1460P Bias and Hate Related Procedures and Protocols

Original Date: 5/18/2007 * Last Revision Effective: 9/11/2012
Policy Contact: Vice President of Diversity

Purpose

The following procedures are established to meet the requirements for implementing policy #1460 – Bias and Hate Related Incident Procedures and Protocols.

Procedures

College Policies

Bellevue College has the following board policies that underpin its commitment to providing a safe and non- discriminatory campus environment

  • 4050 College Pluralism Policy
  • 4150 Equal Opportunity In Education And Employment
  • 4100 Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy
  • 2050 Student Code
  • Negotiated Agreement Between The Board of Trustees of Bellevue College and Bellevue College Association of Higher Education
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement By and Between the State of Washington and Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE Higher Ed)
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement By and Between the State of Washington and Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA Higher Ed)

The Bellevue Incident Response and Support Team Commission (BIRST)

The Bellevue incident response and support team will coordinate the college’s response to campus climate issues related to bias-motivated incidents and crimes and act as advocates for persons affected by such incidents.

The following protocol is designed to ensure a timely, efficient, and effective response to campus incidents involving Bellevue College students, staff and faculty, or members of the visiting public, which may be characterized as hate crimes or bias incidents. The protocol should be implemented whenever a hate crime or bias incident is believed or perceived to have occurred. As a general rule, the BIRST does not conduct investigations; rather it ensures that appropriate investigations leading to resolution of all reported incidents occur. This proposed protocol is not in lieu of and does not override established college or external processes and services available to students, staff and faculty, or members of the visiting public.

This protocol and reporting procedure should be used by anyone who is victimized by or witnesses an incident that may be a hate crime or incident of bias that would have a serious impact on groups or individuals because of their race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender expression, sex, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

Reporting. Persons who experience, witness, or have knowledge of a possible hate crime or bias incident should report the crime or incident immediately to the vice president of diversity (VPD) or the vice president of student services (VPSS). An incident involving the personal safety or endangerment of individuals, groups, or facilities, should be reported immediately to Bellevue College public safety and/or the Bellevue police department.

Members of the campus community who believe they are victims of a bias-motivated incident or crime should immediately report the incident. Although reporting is not required, it is strongly encouraged. Immediate reporting is an important factor in successful investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. While persons affected or victims are not required to pursue prosecution just because they report a crime, the reporting of a bias-motivated incident or hate crime may prevent others from being affected.

Any member of the college community can file a third party report with the VPD detailing a potential bias-motivated incident or hate crime. It is important to note that the college cannot initiate student judicial action or a criminal complaint against the alleged offender based on a third party report. However, the report is still encouraged, as it can provide important and useful information for protecting the community-at-large and connecting similar reports while simultaneously protecting the victim’s anonymity to the extent permitted by law.

Any incident should be reported to the VPD or the VPSS, or in cases of physical threats or after-hours to the Public Safety Department, who will contact the VPD and VPSS. VPD will convene the response team within 24 hours. In the event the VPD is not available the VPSS will convene the Incident Response and Support Team.

The following notification protocol will be used 24 hours a day/7 days a week. During regular business hours, the VPD or the VPSS, or public safety, should be notified immediately of any incidents that may constitute hate crimes or bias incidents.

During evening and weekend hours, public safety should be contacted, who will report the situation to the director of public safety and the VPD or the VPSS, if the VPD is unavailable, and VP of administrative services. The VPD shall initiate the campus response process.

Immediate Action. Initial respondents (from the above list) to the incident should (1) assess and determine the need for emergency services, which may include emergency medical or psychological treatment; (2) determine if there continues to be a threat to parties involved and provide appropriate protection to the targeted individual or group through public safety.

Once an incident has been reported, the BIRST coordinator, who will ordinarily convene the team, the VPSS, the vice president of administrative services or their designees, will initiate the case-coordinating protocols as determined by the team, assigning the appropriate college officer to coordinate services for the parties involved. The team will also assess the nature of the event and will communicate with the college community and media, as appropriate. All hate crimes are reported to law enforcement via public safety.

