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Bias Incident Response

Rhode Island College’s Office of Institutional Equity enforces the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, marital, citizenship status or veteran status.

Members of the Rhode Island College community can report
their experiences of bias incidents HERE.

Students walking on campus

All are welcome to share their experiences, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

STOP. If you are in crisis or having an emergency, call 9-1-1 or
contact the Campus Police at 401-456-8888.


This form is not a formal complaint and it does not take the place of other formal reporting processes. To learn more, please contact the RIC Office of Institutional Equity.

Rhode Island College is committed to fostering an inclusive campus culture that rejects bias in all forms, including: racism, sexism, ableism, discrimination, and other forms of oppression. This bias reporting system is one way for all members of the college community to share their experiences of bias incidents.

All information collected here will be used to identify trends and patterns of bias and discrimination observed by our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. These data will inform future campus climate initiatives.

The following resources are available to you for more immediate support:

“How is a ‘bias incident’ defined?”

Bias means “favoring of or against one person, group or thing compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Biases can be conscious or unconscious – explicit or implicit. In addition, bias can be institutionalized into policies, practices and structures.” (Brown University, 2021).

A bias incident refers to “any hurtful, discriminatory or harassing act that targets individuals or groups based on perceived or actual identity.” (Brown University, 2020)

To be considered a “bias incident,” the act is not required to violate College policy, nor is it required to be a crime under any federal, state or local laws.

The types of bias incidents that should be reported to Rhode Island College’s Office of Institutional Equity include, but are not limited to, issuing threats to physical, mental, and/or emotional safety, biased policy or policy enforcement, biased language, and other aggressions/microaggressions (e.g., refusing to use a person’s preferred gender pronouns, ridiculing a person’s language or accent, and using a racial, ethnic or another slur in a joke or to identify someone.)

See our full Glossary of DEI terms (here)

“What happens when I report my experience?”

When a bias-related incident or potential hate crime is reported, the Bias Review Committee reviews reports of individuals and/or communities who have been affected by bias-related behaviors and potential hate crimes. Upon review, the committee is responsible for providing recommendations to the Director of Institutional Equity, who may issue appropriate responses as needed.  If necessary, the Director of Institutional Equity will also make appropriate referrals to other offices. The committee may offer supports and resources to impacted parties, promote education and dialogue, capture data and trends on campus, and affirm the College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Why am I encouraged to report incidents of bias?”

Studies on campus climate continue to shed light on the negative experiences of students with historically marginalized identities, namely Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), females, and members of the LGBTQ+ community (Miller, Guida, Smith, Ferguson, & Medina, 2018).

RIC’s own 2019 Campus Climate Survey key findings* (Rankin & Associates, 2019) reveal that:

  • Students, faculty, and staff experience exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and hostile conduct based on racial and gender identity;
  • Queer spectrum, trans-spectrum, multiracial, and first-generation survey respondents and survey respondents with one or more disabilities report feeling less comfort with campus, workplace, and classroom climates, and;
  • Student perceptions of academic success are significantly lower for trans-spectrum graduates, multiracial undergraduates, and undergraduates with multiple disabilities

*Based on these key findings, Rankin & Associates explicitly recommended RIC implement a bias reporting mechanism such as this.

Also note:

Organizations such as the U.S. Community Relations Service, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Anti-Defamation League call for the denunciation of bias incidents on college campuses even when a bias incident does not involve criminal activity. This practice aims to stop violence by preventing minor incidents from escalating. This policy helps to maintain an inclusive campus climate in which people feel free to express themselves without fear of retaliation.
Local and national trends emphasize the need for institutional leaders to respond proactively to incidents of bias and discrimination. Reports indicate that hate crimes and hate-motivated killings, targeting racial, religious, and sexual minorities, are happening at their highest frequencies in over a decade (Balsamo, 2020).
Citing the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) annual report identifying 2019 as the “deadliest year on record…with a 113% increase over the previous record set in 2018,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called upon Congress to improve data collection and reporting on hate crimes across the nation (ADL, 2020).


ADL. (2013) Responding to bigotry and intergroup strife on campus: Guide for college and university administrators.

ADL. (2020, November 17). ADL calls for improved hate crime reporting in response to new FBI data. Anti-Defamation League.

Balsamo, M. (2020, November 16). Hate crimes in U.S. reach highest level in more than a decade. The Providence Journal. p. A07.
Brown University. (2020). Office of institutional equity and diversity annual report of bias 2018-2019.

Brown University. (2021). Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity Glossary of Terms.

Miller, R. A., Guida, T., Smith, S., Ferguson, S. K., & Medina, E. (2018). A balancing act: Whose interests do bias response teams serve? The Review of Higher Education, 42(1), pp. 313-337. doi:10.1353/rhe.2018.0031

Rankin & Associates Consulting. (2019). Campus climate assessment project: Rhode Island College executive summary.

U.S. Department of Justice. (2000). Responding to hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents on college/university campuses. Washington, D.C. (2000)
Wessler, S., & Moss, M. (2001). Hate crimes on campus: The problem and efforts to confront it. U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, D.C.

Page last updated: March 06, 2021