Bias Response Process

The Vice President of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion serves as the College’s senior administrator with oversight of the College’s Bias Response Program and supervises the College’s Bias Response Coordinator and the Bias Response Team. The College is committed to clear and consistent processes and to prompt response and follow-up to complaints alleging bias. 

The College has designated Reese Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion, to serve as the College’s Bias Response Coordinator. The Bias Response Coordinator oversees the prompt investigation of complaints alleging bias; reviews findings as to whether bias was involved; consults with campus partners as to whether any policy violations occurred; coordinates the response and outreach for impacted individuals; communicates alerts and educational messages to targeted communities or the College community as a whole; and, in partnership with the People Center and Academic Affairs, works with parties involved to resolve the situation, repair any harm done, and prevent additional damage from occurring.

The Bias Response Team, led by the Bias Response Coordinator, includes Nadia Mitchell, Equity Initiatives Director and Kaleena Rolitsky, Associate Director of Community Standards. The Bias Response Team provides consultations to and coordinates response for Academic Affairs, Champlain College Online, Marketing and Communications, and the People Center. Staff from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of International Student Services, and the Women’s and Gender Center are included, as needed, for outreach and education efforts.

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Bias Incident

Any conduct, speech, images, or expression that demonstrate conscious or unconscious bias which targets individuals or groups based on, but not limited to, their actual or perceived: age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, immigration status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, size, socioeconomic status/class, veteran status or on the basis of any other status protected by law or recognized within a Champlain College policy.

Examples:

  • Calling a person or a behavior "gay," "lame," or "retarded" as an insult
  • Imitating someone with any kind of disability or imitating someone's cultural attire, norms, or practices
  • Telling jokes based on a cultural stereotype
  • Derogatory graffiti or images/drawings
  • Using a racial or ethnic slur to identify someone
  • Making comments on social media about someone's age, disability, ethnicity, race, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, size, or religion.

A bias incident is an offensive act that is neither criminal, nor a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Discrimination and Harassment Policy, the Standard of Conduct or comparable College Policies. If a bias-related incident falls within the scope and definitions of the aforementioned policies, it will be addressed through those processes. However, bias will be deemed an aggravating circumstance to any violation of College policy.

Hate Crime

As defined by Vermont law, a hate crime is a crime that is maliciously motivated by the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, ancestry, age, service in the armed forces of the United States, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity is a hate crime. The perpetrator can be given additional penalties at sentencing. Hate crimes should be reported to your local law enforcement agency. Prosecutors can seek increased penalties for hate crimes, including longer jail sentences and higher fines.

Champlain College's Freedom of Expression Statement

Champlain College's spirit of inquiry in the pursuit of knowledge supports the institution's culture of exploration with respect for diversity and a passion for an inclusive learning environment. The college holds that its community, including, but not limited to, students, faculty, staff and invited visitors retain the right to freely express their ideas, so long as those forms of expression do not infringe on another's freedom to do so. We believe that the commitment to engage in discomfort and controversy can promote opportunities for growth. It is not the institution's purpose or duty to protect its constituents from conflict, but rather, to create conditions for debates and discussions to flourish.

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To Report a Bias Incident submit a Bias Incident Reporting Form or contact Reese Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion (Bias Response Coordinator) at BiasResponse@champlain.edu. A Bias Incident Reporting Form may be submitted anonymously. 

To Report a Hate Crime: If you believe that you have been the victim of a hate crime and anyone is injured or in danger, call 911, then notify Campus Public Safety at 802.865.6465. If no one is injured or in danger, contact Campus Public Safety at 802.865.6465.

To obtain the assistance of the Attorney General's office as a hate crime victim, you may contact them at: 

Office of the Attorney General
Civil Rights Unit
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

802.828.3657
888.745.9195 (toll-free in Vermont)
802.828.3665 (TTY)
(802) 828-3187 (fax)

AGO.CivilRights@vermont.gov (e-mail)

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The Bias Response Team (BRT) is the group responsible for reviewing, coordinating, and responding to bias incidents for the Division of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion and the College. The Bias Response Coordinator or designee partners with the People Center, Champlain College Online, and Academic Affairs on reports that involve faculty, staff, and online students. 

BRT will respond to reported incidents in the following ways:

  1. The Bias Response Coordinator or designee receives an incident report and determines whether the incident is suited for the Bias Response Process. If not, the report is routed to Campus Public Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, the ADA/504 Coordinator, the Office of Community Standards, the Student Care and Response Team (SCART) or to another College entity. The report is also evaluated for time-sensitivity and breadth of impact.

  2. If deemed a bias incident report, a member of BRT or partner in the People Center, Champlain College Online, or Academic Affairs responds to the individual(s) submitting the report to acknowledge receipt, to offer appropriate support, and to invite the reporting party(ies) to meet.

  3. The Bias Response Team may consider a variety of responses to reported bias incidents based on the severity and context of the incident. In addition to the possibility of investigation and disciplinary sanction as determined by college partners, when appropriate, examples of responses may include, but are not limited to, efforts to: 

    1. Establish direct contact with the person or group involved in the incident to discuss the impact of the bias incident. 
    2. Develop and provide educational resources or opportunities to individuals, departments, units, and other groups to address the impact of a bias incident. 
    3. Communicate with a specific individual, building, group, unit, department, or the entire college community about what happened, why it is important to address the incident, and what responses are underway or possible.
    4. Mandate a No Contact Order (NCO) or No Trespass Order.
    5. Offer mediation through appropriate college offices. 

As necessary, the Bias Response Coordinator consults with other College officials and relevant offices to coordinate responses (i.e. Campus Public Safety, Housing and Residential Life, Office of Accessibility, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, People Center, etc.)

  1. When a reported incident has had a campus-wide impact or involves campus risk, the Bias Response Coordinator may send a message to the affected campus(es) and/or residential communities.

The Bias Response Coordinator or designee, in collaboration with members of BRT, tracks and reports on data, assesses trends, and identifies areas for training, prevention efforts, and policy development.

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Individuals who believe they may have been the victim of a hate crime should call 911 and notify Campus Public Safety at 802.865.6465, if someone is injured or in danger. If no one is injured or in danger, contact Campus Public Safety at 802.865.6465.

Students should contact Reese Kelly, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Equity and Inclusion (Bias Response Coordinator) at rkelly@champlain.edu, 802.651.5906, or BiasResponse@champlain.edu with any questions or to file a bias incident report.

Staff and faculty should contact Jennifer Archambault, Vice President for Human Resources at jarchambault@champlain.edu or 802.865.5485 with any questions or to file a bias incident report.

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