Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bias incident? What are examples of bias incidents?

A bias incident is conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by bias or prejudice; treating some negatively based on their actual or perceived identity groups. Examples include: stereotyped jokes, name-calling, offensive graffiti, racial slurs, etc.

What is a hate crime? What are examples of hate crimes?

A hate crime is a crime motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Examples of hate crimes include: assaults, criminal damage, murder, harassment, etc.

Is a bias incident the same as a hate incident?

A bias incident is an offensive act that is not criminal. A hate crime involves an offense that is criminal.

I’m not sure if what I experienced/witnessed would be considered bias, but I think it might be. Should I still report it?

Simmons strives to be a welcoming and inclusive environment. Reporting a bias incident helps to ensure our community addresses issues that impact our ability to cultivate the trust and cultural humility that are essential components of community building and learning at Simmons. Reporting bias incidents also ensures that members of our community receive necessary support resources. Finally, this information provides the university with a record of current issues on campus and enables the community to track trends.

What can I do if I face, or witness, bias, harassment or discrimination?

You may report your experience to any of the Bias Response Team Community Advocates (listed below) or seek other support in order to do so.

Who can I report an incident of bias to? Can I report a bias incident anonymously?

You may report an incident of bias to:

  • A Residence Life Professional Staff Member (resident student)
  • Student Life (staff/student)
  • Academic Dean (faculty/staff/student))
  • Public Safety (faculty/staff/student)
  • A member of the Bias Response Team Community Advocates (BRT(CA)) (faculty/staff/student)
  • Anonymous report via EthicsPoint (faculty/staff/student)
What happens when an incident is reported? Is it confidential?

A reported incident will be assessed by the Bias Response Team to determine appropriate next steps. We will protect an individual’s privacy rights to the best of our ability.

What is the Bias Response Team (BRT)?

The Bias Response Team is primarily responsible for both the assessment of incidents and the design and implementation of appropriate community responses. The BRT is not responsible for investigating or adjudicating alleged incidents of bias or hate crimes. Public Safety and/or General Counsel will determine the nature of the investigative work warranted and coordinate/direct that work with the appropriate investigator(s).

Who are the Bias Response Team Community Advocates [BRT(CA)]?

Proposed Bias Response Team Community Advocates:

  • AVP for Diversity& Inclusion, Team Coordinator (Lisa Smith-McQueenie) 
  • VP for Communications, Diversity & Inclusion (Cheryl Howard)  
  • Dean for Student Life (Susan Antonelli)
  • Assistant Director of Residence Life, (Amelia McConnell)
  • Executive Director of Undergraduate Advising (Roland Davis)
  • DIAC Faculty (Gary Bailey)
  • Chief, Public Safety (Marjorie Pike) 
  • Academic Deans (from each school)
  • Deputy Provost*

The Bias Response Team Community Advocates [“BRT(CA)]” or “advocate/s”) are the members of the larger BRT who conduct the initial conversations with the affected person. As an initial point of contact, the advocate will offer support to the affected person and allow an opportunity for the individual to process the incident and empower them to determine what next steps to take which would be helpful to them.

What can I expect when I meet with a member of BRTCA?

Given that these incidents can be complex, complicated and sometimes confusing, a Bias Response Team Community Advocate can help to assess the experience and provide support and resources. The advocate will remain in contact with the reporter as needed until the matter is addressed, answering any questions and making any appropriate referrals.

Can I report anonymously?

You may report anonymously on EthicsPoint but it will mean we will not know how to reach you to work through the issues with you. If you report through the BRP, members of the Bias Response Community Advocates Team will discuss with you the implications and impact of keeping the report anonymous.

How can I learn more about bias?

Web Resources for Bias Reducing Activities:

For complete information and a glossary of terms, please review the full Bias Response Protocol.