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Bias Incident Reporting

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Santa Clara University is committed to fostering a welcoming and supportive campus for its students, faculty and staff. The University is also dedicated to addressing and responding to incidents of bias and harassment in a timely manner. While we have had protocols in place to facilitate this process, many in the community raised concerns in a 2018 Campus Climate Study about the lack of clarity in these policies and procedures.

We developed this bias incident website in an effort to address those concerns and improve the education and transparency of our protocols. Here you’ll find an explanation of our procedures and how to report a bias incident. The website also links to University terminology, frequently asked questions, examples of bias, and campus resources. We are committed to ensuring that we have a process that meets the needs of our SCU Community and handles each reported incident with fairness, integrity, and the utmost care.

Bias Reporting
Santa Clara University is committed to fostering a welcoming and supportive campus for its students, faculty and staff. If you are impacted by or witness a bias incident, we strongly encourage you to report it and seek support.

What is a Bias Incident?

At SCU, a bias incident is an act—verbal, written or physical—characterized by an expression of bias towards an individual or against a particular group, motivated in whole or in part by a person or group’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious creed, physical, or mental disability, medical condition, as defined by California law, marital status, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status, political affiliation or orientation, or other status protected by law.

Bias has the purpose or effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with an individual’s or group’s safety or security, and creates an intimidating, hostile, and objectively offensive educational, living or working environment. 

What is the general timeline of an investigation?

  • Bias report is received and sent to the Office of Student Life and Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. This process may vary, depending on who is involved in the incident.
  • Communication and confirmation is sent to the reporting party within 24 hours of receiving the report, and a meeting is scheduled with the reporting party. 
  • Depending on the level of severity and visibility of the reported bias incident, a general communication may be sent to the SCU community or the impacted group within 24 hours of the report’s submission.
  • The receiving office will attempt to meet with any witnesses within 48 hours of the bias incident to review available evidence.
  • Once the person suspected of carrying out the bias incident is identified, a meeting will be held with that person to determine if there is enough information to recommend potential next steps. This is typically done within 72 hours of the incident. It is important to understand that the next steps may vary for students, faculty and staff. 

The goal is to ensure a fair and timely process, knowing that the nature of the situation may affect the duration of the investigation. Because there are typically numerous meetings involved in the investigation, the process may take longer because of conflicting schedules. 

*Some steps may take an additional business day to complete if a report is submitted during a holiday weekend.

What are my options in lieu of submitting a report?

If you are unsure about submitting a report, you are encouraged to reach out to an administrator and/or trusted faculty/staff member for guidance. They will listen to your concerns and encourage you to submit a report via EthicsPoint or OSL Bias Incident Reporting.

If you are hesitant about submitting a formal report, the administrator/Faculty/Staff member may reach out to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, the Office of Student Life, and/or the Provost Office for guidance. The ultimate goal is to provide support.

How Do I Know If Submitting A Report is My Best Option?

Acts of bias affect all members of the University community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, contractors, and visitors. If you are impacted by or witness a bias incident against someone else, you are strongly encouraged to seek support and report it.

Note: Depending on nature of situation and individuals involved, (i.e., students, faculty, staff, others), submissions may be forwarded to the appropriate area for follow up: Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, Office of Student Life, the Provost Office and/or Human Resources.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

For questions about Bias Incidents and procedures, please contact any of the following:

osl@scu.edu

titleixadmin@scu.edu 

odi@scu.edu