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Addressing Incidents of Bias the Butler Way

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I report bias?

At Butler we believe that we can create a more inclusive and respectful community through awareness and education. We believe one way to create a more inclusive environment is by addressing bias related incidents that are directed at members of our community. In reporting, our goals are to:

  • support and respond to those who have experienced identity-based hate
  • respond directly to offenders if identified
  • track the overall incidents in our community each year, and
  • tailor educational efforts for our campus community and report about campus climate based on the type of incidents we track.

Who should report?

Butler encourages all students, faculty, staff, guests, applicants, and volunteers to report incidents of bias they may have experienced or witnessed. Reports involving students will be reviewed by the Dean of Students, and reports involving faculty and/or staff will be reviewed by Human Resources.

What happens after a report is submitted?

When students report an incident of bias, hate or harassment through the online reporting system the report will be reviewed by the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will reach out within two business days to the student who submitted the report (if identified) to provide care, support, and resources. After talking with the reporting individual, other members of the university community may be contacted. In considering appropriate action, the Dean of Students will work with the impacted individuals to consider:

  • Relevant standards with regard to academic freedom concerns
  • Concerns and requests of the targeted individuals and/or impacted communities, especially in regard to anonymity and desired outcome(s)
  • Available University resources relevant to the situation
  • Whether the incident is a violation of any University policies including but not limited to: Rules of Conduct, Sexual Misconduct Policy, and Non-Discrimination Policy

When employees report an incident of bias, hate or harassment through the online reporting system the report will be reviewed by Human Resources. For procedures, please see the Non-Discrimination Policy.

Will my privacy be protected?

In most cases your concerns will be kept private. To the best of our ability, only those you wish to know will be informed. You will be given options and resources to support you after an incident. If, however, a crime has been committed or the community is at risk of harm, there is an obligation to report the incident to the appropriate authority in order to keep you and the Butler community safe. In those incidents, the matter will be handled as privately as possible.

May I report anonymously?

Because we seek to provide care and outreach, we strongly encourage anyone reporting an incident to provide either a phone number or an e-mail address so that we may contact you if there is a need for clarification or if additional questions or concerns arise. Should you choose to report anonymously, we will follow up to the best of our ability.

What’s the Difference between Offensive, Bias, and Hate Crimes?

Butler University understands that the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to critically analyze and express different viewpoints is essential to a free and vigorous academic environment. The expression of an idea or point of view some may find offensive or inflammatory is not necessarily a bias related incident. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals that violate the Butler University Rules of Conduct.

Hate by itself is not a crime. A hate crime is a traditional criminal offense such as murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias toward a federally protected class of people. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress and the Clery Act collectively define hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, ethnicity, gender, religion, economic status, national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation." Allegations of hate crimes will be addressed by BUPD. [Adapted from Davidson University]

What about freedom of expression?

Butler University understands that the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to critically analyze and express different viewpoints is essential to a free and vigorous academic environment. The expression of an idea or point of view some may find offensive or inflammatory is not necessarily a bias related incident. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals that violate the Butler University Rules of Conduct.

What are the Effects of Bias?

Individuals or groups subjected to bias can experience a number of emotional, psychological, and personal responses. The impact of bias may be expressed as:

  • A diminished sense of self-worth for an extended period of time;
  • Feeling the need to retaliate against a member of the group represented by the responsible person(s)/group(s);
  • Feeling vulnerable, powerless, helpless, fearful, and/or unwelcome;
  • Psychological distress, including stress, anxiety, anger;
  • Interference with an individual's ability to work, learn, or maintain health relationships;
  • Poor academic performance;
  • Distrust between individuals and/or groups, leading to a diminished sense of community and belonging;
  • A desire to leave or withdraw from the community and/or to decrease participation in social activities and programs.