Santa Clara University

Diversity at Santa Clara University

Bias Incident Reporting

Reporting Process

If the bias incident is in progress or just occurred:

The incident can be reported in one of the following ways:

  • Business hours, contact the Office of Student Life, 8am to 5pm (408-554-4583), Benson 205. Ask to speak with a member of Dean's staff.
  • Afterhours, contact Campus Safety (408-554-4444). Any campus safety officer can take a report and will forward the information to the Office of Student Life.
  • (Ethicspoint) This online incident reporting tool is available to Santa Clara University students, faculty, and staff to file incident reports of bias, discrimination and harassment.

After a report is filed:
The university will conduct an in-depth investigation that may include interviewing individuals involved, potential witnesses, or complainants by any of the following: Campus Safety, the Office of Student Life, the Office of Affirmative Action, other university administrators, and/or Santa Clara/San Jose police officers.

Rights of the complainant(s)
The University will provide assistance in assuring the rights of the complainant(s) as listed below. Specifically, the complainant(s) has/have the right:

  • To request and receive information about the investigation at any time.
  • To receive counseling from the University's Counseling and Psychological Services.
  • To receive campus escorts at any time for as long as the complainant(s) feel(s) the service is needed.
  • To contact community resources such as social services, counseling services, or legal counsel.
  • To seek support from Campus Advocate for Bias Incidents.

Santa Clara University prohibits behavior motivated by bias.

What is a Bias Incident?
The University defines a bias incident as any speech, act, or harassing action that targets, threatens, or attacks an individual or group because of their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sex, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation.

University Response to Bias Incidents

The University adjudicates allegations of bias-motivated behavior under the Student Conduct Code, Section 10: Hazing, harassing, threatening, degrading language or actions, or any practice by a group or individual that degrades a student or employee, endangers health, jeopardizes personal safety, or interferes with an employee's duties or with a student's class attendance or a person's educational pursuits.

A report of a bias incident filed with the University is evaluated through the University Judicial System, if applicable, the University process is independent of a criminal investigation and court proceedings. The University reserves the right to review all student conduct which occurs on and off campus when such behavior is inconsistent with the Student Conduct Code.

Possible sanctions for students found responsible for committing a bias incident or hate crime include educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, suspension, and expulsion. When applicable, student employees are also subject to termination of employment at the discretion of the supervisor.

Please note bias incidents occurring in the context of student employment at the University will be addressed by the Affirmative Action Office. Contact Deborah Hirsch at 408-554-4113.

The complete University Judicial System is outlined in the student handbook and available on the Office of Student Life web page.

Reporting party: The individual who provides information about any bias incident/hate crime to a University official. The reporting party can be any person who witnessed the incident, the complainant, a friend, or advocate of the complainant.
  • Complainant: The individual who is the object of the unwanted act, crime or incident.
  • Respondent: The individual who is allegedly responsible for committing and/or participating in the bias incident/hate crime.
  • Witness: The individual who was present while the bias incident/hate crime was taking place and who can provide a first-hand account of what occurred.

Injustice has no place here!

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bias Incident Reporting Protocol

Campus Advocacy Program for Students

Campus Advocates for Bias Incidents

Students who have been complainants to bias incidents are encouraged to seek the assistance of a Campus Advocate.

The role of the advocate will be to:
  1. Help the student navigate university processes and procedures.
  2. Ensure the student is aware of all of his/her rights listed in the Student Handbook and SCU Policy 311: Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment.
  3. Be a supportive person for complainants by listening and making referrals to resources on and off campus as appropriate.

How to Contact Campus Advocates for Bias Incidents:

Lester Deanes
Assistant Dean for Student Life
Office of Student Life
(408) 554-4583

Campus Advocates for Bias Incidents

Michelle Burnham
Professor, English

Leslie Carson
Lecturer, Liberal Studies

Ruth Davis
Professor, Engineering

AJ Howell-Williams
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Admissions

Shirley Okumura
Program Director, Ignatian Center

Roseanne Quinn
Lecturer, English

Lulu Santana
Campus Minister

Valerie Sarma
Associate Director, Ignatian Center

Kim Tavares
Purchasing Analyst, Purchasing

Produced by:
Office of Student Life
Office for Multicultural Learning