Bias Incident Response

Bias Incidents

It is an unfortunate fact that some individuals become targets of hateful acts simply because others are intolerant of differences based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, age, or disability. At UCSB we strive to maintain an environment that is welcoming and safe for every member of our community. In the event that a hate crime or incident does occur, the Bias Incident Response Team serves at the campus reporting point, and can work with the impacted parties in coordinating a response.

Submit a Report

To submit a report, please follow these steps:

  1. Click the button below that says "Submit a Report"
  2. Under "Report Type" select "Incident of Bias"
  3. Complete the form and submit the report


Bias Incident Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bias incident?
A bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation that is motivated in whole or in part by bias based on an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or military affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Bias often stems from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, ignorance, or stereotypes and may be intentional or unintentional.


What happens when I submit a bias report? What departments are responsible for responding?
After submitting your report, the university will assign the report to the appropriate office to investigate and respond. For example, reports involving students may be provided to our Office of Student Conduct, or if involving a staff member, to the Office of Equal Opportunity, or if involving faculty, to the Academic Senate. Additional offices that may outreach or respond to incidents are the Office of Title IX, the Office of The Dean of Students, Graduate Division, Human Resources, or others. If you have been impacted by a bias incident or hate crime, you will be presented with a variety of options over which you will have decision-making authority. Reporting a possible hate crime or bias incident does not "lock" you into a chain of events over which you are powerless. You will have input throughout the process, and the University will support you in organizing whatever response you choose. You will be treated with respect and sensitivity, and your report will be considered private.

Please keep in mind that some university employees are required to make certain disclosures by law. For example, many university employees are required to:
  • File a report with the Clery Coordinator if they receive a report of a covered crime alleged to have occurred on covered property (including on-campus or in adjacent public areas).
  • File a report with the Title IX Officer if they learn of an alleged violation of the University's Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH) Policy. 
  • File a report about alleged child abuse or neglect under CANRA

Other disclosures might also be required. If you have any questions or concerns about required disclosures, ask the staff member you are speaking with about their disclosure requirements before sharing any details of the incident. These required disclosures are not intended to dissuade you from reporting, but to ensure that there is a proper response to incidents in our community. Furthermore, some disclosure laws and policies permit anonymous disclosures. 


Is a bias incident the same as a hate crime?
No. Both bias incidents and hate crimes consist of conduct that is motivated by bias. However, hate crimes involve a criminal act, such as assault or vandalism. Bias incidents do not necessarily involve criminal activity and may come in the form of microaggressions or other noncriminal acts of bias.


Why should bias incidents be reported?
Reporting an incident of bias to the university allows the university to investigate and respond to incidents that occur on campus. Reporting hate crimes and bias incidents, even those you might not consider "serious," is important in order to monitor our campus climate and prevent future incidents. By reporting detailed information on incidents, you can strengthen the case for possible action through our campus judicial system and also help us to identify trends that can be addressed by administration before more serious incidents occur.


What is Student Affairs’ philosophy for responding to incidents of bias? What about conduct violations?
As you are likely aware, there has been an increased national move away from punitive forms of justice, toward restorative and community-focused justice. Student Affairs is in full support of these goals as they are important steps to eradicate the many vectors of inequality. Over recent years, Student Affairs has been moving toward practices of restorative justice for reports of conduct violation and incidents of bias. Decisions about the University’s response will be made by University administration and will try to honor the requests of the impacted parties as much as possible. However, there may be times when the University’s response is limited due to laws and policies surrounding freedom of expression or when a requested response is deemed not to be in the best interest of the student body.


How long does it generally take for the administration to respond back to the reporting party?
Generally, we attempt to outreach to the impacted and reporting parties within 1-2 business days of the incident being reported. This timeframe can vary slightly depending upon the information received in the report, and the office responsible for investigating the incident. Our first priority when we receive a report of an incident is to outreach to the impacted parties to connect them with resources, and we attempt to do this as quickly as possible.
Can you update me on the progress of an investigation?
During the process of investigation and response, impacted parties will be informed of progress to the extent possible. Due to FERPA restrictions, we are prohibited from providing updates to those not directly involved in the incidents.


