Bias Related Incidents and Crimes
If you have experienced or witnessed an incident on campus that is troubling to you and is regarding identity issues (race, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability status, etc.), but doesn’t fit in the bias-related crime definition below, please follow this procedure:
Procedures-To Report a Troubling Incident
1. Report the incident to the Chief Diversity Officer:
- If you feel you have been singled out based on your identity.
- Are unsure of how to address identity issues that are arising in or out of the classroom.
- If you want help processing what happened.
2. If a bias related incident is reported to the Chief Diversity Officer, the student’s report may be forwarded to the dean of student affairs, the dean of studies and student life, the dean of graduate studies and/or the associate dean of the College
3. Disciplinary Measures
- For undergraduate students, the dean of student affairs, director of residence life, or dean of studies and student life may consider the matter and sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
- For graduate students, the dean of graduate studies will handle the matter and sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
- For faculty and staff the vice president of human resources and/or the dean of the college will handle the matter and sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
Definition of a Hate or Bias Crime: The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office categorizes a bias crime as “any crime committed by a defendant against a victim when that victim (either a person or an institution) is intentionally selected, in whole or substantial part, because of that victim’s perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.”
The College takes bias-related crimes seriously. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to immediately report all bias-related crimes to the public safety department.
Certain actions may rise to the level of a crime. Federal and state laws specifically regulate crimes that are motivated by hate or bias, and the College is required to report them to the local police.
Any bias-related crime against a member of our community is viewed as an attack on the entire community and will not be tolerated. To help ensure an environment free of such hateful acts, the College has enacted policies and procedures that specifically deal with bias crimes.
The College encourages all members of the community to immediately report all incidents to Public Safety and Security.
Procedures To Report a Bias-Related Crime
- After a bias-related crime is reported to Public Safety and Security, a public safety officer will be dispatched immediately to take a report. All evidence will be documented and preserved. Pictures of the crime scene will be taken if necessary.
- If a bias-related crime is reported to the director of diversity and campus engagement, the student’s report will be forwarded to the director of public safety.
- The Yonkers Police Department will be called, as well as the director of public safety. EMS will be called if anyone is injured.
- College officials will cooperate and assist with the Yonkers Police Department’s investigation of the crime.
- The victim(s) will be offered counseling services through SLC’s Health Services and will be given the names and telephone numbers of on- and off-campus victims’ advocates.
- The following campus offices, individuals, and committees will be notified of the bias-related crime:
- Office of the President
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of Student Affairs
- Office of the Dean of Studies and Student Life
- Office of Human Resources and/or the Dean of the College, if a faculty or staff member is involved
- The dean of graduate studies, if a graduate student is involved
- Committee on Undergraduate Student Life
- The diversity and activism programming subcommittee (DAPS) of the Committee on Undergraduate Student Life
- The diversity committee
- A notification of the crime in the form of a security advisory/alert, if appropriate, will be made to the College community via e-mail.
- An internal investigation will be conducted by the College’s Public Safety and Security and they will provide follow to the victim and all offices notified of the crime or incident.
The College sees prevention as a key element in decreasing the likelihood of bias crimes on campus.
The following is a list of some of the preventive measures the College has undertaken:
- The director of diversity and campus engagement and the diversity and activism programming subcommittee (DAPS), various faculty members, and guest speakers provide educational discussions on issues of bias, criminal actions, diversity, and cultural competency. These take the form of workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and film presentations throughout the year.
- The director of public safety includes a section on bias-related crimes, policies, and laws during the safety presentation given to all new students.
- The Committee on Undergraduate Student Life’s diversity and activism programming subcommittee (DAPS) examines and responds to issues related to prejudice and exclusion, and looks at ways to enhance multicultural dialogue and understanding on campus.
- The College distributes and makes available an informational pamphlet on bias-related crimes. Included in the pamphlet are the following:
- prevention information
- information on the Hate Crimes Act of 2000
- internal and external penalties for the commission of bias crimes
- College procedures for dealing with bias crimes
- the availability of counseling and other support services for victims of bias crimes
- the methods the College uses to advise and update students about security procedures
- the nature of and common circumstances relating to bias crime on college campuses
College Disciplinary Measures
For undergraduate students, the dean of student affairs, director of residence life, or dean of studies and student life may consider the matter or decide to send it to the College’s Student Conduct Review Board.
For graduate students, the dean of graduate studies will handle the matter.
For faculty and staff the vice president of human resources and/or the dean of the college will handle the matter.
The following sanctions may be given to students found responsible for bias-related crimes:
- Permanent Expulsion from the College
- Housing Probation
- Suspension from the College
- Social Probation
- Permanent Loss of Campus Housing
- Restricted Access
- Suspension from Campus Housing
Possible penalties for bias-related crimes committed by faculty or staff include warnings, formal reprimands, suspension without pay, or termination of employment.
Note: If the bias crime involves an alleged sexual assault, the sexual harassment/assault policy will be followed and will supersede the College’s bias-related crime policy and procedures.
New York State Law Involving Bias Crimes
Under the NYS Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Section 485.05 of the NYS Penal Code), in addition to the criminal charges and the penalties a perpetrator must face for the “crime” element of a hate crime, the law allows for additional charges for the “hate” element as well. This significantly increases the crime the perpetrator is charged with as well as the penalties and time of imprisonment if convicted.