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Bias Incident Reporting
Reporting a Bias Incident
To further advance the principles in the Potsdam Pledge -- A Diverse Community celebrating our differences and learning from our diversity - SUNY Potsdam has created a Bias Incident Reporting Protocol and Form.
This form is for the SUNY Potsdam community to report and respond to incidents of bias, as well as, to address issues of discrimination more effectively through educational programming and data collection to inform issues related to campus climate.
Please note: This form SIMPLY helps you to inform BIRT of what has happened and, if you wish, to ask for assistance. This form:
- Does NOT connect you to emergency or immediate help; appropriately.
- Is not a substitute for emergency services;
- Will not report the incident to Student Conduct, University Police, or Village Police unless the committee finds the facts warrant investigation.
If you need immediate assistance or intervention, please contact University Police at (315) 267-2222.
Why should I submit a report?
If we don't know what's going on, we can't address it. You should submit a report:
- So we can help you, or others like you who might be in this situation;
- So the University can get an accurate picture of the number and kinds of incidents that occur on campus, and address them systemically;
- So we can track over time what kinds of incidents are occurring and we can prioritize our efforts
Who can submit a report?
If you have witnessed or experienced a bias incident that has occurred within the SUNY Potsdam community, please use the Bias Incident Reporting Form to report the incident anonymously or with your name.
Anyone with knowledge of a bias incident on campus may report the incident using the bias incident reporting form. That includes faculty, staff, students, as well as parents, alumni and visitors to campus.
A bias incident is an act of intolerance which is committed against any person, group or property and which discriminates, stereotypes, harasses or excludes anyone based on: race, color, national origin/ancestry, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic predisposition, status as a victim of domestic violence, veteran and National Guard status, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, or arrest/conviction record.
Any act of intolerance, such as graffiti, name-calling, threats, hate crimes or instances of bias - regardless of severity - can be reported using this form. Note: SUNY Potsdam's BIRT must inform the SUNY Potsdam University Police Department of any crimes reported via the bias reporting form.
In addition to, or instead of, this form, you can always report a bias incident to any BIRT member (View BIRT Members) to receive information, assistance or referrals.
What happens after the form is submitted?
Bias incident reports are completely anonymous unless you want the BIRT to contact you to follow up on the incident. If you supply your name and contact information, you will be contacted within two business days (M - F, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) of submitting the form. The committee will also determine the appropriate actions needed (as indicated above).
Please note: If you remain anonymous on the form, we will never find or share your name. However, we will still investigate the incident when the facts warrant it. If any college office contacts you about this incident, they learned your name through their own investigation - not from this anonymous bias report.
Purpose and Protocol
The SUNY Potsdam Bias Incident Response Protocol was implemented to hold our community accountable and to address situations in which individuals choose to engage in bias-related and hateful acts. The purpose of the BIRT is to provide (or recommend) tools, in both a timely and productive manner, for action, empowerment, assistance and communication in the event of a bias incident or hate crime.
More specifically, the BIRT's role is as follows:
- Assist those who feel that they have been targeted in bias incidents to identify all of the remedies that are available to them;
- Provide educational remedies in response to complaints of bias incidents (e.g. facilitated conversations for those who were involved, passive or active educational programming for groups, etc.)
- Maintain a record of bias incidents and generate reports for use by the campus community.
To make the most effective use of this process, it should be noted that the SUNY Potsdam BIRT is not:
- An investigative unit. This means that the BIRT will relay information to appropriate offices and channels, which could include the Title IX Coordinator, the Provost and Dean of the College, Human Resources, University Police, etc.
- A substitute for crisis and emergency services. In the event that a student or community member requires immediate assistance or intervention, they should contact University Police at (315) 267-2222.