Bias Incident Reporting, Communication, Resources and Services

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As we reach the midpoint of the Spring 2023 semester, we want to remind our community of the processes we follow as it relates to bias incident reporting, how we communicate and the resources and services available to support individuals impacted by bias.

Recent Bias Incident

This reminder is especially timely as late last week, a bias complaint was reported to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) after homophobic/anti-LGBTQ+ language was found in Watson Hall. Under the standard bias incident reporting protocol, incidents reported directly to DPS and that implicate possible criminal acts are published on the DPS Bias Incident Reports webpage within 48 hours. However, as noted on this webpage, DPS has discretion to refrain from publicly posting if posting would potentially impede or jeopardize an active investigation. The Watson Hall incident is an example of why we have this exception in place. While we cannot provide specific details on the investigation, DPS is aggressively following a lead that has resulted in a person of interest being interviewed. More information on this incident is posted on the Bias Incidents Reports webpage.

We recognize that when bias incidents occur, our community members want information quickly. Since our goal in these moments is identifying individuals responsible and holding them accountable, there are occasions where we will need to delay sharing information in order to conduct a swift and successful investigation. Our priority will always be providing care and support to anyone affected by bias behavior and conduct and connecting impacted individuals to resources and services.

Communications Processes

Included below is a summary explaining how and why DPS uses emergency notification and public safety messages. This includes how, when and via what channels we issue safety communications. Regardless of the incident or situation, we will always prioritize the safety of our campus community.

When we issue broad communications:

  • When there is an active or imminent threat of physical danger to the campus community.
  • When there is an active crime scene on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need community members to avoid the area.
  • When a perpetrator is at large on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need the community’s help locating the individual.

When we will not issue broad communications:

  • When initial investigation into an incident indicates there is no continuing threat.
  • When another law enforcement agency has jurisdiction or is the lead investigator on an active case, and we have been directed not to issue a notice. That agency may communicate to the broader public and direct us to inform our community.
  • When communicating broadly will impede or jeopardize an active investigation. Please note: Although it is our intention to communicate in a timely manner, we will always prioritize maintaining the integrity of an investigation, especially when we are following active leads.
  • Bias incidents are not emailed campuswide; instead, they are posted on the Bis Incident Reports web page. Individuals can subscribe to receive these reports by visiting the DPS Bias Incident Reports web page and submitting your email address where it reads “Subscribe to Reports.”

Reporting a Crime or Bias Incident

To report a crime or bias incident to DPS, please call us immediately at 315.443.2224, toll-free at 855.443.2224, by dialing 711 from a campus landline or via the Emergency Contacts button on the Orange Safe app. If you would like to anonymously report non-emergency information to DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool.

We understand that not everyone is comfortable reporting a bias incident to law enforcement. Instead, you can report it via the STOP Bias and Hate website. Please note: only bias incidents reported to DPS are posted on the Bias Incident Reports web page. We are, however, currently working with campus stakeholders to determine the best method for providing information about incidents that are reported through STOP Bias and Hate. Often, individuals reporting through STOP Bias and Hate will elect to remain confidential or request their submission be handled without law enforcement. Also, not all bias incidents involve potential criminal activity, and are thus handled through the Office of Community Standards or other University offices.

Bias Resources and Services

The following offices/spaces on campus are available to provide support to those who may have experienced or been impacted by a bias-related incident on or off campus:

As a learning community, we are constantly striving to create an environment where every member is and feels welcome, respected and valued. We will continue to take action to educate and prevent bias motivated behavior and respond to incidents in a way that prioritizes the safety and well-being of our campus community.


Allen Groves, Chief Student Experience Officer
Sheriah Dixon, Dean of Students
Craig Stone, Chief, Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services