Defining Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents

Bias incidents include conduct or behavior (verbal, nonverbal, or written) that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile and is based on a person’s identity or group affiliation, including (but not limited to) such things as race, age, disability status, gender, gender identity/expression, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion.

A hate crime is generally defined in federal and state statutes as a criminal offense committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against the victim’s identity or group affiliation.

The University values freedom of thought and expression, respect for multiple points of view, and the civil and open expression of these views. Thus, it is important to note that bias acts or hate crimes do not include speech or behavior that an individual or the institution merely disagrees with or finds offensive.