri Hasseler
Dr. Mailee Kue (Co-Chair)
Dr. Christopher Morse
Jarely Paulino Diaz
Dr. Jason Sawyer
Meaghan Trayner (Co-Chair)
Protection from Harassment Policy
We urge all community members to familiarize themselves with the Protection from Harassment Policy and to report promptly any incidents that violate the standards that we as a community seek to uphold.
Upon receiving an incident, a member of the Bias Incident Committee will reach out to the reported and/or impacted individual(s) to provide support and information about the process and options for next steps. The Bias Incident Committee meets weekly to review reports and makes determinations. The committee can make recommendations about educational sanctions when requested to do so by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Human Resources. The committee does not have authority to recommend nor apply disciplinary sanctions. The committee additionally shall provide educational and other initiatives that positively foster an open, inclusive campus climate.
Bias Incident Definition
A bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation toward a person, property or group based race, religion, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, pregnancy, marital status, or any other category protected by law. It can be an event, image, utterance, or behavior that demeans or degrades an individual or group and can occur physically, verbally, in writing or via social media or electronic means. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may or may not be an unlawful act.
In identifying a bias incident, the focus is on behavior that impacts an individual (or individuals) or the Bryant University community. Such acts may result in creating a hostile environment and may have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical impact on an individual, group, and/ or community. Not every behavior rises to the level of a policy violation and yet some may be addressed to the extent it is inconsistent with our values. The determination whether an incident rises to a policy violation is dependent upon the behavior and context in which it occurred.
Examples of Prohibited Conduct Prohibited conduct may include (but not limited to), among other things, making offensive or derogatory remarks, telling racist or sexist jokes about another person’s age, color, creed, disability, gender identity/expression, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or membership in another protected class.
Additional examples of prohibited conduct that might be found to be a bias incident include degrading, public tirades from a student, faculty, or staff member; deliberate, repeated humiliation, including deliberate humiliation on the basis of one of Bryant’s protected classes; interference with the life or work of a person with a disability; desecration of religious articles or places; interference with the reasonable pursuit of religion; insults about loss of personal and professional competence addressed to an older person; using a racial, ethnic, or other slur directly toward someone, to identify someone, or to target someone such as leaving a message on a door; imitating someone with any kind of disability, or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice; drawing or creating pictures that imitate, stereotype, or belittle/ridicule someone because of their association (real or perceived) with one of Bryant’s protected classes; racist or derogatory graffiti or images/drawings; vandalizing the personal property of someone who is a member of one of Bryant’s protected classes.
Prohibited conduct may occur through:
- Direct oral expression and/or physical gestures or actions;
- Notes, letters, and other forms of written communication distributed via U.S. mail, campus mail, or otherwise made visible to the public;
- Phone calls, phone messages, or other forms of electronic verbal communication;
- Email, text messages, instant messaging, social networks, or other means of electronic communication.
The Bias Incident Committee uses the following framework to determine whether an incidence is related to bias:
- Does the behavior demean or degrade an individual or group based on the person’s or group’s actual or perceived identity?
- Does the incident appear to be bias motivated?
- Does it violate university policy?
- Does it violate the shared values and expectations of university community members?
- Who is affected by the incident?
- Might the incident be investigated as a hate crime?
Impact of Bias Incidents
The effect of bias incidents or hate crimes are distinctly harmful because the attack is based on membership in an identity group. The additional pain and significance of the event in the victim’s life takes on added dimensions, including:
- a lingering sense of fear and vulnerability
- a reactionary response such as action or bias against the perpetrator’s group
- a feeling of an inability to prevent future attacks
- severe emotional and psychological impacts
- symbolic reinforcement of the legitimacy of the discrimination
- a loss of importance and self-worth, for both the victim and the victim’s group
- inability to concentrate, study, sleep or engage in academic work
- distrust of others, social isolation
- Call the 24-hour Bias Incident Hotline at 401-232-6920.
- Complete the Bias Incident Report Form.
- Visit the Department of Public Safety or contact a member of the Committee.
All reports will be investigated by the appropriate offices, and individuals involved will be notified of actions taken.