Bias Crimes and Prevention


 Bias Crimes and Prevention (New York State Education Law Article 129.A)


The College's values and goals advocate a broad degree of human understanding amongst its community members: students, faculty, staff, visitors and alumni.  We seek to enroll and engage a diverse population of students across diverse cultural and national experiences.  A vibrant, productive learning environment requires a richness in the variety of voices and life experiences that are represented among us.


For this reason, prejudice, discrimination, and bias related actions by community members or visitors and guests, based on race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, are counterproductive and harmful to the purposes of our educational community. The College does not limit freedom of expression, particularly speech, even if the ideals and values held by some of its members are challenged by that speech.  Even bigoted or racist speech or other forms of intolerant speech or offensive expression are protected.  In this way, the College values of an inclusive and diverse learning environment may occasionally be challenged by, or at least not by furthered by, freedom of speech.  However, conduct that targets a specific individual or group of individuals and creates an unreasonable interference with that individual’s or group’s ability to pursue educational purposes or to benefit from college life is prohibited by the College through this policy, the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, and Maintaining Public Order on Campuses of the State University of New York.


Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Hate Crimes


  1. Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics, such as their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Hate/bias crimes, in particular, are addressed by the passage of the federal Hate/Bias Crime Reporting Act of 1990 and the New York State Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Penal Law 485.05).  Copies of the New York law are available from the Student Conduct Office, 501 Culkin Hall, 315.312.3378 and University Police, Pathfinder Hall, 315.312.5555.


       2.  Perpetrators of hate crimes and bias incidents intentionally:


  • Select the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

  • Commit the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.


       3.  Examples of hate crimes may include, but are not limited to: threatening phone calls, hate mail (including electronic mail), physical assaults, vandalism, destruction of property, arson, and fire bombings.


       4.  Penalties for hate and bias-related crimes are very serious and range from fines to imprisonment for lengthy periods, depending on the nature of the underlying criminal offense, the use of violence or previous    convictions of the offender.  Perpetrators who are students will also be subject to campus disciplinary procedures where sanctions including dismissal from the College are possible.


      5.  If you are a victim of, or witness to, a hate/bias incident or crime on campus, report it to University Police by calling 315.312.5555.  Reporting to the University Police gives the College the best advantage in further investigating the incident.  University Police will investigate and follow the appropriate adjudication procedures.


      6.  Reporting procedures apply, to the extent reasonably practicable under the circumstances, during both business and non-business hours. All bias-related incident reports shall be considered confidential. Any personal information obtained during the investigation or adjudication of the matter will be subject to disclosure only to the extent required by law. When a student, faculty or staff member becomes aware of a bias-related incident, the following procedures are to be applied:


  1. Contact University Police (315.312.5555) for on-campus incidents or the Oswego City Police (911) for off campus incidents.  Provide your name, location, the nature of the incident and whether you or those involved have sustained injury.  Ask the responding agency to provide a camera to the scene.    Photographs should be taken of physical injuries, offensive graffiti and evidence of vandalism or other crimes.
  2. If possible, remain on or near the location while you wait for the police to respond.  Do not touch or move any items from the scene.  Retain any physical evidence of the incident (e.g., messages written on doors, physical objects, etc.).  If you cannot remain, write down what you experienced or witnessed as soon as possible to preserve details and contact University Police to arrange an interview.
  3. Once the Police arrive provide a detailed description of what occurred.  Include time, location, any persons observed at the scene, and any subsequent actions.  If Oswego Police are called, it is strongly encouraged to report the incident to University Police (315.312.5555) and/or Human Resources (315.312.2230).
  4. Upon completion of the interview, write a detailed deposition of the events for the Police. 
  5. University Police will secure the services of the College's Office of Human Resources, or whenever appropriate the Dean of Students may also be consulted who will request an interview with you and other witnesses. You should bring a copy of your deposition with you.  The Human Resources or Dean of Students staff member will engage you in a discussion to determine the dimensions of the incident and an appropriate response.
  6. University Police will contact the Maintenance and Operations department to remove graffiti, repair damage and clean the area as soon as practicable, after appropriate evidence gathering procedures are completed.
  7. Victims and witnesses of bias crime or bias incidents can avail themselves of support services from the campus as follows:


University Police


Counseling Center


Student Conduct   Office


Office of Human   Resources


Residence Life & Housing


      7.  Statistics concerning campus bias-related and hate crimes are available from University Police Report website.  The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and the Campus Crimes Statistics Act Information.


      8. In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, the College addresses bias-related acts that do not rise to the level of a crime. It is the position of the College that bias-related incidents include acts that are motivated by bias, but may not meet the necessary elements required to prove a crime.  These activities, referred to as bias incidents, are violations of the College's Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct where the perpetrator selects a person or group of persons against whom the offense is committed in whole or in part because of a belief or perception regarding national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, or marital status.


      9.  All bias incidents should be reported to the University Police, Pathfinder Hall, 315.312.5555 or the College's Human Resources (315.312.2230).