BIAS IMPACT RESPONSE
Call 911 if you need immediate help.
You must call 911 and contact Campus Police (919) 760-8888 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Note: The access form link connects to the DEI Page on my.meredith.edu where you can find the link to submit a report. If you are already logged in to another system with your NETID, you will automatically be logged in.
A bias incident often contributes to or creates an unsafe/unwelcoming environment. Although not all acts of bias rise to the level of harassment or discrimination as defined in College policy, the College will respond to all reports of bias activity in order to promote a safe and respectful campus environment for all community members. The College seeks not only to address harmful conduct through applicable policies and processes, but also to provide support and assistance to those who may have been harmed. The College is also committed to identifying educational and other programming for the community in order to prevent further harm from occurring.
What is a Bias Incident?
A bias incident is any hurtful, discriminatory, harassing, or intimidating act that targets or is committed against any individual or groups based on but not limited to actual or perceived race, ethnicity, culture, sex, gender identity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, ability, age, national origin, immigration status, veteran status, political affiliation, religion, and spiritual identity or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may take the form of a verbal interaction, cyberinteraction, physical interaction, or interaction with property.
Bias Incident Response Team
The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a group of faculty and staff across campus. The role of the Bias Incident Response Team is to provide support resources to impacted parties and affirm the College’s commitment to diversity equity and inclusion.
What BIRT Does:
- Intake conversations
- Refer report to appropriate campus offices that can effectively respond
- Track all incidents for trends
- Connect individuals with support services
What BIRT does not do:
- Conduct formal investigations
- Implement disciplinary actions
Filing a report of bias activity, harassment, and/or discrimination helps the College create a safe and welcoming campus climate that better supports everyone’s ability to learn and/or work. It is the responsibility of all community members to report harmful behavior.
BIRT reviews all submitted bias incident reports and reaches out within 1-2 business days of the report being submitted. The timing and manner in which the College addresses the report will depend upon the information provided and whether the reporter wishes to remain anonymous.
- Conversation(s) with impacted person(s) to fully assess incident and provide resources and support
- Referral of report to appropriate campus offices that can effectively respond
Possible Outcomes Could Be
- Engaging person(s) impacting others
- Engaging leaders to address systemic issues
- Facilitating dialogue
Freedom of Expression at Meredith
Meredith College values freedom and openness in the pursuit of truth. The lively and free exchange of ideas is essential to the intellectual life of the College as well as to the expansion of knowledge itself. Freedom of thought, free speech, and peaceful assembly are rights of citizens and are fundamental to this open inquiry and search for knowledge. Members of the Meredith College community express their views through a variety of established means, including Student Government, faculty governance, and staff affairs committees. The College also recognizes the right of an individual to express views through dissent and peaceful protest. The College has an obligation and responsibility to protect the rights of individuals who do not wish to participate in demonstrations and whose educational or employment pursuits must not be disrupted. The College has the obligation to ensure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process. Demonstrations and assemblies may not infringe on the rights of others or disrupt essential operations of the College. Meredith College protects the rights of all of its students, faculty, and staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
Anonymous reports are accepted and investigated to the extent possible. The Bias Incident Response Team will make every effort to review and address the concerns submitted. However, without adequate information, the college cannot respond as effectively and cannot respond to the complainant.
Examples may include the following, if there is evidence that the target or victim was chosen because of a characteristic such as those listed above:
- vandalism to personal or college property
- intimidating comments, messages, or behaviors
- defacement of posters or signs
A bias incident is conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by bias or prejudice. It differs from a hate crime
From the FBI: A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
From the US Department of Justice: At the federal level, a crime motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
Their page also has a helpful comparison between hate crimes and bias incidents, as well as example scenarios and why it’s important to report.
From NC Statute 14-3: If any Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor is committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin, the offender shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanor offense is committed because of the victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin, the offender shall be guilty of a Class H felony.
From NC Statute 14-12.14: It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, while wearing a mask, hood or device whereby the person, face or voice is disguised so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to place or cause to be placed at or in any place in the State any exhibit of any kind whatsoever, with the intention of intimidating any person or persons, or of preventing them from doing any act which is lawful, or of causing them to do any act which is unlawful. For the purposes of this section, the term “exhibit” includes items such as a noose.
From NC Statute 14-401.14: (a) If a person shall, because of race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin, assault another person, or damage or deface the property of another person, or threaten to do any such act, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(b) A person who assembles with one or more persons to teach any technique or means to be used to commit any act in violation of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.