Reporting & Responding to Bias-Related Incidents

What is a Bias-Related Incident? 

Bias-related incidents are expressions of hostility against another individual (or group) because of the other person’s (or group’s) race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation, or because the perpetrator perceives that the other person (or group) has one or more of these characteristics. Depending on the circumstances, a bias-related incident may not be a crime and may be protected speech. However, the conduct underlying some bias-related incidents may violate the College’s policies, including provisions of the Student Code and the Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

Reporting a Bias-Incident

All hate crimes and bias-related incidents should be immediately reported to the College. Any campus community member can report a bias-related incident by contacting Campus Safety or the Administrator On-Call. Incidents can also be reported directly to the Bias Report Team via Bias Report Form.

Bias Report/Response Team (BRT)

The College has established a Bias Report/Response Team (BRT) to help address issues relating to bias-related incidents. If a community member submits a bias-related incident report using the bias report form below, the BRT can review the incident, gather additional details as needed, offer support measures to harmed parties and/or refer the incident to the appropriate harassment/discrimination investigation process as defined in the College’s non-discrimination policy. The BRT meets several times throughout the academic year and participate in trainings about bias, bias-related incidents, and responding to said incidents. The team can also create and implement proactive education of the community about bias-related incidents so that community members have access to information about the issues and how incidents can be reported.

The BRT is composed of five standing members:

  • Dean of Campus Life
  • Associate Dean of Students for Student Development & Leadership
  • Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Student ASPC commissioner for equity and inclusion
  • The director of Human Resources

When responding to incidents of bias, the Bias Report Team may partner with various groups directly affected by specific incidents. This can include but is not limited to, clubs and organizations, academic/staff departments, mentor groups, and Campus Safety. 

Free Speech Requirements and Bias-Incidents

State and federal laws protect many forms of “hateful” and intolerant speech and expressive conduct, including that which occurs during such common College activities as debates, speeches, arguments, conversations, classroom discussions, lectures, distribution of flyers, and displaying of posters. In certain contexts, courts have found speech and expressive conduct to be protected that many in our community would find objectionable, including such things as the display of the Confederate flag, Nazi symbols, cross burning, and flag burning. Such speech and expressive conduct, however, may be inconsistent with the College’s community values, and it may present an opportunity for open dialogue, debate, and a better understanding of protected speech and the role of tolerance in a community.

While free-speech requirements may protect some expressions of bias from policy violations, the College maintains that bias-related incidents may still need to be addressed because they harm individuals, undermine civility and understanding in the Pomona community, or impede the educational process. Public discussion and education can promote awareness of prejudice and examination of the values that underlie the Pomona community.

For more information about bias, discrimination, and harassment protocols, please visit the following policies:

The links above can be found on Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, and Discrimination Policy and Procedures