Bias Incidents Reporting & Response
Reed College is a community governed by an honor principle and committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive living and learning environment (read Reed College's Diversity Statement here). In such a community, all members have the right to work, learn, and live in an environment free of bias and discriminatory harassment. We encourage all community members to help create an environment free of bias and harassment by modeling honorable behavior, discouraging inappropriate behavior in others, and speaking up when one is the target of or witness to discriminatory harassment.
What is a Bias Incident?
Bias incidents are acts or behaviors motivated by the offender's bias against age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. These acts do not necessarily rise to the level of a crime or a violation of Reed's DHSM policy. However, a biased act may contribute to creating an unsafe, negative, or unwelcoming campus climate.
What is a violation of Reed's Discriminatory Harassment Policy?
Discriminatory harassment is unwelcome verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct that is derogatory, insulting and/or intimidating and that is based on or motivated by an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived affiliation with protected classes or categories. (See section II of the DHSM policy for a list of protected classes or categories). Discriminatory harassment includes disparaging, degrading, or abusive words, phrases, or generalizations which are directed at an individual or group based on their actual or perceived affiliation with a protected class, and for which there is no reasonable academic, educational or artistic justification.
Discriminatory harassment is both unlawful and violates this policy if it creates a hostile environment. Harassment creates a hostile environment if it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it either (1) denies, interferes with, or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs or activities; or (2) creates a learning, working, or living environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or offensive.
How Can I Report a Bias Incident or Discriminatory Harassment?
Any Reed community member can report a bias incident and/or discriminatory harassment via an online form or to any of the designated college officials listed on this webpage. If you are not currently a member of the Reed community but would like to report an incident, please contact the Dean for Institutional Diversity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Happens When I Report a Bias Incident?
All internal reports will receive prompt attention. Reports will be treated seriously and as confidentially as possible. Once a report is submitted, it is reviewed by The Office for Institutional Diversity. The Dean for Institutional Diversity, or designee, will contact you to discuss the details of the incident, provide you with any support or resources, and work with you to reach a timely resolution. This process is intended to seek a resolution for reports of bias incidents and discriminatory harassment. It is not a process of fact finding in order to determine whether the DHSM policy has been violated. Resolutions can include an educational process such as conflict mediation or restorative justice and/or a formal, disciplinary or grievance process.
While not all bias incidents rise to the level of a violation of Reed's DHSM policy, the Dean for Institutional Diversity, or designee, can help you evaluate whether you wish to pursue disciplinary action against a member of our campus community through our formal adjudication or grievance processes.
When appropriate, community members are encouraged to speak directly with the parties involved to work together toward a mutually agreeable resolution of the incident. Therefore, when appropriate, a resolution using an educational process such as conflict mediation or restorative justice will be explored.
If no resolution using an educational process can be reached or a formal investigation is necessary to determine whether the DHSM policy has been violated, then the incident will be referred to the appropriate, formal, disciplinary or grievance process.
Reporting an incident is not the same as filing a formal complaint (though, for some purposes, a formal complaint may function both as a report and a formal complaint). Reporting to the college does not constitute a report to law enforcement, although the college will assist the complainant in reporting to law enforcement if requested, and at times may contact law enforcement without the consent of the complainant if it is necessary to protect the safety of the community.
The Dean for Institutional Diversity (or designee thereof) will review reports in the aggregate in order to discover and address patterns of behavior that create or threaten to create a hostile environment.
Protection from Retaliation
Any attempt to retaliate or any actual retaliation in response to a report or complaint is strictly prohibited (refer to section X. of DHSM policy) and may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the college's established judicial procedures.