BIAS AND DISCRIMINATION PREVENTION POLICY
As an academic institution of higher learning, Hofstra University is dedicated to providing an environment conducive to intellectual and personal growth, with all members of the community encouraged to participate to the fullest extent of their abilities. This involves a commitment to norms of interpersonal respect ensuring that no individuals are subjected to unlawful harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by state or federal laws. These protected traits are referred to as “protected characteristics or beliefs”. This Bias and Discrimination Prevention Policy prohibits all unlawful harassment and discrimination based on protected characteristics and beliefs in the University environment, including all academic, athletic, and school-sponsored activities.
Bias crimes, also called hate crimes, are criminal acts, including acts of violence, intimidation, and destruction of property, based upon bias and prejudice. Victims of bias crimes are intentionally selected, in whole or in substantial part, because of a belief or perception regarding the victim’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct. Crimes motivated by invidious hatred toward particular groups not only harm individual victims but also send a powerful message of intolerance and discrimination to all members of the group to which the victim belongs. New York State Penal Code, specifically the Hate Crimes Act of 2000, subjects hate crimes to prosecution and severe punishment.
Bias incidents involve behavior such as harassment or discrimination that is motivated by bias based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal laws. These incidents do not involve criminal conduct such as assault, threats, or property damage. Such bias and/or harassment may, however, escalate from mere words to threats and ultimately to violence. Bias incidents may or may not violate the law, but may violate University policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination.
A Hofstra student who is found to have committed a bias-related crime or incident is subject to disciplinary action that can include probation, suspension, or expulsion. Any student charged with a bias-related felony may be summarily suspended from Hofstra University in accordance with University policies.
Violations of this Bias Prevention Policy are sanctionable under the Code of Community Standards and complaints should be brought as described below and in the Student Conduct Process. Where the bias incident involves an allegation of a student’s creation of a hostile or intimidating environment in which verbal or physical conduct based on one’s protected characteristics or beliefs, because of its severity or persistence, is likely to interfere significantly with an individual’s academic performance, or enjoyment of other University opportunities, programs and activities, complaints will be handled under the procedures set forth in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Retaliation against anyone who files a complaint or participates in a complaint investigation under this Bias Prevention Policy is prohibited by Hofstra’s policies and by various federal laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
The following are examples of conduct that can form the basis of a discriminatory harassment or bias complaint:
- verbal abuse, ridicule, slurs, epithets, stereotyping, and offensive and unwelcome jokes and comments based on a person’s race or mental disability;
- threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts based on an individual’s skin color or religion; and
- displaying or distributing offensive materials, writings, graffiti, or pictures that denigrate or show hostility or aversion towards people of a certain ethnic background or national origin.
Complaints of harassment or discrimination made by any member of the University community (including students) against faculty, staff, or visitors to campus are handled under the Hofstra University Harassment policy, which is found here.
Educational programs to promote the prevention of bias-related crime and incidents are conducted for first-year students during New Student Orientation. Other programs on bias-related crime and incidents are offered throughout the year and are open to the entire Hofstra community. For additional information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs via email.
If you believe you have been a victim of a bias-related crime or incident based on any protected characteristic, you should contact the Department of Public Safety or if you are a residential student you may also submit a complaint with the Resident Director of your building. Students with questions or concerns about disability-related issues, including bias crimes or incidents based on disability, may contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, at (516) 463-7075 or by visiting 212 Memorial Hall. If you need assistance with filing a disability-related complaint you may contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, as indicated above.
Complaints can be made to the Department of Public Safety at 463-6606 or by coming to the Mack Public Safety and Information Center located on the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and California Avenue. Public Safety is available 24 hours a day. Public Safety can assist in connecting you with counseling, medical, and academic support services that are available, and will explain the options that are available regarding reporting the incident to the Office of Community Standards and/or to local police. Assistance will be provided in notifying these authorities, if such assistance is requested. For additional information, please refer to the “Public Safety” section of the Guide to Pride or call 516-463-6606.