Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bias/hate incident?
What are some examples of bias-related incidents?
Who can report incidents of bias?
Can I report anonymously?
Are all reports confidential?
Why are bias-related incidents of concern?
What is a hate crime?
What are some examples of hate crimes?
Where can I report a hate crime or bias-related incident?
What happens to my report after it is submitted?
Will I be required to appear in person?
How does the University benefit from having a diverse community?
If there is an investigation relating to my report will I have to participate?
What types of incidents can I report to URISE?

What is a bias/hate incident?

Bias or hate incidents consist of speech, conduct, or some other form of expression or action that is motivated wholly or in part by prejudice or bias. It may or may not rise to the level of criminal activity or illegal or prohibited discrimination, but its effect is to discriminate, demean, embarrass, assign stereotype, harass, or exclude individuals because of their membership in a classification, such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, language, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, size, disability, age, veteran status, or religion.

What are some examples of bias-related incidents?

Examples of bias or hate-related incidents may be signified in act(s) of intolerance, such as defacement & vandalism, racial epithets written on someone's dry-erase board, racially themed parties, threats, ridiculing a person's language or accent, insulting a person's traditional manner of dress, hate messages and symbols, language and imagery objectifying women, and other subtle (and extreme) examples of bias incidents. All incidents—regardless of severity—can be reported.

Who can report incidents of bias?

Any member of our university community can report hate and/or bias-related incidents.

Can I report anonymously?

Yes! Bias incident reports are completely anonymous unless you want the Director of Inclusive Excellence to contact you to follow up on the incident. If you provide your name and contact information, we may follow up with you.

Are all reports confidential?

Bias Incident Reports are typically confidential. However, if a bias incident report alleges conduct that is criminal in nature, or otherwise illegal, such as conduct that would constitute illegal discrimination or harassment, the Director of Inclusive Excellence is required to forward the report to the police and/or to the University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action for follow-up.

Why are bias-related incidents of concern?

The University is committed to fostering a safe, respectful, and inclusive living, learning, and working environment for the entire University community. As community members at the University of Utah, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other, and to take steps to appropriately address threats, violence, hate, and acts of intolerance.

What is a hate crime?

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2000), a hate crime is

"a crime which in whole or part is motivated by the offender's bias toward the victim's status...hate crimes are intended to hurt and intimidate individuals because they are perceived to be different with respect to their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. The purveyors of hate use physical violence, verbal threats of violence, vandalism, and in some cases weapons, explosives, and arson, to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to subsequent attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. These acts of hatred can leave lasting emotional impressions upon their victims as well as entire communities"
(p. 2-3). (Source: http://www.justice.gov/crs/pubs/university.pdf)

Within the State of Utah, a hate crime includes certain crimes that are committed "with the intent to intimidate or terrorize another person." The term 'intimidate or terrorize' is defined as an act "which causes the person to fear for his physical safety or damages the property of that person or another." Please see Utah Code Ann. 76-3-203.3(4) for more information.

What are some examples of hate crimes?

Examples of hate crimes are complex and it varies from one context to another. Examples of hate crimes might involve physically assaulting someone and using anti-gay slurs; stalking a person with the intent to intimidate him or her, or targeting a transgender individual and attacking them; racist vandalism or swastikas on someone's property.

Where can I report a hate crime or bias-related incident?

If it is an emergency, dial 911.

If you believe you have experienced a hate crime, you may report it directly to the University Campus Police (on-campus) at 801-585-2677 or the Salt Lake City Police Department (off-campus) by at 801-799-3000. If you decide to report it to U Police & Security or SLCPD, we would appreciate a report submitted to the University's Bias Incident Response Team for purposes of statistical data collection and follow-up.

Pursuant to University Policy 5-210, if an individual believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination or sexual harassment, that individual may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (801-581-8265).

The University is committed to providing comprehensive mechanisms and safe spaces where community members may confidentially report bias-related incidents. You may contact a number of faculty, staff, and administrators on the URISE Committee to speak with, and also file a report. See Who We Are for a list of names to assist you.

You may also contact the Director of Inclusive Excellence in-person at 200 S. Central Campus Drive Rm.270 or by phone at 801-585-5994 to speak to someone about an incident. If a call is made outside of the normal business hours, please leave a message and someone will be in touch on the next business day.

You may also report bias incidents anonymously online

Please note that if you report an issue related to sexual harassment or discrimination, the Bias Incident Response Team members and the Director of Inclusive Excellence are required by University policy to inform the Office of Equal Opportunity of the issue.

What happens to my report after it is submitted?

When you report a bias incident, the URISE committee, including the Director of Inclusive Excellence, will use the report to inform the University's understanding of the campus climate so that we can better address issues of concern and provide appropriate education to the campus community. If you provide identifying information about yourself, we can also direct you to supportive resources on campus. If your report identifies conduct that is criminal in nature, or otherwise illegal, such as conduct that would constitute illegal discrimination or harassment, we will forward the report to the police and/or to the University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action for follow-up.

Will I be required to appear in person?

Not necessarily. Bias incident reports are completely anonymous, unless you want the Director of Inclusive Excellence to contact you to follow up on the incident. If you provide your name and contact information, we may follow up with you. Filing an anonymous report may prevent the University from effectively investigating reported conduct that is criminal or illegal.

 How does the University benefit from having a diverse community?

At the University of Utah, one of our core values entails a commitment to diversity. In an effort to foster innovation, creativity, and scholarly excellence, we believe that multiple identities and diverse perspectives intersect with different knowledge systems and practices to influence new ways of knowing, being, and doing. Our university benefits tremendously from an increasingly diverse community that cultivates intellectual curiosity and innovative creativity, which are key essentials to scholarly excellence.

If there is an investigation relating to my report, will I have to participate?

Individuals who report or witnesses to bias incidents do not have to participate in an investigation. However, lack of participation could prevent the University from effectively investigating reported conduct that is criminal or illegal.

What types of incidents can I report to URISE?

All incidents—regardless of severity—can be reported. This includes verbal assaults, racist epithets, sexist slurs, harassment, vandalism, theft, unequal treatment, accessibility, discrimination, written hate speech, verbal hate speech, bullying, threats, assumptions of inferiority projected onto someone in our community, anti-gay slurs, intimidation, hostile living & learning environments, retaliation, sexual assault, unwanted sexual conduct, fear for safety, property damage in our university community.