What is a Bias Incident?

Whitman College is committed to building a campus community that is diverse, equitable and inclusive of all students, staff and faculty.  Bias incidents are acts or behaviors motivated by the offender's bias against age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. These acts do not necessarily rise to the level of a crime. A bias act may contribute to creating an unsafe, negative, or unwelcome community environment.

What is a Hate Crime?

Under federal, state and local laws, a hate crime is defined as a criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, gender, religion, disability, ethnic/national origin groups or sexual-orientation

Both Bias Incidents and Hate Crimes can be reported using the form but different process are enacted as a result of reporting.

Bias Reporting at Whitman College Workflow Process

 

What Happens When I Report a Bias Incident

Reports will be treated as confidentially as possible. If you identify yourself on the form, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Thomas Witherspoon will either contact you directly or designate an appropriate member of Whitman staff to discuss details of the incident and work with you to reach a timely resolution. He can also provide you with information about other resources that may be helpful.

While not all bias incidents involve a violation of Whitman's policies and procedures, a bias response team member can also help you evaluate whether you wish to pursue disciplinary action against a member of our campus community, based on Whitman's grievance policy.

Bias Response Team & Mandatory Reporters:

Portrait of Thomas WitherspoonThomas Witherspoon
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Title IX Coordinator

withertl@whitman.edu
509-527-4996

Portrait of Helen KimHelen Kim
Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Professor of Sociology

kimh2@whitman.edu
509-527-4996

Portrait of Juli DunnJuli Dunn
Senior Associate Dean of Students, 504 Coordinator

dunnjl@whitman.edu
509-527-5013



Support and Resources

We can ensure that reporting people are connected to counseling and security resources if they are interested in that type of support. We also can assist with no-contact orders. Additionally, we can communicate with faculty on their behalf if they are interested. In my short time, we have even made special accommodations for a student to turn in final papers at a distance. Every situation is different, and we try our best to work within the parameters of what the individual student needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The bias response process is not designed to replace or extend Whitman's formal grievance policy. Not every incident of perceived bias violates Whitman College policy or the law. Yet, many of these incidents can still cause harm to members of our community and we believe it worthwhile to work toward an appropriate resolution in these cases. In cases where there is no clear violation of law or Whitman policy, will expect resolutions to be educational in nature and not punitive.

Instances of bias can happen in many situations and between any configuration between students, faculty, and staff

  • Defacement and vandalism
  • Oral or written racial epithets
  • Racially-themed parties
  • Hate messages and symbols
  • Objectifying a person based on race or gender
  • Mocking gender expression
  • Derogatory comments in workplace settings
  • Mocking person's language or accent
  • Mocking a person's traditional manner of dress

This list does not encompass the full scope of what could be considered a bias incident.

Everyone.

Anyone who directly witnesses or experiences bias activity on Whitman’s campus or in an area that impacts the community should intervene as appropriate (e.g., contact safety and security or call 911, if a crime is in progress), and report the incident as soon as possible.

Yes, you have the option to report anonymously. Please note that in preserving your anonymity, we are limited in the conversations we can have and the actions we can take.

Actions will generally be providing support and educational in nature unless it falls into a category under the colleges grievance policy. We also look for systemic connections of reports to improve campus safety and culture.

Whitman College Policies that Address Bias Related Incidents

Grievance Policy

Sexual Misconduct

Title IX & Faculty Code

Whitman College Confidential Resources

Counseling Center, 509-527-5195

Adam Kirtley, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, 509-522-4449

Sexual Assault and Violence Advocate, 509-526-3032

Online and Other Resources