Bias Incident Response Protocol & Bias Incident Prevention and Response Team

In keeping with the Stonehill College Mission Statement we strive to provide a learning, working and living community free from hate, discrimination, harassment, and intolerance.

The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Protocol (“Protocol”) is to establish how Stonehill College defines bias incidents and hate crimes and to describe the function and purpose of the Bias Incident Prevention and Response Team (“Team”).  The Team’s responsibilities include considering and recommending responses to reports of bias incidents, as well as serving an educational role in helping to cultivate community values of inclusion, civility, and mutual respect.

Common Language 

What is a bias-related incident?
A bias-related incident is an act motivated by the offender’s bias against the actual – or perceived – age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, religious practices, or sexual orientation of the targeted person or group, but does not rise to the level of a criminal offense. Examples many include telling jokes based on stereotypes; posting on social media about someone based on identity; using offensive language that may pertain to identity; and taking down or tampering with bulletin boards or displays. 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.

What is a hate crime?
Under Massachusetts law, Chapter 22C, Section 32, a hate crime is defined as “any criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and bias including, but not limited to, a threatened, attempted or completed overt act motivated at least in part by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation prejudice, or which otherwise deprives another person of his constitutional rights by threats, intimidation or coercion, or which seek to interfere with or disrupt a person's exercise of constitutional rights through harassment or intimidation. Hate crime shall also include, but not be limited to, acts that constitute violations of sections thirty-seven and thirty-nine of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, section one hundred and twenty-seven A of chapter two hundred and sixty-six and chapter two hundred and seventy-two.”

 In simplest terms, a hate crime is a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice that typically involves violence.

What are microaggressive behaviors?
Microaggressive behaviors are insults, actions, or comments which contribute to an environment or experience that is not welcoming to a person or group based on their age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, religious practices, or sexual orientation. Examples may include excluding a person from group projects because, in part, of skin color or religious practices or comments made in the classroom that single out a person which may be related to identity.

REVIEW DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

Reporting

How do I report a bias incident or hate crime?

Faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors are strongly encouraged to report a bias incident or hate crime to the College.  For immediate assistance or in the case of an emergency, please contact the Campus Police at x5555 from an on-campus phone, or 508-565-5555 from an off-campus or from a cell phone. 

Persons reporting an incident may self-identify or remain anonymous by calling the Office of Student Affairs at 508-565-1363 or Office of Intercultural Affairs at 508-565-1409 or by completing the electronic form (see below). Anonymous reporting, however, will impact the College’s ability to respond or pursue appropriate action against the alleged accused.

1. Report it to Campus Police

For immediate assistance or in the case of an emergency, please contact the Campus Police at x5555 from an on-campus phone, or 508-565-5555 from an off-campus or from a cell phone.

2. FILE A BIAS INCIDENT REPORT

To report an incident electronically, please click here or use the Stonehill app.Please note: Reports are sent directly to the Director of Intercultural Affairs, Dean of Faculty, and Dean of Students.

3. Expect a Response

What happens when a report is received?

All reports of bias incidents are initially reviewed by the Director of Intercultural affairs, the Dean of Faculty, and the Dean of Students.  An assessment is made to ensure that appropriate College officials can be notified of a bias incident.  If the reported act is determined to be a bias incident or hate crime, the Team will work to consider appropriate educational measures to address the incident.  Such measures would not interfere with any investigative proceedings that might be underway or contemplated. If it is determined the a reported incident requires a referral to another College official or investigative body, referrals will be made:

  1. to Campus Police regarding violations of and/or any local, state or federal laws and regulations. In the case of a potential violation of any local, state or federal laws and regulations, the Team does not play a role in the investigation. Campus Police will conduct an investigation.
  2. to Human Resources regarding employee relations and/or violations of College Policies. In the case of a potential violation of any employment policy, the Team does not play a role in the investigation. Human Resources will conduct an investigation.
  3. to Dean of Faculty regarding faculty relations and/or violations of College Policies. In the case of a potential violation of any faculty policy, the Team does not play a role in the investigation of the violation.
  4. to Dean of Students regarding students relations, disciplinary action related to violations of College Policies and Community Standards. In the case of a potential violation of Community Standard, the Team does not play a role in the investigation of alleged incidents or play a role in separate adjudication and conduct processes where warranted.
  5. To other campus officials who maintain a need to know basis.

 When possible and appropriate, the outcome of any investigation will be shared with the Team.

 In certain cases (and when not prohibited by state or federal law or by College policy), the Team may facilitate additional coordinated campus responses. For incidents that affect the immediate health and safety of the campus community, Campus Police will always be notified.

What are the primary functions of the Bias Incident Prevention and Response Team? 

The primary functions of the Team are to:

  1. engage community members in education, dialogue, and awareness so as to provide a learning, working, and living community free from hate, discrimination, harassment, and intolerance; 
  2. receive timely and sensitive information on a need to know basis;
  3. assess the circumstances of the incident as thoroughly and quickly as possible;
  4. make referrals to appropriate campus officials so that action can be taken; and
  5. assist in implementation of a coordinated and appropriate community response (engaging partners as needed) and communicate with the community as appropriate.

 Members of the Team are also available to respond to the needs of the affected party or parties and notify members of the campus community as appropriate. 

BIPRT Members

Bias Incident Prevention & Response Team (BIPRT) Members   
Constanza Cabello Director of Intercultural Affairs ccabello@stonehill.edu 508-565-1411
Kevin Piskadlo Dean of Students kpiskadlo@stonehill.edu 508-565-1099
Rita Pisapia Director of Community Standards rpisapia@stonehill.edu 508-565-1816
Peter Carnes Chief of Police pcarnes@stonehill.edu 508-565-1717
Kristen Pierce Director of Residence Life kpierce1@stonehill.edu 508-565-1290
Jim Hermelbracht Director of Student Activities jhermelbracht@stonehill.edu 508-565-1020
Maryann Biedak Director of Human Resources mbiedak@stonehill.edu 508-565-1106
Pamela Lombardi Assistant Professor of Chemistry plombardi1@stonehill.edu 508-565-1653
Maria Curtin Dean of Faculty mcurtin@stonehill.edu 508-565-1419
Vacant Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning - -