What is a bias incident?

Oregon State University defines a bias incident as an act directed toward an individual or community based upon actual or perceived background or identity including: age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Bias incidents can occur in a variety of settings, but have one important factor in common: they create a hostile working, learning, or living environment and frequently have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical effect on an individual or community.

Why is it important to respond to bias incidents?

Bias incidents have one important factor in common: they create a hostile working, learning or living environment and frequently have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical effect on individuals and communities.

What can I do if experience or witness a bias incident?

All Oregon State community members are encouraged to inform the Bias Response Teams of bias incidents by clicking here. Reports may be submitted anonymously, but the ability of the Bias Response Team to respond to anonymous reports is limited.

What does the Bias Response Team do when it receives information about a bias incident?

Oregon State has Reported Bias Incident Response Protocol to guide its response to bias incidents. When the Bias Response Team receives a bias incident report, it coordinates with university partners to provide care and support to community members who may be negatively affected, and engages in a collaborative, restorative process to educate community members about the harmful impact of bias incidents. This process is represented in the chart below:

If you have questions about Oregon State’s bias response process, please email diversity@oregonstate.edu.

What is bias incident response and what isn't it?

Bias indent response is:

  • Providing care
  • Restorative
  • Learning more and asking questions
  • Education, conversation, mediation
  • Proactive outreach
  • Assessment, planning, and accountability

Bias incident response isn't:

  • Thought-policing
  • Censorship
  • A way to avoid hard conversations
  • Punishment
  • More harmful than helpful