Harper College

Bias Incident Reporting Process

William Rainey Harper College prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability or unfavorable discharge from military service.

The purpose of the complaint procedure is as follows:

  • To provide individuals a safe environment to share their experience and understand their rights and responsibilities.
  • To advise individuals who believe that they have been subjected to acts of bias, harassment, and/or discrimination on how to report a complaint.
  • To ensure that such complaints are addressed and resolved in a manner which is prompt and discreet.

Bias Incidents and Response

We all have bias but where problems often arise is when our biases lead to treating an individual or group of people differently. Bias may eventually lead to acts of discrimination and it is best to identify bias early in order to prevent further harm or illegal actions from occurring.

Harper College defines Bias as:

Bias incidents are acts of conduct, speech, or expression that adversely impacts individuals and groups based on age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, geographic origin, language, marital status, pregnancy and/or parenting status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status etc.

Some bias incidents may violate the Student Code of Conduct, other College policies, and federal, state, or local laws, while other acts of bias may be considered protected speech or expression. Harper College protects free expression of ideas, even if they are unwelcome, because this is vital in promoting learning in an educational setting. Freedom of speech can sometimes protect controversial ideas and sometimes even offensive and hurtful language; however, it does not protect personal threats, discriminatory conduct or other acts of misconduct that violate the Student Code of Conduct, other College policies, or relevant federal, state, and local laws.

Bias Response Process

The claimant(s) or witnesses to the incident should contact the office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and/or submits an online referral. (Online referral form can be found HERE)

If follow-up is desired, the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, or Inclusion (or designee) then:

Schedules initial conversation to allow claimant to share concerns of bias.  This conversation is seen as the first step in the resolution process. It allows for sharing of information, giving of advice, coaching, and ideally achieving mutual resolution between/ among parties. In addition, the informal conversation provides the opportunity for overview of the formal process.  Privacy is maintained during informal discussions as much as the process allows.  After this conversation the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, or Inclusion (or designee) will follow up with claimant(s) to see if environment has improved or the bias concern has been addressed.

If it is determined that the alleged behavior should be investigated by Human Resources or Student Conduct the Vice President of DEI will reach out to the appropriate personnel in those offices for discussion and to determine next steps.  In certain instances where the additional safety of the campus community may be involved, the Vice President of DEI may initiate this process with written acknowledgement from the complainant, with or without the complainant’s participation. 

Last Updated: 12/14/23