Can I report an incident if it happened off campus?
Yes. While UCSB’s ability to respond may be limited in these instances, we encourage you to submit a report if you believe there has been an incident of bias or misconduct by a member of the UCSB community, regardless of location.


I am an employee, is this form for me?
This form is intended to be used by UCSB undergraduate and graduate students, or to report incidents involving UCSB undergraduate or graduate students. Incidents that do not involve students should be reported here.


Should I still report a bias incident if I know someone else has reported the same incident?
Yes. This ensures that an incident has indeed been reported to the University and is under investigation. You may also have information not originally provided that may assist in an investigation.


What happens if the incident involves a staff or faculty member?
Incidents that involve a staff or faculty member will likely involve investigation by Title IX, Equal Opportunity, Human Resources, or the Academic Senate. Incidents involving faculty will be assessed based upon the Faculty Code of Conduct.


Where can I see how many bias incidents have been reported to UCSB?
Reports on the number and types of incidents reported can be viewed here.


What about free speech?

UCSB is committed to fostering robust and respectful dialogue within our campus community. As with all public institutions, we are legally required to uphold the First Amendment. Click here for more information on Freedom of Expression. While the First Amendment protects the free expression of ideas that are sometimes offensive, that does not mean the university is powerless to respond.

Instead of trying to censor or punish free speech, the University tracks bias incidents in order to:
  • Assist the victim/target in receiving the appropriate services (if requested);
  • Develop programming and training opportunities to address intolerance;
  • Detect emerging patterns of hateful or biased activity;
  • Make recommendations to campus leadership for the prevention of and response to future bias incidents or hate crimes.

Of course, people who commit acts of hate or bias that 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.


Is this report confidential?
Submitting a bias incident report should not be considered "confidential" as the information is subject to Title IX and Clery Act reporting requirements. The information submitted in a report may be shared with multiple administrative offices so that we can offer resources, investigate, and respond to the incident. However, we respect reporting party's wishes for privacy as much as possible, and reports can be submitted anonymously if desired.
If the bias incident happened weeks ago, can a report still be submitted?
Yes, there is no time limit to submit a report. The process of responding to and investigating incidents remains the same regardless of the length of time since the incident. 
If someone is hesitant to make a report but willing to talk to someone about it, what steps are recommended?
We encourage you to email to have an informal conversation with a member of the Dean of Students Office about the reporting process to determine your best options. Please remember that any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the Title IX officer or designee.
If students have safety concerns or fear retaliation, what is your advice for them?
Please see above question regarding Student Affair's philosophy for responding to incidents for additional context. We prioritize the physical safety of our students throughout the entire reporting process. If this is of concern to you, we encourage you to provide that information within the report so that we can discuss options with you at the time that we make outreach. 
If I am concerned about English proficiency in discussing the incident, what is your recommendation?
If you are concerned about communicating the details of the incident in English, please indicate this in the report as well as information on what language would be most accessible to you. Rest assured that you do not need to feel hesitant if you are struggling to communicate your concerns in English. If needed, the staff member making outreach will try to identify an interpreter to help ensure that your concern can be fully addressed

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Helpful campus and local resources

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, 805-893-5847

Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance, 805-893-2701

CARE: Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (resources for sexual assault, abusive relationships, and stalking), 805-893-4613

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including 24/7 counseling, 805-893-4411

Additional resources for addressing campus climate issues are available from the Office of Student Life, the Educational Opportunity Program, the MultiCultural Center, and Dream Scholars/Undocumented Student Services

Download Resources for Impacted Parties of a Hate- or Bias-Incidents (PDF) for additional information

Download the UCSB Doxing Guide for recommendations on protecting yourself from online harassment and doxing

UCSB Police Department, 805-893-3446 (911 in an emergency)

Isla Vista Foot Patrol, 805-681-4179 (911 in an emergency)