Bias Incident Reporting at Sarah Lawrence College

Welcome to the Sarah Lawrence College Bias Response reporting tool. Students, faculty and staff should use this tool to report bias incidents.

What is a Bias Incident?

An event that targets and/or denigrates a member or members of the SLC community on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language or citizenship can constitute a “bias incident” that may be reported using this tool. Certain bias incidents, typically incidents that are particularly severe in nature, may constitute crimes under New York law, and may be reported to law enforcement directly, either instead of or in addition to being reported using this tool. (See Section II, “What is a Bias Crime or a Hate Crime?”). If you believe you are the victim of, or witness to, a bias crime or a hate crime, in addition to law enforcement or making a report using this tool, you may contact the College’s Public Safety Department immediately.

  • Emergency: 914.395.2222 or 2222 from a campus phone
  • Non-emergency: 914.395.2209 or 2209 from a campus phone

College Policies Prohibiting Bias-Motivated Misconduct

A bias incident need not rise to the level of a "crime" in order to violate applicable Sarah Lawrence policies, or other applicable anti-discrimination laws. Both College policy and New York law, for instance, prohibit various forms of discrimination or harassment, including discrimination or harassment motivated by bias against a person based upon actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language or citizenship. Those policies also expressly prohibit retaliation against any person reporting a violation, or any person assisting with respect to the investigation into or determination of any complaint made under either policy.

Additional Pertinent Considerations in Our Academic Environment

Additional relevant College policies and pronouncements in this area are the Sarah Lawrence Principles for Mutual Respect, and the College’s policy of Freedom of Expression and Mutual Respect. We are a campus community where we expect our members to model personal behavior that reflects tolerance, compassion, a commitment to justice and fairness, and respect for the human dignity and worth of all. We also are a community of scholars and learners, where personal growth and understanding is best served through, as stated in the policy on Freedom of Expression and Mutual Respect, a “free and robust debate and exchange of ideas.” During such debate, participants may be exposed to ideas or modes of expression that differ from their own, and cause those participants to take stock of certain preconceived beliefs and notions. These exchanges of view are at the heart of an academic enterprise. However, the College can and will make the distinction between free expression of ideas and physical or verbal abuse which threatens or inhibits such expression, or that significantly interferes with a person's education. The “line” between legitimate expressions of view and acceptable pedagogical behavior is at times difficult to discern; in all events, members of the College community are invited to use this reporting tool in all cases where they believe a bias incident has occurred, and the College will carefully consider all such reports and proceed accordingly.

Procedures to Report a Bias Incident

  1. Complete Electronic Bias Incident Report Form on MYSLC
    • A report can be submitted anonymously, or with the reporter’s name attached.
    • Anonymous reports will be used only for the purpose of tracking trends, and generally will not be investigated.
  2. The report will be considered by the College’s Bias Report Intake Team, and where appropriate will be forwarded to the appropriate College officials for further action
    • For undergraduate students, the Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Residence Life, or Dean of Studies and Student Life may consider and, where warranted, investigate the matter; in the event a bias incident violative of College policy is identified and substantiated, sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
    • For graduate students, the Dean of Graduate Studies will consider and, where warranted, investigate the matter; in the event a bias incident violative of College policy is identified and substantiated, sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
    • For faculty and staff the AVP of Human Resources and/or the Associate Dean of the College will consider and, where warranted, investigate the matter; in the event a bias incident violative of College policy is identified and substantiated, sanctions will be in accordance with the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
  3. Any community member who believes that they are the victim of a bias crime or needs immediate attention is encouraged to contact Campus Safety at 914-395-2209 (emergency 914-395-2209). In the case of an allegation of a bias crime, please see our procedures here.