Bias Incident Reporting

Have you experienced bias based on your perceived race, gender and or sexual identity?

MSU does not want you to experience this bias! If you feel you have experienced or witnessed a bias incident at MSU, please report it to the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, Dean of Students Office, or Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Using our online reporting form to tell us what happened.

What happens if I submit a Bias Incident Report?

Bias Incidents and Hate Incidents and Crimes

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities receives reports of bias and hate incidents, assesses the incidents and coordinates the response to the incidents for the University community. The response includes supporting those impacted within the community and informing the community about the nature of the incidents. The team generates an annual summary of bias incidents and regularly reviews incident summaries to best understand University climate and identify opportunities for proactive anti-bias education.

Bias

According to the Clery Act, “bias” is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or gender identity.

Hate Crime

Under the Clery Act, a hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias. “Bias” is a pre-formed, negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or gender identity.

The Texas Hate Crimes Act, Chapter 411.046 of the Texas Government Code, defines hate crimes as crimes that are motivated by prejudice, hatred, or advocacy of violence including, but not limited to, incidents for which statistics are or were kept under Public Law 101-275 (the Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act). The federal law further defines hate crimes as crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and added in 1997, disability.

Hate Incident

Not all expressions of hate or group bias rise to the level of a hate crime as defined in state and federal statute. Derogatory words or epithets directed against a member of a protected class, as listed above if not accompanied by a threat of harm with the ability to carry it out are considered protected speech and not a hate crime.

Bias Report Follow-up

What happens when someone submits a Bias Incident Report? As an institution committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, we appreciate the opportunity to understand and respond to issues when they arise. Reports are received during business hours, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding university holidays and closures). Reports received outside of business hours will be received during the next business day. If you have opted to allow us to contact you for follow-up, you should expect a response within three days of the report being received. 

The range of possible university responses varies greatly and depends upon the nature and/or severity of the incident. Please find below an outline of next steps and resources you may find helpful. 

What happens next? Upon receiving a report, the Dean of Students and the Director of the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center (or their designees) will:

  1. conduct an initial review of the information you’ve provided
  2. reach out to you, if needed, to collect additional information (unless you’ve submitted anonymously or chosen not to be contacted)
  3. make referrals to the appropriate department should person(s) other than students be involved (e.g., human resources for campus employees)
  4. consider your immediate and ongoing safety and well-being. -- or that of the impacted person(s), if you reported as a witness -- including any risk of harm to the involved parties, other individuals, or the broader campus community
  5. recommend any immediate interim actions to the Vice President for Student Affairs, as is appropriate to the circumstances
  6. initiate any interim measures or accommodations on behalf of the complainant, or impacted person(s), as necessary
  7. conduct interviews/investigation to determine whether a violation of policy and/or university standards has occurred
  8. use the findings resulting from your report and additional investigation to identify the best resolution, if a violation of policy or institutional standards has been found

Is the information I submitted confidential? Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. However, the information contained in this report will be shared with appropriate University officials involved in any subsequent monitoring, investigation, or resolution of the incident. Additionally, certain information in every report is publicly available; factors such as the nature of the incident and type of bias reported are logged for annual reporting (though no identifiable details are included).

Where can you find additional information?

  • Bias Incident Policy (MSU Texas Student Handbook)
    See item 9 in the Code of Student Conduct section
  • MSU Texas Policy Manual 
    See section 16; includes policies related to equal opportunity, discrimination, sexual misconduct and grievance  procedures

Who do I talk to when I have more questions?

MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center
Bea Wood Hall 131
Phone: 940-397-4947
Website: https://msutexas.edu/student-life/mosaic 
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Clark Student Center 108
Phone: 940-397-7500
Website: https://msutexas.edu/student-life/conduct 
Dean of Students
Clark Student Center 121
Phone: 940-397-7400
Website: https://msutexas.edu/student-life/dean