2018 - 2019 Summary of Bias Incidents

2018-2019 Summary of Bias Incidents

Bias Incident Reporting Team

May 20, 2019

For many years, St. Lawrence University has had policies that prohibit bias, discrimination, and discriminatory harassment on campus. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the University Diversity Committee evaluated the process by which allegations of bias and discrimination were reported. We found that the reporting process was vague, and that the existing policy was unclear about how to submit a report, to whom it should be submitted, or how reports would be handled.  For this reason, the Diversity Committee developed a new reporting protocol that included an online reporting form. This protocol was launched as a pilot at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester. We also identified a Bias Incident Reporting Team (BIRT) which includes membership from faculty and staff. The process we developed is a reporting process only, not an investigative one. When allegations of bias are submitted, members of the BIRT determine whether the allegation involves bias as defined by our policy, and forwards reports to the appropriate investigative body. For more information on the bias incident reporting process, see https://www.stlawu.edu/diversity-and-inclusion/bias-reporting. The following is a summary of the bias incident reports received by the BIRT for 2018-2019.

43 reports were received between August 20, 2018 and May 2, 2019.

The 43 reports were related to the following types of allegations:

  • 18 involved allegations about racial bias
  • 14 involved allegations about gender or sexual orientation bias
  • 2 involved allegations of both racism and sexism
  • 4 involved allegations about national origin bias
  • 5 involved other allegations, such as defacing campus property

Here are some other notable trends from the reports:

  • 24 reports were submitted by students
  • 7 reports were submitted by employees/faculty
  • 1 report was submitted by a non-SLU community member
  • 11 reports were submitted anonymously

The 43 reports were handled in the following ways (some reports fall into more than one category):

  • 20 of the reports were referred to the appropriate investigative body

    • 2 of these reports did not indicate bias but did involve policy violations
  • 6 reports, which did not appear to be bias-related, resulted in conversations between a BIRT team member and affected parties
  • 2 reports did not appear to be bias related but the reporting parties were not available for conversations
  • 9 reports involved offenders whose identity was unknown
  • 2 reports were forwarded to the governing body of the affected student organizations
  • 4 reports were submitted by a third party and the affected party has not come forward to date
  • 1 report resulted in excising an inappropriate comment from a public bulletin board
  • 5 of the anonymous reports resulted in training

Submitted by the Bias Incident Reporting Team

  • Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Rance Davis, Associate Dean for Student Life
  • John O’Connor, Director of Student Activities
  • Patrick Gagnon, Assistant Vice President for Safety and Security
  • Laura Rediehs, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Mark Denaci, Associate Professor of Art and Art History
  • Debra Mousaw, Director of Human Resources