Frequently Asked Questions
As noted below, the categories of bias outlined in the Clery Act are limited to actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin and disability. The Vandal Climate Education and Support Team also addresses any non-criminal act, conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by the victim's actual or perceived citizenship or nationality, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information, socioeconomic status, age or other social identity.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (or Clery Act), signed in 1990, is a federal statute with implementing regulations that define hate crime as “a crime reported to local police agencies or to a campus security authority that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator's bias against the victim. For the purposes of this section, the categories of bias include the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin and disability.” (34 CFR § 668.46).
For an act to qualify as a hate crime, two variables must be present:
- A crime must take place; and
- The crime must be motivated by bias against characteristics included in federal, state and/or local statutes.
To report an incident of prejudice, intolerance or bias, please go to VandalCARE, a community initiative that strives to provide care and concern for students, staff and faculty who may be in distress. There, you will have the choice to file a CARE Report, a Title IX Report or a Conduct Report. To report an incident for the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team to review, select the CARE Reporting link.
We encourage you to report regardless. The trained experts on the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team will determine the nature of the issue make referrals or reports to law enforcement as appropriate.
While the First Amendment protects the free expression of ideas that may be offensive to some that does not mean the university is powerless to respond. Instead of trying to censor or punish an individual’s right to free speech, the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team documents and tracks reports, in order to:
- Assist the victim/target in receiving the appropriate services (if requested);
- Detect emerging patterns;
- Develop programming and training opportunities to address those patterns of prejudice or intolerance; and
- Make recommendations to campus leadership for the prevention of and response to future incidents of prejudice, intolerance, bias or hate crimes.
People who commit acts of hate or prejudice that rise to a criminal level and are not protected under the First Amendment may be subject to disciplinary proceedings or prosecution. Possible examples include physical assault, vandalism, trespassing, harassment, incitement or genuine threats of violence.
Yes, because the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team believes the campus community and climate may extend beyond campus boundaries when our student(s) or employee(s) are involved. The team may respond to off-campus incidents in the ways outlined above because awareness of what is happening in the community allows us to offer support, resources, services and education that can be tailored to address community needs. The success and retention of our students and employees are dependent upon the environment they live, work and learn in as well as the support they receive.
Regardless of whether you report an incident, there are many resources on this campus if you would like to simply talk to someone about what you have experienced or witnessed. You may contact any member of the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team or a confidential individual to hear your concerns, such as:
- A counselor from the Counseling and Testing Center (208-885-6716);
- An advocate from Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse (208-883-HELP);
- A staff member at the Women's Center (208-885-2777); or
- The University Ombuds (208-885-7668).
All of these offices adhere to a form of confidentiality and will explain when they cannot keep information confidential. They will assist you in addressing your concern or refer you to the appropriate office.
If you experience or witness an instance of prejudice or intolerance, or bias or a hate crime as defined by the Clery Act, first ensure your safety and well-being and that of those around you. Should you feel unsafe or at risk of imminent harm, call 911. You can also contact Moscow Police at 208-882-2677 for incidents that occurred in the past or do not present an immediate danger. Once you feel secure, document as much of the incident as possible, which includes taking pictures, should there be visible evidence. Make sure to submit a report on VandalCARE and attach any documentation that you may have collected. The Vandal Climate Education and Support Team will assist you in contacting law enforcement to file your report, should you choose to do so.
If you are in a position to play a supporting role, keep in mind that victims/targets of hate typically have 3 essential and immediate needs: the need to feel safe, the need to be heard and the need to know what happens next. Do what you can to create safety, offer empathy and then explore and communicate action steps.
Individuals who have been identified as engaging in bias or hate crimes (respondents) will be investigated in a manner consistent with university policy, if applicable. If the incident is a potential violation of the U of I nondiscrimination policy and/or Student Code of Conduct, the respondent will be referred to the appropriate investigative body. Matters may be referred to the Office of Civil Rights and Investigations (OCRI) for investigation, to Office of the Dean of Students for adjudication, where respondents are afforded all rights and procedures available under FSH 2200, FSH 2300 and FSH 2400 or to a supervisory authority should an investigation yield finding of a violation of FSH 3200, FSH 3210, FSH 3215 or FSH 3220.
As with all reports, our process is private. The individual(s) who file through VandalCARE will work with the Vandal Climate Education and Support Team to discuss their resources and options available. A team member may reach out to you to engage in a voluntary discussion about the incident, which any individual may choose to decline. Should any formal complaint, grievance or adjudication proceedings be pursued, you will be notified in accordance with the relevant and applicable policy.
Prejudices and bias often are unintentional! Bias is typically an unconscious attitude; thus, taking an educational approach to addressing incidents of unintentional bias is important. Regardless of intent, we review the impact the incident has on others, and therefore VandaCARE report should be submitted in these situations so that we may reach out to offer support and resources.
U of I views all manifestations of prejudice or intolerance as antithetical to our mission as a university and a community and as a threat to each individual's right to a safe learning and working environment. Therefore, all such incidents must be addressed appropriately, which depends on the nature of the incident, the people involved and the location of the incident. Submitting this form will help us better understand our campus climate and help create an environment where everyone feels welcome.