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Bias Response Team and incident reporting

Augustana College is committed to strengthening a diverse, inclusive, and thriving campus community for our students, faculty, staff, and administration. Acts of bias, discrimination, and hate violate our community principles of openness and respect, and these acts will not be tolerated. It is our shared responsibility and commitment to one another to prevent and appropriately respond to bias incidents.

What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is conduct, speech, images, or expression that targets a victim on the basis of actual or perceived identity characteristics, including race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, color, disability, age, gender identity or expression, military status, or other social identities. Bias incidents may be intentional or unintentional. A bias incident does not need to rise to the level of a violation of college policy or the law to be reported and addressed.  

What do I do if I have experienced or witnessed a bias incident?

First, be sure you are safe and then take care of yourself and others in the ways that you need. You may choose to report a bias incident so that the Bias Response Team can help connect you with resources and investigate the Incident. Reporting a bias incident also can be done anonymously to help the Bias Report Team monitor the campus climate.

You can make an anonymous report as it helps the Bias Response Team to gather information, but there may be limited ability to gather information and respond to anonymous reports.

College employees are expected to notify the Bias Response Team of any bias incidents that are experienced, seen or heard. As always, Counseling Services and Campus Ministries serve as confidential resources on campus and are not obligated to share information. 

How do I submit a Bias Incident Report?

There are multiple ways that you can report a Bias Incident, including

Submitting this online form (which may be done anonymously)

Contacting a member of the Bias Response Team directly:

Monica Smith, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, 309-794-7594

Wes Brooks, vice president and dean of student life, 309-794-7533

Laura Ford, director of human resources, 309-794-7452

Jessica Schultz, associate dean of academic affairs, 309-794-7331

*In the event of a conflict of interest, the convener of the Bias Response Team will ask any involved individual(s) to recuse themselves from all discussions involving that particular case.

What happens after I submit a report?

The Bias Response Team reviews every report that is made to assess the situation, including possible resources needed and college policies that may be involved. The Bias Response Team will work to offer support and resources on and off campus needed by individuals impacted by the incident.

Based on the assessment, the team also works to better understand the incident through gathering evidence and meeting with individuals involved. The college also may take action to resolve the incident as appropriate through a range of options, including student conduct processes, employee conduct processes, criminal prosecution, and educational intervention. Please note that the action taken may be influenced by the wishes of the individual(s) impacted and college policy.

If a reported incident is suspected to be a hate crime, it will be shared with Augustana Police and Public Safety. A hate crime is any crime committed that is motivated by bias or based on the victim's perceived membership in a specific group. Examples of hate crimes include vandalism, assault and other crimes against a person or property. In some cases, hate crimes also will be shared with the Rock Island Police Department. Hate crimes are a violation of college policy and may be handled as both a criminal offense and a violation of college policy.

Additional resources

Dean of Students Office, 104 Founders Hall, 309-794-7533 

Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Gerber Center, fourth floor, 309-794-8270

Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, Gerber Center, fourth floor, 309-794-8270

Office of Residential Life, Andreen Hall main office, 309-794-2686

Student Counseling, 206 Founders Hall, 309-794-7357  

Augustana Police and Public Safety, Sorenson Hall, 309-794-7711