Bias Review Team

Bias Review Team

Portland State University is committed to addressing bias incidents on campus and in our community and will provide individuals with resources and support when someone experiences a traumatizing event. Bias is harmful to individuals and the community. When you are hurt, the community is hurt.

The Bias Review Team (BRT), which includes key campus-wide stakeholders, communicates and meets regularly to respond to reported bias incidents, and to assure students, employees, and community members who experience or witness an act of bias receive support and access to resources. The BRT collaboratively works to address bias incidents that affect Portland State University (PSU) students, faculty, staff, and community members.

The goals of the BRT are:

  • Enhance communication to promote awareness of bias and the BRT reporting processes
  • Develop educational and outreach programs based on data collected from bias reports
  • Improve the campus climate by identifying trends and confronting bias incidents

To report an incident, please complete and submit the Bias Incident Report Form.

Any person who has experienced, witnessed, or heard of a bias incident is encouraged to complete the form. Please note that completing this form does NOT initiate an employee discrimination and harassment or a student conduct investigation.

You may file a complaint of discrimination against a PSU student, staff, or faculty member who you believe is engaging in discriminatory conduct against you or others. The Office of Equity & Compliance will work with you to determine if an investigation is appropriate. 

If you have a concern relating to a student in crisis, you may also file a CARE Team Report.

Those who report an incident will…

  • Increase PSU’s ability to identify individual and systemic bias incidents, and
  • Receive resources and support (if desired)

What is Bias?

Bias is defined as belief(s) or assumption(s) about a group or individual’s identity that negatively impact our behaviors and perceptions of others. Bias against others can occur intentionally or unintentionally. It can be directed toward an attitude, an individual, or group regarding their protected class, including (but not limited to) race, color, religious ideology, national origin, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental ability, or political affiliation.
 

How is Bias Expressed?

Bias against others can be expressed and perceived in many ways. It can be subtle or blatant and can include physical, spoken, or written acts of abuse, insensitivity, lack of awareness, violence, harassment, intimidation, extortion, the use of vulgarity, cursing, making remarks, or any other behaviors that belittles, restricts or alienates others, based on preconceived notions. Examples include graffiti, offensive flyers, or comments in the classroom, workplace, or in the street.
 

What is the difference between a Hate Crime and a Bias Incident?

Congress has defined a 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, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." A bias incident is also an offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by the offender's bias against a protected class BUT may not rise to the level of a crime. Law enforcement investigates hate crimes.