Hate and Bias Incidents

Handbook of Operating Procedures 9-1810

Hate and Bias Incidents

University of Texas SealEffective March 08, 2017
Executive Sponsor: Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement and Vice President for Student AffairsPolicy Owner: Vice President for Student Affairs
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin ("University") unequivocally condemns and prohibits: acts of intolerance, hate, bias, and prejudice when manifested in threatened or actual violent conduct against a person; harassment; and incitement to imminent violations of law. In accordance with federal law and state law, the University prohibits unlawful harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation.

 

The University is committed to an academic and work environment free from acts of intolerance, hate, bias, or prejudice based on an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation.

 

The University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and expression and is dedicated to creating an environment where the expansion of knowledge and the freedom to exchange ideas is safeguarded. As such, members of the University community have the right to hold, vigorously defend, and express their ideas and opinions, and for such ideas and opinions to flourish or wither according to their merits.

II. Reason for Policy 

The principles of free inquiry and expression protect controversial ideas and opinions and differing viewpoints; however, these principles do not protect threatened or actual violent conduct against a person, harassment, or incitement to imminent violations of law.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all University students, faculty, and staff, as well as visitors, applicants for admission to or employment with the University, University Affiliates ("affiliates"), and others conducting business on campus.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Actual Violent Conduct:

an act that causes bodily injury to or harmful, aggressive, or unwelcome physical contact with another.

Harassment:

as a form of discrimination is defined as verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual or group because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation when such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with an individual or group's academic or work performance, or to create a hostile work or academic environment.

 

Harassment can also consist of nonverbal conduct, such as hazing, practical jokes, damage to property, and physical assault. The harassment this policy prohibits does not exhaust the category of speech that is unnecessary and inappropriate to vigorous debate in a diverse community of educated people. An essential part of higher education is to learn to separate substantive argument from personal offense, and to express even the deepest disagreements within standards of civility that reflect mutual respect, understanding, and sensitivity among the diverse population within the University and in the larger society. These are community norms, even though they cannot be enforced by disciplinary rules.

Threatened Violent Conduct:

an act that threatens another with imminent bodily injury or harmful, aggressive or unwelcome physical contact.

Verbal Harassment:

means hostile or offensive speech, oral, written, or symbolic, that

 

  1. is not necessary to the expression of any idea described in the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities ("Institutional Rules"), Appendix C, subsection 13-204(b)(2); and
  2. is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to create an objectively hostile environment that interferes with or diminishes the victim's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the University; and
  3. describes or is directed to one or more specific individuals.

 

Verbal harassment may consist of threats, insults, epithets, ridicule, personal attacks, or the categories of harassing sexual speech set forth in HOP 3-3031 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures. Verbal harassment is often based on the victim’s appearance, personal characteristics, or group membership, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation.

 

To make an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea is not verbal harassment, even if some listeners are offended by the argument or idea. The categories of sexually harassing speech set forth in HOP 3-3031 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures are rarely, if ever, necessary to argue for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea.

 

Verbal harassment has been interpreted very narrowly by the federal courts. Policies on verbal harassment or hate speech at many universities have been held unconstitutional, either because they prohibited harassment only when it was based on race, sex, and similar categories, or because they failed to protect the expression of potentially offensive ideas. This policy should be interpreted as narrowly as need be to preserve its constitutionality.

V. Website (for policy) 
https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/9-1810
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Office of the Dean of StudentsPhone:512-471-5017Fax:512-471-7833Website:Email:deanofstudents@austin.utexas.edu
Office for Inclusion and EquityPhone:512-471-1849Website:Email:equity@utexas.edu
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 

A student who believes he or she has been harassed should report the alleged violation to the Office of the Dean of Students.

 

A faculty member, staff member, or university affiliate who believes he or she has been harassed should report the alleged violation to the Office for Inclusion and Equity.

 

Investigation of the information provided, and any remedial or disciplinary proceedings, will proceed under the procedures set out in the harassment policies cross-referenced in Appendix C of the Institutional Rules, Subsection 13–204(c).

 

When the University receives a report of alleged (i) threatened, or actual violent conduct, (ii) harassment, or (iii) incitement to imminent violations of law on the basis of an individual's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation, it will respond and investigate the allegation in a fair, impartial, and prompt manner.

 

Depending on the alleged perpetrator's relationship with the University, the investigation will be managed by the Office for Inclusion and Equity or the Office of the Dean of Students according to their respective procedures.

 

  1. No person will make, distribute, or display on the campus any statement that constitutes verbal harassment of any other person. This section applies to all speech on campus, including speech that is part of teaching, research, or other official functions of the University.
  1. No person will make, distribute, or display on the campus any statements directed to inciting, or producing imminent violations of law under circumstances such that the statements are likely to actually and imminently incite or produce violations of law.
  1. For disciplinary violations motivated by the race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or sexual orientation, of a student(s) directly harmed by the violation, such a discriminatory purpose will be treated as an aggravating factor for the purpose of determining the resolution timeline and the appropriate sanction(s) under subsection 11-701(a) in Appendix C of the Institutional Rules.
  1. The University may take disciplinary action in response to incidents that take place during official functions of the University, functions sponsored by registered student organizations, and incidents that have a substantial connection to the interests of the University regardless of the location in which the incident(s) occur.
  1. Report Against University Students

Individuals may report threatened or actual violent conduct, harassment, or incitement to imminent violations of law including those incidents based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation by a University student to the Office of the Dean of Students. Incidents may be reported by completing the online referral form available at Report an Incident or by visiting the Office of the Dean of Students, located on the 4th floor of the Student Services Building (SSB), in room 4.104. Individuals who would like to consult with a staff member prior to reporting the incident to the Office of the Dean of Students may contact Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at (512) 471-2841 or email studentconduct@austin.utexas.edu.

