Xavier University is committed to creating and sustaining an environment in which all of the members of our community are welcomed, respected and supported. Bias-related incidents and hate crimes are contrary to the very mission of the institution and are destructive to our community.
Xavier's Bias Response Protocol is one critical mechanism that the University utilizes to ensure appropriate communication about when incidents that violate these community expectations occur. The Bias Advisory & Response Team also plays an equally important role in developing proactive and educational initiatives that will minimize the occurrence of such incidents. BART does not hand out disciplinary actions for students involved. That will continue to be the role of the student conduct process and overseen by the Dean of Students.
What is a Bias Incident?
Bias Incidents are unintentional or intentional acts targeted at a person, group, or property expressing negative bias or hostility on the basis of perceived or actual gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation or disability; bias incidents may consist of name calling, epithets, slurs, degrading language, graffiti, intimidation, coercion, or harassment directed toward the targeted person or group. Bias acts often contribute to creating an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for victims and social identity groups. Acts qualify as bias acts even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or a prank. [Adapted from Student Affairs Leadership Council, 2011]
Examples of Bias Incidents
- Students are subject to a professor making a racist, heterosexist or sexist remark in the course of a class discussion that is not in the context of an intellectual conversation or related to course content.
- A student overhears a peer telling an anti-Semitic joke in the cafeteria.
- A group of students exchange emails or texts containing explicit and degrading references or photos of women.
- A swastika is drawn on a white board in a residence hall.
- Two perceived men are holding hands are yelled at by a passing student who calls them a homophobic slur.
- Images that are displayed from a classroom or residential hall that intentionally or unintentionally displays language that promotes hostility, hate or harm to members of a specific identity group.
- An off-campus house rented by non-Mexican or non-Native American students organize a themed-party that encourages party-goers to wear Mexican and Native American cultural attire that isn't educational in nature and that which promotes stereotypes of those social groups.
Difference Between Offensive, Bias Incidents & Hate Crimes
As a university we are mindful of protecting freedom of speech, however, our community values as a Jesuit institution does not approve of speech or other behaviors that are rooted in intentional displays of hate, and the promotion of systemic exclusionary practices that don't promote a sense of togetherness.
Please keep in mind that, simply because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias-related incident. Xavier University values freedom of expression and the open inquiry of ideas that result in the common good of our students, local communities and the world. Controversial ideas, that are not rooted in hate, dominance over others or the marginalization of certain groups of peoples, should be promoted on a college campus. Expressions of online or in-person harassment (including social messaging, vandalism and intimidation) that violate our Code of Student Conduct overrides our openness to engage controversial ideas. BART hopes that educational and preventative measures like, Day of Dialogue, will contribute to an environment that encourages dialogue around challenging issues.
Hate by itself is not a crime. A hate crime is a traditional criminal offense like murder, arson, invasion of privacy or vandalism with an added element of bias towards a federally protected class of people. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress and the Clery Act collectively define hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, ethnicity, gender, religion, economic status, national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation." Hate crimes will be handled by campus police. [Adapted from Davidson University]