Bias Incident Report
Georgia Southern University – V.A.L.U.E.S
Georgia Southern University values unity and is committed to maintaining a safe, respectful and inclusive environment that celebrates our diverse community and fosters respect for every individual in our community.
Bias Incident Reporting
There are times when this environment may be compromised when a biased or hate-related incident occurs. You can report a bias or hate-related incident as a witness or a victim by completing the Student Complaint Report. Although it is helpful to tell us who you are, reports can be made anonymously.
To submit a report in person:
Go directly to the Dean of Students Office located on the 2nd floor of the Russell Union or call the Dean of Students Office at (912) 478-3326.
To submit a report electronically click HERE.
What is a Bias Incident?
Non-criminal activity committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion, veteran status or any combination of these or related factors. Bias incidents are instances of verbal and non-verbal conduct or behavior that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, hostile or damaging to property by known or unknown perpetrators that occurs on Georgia Southern University campus or within an area that impacts the Georgia Southern University community.
What is the difference between a Bias Incident and a Hate Crime?
- Bias Incident – any act directed against a person or property that includes the use of slurs or epithets expressing bias on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.
- Hate Crime – a hate crime is a criminal offense expressing those same biases.
Hate Speech and Free Speech
An area of concern, but one which is particularly difficult for universities to deal with, is the area of “Hate Speech.” This area is difficult because of the nation’s deep commitment to free speech and all universities’ particular focus on free speech as a major component in the university learning environment. We believe that we can both maintain respect for free speech and engage a fruitful concern for “hate speech.” With this in mind, we define Hate Speech as:
Hate speech is speech, text, images (written/spoken) presented in public that are designed to incite hatred, violence, contempt, or severe ridicule towards, or to intimidate or create terror or fear among members of racial, religious, or other groups (such as sexual minorities).
Click HERE to Report a Complaint.
Who can submit a report?
Anyone with knowledge of a bias incident on campus may report the incident using the Student Complaint Form. That includes faculty, staff, students, as well as parents, alumni and visitors to campus. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who did it. We want you to report it!
How to Report an Incident
Georgia Southern University encourages all members of the campus community who believe they are victims of a bias motivated or hate related incident or crime, or who have witnessed an incident or crime, to follow the following protocol:
- Call 911 if s/he feels threatened or in immediate danger.
- Submit a Student Complaint Report if the threat is not immediate.
- Contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office at (912) 478-5136 for allegations of discrimination and/or harassment that occur within the classroom.
- Contact a person of authority with whom s/he can speak honestly and openly, i.e., hall director, professor, etc. if s/he is not comfortable following the recommended procedures outlined above.
What happens after I submit a report?
Bias incident reports are completely anonymous unless you want the Dean of Students or the Multicultural Student Center to contact you to follow up on the incident. If you supply your name and contact information, this initiates the informal investigation process. If you want to act responsibly and report an incident but you don’t want to give your name, we will still investigate the incident when the facts warrant it. But if we subsequently contact you, it will be because you were identified through the investigation, not because you submitted the anonymous bias report.
Click HERE to Report a Complaint.
Note: the Multicultural Student Center must inform the Office of Public Safety of any crimes reported via the Student Complaint Report.
If you believe you have been the target of or a witness to a bias or hate-related incident, please complete and submit a Complaint. The filing of a Complaint should be taken seriously and by submitting a report, you are attesting that the information provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. Submitting information about bias or hate related incidents is important. It provides the notice necessary for Georgia Southern University to accurately monitor and appropriately respond to activity that negatively impacts the diversity and well-being of our academic community. Thank you for taking the time to complete and Submit this Complaint.
If you are the victim of a hate or bias-related incident, or if you witnessed a hate or bias-related incident, please do the following to document the incident as best you can:
- If you experienced a written slur or discovered graffiti, do not erase the text. The police will need to see it.
- If you have a camera or cell phone camera, take a picture of the evidence, any physical injuries sustained, license plate, or anything else relevant.
- If the incident was verbal, please write down exactly what was said to the best of your recollection.
- Retain any contact information you may have received from possible witnesses.
- Speed and accuracy are critical, so please act immediately!
Last updated: 6/7/2016