Contact the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity

160 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3976
(607) 255-7066 (TTY)
owdi@cornell.edu

Phone

Additional Bias Reporting Resources

These resources are available to the Cornell community.

Reporting Bias System

To Report a Bias Incident

To report bias activity, complete this form.

A University-wide System for Addressing Bias Activity

Cornell’s current Reporting Bias System grew out of a series of events and community-action efforts. In April of 1999, the Residence Hall Association executive boards of Ithaca College and Cornell University sponsored a candlelight vigil – “Not in Our City, Not on Our Campuses, Not in Our Community” – to provide a forum for discussing the occurrence of bias-related acts, and ways to prevent or respond to them. Subsequently, Cornell’s Campus Life Community Development Office established a program to respond to and prevent bias-related activity within the university’s residence halls and community centers. In March of 2000, Cornell used Campus Life’s bias response program as a model for developing a university-wide system for addressing bias activity. In November of 2000, the Bias Activity Protocol was created as part of this university-wide system. In August 2006, the Bias Response Program, based on this protocol, was incorporated in the university’s comprehensive policy addressing discrimination and harassment. See Policy 6.4, Prohibited Discrimination,Protected Status (Including Sexual) Harassment, and Bias Activity. This program is designed to supplement existing discrimination-related procedures and processes, and support the efforts of administrative units that address bias activity – such as the Cornell Police, the Office of the Judicial Administrator, and the Office of the University Ombudsman. The primary goal of this program is to respond to bias activity by advising the university community of the occurrence of bias incidents and crimes, providing support-related resources to individuals who have experienced bias activity, and developing programs that will help to prevent or eliminate bias activity. The program’s process is not intended to be punitive in nature.

What Is a Bias Incident at Cornell?

To support its goal of monitoring and maintaining a climate based on civility, decency, and respect, Cornell University has defined a special category of bias activity, as “bias incidents,” to distinguish them from other types of bias activity such as bias/hate crimes or bias/discrimination complaints. Under Cornell’s specific definition, a bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation that occurs on the Cornell campus or within an area that impacts the Cornell community and that one could reasonably conclude is directed at a member or a group of the Cornell community because of that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any combination of these or related factors. Cornell utilizes its Reporting Bias System to track and respond to bias incidents in which the perpetrators are known, unknown or may not be readily identifiable.

What Is a Bias/Hate Crime?

Under federal, state, and local laws, a bias/hate crime is defined as any criminal offense or attempted criminal offense that one could reasonably and prudently conclude is motivated, in whole or in part, by the alleged offender’s bias against an individual’s actual or perceived age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, height, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or weight.

What is a Bias/Discrimination Complaint?

Under federal, state, and local laws, a bias/discrimination complaint calls for action or treatment in response to alleged bias/discriminatory activity directed against an individual because of that individual’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, ex-offender status, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any combination of these factors. Cornell has policies and procedures to address bias/discriminatory complaints of such activity alleged to have occurred within its jurisdiction. The accusers must be willing to pursue a complaint and to name as respondents the individuals alleged to have perpetrated or engaged in bias/discriminatory activity. The policy is administered by Workforce Policy and Labor Relations, who can refer complaints to the appropriate university complaint process and agency. Matters related to bias/discrimination complaints and/or reported to Workforce Policy and Labor Relations under existing complaint-related procedures will be kept confidential and will not be reported as part of Cornell’s Reporting Bias System.

Identifying and Reporting Bias

Anyone who directly witnesses or experiences bias activity (or finds evidence of or hears about past bias activity) on the Cornell campus or in an area that impacts the Cornell community should intervene in the moment as appropriate (e.g., contact  Campus Police at 911, if a crime is in progress, or interrupt the behavior in as much as the observer feels skilled and safe) and be sure to also complete this confidential report of the incident, as soon as possible.

This report will result in:

  • Appropriate involvement/communication from the Reporting Bias System staff in the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity (DIWD)
  • Intervention with the agent, target, and witness(es) of the bias activity with assistance from the Office of the Judicial Administrator, Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations and Cornell University Police
  • Follow up with the reporting person if desired

A person who has made a report and wishes to learn more about what steps have been taken, to the extent they are not confidential, may contact Darren Jackson via the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity by phone at 255-0041 or by visiting 160 Day Hall.

Reporting is confidential and open to anyone with an internet connection. Reporting bias and the resulting efforts to understand and prevent bias activity are a matter of taking part in a caring community.