Identifying and Reporting Bias Incidents at Washington College
Washington College is committed to fostering a welcoming community for all students,
faculty, and staff. An informed awareness of the climate on campus is an essential
part of Washington College’s efforts to create a supportive academic, residential,
and professional environment for our diverse population. Washington College has developed
a system for reporting incidents involving bias incidents that include a Bias Education
Response Team (BERT). The BERT is responsible for serving as an educational role to
continue cultivating the values of Washington College.
According to the Washington College student handbook, the College does not tolerate conduct that may be considered a bias incident toward
any of its students, faculty, staff, and community members. The College expects its
students, faculty, and staff to refrain from acts of intolerance directed at other
members of the community, including (but not limited to) harassment, hate speech,
and discrimination. The College does not seek to limit freedom of speech, including
hate speech, but instead wants to ensure all its members can participate fully in
College events and activities without fear of bias, intimidation, or harassment due
to their identity.
Bias Incident – any behavior or actions directed against a person or property that includes the
use of slurs or epithets expressing prejudice on the basis of race, color, national
or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or gender
identity and expression, but is not a criminal offense.
Examples of Bias Incidents:
Offensive social media post
Tampering or defacing property
Using offensive language or slang based on a person’s identity
Distribution of hateful literature
Hate Crime – The FBI defines a hate crime as “a criminal offense against a person or property
motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against race, religion, sexual
orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” According to the Civil Rights
Division of the Office of the Attorney General, the state of Maryland law correspondingly
protects people from crimes threatened or committed against them because of their
“race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national
origin, or because another person or group is homeless. For more information on the
definition and classification of hate click here.
Microaggressions- Brief common exchanges that are often automatic and unintentional verbal, behavioral
and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative insults
to a targeted group or individuals based on race, color, national or ethnic origin,
age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.
Examples of Microaggressions:
Excluding a person due to religious practices
Comments that single out a person based on their identity
Not acknowledging a person’s race
Common college campus locations where bias incidents occur nationwide:
Off-campus social settings
Reporting Bias Incidents
Faculty or staff members, students, or visitors who experience or observe bias incidents,
including hate crimes and microaggressions, are strongly encouraged to report these
incidents to the College. For immediate assistance or in the case of an emergency,
please contact Public Safety at 410-778-7810 24/7.
Persons may self-identify or anonymously report bias incidents by filing a bias incident
report through CARE. Students, staff and faculty may report a bias incident through
the CARE system; please click here. Bias incidents reported by faculty, staff, students, and visitors are reported directly
to the Director of Intercultural Affairs.