Coordination Protocol. The college’s highest concern is for the emotional and physical well being of persons affected by a bias-motivated incident or hate crime. Persons affected shall have access to all college services that can help them maintain emotional and psychological well-being and provide for their safety. The first college official to be contacted should coordinate with the VPD to facilitate access to needed services, if required or deemed necessary, until the team appoints a case coordinator, who will assume ongoing management.

The official assigned to an incident will be responsible for maintaining contact with the complainant throughout the process, from the initial crisis through subsequent periods as needed to address academic and personal issues which may have developed as a result of the hate crime or bias incident. If the complainant shows any signs of being distraught, contact with the counseling center or appropriate crisis center will be made immediately. Based on interactions with the complainant, every effort will be made for the case coordinator to identify who within the college community could assist as additional support to the complainant.

The BIRST coordinator will be responsible for the establishment and implementation of a case incident file management system and for communication with the campus community.

Where there is sufficient evidence to believe the college regulations prohibiting harassment, or physical/emotional abuse have been violated, the college may pursue disciplinary action according to college policy and the student code. Copies are available at the student programs office. Sanctions for persons found in violation of these policies or provisions may include expulsion from the college and termination of employment.

In the case of off-campus incidents when the alleged offender and behavior involved threatens the health, safety and/or property of the college, its staff or students, the college reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action.

No individual shall be penalized or retaliated against in any way for his/her participation in the college’s complaint process. An individual affected by a bias-motivated incident or hate crime has the right to avoid face-to-face interaction with the offender (if known) during any campus adjudicative hearings. It is the victim’s right to decide whether or not to file a complaint. Campus authorities will assist victims in notifying proper law enforcement authorities.

Targeted students and others may feel uncomfortable about cooperating with an investigation due to fear of retaliation by the perpetrator(s). Those so impacted should be assured by investigating authorities that their safety and security are important and that every effort will be made to ensure that their safety is protected and measures, such as relocation and when possible anonymous reporting, can be utilized to minimize potential threats. Any retaliatory behavior by students or others suspected of an incident may constitute an independent violation of college policy.

Students who have been identified as suspects in a bias incident or hate crime will be investigated in a manner consistent with the impact of the incident and the student’s rights and responsibilities and the steps for due process that they will be afforded under the student code.

The office of diversity is committed to providing effective education and outreach related to combating hate and bias on campus.

Contacts

Vice president of diversity – 564-2300
Student support services/counseling center – 564-2212
Vice president of student services – 564-2205
Vice president of human resources – 564-2445
Public safety – 564-2400
Vice president of administrative services – 564-2446
Vice president of instruction – 564-2305
Police/Medic/Fire – 9-911

Definitions

Bias

  • A personal and often unreasoned judgment for or against one side in a dispute; to influence in a particular, typically unfair direction; prejudice.

Bias Incident

  • A bias incident is conduct, speech, or behavior motivated by prejudice or a bias toward another person that does not rise to the level of a crime. Bias incidents violate college policy and should be reported using the bias-motivated incident reporting plan. Incidents that rise to the level of harassment can be/should be handled through existing harassment reporting processes.

Hate crimes

  • Must meet two criteria: (1) a crime must occur, such as physical assault, intimidation, or arson, and (2) the crime must be motivated by bias or prejudice. Incidents of this nature are criminal; along with violating college policies, they are illegal and punishable through customary law enforcement channels. A hate crime is an actual criminal offence motivated in whole or in part by the offender’s bias towards the victim’s status based on race, color, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender expression, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation identities.

Revision History

Original 5/18/2007
Revisions 12/18/2007; 3/13/2008; 6/17/2008; 5/21/2009; 9/11/2012

Approved By

All College Council
President’s Staff