Bias Response Protocol
The University of Northern Iowa seeks to be an ethical, caring and diverse community, and a safe institution of higher education. The university community values intellectual and academic freedom, the free exchange of ideas, and the well being of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. The campus community takes great pride in promoting a healthy environment and will hold accountable those individuals whose actions violate the law or university conduct policies. We will speak out against intolerance, and will support efforts to promote an inclusive community based on respect for all persons.
The University will not seek to discipline or prosecute individuals for expression of views in a manner that is protected by their rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, but may challenge protected speech that conflicts with institutional values by speaking out against it, by providing educational opportunities, by supporting those negatively affected by such speech, or by other legal means.
Bias Response Team
The University maintains a Bias Response Team (BRT). The purpose of the BRT is to coordinate the University’s response to bias-related incidents that affect the campus community. Bias-related incidents can contribute to an unsafe environment and/or have a negative effect on an individual, group, or the campus community. The BRT makes assessments of incidents; refers affected persons to appropriate offices such as Public Safety, Dean of Students, Compliance and Equity Management, and other support services; communicates with university administration and the campus community; and helps educate the campus about the ill effects of bias in order to maintain a campus environment of mutual respect.
Definition of a Bias-related Incident
A bias-related incident is any word or action directed toward an individual or group based upon actual or perceived identity characteristics or background of a group or person that is harmful or hurtful. Some bias-related incidents may be contrary to law or policy, while some may be speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
Examples of identity characteristics or background include age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other bases protected by federal or state law or university policy. A bias incident is an action taken by an individual or group that may involve, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, assault, damage to property, sending threatening mail or e-mail, writing racial slurs or graffiti, stalking, verbal harassment and other bias-motivated behavior that contributes to or enables an unsafe and hostile campus environment.