REPORT A BIAS INCIDENT
What is a bias incident?
A bias incident is any act that appears and/or is perceived by the targeted person(s) to be motivated by hostility toward one or more of their identities (i.e., race, religion, nationality, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, etc.). A bias incident does not need to rise to the level of a violation of university policy or the law.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offenders bias(es) against race, religion, nationality, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation.
Who can submit a Bias Incident Report?
The Bias Incident Report Form is available to EVERYONE to report an incident of bias impacting a member of the Valparaiso Community.
Faculty and staff – remember – You are obligated to report things you experience, see and hear as a responsible employee of Valparaiso University.
How do I submit a Bias Incident Report?
If you have experienced, witnessed, or been informed about an incident of bias and/or hate, you have three options to submit a report.
- An online report form is available at valpo.edu/bias. Once the online form has been completed, the Bias Incident Assistance and Support (B.I.A.S) Committee will receive an email notification.
- You may submit a phone report by calling Valparaiso University Police Department (VUPD) at 219.464.5430. VUPD is available 24/7.
- You can request an in-person report be submitted by speaking directly to any Valparaiso University Faculty or Staff member.
Please use this form to report an incident of bias impacting a member of the Valparaiso community. Reports will be received during business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding university holidays and closures). Reports received outside of business hours will be received during the next business day. All new reports will be reviewed by the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee during their weekly meeting and any necessary contact will be made following that discussion.
If you are concerned about the immediate health and safety of yourself or someone else, call 911 or the Valparaiso University Police Department (VUPD) at 219.464.5430.
What happens after I submit a report?
A member of the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee will contact you to schedule an in-person meeting. The team member will:
- Listen and support you as you provide details of the incident
- Identify campus resources to help you understand your options
- Walk you through what to expect should you choose to use the recommended resources.
After your in-person meeting and referrals, you will receive an email from your team member to make sure the B.I.A.S Committee has provided you with everything you need to resolve the incident.
Can I report anonymously?
Yes, if you choose to remain anonymous, none of your personal information (i.e., name, email, IP address) will be reported. However, Valparaiso University may have an institutional or legal obligation to address a reported incident, to investigate meaningfully, or to take corrective action (where warranted), and therefore the University cannot guarantee confidentiality where it would conflict with Valparaiso University’s legal obligation. This means anyone named in a report may be followed up with. In the event we are provided with the alleged perpetrator personal information, it will only be shared with individuals with legitimate need to know, in compliance with University policy for follow-up and resolution.
Why should I report a bias incident?
- We cannot do it alone! Valparaiso University is continuously assessing the campus climate and evolving our practices to serve the campus community better. We need your report so we can be better!
- Also, when incidents go un-addressed, it creates a sense of shared apathy and can give the impression that a place is unsafe which can negatively affect your, or other people’s, health and happiness.
- All campuses struggle with bias incidents. College campuses are the third most common location where bias incidents occur (after residential homes and public places i.e., streets and sidewalks).
Why does Valparaiso University care about Bias Incidents?
- Valparaiso University is committed to supporting a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that can ignite in our students, faculty, and staff a true sense of belonging and help them achieve their greatest potential.
- It’s the law! Colleges and Universities are required to track and report bias and hate crimes through laws like Title VII, IX, and the Clery Act.
- Bias/hate crimes can draw immediate and negative attention to campus, and to recover from the consequences of mishandling of an ”incident” of can take an institution years.
- A safe and fulfilling campus experience is intrinsic to the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff.
Valparaiso University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Valparaiso University is a welcoming community, grounded in the Lutheran tradition, built on values of mutual respect, positive regard, freedom, and reliant on grace. We strive to boldly include all individuals and groups who contribute to the life of our campus in a mutually beneficial way. Difference is a strength and reason for celebration, and we affirm that we are most inclusive when we bring groups together to make decisions in collaborative, equitable ways.
Our values do not support language or behavior that demeans members of our campus based on age, appearance, ethnicity, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex, disabilities (visible and invisible), ideological/political positions, intellectual perspective, socio-economic status, immigration status, veteran status, and national or regional origin. Actions and behaviors based on positions or perspectives that inherently marginalize, oppress, or deny full dignity to all are not tolerated.
Bias Incident Assistance and Support Mission Statement
Valparaiso University supports a diverse and affirming campus community, a safe and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, students, and guests. We at Valpo recognize the dignity of all, and help to ensure that our campus community is welcoming for all. The Bias Incident Assistance and Support Team is a University initiative that evaluates reports of bias, provides resources for support, and implements opportunities for educational interventions. Our goal is to enhance the campus community culture by promoting positive changes.
Bias Incident Assistance and Support Purpose Statement
Valparaiso University is committed to supporting a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that can ignite in our students, faculty, and staff a true sense of belonging and help them achieve their greatest potential. Valparaiso University’s Bias Incident Assistance and Support is a team of faculty and staff that coordinates a system through which members of the Valpo community can report incidents of bias and offers a range of processes that can be used to address the harm caused by bias. Bias Incident Assistance and Support team supports bias-affected individuals and groups, provides education, and facilitates dialogue with the aim of repairing harm and preventing future instances of bias. Bias Incident Assistance and Support uses restorative justice methods to respond to these issues. We explore several domains: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Who has the obligation to address the needs, to put right the harms, to restore relationships? Restorative Justice is focused on the needs of those harmed, as well as those causing harm, and the community where these situations occur. It is about the people that have been impacted by a situation, and how to repair harm and restore relationships.
It is not the purpose of the Bias Incident Assistance and Support team to take the place of other Valpo administrative processes that also deal with community members’ conduct, behavior and safety, such as the Dean of students, VU Police, or the Title IX office. Rather, the purpose is to connect those who have witnessed or experienced an act of bias with appropriate support, resources, or to start a restorative justice process. Bias Incident Assistance and Support team does not initiate disciplinary action or impose sanctions regarding bias incidents. BIAS works with the pertinent university offices that handle university punitive processes. Our focus is restorative and educational.
What does the Bias Incident Assistance and Support Committee (B.I.A.S.) do?
B.I.A.S committee’s role is to:
- Convene weekly to discuss and respond to reported Bias Incidents.
- Coordinate a comprehensive response to incidents.
- When possible, hold responsible and provide support to those who identify themselves as involved in a bias incident.
- Monitor the campus climate around inclusivity and safety.
- Promote civility and respect by proactively educating the campus community to prevent bias incidents.
B.I.A.S committee Membership:
The Bias Incident Assistance and Support team is comprised of the following:
- Co-Chair, Assistant Vice President for Diversity Equity and Inclusion
- Co-Chair, Executive Director of Human Resources
- Member, Dean of Students
- Member, Chief of University Police
- Member, Director of Human Resources
- Member, Director of International Students and Scholars
- Member, Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs
- Member, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling