Bias Response Team

Our Mission

The Bias Response Team serves as a collaborative and proactive committee providing appropriate educational and reflective responses to incidents of bias at Alfred University. The Bias Response Team works to remediate prejudicial influences in order to encourage a campus of inclusivity that welcomes the perspectives, voices and gifts of all community members.

Reporting to the Bias Response Team

Please submit a report through AU Report It. AU Report It may be used to report a variety of campus concerns, but those reports that deal specifically with incidents of bias, discrimination and issues with campus climate will be reviewed by the Bias Response Team. If you have questions or concerns about filling out the report, please contact the Dean of Student Experience.

Report It

In emergency situations or with immediate concerns, please call Public Safety at 607-871-2108.


Alfred University is committed to nurturing a welcoming and safe environment for all faculty, staff, and students of the campus community. Alfred prohibits discrimination against any person based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, citizenship status, domestic violence victim status, veteran status, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics or genetic information, or any other category protected by law. Alfred is dedicated to ensuring that our community is free of bias incidents and hate crimes.

Alfred has developed the Hate-Bias Response Protocol to clearly set forth a process to address reports of bias incidents comprehensively and collaboratively at Alfred. The Protocol is intended to provide a centralized method for reporting bias incidents, referring reporters to resources, coordinating institutional responses, and assessing bias incidents impacting the Alfred community.

An objective of the Protocol is the creation and maintenance of a positive atmosphere of nondiscrimination in every phase and activity of university operations. Harassment and intimidation can impede an individual's ability to participate fully in the educational process. Acts of discrimination, harassment and insensitivity hurt and degrade all members of the community whether victim, perpetrator, or observer. Every member of the Alfred community is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate free of discrimination and harassment.

The commitment to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community does not mean that community faculty, staff, and students will never be offended. Alfred vigorously endorses the principle of academic freedom as outlined in its faculty agreements, and Alfred is committed to providing a learning environment that encourages a robust, stimulating, and thought-provoking exchange of ideas. Among other things, we expect our students as well as other faculty, staff, and students of the community to become comfortable with the discomfort of being challenged by new experiences and ideas and, above all, of being challenged to achieve excellence. Nothing in this Bias Response Protocol is intended to stifle academic freedom, protected speech or lawful protest.

The Protocol does not circumvent, or limit conduct and speech protected by the First Amendment. Alfred affirms the right to free speech and academic freedom. Alfred permissibly regulates speech activities in certain places and times pursuant to university policy. The Protocol will be applied with the free speech rights of the speaker and university policy in mind. Alfred’s response to reported incidents of bias may include education, dialogue, counter-speech, referrals to resources, and other responses other than discipline. Should discipline or sanction be appropriate, however, Alfred will follow established processes for that discipline or sanction as indicated in this Protocol.

The Protocol is applied by the Bias Response Team (or “BRT”). The BRT is composed of key university stakeholders who work collaboratively to respond to reports of bias incidents impacting the Alfred community. The Office of Student Experience and the Department of Human Resources is charged with coordination of the Bias Response Team and implementation of the Protocol.

Alfred recognizes that dealing with employee and/or student issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion are multidimensional and complex. Faculty, staff, and students of Alfred University, therefore, should expect that the definitions and procedures set forth in this document will continue to evolve.

Alfred has a zero tolerance for hate crimes and bias incidents and will act swiftly and effectively when such are reported. This protocol is specific to addressing hate crimes or bias incidents particularly those directed at persons identified as protected class citizens, under local, state or federal civil rights laws and regulations. Protected group status is afforded based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran, a Vietnam era veteran, or other covered veterans.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Protocol is to contribute to the enhancement and maintenance of an inclusive, welcoming, and safe Alfred for all students, faculty, and staff. To accomplish its mission, the Protocol seeks to:

  • Establish constructive dialogues to discuss equity and inclusion on campus;
  • Develop and provide educational resources or opportunities to individuals, departments, units, and other groups to address bias;
  • Communicate Alfred’s values and strong commitment to addressing and countering bias;
  • Provide easily accessible methods for Alfred University community members to report bias incidents;
  • Provide a structure and guidelines for consistently evaluating, assessing and responding to reports of bias incidents;
  • Collaboratively implement institutional responses that provide care to Alfred University community members impacted by bias incident;
  • Collaboratively design and implement educational responses to comprehensively address the negative effects of bias incidents, both immediate and long-term;
  • Designate a body of university stakeholders to apply the Protocol and to coordinate the institution’s response to reports of bias incidents;
  • Design tools for assessment and measurement of reports of bias incidents to inform institutional policies, procedures, and initiatives;
  • Develop methods to inform the Alfred University community about Alfred’s institutional response to reported bias incidents in a timely and informative manner, while remaining in compliance with federal and state privacy protections.

Protocol Jurisdiction

The Protocol applies to any bias incident reported that occurs at Alfred University and all other property owned or controlled by Alfred, or at any University sponsored activity. In any case where a reported bias incident occurs involving a party under the control of the institution, the Protocol applies.

Bias Incident Reporting

The primary reporting vehicle for reporting bias incidents is the online Bias Incident Report Form.

Bias incident reports are managed through Alfred’s centralized Maxient system. The form is available at all times and is mobile-enabled. Questions regarding reporting may be directed to the Office of Student Experience by calling 607-871-2977. In addition to the Bias Incident Report Form, Public Safety is available to provide support to Alfred community members impacted by bias incidents.

Response Protocol

  1. Report: Bias incident reported
    1. Reporting party submits Bias Incident Report using online report form.
    2. Reporting party reports a bias incident to a BRT member over the phone or in person.
      1. BRT member or university partner submits a Bias Incident Report as a third party, when appropriate.
      2. Reporting party directed to submit a Bias Incident Report, when appropriate.
  2. Evaluate: Bias incident report received, evaluated, and processed
    1. On receipt of Bias Incident Report, the Designated BRT Coordinator or designee evaluates report for immediate action and support needs.
      1. If immediate safety or health concerns are present, the Designated BRT Coordinator or designee alerts Public Safety Office and Police.
    2. Within 48 to 72 hours of receipt of Bias Incident Report Form, the Designated BRT Coordinator or designee:
      1. Should create Maxient case record using the incident report.
      2. Should send acknowledgement of report to reporting party articulating bias response process and care resources.
    3. As soon as practical, the Designated BRT Coordinator or designee should:
      1. Coordinate with the Wellness Center for student care evaluation. Referrals for faculty and staff members should be coordinated through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Crisis Services.
      2. If the impacted party is an Alfred student or student organization on the Alfred campus, the Dean for Student Experience assesses care needs, conducts outreach, and refers to university partners, as appropriate.
      3. If impacted party is an Alfred faculty or staff member, the Director of Human Resources or designee assesses care needs, conducts outreach, and refers to university partners, as appropriate.
      4. If reporting party is not an Alfred University community member, Designated BRT Coordinator or designee conducts outreach, as appropriate.
  3. BRT Coordinator evaluates/investigates incident report
    1. Gather additional information about the reported incident
      1. If the incident involves a verbal act, write down exactly what was said to the best of your recollection.
      2. Identify the accused, if known or provide a detailed description of the individual(s) involved.
      3. List all witnesses including their names and contact information.
    2. Documenting Graffiti, Vandalism, Telephone, Email, or Public Postings:Take the following actions, depending on the form of the incident:
      1. Graffiti, vandalism, or public postings: Public Safety and/or university personnel will document it for evidence and take responsibility for ensuring prompt removal.
      2. Email: Keep the email in your inbox. Do not delete, alter, or forward the message. Contact the Public Safety Office, 607-871-2108, to inform them of the email. Public Safety Office will contact appropriate campus officials to investigate the source.
    3. The Designated BRT Coordinator or designee once contacted by Public Safety and/or university personnel will document possible hate crimes or bias incidents through such activities as photographing physical injuries, offensive graffiti, and evidence of vandalism. Reports will include important details such as when and where the incident occurred and who was involved in or witnessed the incident.

