Bias Incidents and Reporting

Bellarmine University values and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences and perspectives of our community members. Bias-related incidents create a hostile educational, living and working environment and such acts are not tolerated in our academic community. The Bias Response Team (BRT), informed by university policies and best practices is available to support and guide students as they navigate an alleged bias incident.

What is Bias?

The term “bias-related” refers to language, behaviors and acts that demonstrate discrimination or hate against persons or groups because of any of the following identity categories (perceived or otherwise): ability, age, faith tradition, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin. These categories are examples and are not an exhaustive list of attributes or characteristics protected under this policy.

What is a Bias Incident?

A bias incident involves actions committed against or directed toward a person or property that are motivated, in whole or in part, by a bias against race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes as required by law and that interferes with one's educational opportunities or disrupts the learning environment.

Report Bias

The University urges anyone who has experienced or witnessed a bias incident to report it to the BRT. If you experience or witness a bias-related incident contact the Office of Public Safety at 502.272.7777, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be put in contact with a Bias Response Team Member. A BRT member will promptly review all bias incident reports and treat the reports in the highest level of confidentiality possible. You may also report a bias-related incident by completing the Bias Incident Report form located below. For more information about bias-related incidents or BRT’s contact Patrick Englert, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, at penglert@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.8323.

Bias Response Team

The BRT is made up of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs staff members who are available to support and guide students in determining how to navigate an alleged bias incident. The BRT also collaborates with the Dean of Students office in documenting and reporting incidents that occur on campus. Bias incidents are regularly reviewed as a method to develop educational programs and interventions to decrease incidents of bias and to educate the campus community.

The BRT handles any incidents that are motivated by bias, even if they do not include the elements required to prove a hate crime* (Student Handbook, page 45) or a violation of the student code of conduct. Resources may be shared and referrals may be issued to students submitting a bias incident to ensure individuals involved are supported through the process. The BRT may refer students and or incidents to the Dean of Students Office if it is determined that a code of conduct violations has occurred. The BRT does not adjudicate conduct cases or impose sanctions.

*Hate Crimes – Are crimes in the state of Kentucky (KRS 164.948(3))in which the victim was intentionally selected because of an actual or perceived prejudice.

What Happens to My Report?

Reports will be treated as confidentially as possible. For all reports containing contact information, a BRT member will contact the reporting person and if desired, offer a meeting to discuss the incident in detail, and explore a plan for resolution. During this meeting, the reporting person can expect to obtain information about related University policies, procedures, and resources.  Other University offices may be consulted as needed to ensure a proper response. All campus entities will adhere to FERPA regulations when handling reports and information submitted via this website. If the matter is referred for further action by the Dean of Students Office or another appropriate campus entity, the processes for review and possible further action are carried out with the same measure of individual protection.

Support and Resources (Including Confidential Resources)

For information regarding support services and additional resources, please consult any of the following:

The following are completely confidential support services: Meaning if you report an alleged incident or want to discuss and alleged incident, no other office on campus will be contacted.

In case of an emergency or if a crime occurred, please contact:

  • Louisville Metro Police