By recognizing, reporting and preventing bias-related incidents, we can foster an even more inclusive campus community where all members feel welcomed and supported. Here are some steps you can take to Stop Bias at Syracuse University:
If you have experienced or witnessed a bias-related incident, we urge you to report it to the University.
What is Bias?
Bias is defined as behavior that constitutes an expression of hostility against a person or property of another because of the targeted person’s age, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, political or social affiliation, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
While it isn't always easy to recognize, bias can be present in the classroom, workplace, and media, and often stems from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, and stereotypes. Even when offenders are not aware of bias or do not intend to offend, bias may be revealed that is worthy of a response and can serve as an opportunity for education.
Examples of Bias
- Telling jokes based on a stereotype
- Racist or derogatory graffiti or images/drawings
- Calling a person or a behavior “gay” as an insult
- Using a racial, ethnic, or other slur to identify someone
- Making a joke about someone being deaf, hard of hearing, blind, etc.
- Imitating someone with any kind of disability, or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice
- Making comments on social media about someone’s disability, ethnicity, race, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs
Bias-Related Incidents and Hate Crimes
Bias-related incidents and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias. However, it is important to note the distinction between the two.
Hate crimes are motivated by bias, but they include a definable crime, such as: threats of violence, property damage, personal injury, or other illegal conduct. A hate crime is an infraction of the law and will be addressed accordingly. Please report hate crimes to the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224 or #SU (#78) from a cell phone.
Bias-related incidents, while abhorrent and intolerable, do not meet the necessary elements required to prove a crime. However, bias-related incidents do require the active participation of a community committed to fundamental human dignity and equality to successfully address them.
How Can I Report Bias?
Use the STOP BIAS online reporting tool to notify the University if you experience a bias-related incident. The reporting tool allows you to report anonymously or share your contact information for follow up.
Once a report is made to the University, you'll receive an automatic acknowledgement of your submission, followed by contact from the University, if requested, within 48 hours. You will be contacted by either the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services, Office of Student Living, or the Office of the Dean of Students, depending on the nature of the reported incident. Additional University departments, such as Public Safety, Title IX, and the Counseling Center, will be notified, as appropriate. Your University contact will work with you to gather more information about the incident and identify next steps, which can include a disciplinary process or appropriate intervention.
Importance of Reporting
Reporting an act of bias helps us understand the types of incidents occurring, biases that exist, and potential trends on our campus. By reporting, we can also respond accordingly to provide support, intervention, or education.
Students can schedule a meeting with a case manager in the Office of Student Assistance to discuss a bias-related incident or to connect with an on-campus resource. They are available by calling 315.443.4357 (HELP).
Can Bias be Eliminated?
Bias can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, with your help. When you recognize an act of bias, first and foremost, your safety is the priority. If a situation arises where you feel comfortable safely interjecting or intervening, here are some strategies to address bias:
- Be Direct: Tell the person their behavior or language is concerning or hurtful
- Ask: Ask the person why they used that language or behavior
- Share: Describe how that language/behavior makes you feel
- Distract: Divert attention away from the problematic language to de-escalate a situation
- Group Support: Recruit other people or friends to intervene together
- Show Support: Let the impacted person know you are there for them
- Bring in Support: If things become too serious, contact emergency personnel like the Counseling Center or Department of Public Safety
Diversity and Inclusion Programs
Raising awareness is an important step in reducing bias on our campus. You can learn more about identity, inclusion and cultural competency by participating in the following activities:
- CARE Dialogue Program
- Intergroup Dialogue Program
- LGBT Resource Center Trainings
- Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services Trainings
Students can also access the list of recognized student organizations to learn more about and connect with student organizations advocating for and promoting inclusion.
For more information about diversity and inclusion initiatives, please visit diversity.syr.edu.