What happens when a bias related incident report is filed?
When a bias related behavior form is submitted, it will be received by the associate dean of students who will then take action based on the information provided. The associate dean of students or his/her designee will conduct a follow-up interview with the targeted person to gather additional information regarding the incident, determine the targeted person’s interest/role in responding to the incident, and determine possible Student Code of Conduct violations.
The associate dean of students or his/her designee may consult with relevant university personnel (dean of students office, student life, Counseling Center, ALANA Services, Disability Support Services, Women’s Center, assistant vice president for academic affairs and diversity, department of public safety, and assistant vice president for human resources) to determine next steps.
The targeted person and alleged offender each have the option of being assigned an advisor whose role is to support them through the investigation and/or student conduct process. The advisor must be a fulltime member of the Loyola University community (faculty, administrator, or staff) and cannot be an attorney or hold a law degree. The associate dean of students may provide advisors with pertinent information regarding the bias related behaviors incident/case being investigated.
What are the procedures for adjudicating bias related incidents?
All hearings involving bias related behaviors will be conducted in accordance with the normal rules and procedures of the student conduct process with special sensitivity to the nature of the charges and the best interests of all parties involved. In recognition of the unique nature of bias related behavior cases, the procedures specified in this section supersede any conflicting provisions of the University student conduct process. Similarly, pursuit of charges through the University’s student conduct system does not preclude the pursuit of criminal charges. The University will investigate all reports of bias related behaviors. However, it should be noted that the University’s ability to investigate or act upon anonymous reports may be limited.
Upon becoming aware of alleged bias related behaviors, the dean of students office, in conjunction with the office of student life and department of public safety, will initiate an investigation and take actions deemed necessary to protect the well-being of the students involved, as well as the educational environment of the University community. These actions may include, but are not limited to, relocating residence hall assignments, restricting access to certain campus buildings, prohibiting contact between the alleged offender, the targeted person, or witnesses, or suspending the alleged offender from campus pending the hearing.
If the panel determines that the offender is responsible for a violation of this policy, the panel will decide the appropriate sanctions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Information regarding the outcome will be shared with the targeted person and the alleged offender to the extent permitted by applicable laws regarding the privacy of education records.
The final outcome of the hearing including any sanctions that are imposed will be communicated to the alleged offender within five working days of the last day of the hearing.
What is the standard sanction for violation of the bias policy?
A violation of the Bias Policy is considered a serious breach of our community standards and although there are no standard sanctions, a hearing panel may consider a range of sanctions that include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation, deferred suspension and/or expulsion.
Are all bias related incidents adjudicated or handled through the Student Conduct process?
No. At times certain reports filed through the bias reporting system have resulted in being adjudicated through the student conduct process. Over the past few years, many bias related behaviors have been addressed through mediation or other educational interventions.
Is the campus community notified of bias incidents?
The incident will be handled in a confidential manner, except in cases where the University is required by law to notify the community. In cases of notification, the person reporting the incident/targeted person will be consulted to determine the appropriate communication to the community. Periodically, the vice president of student development notifies the Loyola community of any incidents where a member of our community was the object of demeaning behavior that targeted age, gender, religion, racial/ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. With regard to community notification, the vice president of student development will determine when such notification will be sent through a special “Newshound” email. For reasons of privacy, notification will occur only when the identities of the involved community members can be protected, permission from the targeted person(s) is granted, and the notification will not interfere with any ongoing investigation. The purpose of notifying the campus community is to provide more transparency regarding incidents of this nature and create awareness and opportunities for discussion about ways to reduce incidents of bias and insensitivity.
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What is the difference between bias related behaviors and hate crimes?
Bias related behaviors and hate crimes are similar in that age, gender, religion, racial/ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, or disability is the impetus for the behavior/action. Bias related behaviors are intentional or unintentional actions that are often motivated by bias, but are not accompanied by a crime.
What is the difference between the university’s definition of “bias related behaviors” and the university’s harassment and discrimination policies?
The Office of Human Resources oversees the University’s harassment and discrimination policies. This policy prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against students or employees of Loyola University Maryland by anyone on University property or at University-sponsored activities. Allegations of discrimination or harassment made against a student in his/her capacity as a student are resolved through the student judicial process, rather than under the University’s harassment and discrimination policies. Allegations against student employees (e.g. work study) in their capacity as employees are resolved through the University’s harassment and discrimination policies and the vice president of student development or his/her designee and the director of employee relations and professional development. Learn more about the University’s harassment and discrimination policies.
Bias related behaviors, hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination are similar in that someone or a particular group is intentionally or unintentionally mistreated or targeted because of the actual or perceived group to which they belong. As a Loyola student, you have a responsibility to take an active role in fostering a sense of community and sending the message that mistreatment of others and insensitivity within our campus will not be tolerated. Students who feel they have been the target of bias (or who have witnessed bias motivated behaviors) may report the behaviors online, or contact the Dean of Students Office at 410-617-5171.