 

Alternatively, any person who believes he or she has been harassed may report the alleged violation to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to any University official, administrator, or supervisor. A faculty member is not an "official, administrator, or supervisor" for this purpose unless that faculty member holds an administrative position.

 

Any University official, administrator, or supervisor who receives a report of alleged harassment will promptly refer the report and the complainant to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to the Office of the Dean of Students as appropriate. A complainant whose report is not forwarded to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to the Office of the Dean of Students, has not initiated proceedings for providing a remedy to the complainant or for imposing discipline on the alleged harasser.

 

  1. Report Against a University Faculty Member, Staff Member, or University Affiliate

Individuals may report alleged threatened or actual discrimination or violence on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation by a University employee, including faculty, staff, and student employees, as well as university affiliates (i.e. visitors, or contractors) to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to any University official, administrator, or supervisor. The Office for Inclusion and Equity may be contacted directly at (512) 471-1849 or https://www.utexas.edu/equity.

 

Alternatively, any person who believes he or she has been harassed may report the alleged violation to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to any University official, administrator, or supervisor. A faculty member is not an "official, administrator, or supervisor" for this purpose unless that faculty member holds an administrative position.

 

Any University official, administrator, or supervisor who receives a report of alleged harassment will promptly refer the report and the complainant to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to the Office of the Dean of Students as appropriate. A complainant whose report is not forwarded to the Office for Inclusion and Equity or to the Office of the Dean of Students, has not initiated proceedings for providing a remedy to the complainant or for imposing discipline on the alleged harasser.

 

  1. Campus Climate Incident

The University strongly encourages individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or have experienced threatened or actual violence on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, sexual orientation, ideology, political views, or political affiliation to report such incidents as provided in this policy.

 

Individuals may report a campus climate incident to the University’s Campus Climate Response Team by clicking on the "Report a Bias Incident Campus Climate Response Team" button, available at http://diversity.utexas.edu/ccrt/reporting/. Individuals may report concerns such as a student organization hosting a party with a racist theme, derogatory graffiti regarding sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, malicious threats that intimidate another person because of his or her religion or concerns that someone has created a hostile or offensive classroom environment.

 

  1. Interim Measures and Final Sanctions

University students:

 

As provided by Section 11-502 of Appendix C of the General Information Catalog, pending a hearing or other disposition of the allegations against a student, if the continuing presence of the student is a potential danger to persons or property or a potential threat of disrupting the academic process or any activity authorized by the University, or in cases where it is alleged that a University student has engaged in threatened or actual violent conduct, the dean of students may take such immediate interim disciplinary action as is appropriate to the circumstances. Appropriate actions include, but are not limited to, suspending the right of the student to be present on the campus (including to live in campus residence halls) and to attend classes, and otherwise altering the status of the student.


In the event a final determination is made that a student has violated University policy, the University may impose any of the sanctions authorized in the General Information Catalog Appendix C (Chapter 11, Section 11-701, Student Discipline and Conduct). In addition, Section 11-701(b) of Appendix C of the General Information Catalog provides that if a determination is made that a violation of the University's Institutional Rules is committed because of the race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or sexual orientation, of a student(s) directly harmed by the violation, such a discriminatory purpose will be treated as an aggravating factor for the purpose of determining the appropriate sanction(s) under 11-701(a) of Appendix C of the General Information Catalog.

 

University faculty or staff:

 

In the event a final determination is made that a University faculty or staff member has violated University policy, he or she may be disciplined, up to and including, termination in accordance with applicable policy.

VIII. Forms & Tools 

Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL)

(512) 232-5050
Allows members of the University community to discuss their concerns about an individual’s behavior (available 24-hours a day)
https://www.utexas.edu/safety/bcal/

 

Campus Climate Response Team
http://diversity.utexas.edu/ccrt/reporting/

 

Counseling and Mental Health Center

(512) 471-3515
24-hour telephone counseling service at (512) 471-CALL (2255)
http://cmhc.utexas.edu

 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty/Staff

Office for Inclusion and Equity
(512) 471-1849
http://titleix.utexas.edu/
 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Senior Associate Dean of Students
(512) 471-5017
titleix.utexas.edu/
 

Human Resources

(512) 471-4772
hrsc@austin.utexas.edu
http://hr.utexas.edu

 

Ombuds - Faculty

(512) 471-5866
Provides faculty members with information about University resources and processes
https://ombuds.utexas.edu/faculty

 

Ombuds - Staff

(512) 232-8010
Provides staff members with information about University resources and processes
https://ombuds.utexas.edu/staff

 

Ombuds - Student

(512) 471-3825
Provides students with information about University resources and processes
https://ombuds.utexas.edu/student

 

Office for Inclusion and Equity

(512) 471-1849
equity@utexas.edu
http://equity.utexas.edu

 

Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students

(512) 471-5017
Provides referrals within the University and in the Austin area when necessary
deanofstudents.utexas.edu/emergency

 

University Compliance Services

(877) 507-7321
hotline@compliance.utexas.edu
http://www.reportlineweb.com/utaustin

 

University Health Services

Appointments: (512) 471- 4955
24-hour Nurse Advice Line: (512) 475-6877
Health Promotion Resource Center: (512) 475-8252
http://healthyhorns.utexas.edu
 

University of Texas Police Department

Emergencies: 911
Non-emergencies: (512) 471-4441, enter "9"
http://www.utexas.edu/police/

 

University Title IX Coordinator

University Compliance Services
(512) 232-3992
titleix@austin.utexas.edu
http://titleix.utexas.edu/

XI. History 

New Policy Adopted: 3/8/2017

Next Scheduled Review Date: 3/8/2019