DIRECT Response, Bias Act & Hate Crime Response Policy
For the health and well-being of the campus community it is critical that individuals or groups who are targeted and/or affected by bias acts are able to easily report the incident and receive services, as needed.
|Policy Number||Policy Owner|
|2005.2||Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion|
- 1.0 Purpose
Bias acts encompass a broad range of negative behaviors that target individuals or groups based on actual or perceived characteristics and/or membership in groups. For the health and well-being of the campus community it is critical that individuals or groups who are targeted and/or affected by bias acts are able to easily report the incident and receive services, as needed.
- 2.0 Revision History
Date Version Number Change Description Referenced Section 6/11/18 1.0 New Document
8/30/18 1.1 Minor Revisions
8/18/20 2.0 Major Revisions
Renamed, Owner, Entire Document
This policy has been renamed from: Bias Act & Hate Crime Response
Action: Units Date Policy Review
- Ad hoc Committee on Bias Response and Referral
- Management Services
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- February- April, 2018
- August 2020
- Executive Council
- College President
- 3.0 Units & Persons Affected
This policy is applicable to students and employees at the College including College Auxiliary Service, Research Foundation, Campus Dining, volunteers, and vendors. It may be used to address conduct occurring on or off-campus. The policy will also apply to campus visitors as appropriate.
- 4.0 PolicyThe College will take proactive steps to create an educational environment that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion and will provide support to individuals affected by diversity incidents or hate crimes. SUNY Plattsburgh will strive towards creating an atmosphere in which all persons and groups can work and learn.
When deemed appropriate, campus communication will be posted on the web page, social media, and/or campus-wide email. The scope of the communication will depend on the nature of the incident and will be consistent with the college's shared values and free speech principles.
- 5.0 Definitions
Bias Act: Conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group based on, or in substantial part, a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or gender expression, religion, religious practice, age, ability, or sexual orientation, ethnicity, veteran status, creed, marital status, socioeconomic standing or any combination of these characteristics. Bias Acts may be intentional or unintentional and the act may be verbal, written or physical and occur on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus or within an area that affects the campus community.
Diversity Incident: Any negative action committed against a person or group that is motivated, in whole or in part, by bias against any aspect of identity or status involving the person or group’s protected or non-protected classes. Diversity Incidents include Bias Acts and Hate Crimes.
DIRECT (Diversity Incident Response Education and Communication Team): A team of campus representatives who are committed to maintaining an educational and work environment that is safe, welcoming, and responsive to reports alleging discrimination or prohibited conduct. DIRECT encourages students, staff, faculty, volunteers, and visitors to report Diversity Incidents so that the college can respond to those affected, assess the campus climate, and provide educational initiatives as needed.
DIRECT Core Team: A core group of DIRECT members from the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Title IX, University Police, Campus Housing and Community Living, Enrollment and Student Success, Human Resource Services, and Academic Affairs whose responsibilities include receiving initial reports, evaluating and referring reports to campus offices, referring for support and services resources as appropriate, and responding to maintain an inclusive learning environment.
Hate Crime: A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified criminal offense and either intentionally commits the act or intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct. (New York State Penal Law § 485.05)
Protected Classes: Age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, marital status, or disability and other legally protected classes. (NYS Executive Law, Article 15, Human Rights Law)
Non-Protected Classes: This term is used to refer to parts of an individual or group identity for which they may be targeted and/or discriminated against, but are not protected legally under federal or state statute or law. While this is not an exhaustive list, examples of such would be targeting/discrimination based on appearance, body size, socio-economic status, political views, nepotism, favoritism - (if not based on protected class characteristics). While there are forms of bias and discrimination that are not legally protected, reports of such will be addressed by DIRECT in an effort to find solutions which offer support and resolution, as well as prevention and ongoing efforts to create and maintain an inclusive campus climate.
- 6.0 Responsibilities
The College has established a team on campus, (DIRECT), which shall assess all reported diversity incidents promptly to determine the appropriate response and to complete intervention steps in conjunction with the appropriate campus partners, utilizing existing College policies and established investigative and adjudicative resources, as necessary. The DIRECT serves as the coordinating hub of a network of existing campus resources, focused on ensuring an appropriate response effort promptly. Examples of DIRECT specific responsibilities include:
- Reviewing all reports of Diversity Incidents and Hate Crimes;
- Advising persons or groups that experience a diversity incident or hate crimes of the possible options that are available to them;
- Recommending or identifying appropriate responses to reports of bias acts that do not constitute a violation of college policy (e.g., facilitated conversations for those who were involved, passive or active educational programming for individuals or groups, and restorative practice interventions such as circles or conferencing);
- Referring reports of bias acts that constitute a violation of College policy or hate crimes that constitute a violation of criminal law to the appropriate agency or department for appropriate action;
- Providing referrals for services and support including but not limited to counseling, no contact orders, Community Living support, medical visits, employee assistance, or on going conversations;
- Serving as the campus response and referral resource. DIRECT does not directly investigate or adjudicate cases but refers them to the appropriate campus office(s);
- Maintaining a record of reports and generating summary reports for use by the campus community and College administrative team; and,
- Developing and implementing a communication plan to inform the campus community about incidents and the institutional responses in ways that take in account applicable federal and state laws.
