Why should I report an incident of bias, violence or hate?

At Elon we believe that we can create a more inclusive and respectful community through awareness, education and respectful dialogue about difference with the goal of valuing and celebrating what diversity brings to our campus community.

We believe that one way we create a more respectful environment is addressing those acts toward members of our community or by members of our community that demonstrate identity-based bias and hate toward an individual or group. Reporting allows us to do just that.

In reporting, our goals are to

  1. Support and respond to those who have experienced identity-based hate
  2. Respond directly to offenders if identified
  3. Track the overall incidents in our community each year
  4. Tailor educational efforts for our campus community and report about campus climate based on the type of incidents we track.

A member of the Elon community feeling unsafe or threatened because of bias-related language, conduct or harassment should always seek help from a member of the University community who is trained and able to assist. Elon offers multiple informal and formal procedures for processing and responding to incidents of bias, hate and discrimination.

What is the University’s stance on issues of bias, harassment and hate?

Elon seeks to foster a pluralistic community based on shared experiences. As a holistic learning environment in a global community, Elon University values diverse backgrounds and ideas, the exchange of diverse perspectives, and learning about and with those different from ourselves. Respecting diversity and difference at Elon means including and appreciating individual members of the community in order to improve the living and learning experience for the campus community.

By encouraging and celebrating these differences, we strive to create a respectful, inclusive learning environment that promotes freedom of thought and academic excellence. Conduct that attacks others based on their actual or perceived age/generation, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression/identity, faith tradition, national origin, race, socio-economic status, or veteran’s status is inconsistent with Elon’s values.

We encourage the free exchange of ideas of sensitive topics. Personal threats and hostile conduct motivated by bias will not be tolerated and will be addressed through the Code of Conduct. Specific policies to address these inappropriate behaviors are presented in the Student Handbook in the section 5 d. “RESPECT (social policies). For each policy, a violation is defined and typical sanctions are listed at the following site in this handbook and include: bias conduct, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, acts of physical aggression, fighting, sexual misconduct, stalking, threatening behaviors, or retaliation.

Who can file a report about bias, harassment or hate?

Complaints may be filed by current and former staff and faculty of the University, students, applicants for admission or employment and participants in University programs or activities (including customers for services, vendors, contractors, and volunteers) alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of a protected category and/or retaliation for complaining of discrimination or harassment or assisting with or participating in the complaint process. The following are considered “protected identity categories” with respect to discrimination, harassment and bias: age, (dis)ability, ethnic origin, faith tradition, gender expression , gender identity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, race or veteran’s status.

I had an experience I’m concerned about, but I don’t know if it’s bias and/or harassment. What should I do?

You can always call and speak with the Director of Inclusive Community Development. Contacting that office by phone will ensure you can have any questions answered without sharing identifying information. Conversations with this office can be kept private. If you are not ready to contact the Office of Inclusive Community Development, find a trusted mentor. You may be most comfortable talking with a friend or family member or a trusted faculty/staff member. Confidential resources are available through Counseling Services, Sexual & Relationship Violence Response and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Find more information about sexual violence response, partner violence and stalking response at the Sexual Relationship Violence Response website.

What happens when I report an incident?

When you report an incident of bias, hate or harassment through the online reporting system the report will be reviewed within one business day. The Office of Inclusive Excellence Education & Development will maintain a record of the incident and initiate contact with the person who filed the report. We will do all we can to center the agency of the targeted individual in the response to the incident. After talking with the reporting individual, other members of the university community may be contacted. In considering appropriate redress, the Office of Inclusive Community Development will work with the impacted individuals to consider:

  • Relevant legal 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 Code of Conduct

Will my privacy be protected?

In most cases, your concerns will be kept private. Only those you wish to know will be informed. You will be given options and resources to support you in your process during the aftermath of 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 others in the Elon community safe. In that event, the matter will still be handled as privately as possible with information shared with you throughout every step of the process. In fact, you will be connected with an advocate from the Bias Response Team who will support you and answer any questions along the way.