Gusties: Stop The Hate!
Bias Incident or Hate Crime
Below is important information regarding bias-related incidents, hate crimes, and the college’s Bias Response Team.
Gustavus Adolphus College aspires to be a community of persons from diverse backgrounds who respect and affirms the dignity of all people. Respect for each individual is central to how we conduct our work and build relationships within our community. These values are consistent with our core values and civic responsibilities as a Liberal Arts, residential, Lutheran college. Therefore, acts of bias, hate, discrimination, or any other behavior that fails to respect the dignity of another individual or group will not be tolerated.
What is Bias and Hate?
- Bias incident: An expression of hostility, whether spoken, written, symbolic or other form, which is motivated by some form of prejudice based on the victim's actual or perceived belonging to a protected class*. Some examples of bias incidents are, but not limited to: graffiti or signs, written/verbal slurs or threats, physical or verbal confrontation, gestures, and/or threatening physical or digital communications.
- Hate crime: A criminal act that involves assault, vandalism, arson, and/or murder against a person, group, or its property, which is motivated by the aggressor’s bias towards a federally protected classes.
- Protected classes: The United States, under federal law, and the state of Minnesota protects certain individuals from being discriminated against based on their membership to certain racial, ethnic or social groups. These protected classes are: race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, familial, age, marital status, disability, public assistance, veteran status, citizenship, and pregnancy status.
*Gustavus Adolphus College is committed to providing a conducive learning and working environment for all of it members. Thus, the college recognizes those protected by the federal government’s anti-discrimination law, as well as those protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act. For more information on the Minnesota Human Rights Act protected classes, please visit http://mn.gov/mdhr/yourrights/mhra.html.
What is the Bias Response Team?
The Bias Response Team (BRT) includes members of the campus community who are committed to supporting affected individuals, helping prevent future occurrences from happening, and creating a more inclusive, welcoming campus for all. BRT members will support those who are affected, investigate reported incidents, and adjudicate those found responsible when necessary.
What can I do if I believe I am a victim or witness to a bias incident or hate crime?
Anyone who believes they have been affected by or witnessed a bias-related incident or hate crime should:
- SAFELY remove yourself from any potentially dangerous situation immediately. If there is an immediate threat to you or someone’s well-being, please call Campus Safety at 507-933-8888 as soon as possible.
- If possible, COLLECT AND PRESERVE EVIDENCE (graffiti, phone call recordings, email messages, letters, etc.). Also, take note of any other witnesses to the incident. This information will be helpful to members of the Bias Response Team for investigation purposes.
- Some common ways to help preserve evidence are: taking pictures of written slurs, graffiti, or a license plate and vehicle; save text messages, voice mails, or notes that reference the biases; and/or, call Campus Safety to assist you with capturing bodily injuries, property damage, or vandalism. Please act immediately to preserve evidence, as accuracy and expediency are critical.
- REPORTING an incident is simple and can be completed in FOUR ways: via the online reporting form; to a member of the Bias Response Team; by calling Campus Safety at 507-933-8888; or, to any of the offices listed below. We encourage witnesses and those who are affected to report the incident within 48 hours to help investigators, however reports are always accepted. Please note: Submitting a report online allows the respondent to choose to report anonymously. However, anonymous reports can make investigation and follow up more difficult.
Campus Safety, Norelius Hall, Basement of "A" Wing, (507) 933-8809
Dean of Students, Johnson Student Union 217, (507) 933-7526
Diversity Center, Jackson Campus Center 107, (507) 933-7449
Human Resources, Carlson Administration Building, Upper Level, (507) 933-7304
Provost’s Office, Carlson Administration Building, Upper Level, (507) 933-7541
Residential Life, Johnson Student Union 209, (507) 933-7529
It is as simple as “Safely, Collect and preserve evidence for Reporting!”
All members of the campus community (students, staff, faculty, and administrators) are encouraged to utilize these reporting systems for bias-related incidents or hate crimes. Reported incidents will be forwarded to members of the Bias Response Team (BRT) for immediate review, investigation, and follow up as appropriate.
Every bias incident or hate crime reported is investigated. The Bias Response Team (BRT), convened out of the Dean of Students Office:
- REVIEWS the bias related report and contacts the reporting party for more information, if the reporting party’s identity is provided. If the identity of the reporting party is unknown, then the BRT may seek additional information from the campus community.
- RESPONDS to the incident by providing support using on and off campus resources.
- RESEARCHES the incident by gathering evidence, collecting statements, and contacting the accused.
- REDRESSES the incident through the student conduct process, criminal prosecution, or other informal options. Please note: The decision to take action is contingent upon those affected or intervention of the College.
- RESOLVES incidents in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, mediation, BRT intervention, and adjudication.
REPORTS to the campus community a summary of the event, current status of the incident, and classification code. All incidents for the current academic year will be recorded on the Bias Response Team online Alert Board (coming soon). The information will be collected and reviewed annually to help develop strategic educational programming efforts.
- Confidentiality will be maintained in all reported cases to the fullest extent possible.
- The Bias Response Team, along with Human Resources and Marketing and Communications, will coordinate and release all public statements for incidents to the broader campus community.