Experiences of bias involve behavior, speech, or expression that is motivated by bias based on perceived race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, veteran status, pregnancy, political philosophy or affiliation, or sexual orientation and has a negative impact. These are protected classes under CU policy. Experiences of bias can take many different forms and the impact can vary. The experience of bias could constitute a hate crime in the criminal justice system.
In addition an experience of bias may be considered protected class discrimination or harassment under CU policy. CU Boulder prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected-class status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. For purposes of this CU Boulder policy, “protected classes” refers to race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, and political philosophy. For definitions of discrimination, harassment, hostile environment, and protected class, under CU policy, please visit this page and go to the bottom.
Regardless of the form, if you feel that you have experienced bias the Office of Victim Assistance can offer support and inform you of your rights and options. There are other types of harassment that are not based on protected class, for more information on harassment, not protected class based, visit our harassment page.
Explore Your Options
If you have experienced bias, reporting the behavior to the police is an option. Reporting can take many forms and doesn’t necessarily have to lead to the filing of criminal charges. Some people simply want to file an “informational” report with the intention of making the police aware of their situation but without pursuing charges. Other people are interested in having the police contact the person and give a verbal warning. At the same time, many people choose to file criminal charges. This might include getting names of witnesses, saving emails, text messages or voice messages related to the incident as well as taking pictures of injuries, damage, graffiti or supporting materials. You can also get copies of relevant medical records. If an arrest is made and you would like to be notified when the perpetrator/suspect is released from jail please sign up for Vine notifications. OVA can talk with you about reporting options and be an advocate for you throughout the process.
Reporting to CU's Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance
If the person who enacted bias against you is a CU student, faculty, or staff member, you can report to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC). OIEC can address concerns through a formal investigation or an informal process (which does not include an investigation but focuses on intervention to stop the behavior). In cases of a finding of a policy violation OIEC will put sanctions in place through the university. OIEC’s process is separate from the criminal justice system and is administrative through the university. In some cases OIEC may need to make a limited report to the police. In addition to conducting investigations, OIEC can also provide interim and remedial measures including no contact orders, academic remedial measures, and more. Click here to learn more about OIEC's process and procedures.
To file a report you can contact OIEC directly at 303-492-2127, complete an online OIEC report, or work with the Office of Victim Assistance to provide advocacy in the reporting process. If you are unsure about reporting, please contact OVA and we can talk through the OIEC process with you confidentially to assist you in your decision making process.
Confidential Reporting to the Office of Victim Assistance
Click here to make a confidential report to the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA). This report will only be seen by a confidential advocate counselor at OVA. This report does not notify the university and no investigative action will be taken. If you would like an OVA confidential advocate counselor to contact you please include your contact information and an OVA confidential advocate counselor will outreach to you directly. OVA is here to be a resource to you.
Experiencing bias can take a toll on ones day-to-day life and impact of bias can vary. OVA is free and confidential and here to be a resource for counseling support, advocacy, informing one of their rights and options, and providing information, referrals, and consultation on additional campus and community resources. Some things you might discuss when meeting with OVA include:
- figuring out what you feel and think about what’s going on.
- getting information that will help you assess the situation, and figure out what you want.
- discussing your rights and reporting options.
- talking about how to manage academics, or work given the situation.
- talking about making a safety plan if applicable.
- getting medical treatment if you have injuries or are worried about your health.
- changing where you live to get some space or safety.
- discussing self-care and coping skills.
In addition informal supports (community, friends, and family) can be an important resource. Individuals who have been the target of bias often look to their communities for support, understanding, and advice. There is often important historical or anecdotal information about how the impact of bias has played out in ones community in the past, as well as information on strategies people have used to resist or engage with it. Being in community can be important to be reminded of the many strengths of one’s identity to combat the denigrating messages. If you have not found community connections at CU, OVA staff can talk with you about student groups and the many advocacy centers on campus.
*If seeking support from a CU community member in a supervisory role, ask if they are a Responsible Employee and if they have any limits to keeping the information you are sharing with them private. If you wish to not have the information shared with the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance consider reaching out to a confidential resource such as OVA.
If the bias you are experiencing is affecting your living environment, OVA can discuss options for a change of housing.
If you are worried about how this situation may be impacting your schoolwork, OVA is here to help. You deserve to be in school and to meet your goals. OVA can discuss options for managing academic issues while maintaining privacy. There are concrete things the University can do to help with your situation.
A protection order is a legal document obtained through the courts that puts restrictions on individuals who may be dangerous to you. If they violate these restrictions they can be sanctioned by the court. If you have questions about obtaining a protection order you can talk to a confidential OVA advocate counselor, call the Boulder Protective Order Clinic at 303-441-4867, contact Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, or go to the Colorado Judicial Branch Protection Order website.