- 7.0 Procedures
Community Reporting Procedures
Diversity incidents may be reported via the online DIRECT reporting form (see Forms), to any of the DIRECT members, or anonymously online through the Silent Witness reporting feature (see Appendix). If at any time your safety and/or the safety of someone else is at risk, please contact University Police at (518)564-2022 immediately if on-campus or 911 if off-campus.
- 8.0 Forms
- 9.0 Appendix
Scope of DIRECT Response
DIRECT core members will receive the report in various ways (e.g., online, in person, or through a third-party). The report will be evaluated and referred to the relevant office(s) for primary investigation (e.g., Human Resource Services, Title IX, Academic Affairs, University Police, and Student Conduct.)
The DIRECT response does not include an investigation into the facts of a submitted report but instead focuses on:
- Receiving and acknowledging the report from the reporting individual
- Referring the report to the relevant office(s) for a timely and thorough follow up.
- Providing referrals to impacted individual, alleged committer, and those closely involved with the Diversity Incident for services and support including but not limited to counseling, no contact orders, Community Living support, medical visits, employee assistance, or on going conversations.
- Providing services and support
- Making campus notifications when appropriate.
- Assessing campus climate issues resulting from the Diversity Incident.
- Providing restorative practices where individuals involved in the report agree to proceed.
- Documenting reports received.
- Sharing data on diversity incidents to inform policy formulation and programming
Actions Following Report
A member of the DIRECT Core Team acknowledges receipt of the report with the reporting individual and forwards the report to the appropriate office(s) for follow up as soon as is practical. (Typically within 24 hours)
DIRECT will notify the campus administration of reports that represent alleged violations of law and/or College policy.
DIRECT will determine the appropriateness of the distribution of the report to the full DIRECT team for discussion. (Certain reports involving Title IX, discrimination and/or employees may not be appropriate to distribute)
The DIRECT Core team convenes within one week of the report to discuss the incident and develop an appropriate response.
A DIRECT member may be assigned to collaborate with the campus administration to create campus communication when appropriate.
For incidents that after evaluation with campus stakeholders (i.e. University Police, Human Resources, and/or Title IX) it is determined that the conduct rises to the level of discrimination, harassment, violence, and/or a hate crime under campus policies and/or penal law, actions may be taken under relevant policies and procedures. This type of action will occur separate from the purview of the DIRECT Response team.
The report will be referred to the appropriate office(s) for investigation as appropriate.
Reports alleging violations of college policy or criminal behavior by staff and faculty members will be referred to Human Resource Services and/or University Police as appropriate.
Reports alleging improper behavior by students will be forwarded to Title IX, Student Conduct, and/or University Police as appropriate.
Reports alleging criminal behavior or hate crimes will be investigated by University Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency. A report may not be available until the investigation is complete.
The relevant campus office to which the Diversity Incident was referred will advise DIRECT of the progress of the investigation or report resolution and when it has been completed.
Campus Climate Response
Parallel to an investigation, DIRECT may initiate a campus climate response as needed and based on the scope and request of those involved. This response will not include a direct investigation of the report itself and must not interfere with the primary investigation underway by other offices.
Examples of campus climate response may include:
- A hall or floor meeting in residence hall where the incident occurred.
- A meeting of the department or specific area of the College impacted by the incident.
- Restorative practices may include Community Circles or Community Conferencing. Restorative Practices can only occur if the targeted person and alleged committer of the reported conduct are willing and other parties including those from the campus community that are also affected by the incident are included.
- A community-wide facilitated dialogue.
- Other responses as deemed appropriate.
Campus Climate Debrief
DIRECT will meet to discuss specific incidents, review practice, compare to common and best practices, and make improvements where necessary.
Related Policies and Procedures
- 10.0 Distribution & Training
Method Date Campus Handbook
There are no specific trainings identified with this policy.
For additional information about this policy, please contact the policy owner listed above.