      If the student/faculty/staff/community member shows any signs of being distraught, contact the following resources as appropriate: the Wellness Center (for students), EAP, and/or local crisis services available.
      1. Discuss potential responses
      2. Provide follow-up resources
  4. Response and Follow Up

    The investigation, fact finding, and resolution of all complaints of hate crimes and bias incidents will be conducted by the Bias Response Team. Investigations will be conducted to determine possible violations of university policies and local, state, or federal laws and regulations. Students, faculty and/or staff who have committed a hate crime or bias incident may be accountable under the criminal justice system, the Student Conduct Code, and/or the applicable University policy.

    Knowingly making a false complaint against another member of Alfred community is also prohibited behavior and may be subject to sanctions under the criminal justice system, applicable University policies, and the Student Conduct Code. A finding that a hate crime or bias incident was not substantiated is not in itself sufficient for a charge of a false accusation. (This section should not be construed as a warning against filing a complaint.)

    The Bias Response Team may consider a variety of responses to reported bias incidents based on the severity, complexity, and context of the incident. Responses can take many forms and involve various university partners and may include the initiation of university processes (e.g., Clery reporting), and/or referral of the reported incident to university offices (e.g., Student Conduct and the Public Safety Office.)

    In addition to the possibility of investigation and disciplinary sanction as determined by BRT, examples of responses may include, but are not limited to, efforts to:
    • Establish direct contact with reporting and impacted parties to process the impact of a bias incident and create restoration through the restorative justice model.
    • Coordinate with supervisors to initiate conversations with faculty and employees to discuss the impact of bias, and alignment or misalignment with employment expectations and departmental, unit, and university values.
  5. Definitions of Bias Incident and Hate Crime

    Alfred defines a bias incident as an act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation involving a member of the Alfred community (i.e. faculty, staff, students, administrators, delivery persons, third party vendors, and volunteers) that a reasonable person would conclude is directed at a member or group of the Alfred community based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality, economic background, age, physical and mental health or ability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, or religious practice. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident. Furthermore, the mere expression of viewpoints and disagreement on political/social matters as protected under the First Amendment, and which does not create a material disruption to the operations of Alfred University or the rights of any person, does not constitute a hate-bias incident.

    A hate crime is defined under New York State Penal Law Article 485.05 – Hate Crimes as follows:
    1. A person commits a hate crime when he, she, or they commit a specified offense and either:
      1. Intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, or
      2. Intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

        Note: All hate crimes are bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are hate crimes.
  6. Additional Definitions
    When applying the Reported Bias Incident Response Protocol, the following definitions will be applied:
    1. Bias: Bias is a pre-formed negative opinion or attitude toward an individual or a group of individuals who possess common characteristics such as age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
    2. Bias Incident: A bias incident is an act directed toward an individual or group based upon actual or perceived background or identity, as defined by the term bias above. A bias incident can constitute discrimination. These acts can create an unsafe or hostile environment or have a negative psychological, emotional, or physical effect on an individual, group, or community. Bias incidents may occur regardless of whether the act is legal, illegal, intentional, or unintentional.

      The severity of a bias incident, and Alfred’s response to these incidents, can vary based on factors including location, context and behavior, location, pre-meditation, and whether the incident presents a threat to safety. Any University response will follow university processes established as applicable.
    3. Discrimination or Harassment: Discrimination is an act that either in form or operation, and whether intended or unintended, unreasonably differentiates among persons based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This definition reserves to Alfred, in furtherance of its educational mission, the right to address conduct that would not necessarily be unlawful, following university processes in place as applicable.
    4. Freedom of speech: With respect to reported bias incidents, Alfred does not seek to discipline individuals for expression of views in a manner that is protected by their rights under the free speech clauses of the state and federal constitutions but may challenge protected speech that conflicts with university values by speaking out against it, by providing educational opportunities, and by supporting those negatively affected by such speech. The Bias Response Team will consult with legal counsel about whether speech is protected and how to respond in cases of protected speech.
  1. Bias Response Team
    The Bias Response Team is responsible for applying the Protocol. Bias Response Team core members include key university stakeholders representing the following offices:
    • Student Experience
    • Residential Communities
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Academic Affairs
    • Human Resources
    • Public Safety
    • University Advancement