Bias Incident Types

Bias incidents are those where speech or expressive conduct is directed toward an individual or group that is based on or motivated by the individual or group’s real or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, or gender identity and/or expression. Bias incidents may include actions that are motivated by bias, but that are protected by the First Amendment and do not meet the necessary elements required to prove a crime or a violation of University policy, as outlined below.

Depending on the nature and severity of the behavior, the associated bias, and impact, Bias Incidents will be addressed through interventions as appropriate, such as: education, restorative practices, community dialogue, formal processes through institutional offices (e.g., review, investigation, resolution), and/or referral to local law enforcement. Although not every incident will be a violation of university policy or law, all reported incidents will be reviewed for an appropriate response.

As articulated in the Program’s Welcome Message, the First Amendment allows, protects, and promotes the ability to discuss controversial ideas, differing views, and sometimes offensive and hurtful words.  Such speech or expression will not be stifled or disciplined, but may be used as an opportunity to grow as a campus community through the Bias Response Program.

Hate Crime

A type of Bias Incident in which the conduct constitutes a criminal offense against persons or property.  Hate crimes are defined by Vermont law at 13 V.S.A. § 1455, and must be reported to UVM Police Services.


Adverse treatment based on an individual’s membership in a legally protected category that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity, or that otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of the individual’s employment or education.

Legally protected categories are listed in UVM's equal opportunity policies for students and employees.


A form of discrimination (defined above) that encompasses an incident or incidents of verbal, written, visual, or physical communications and/or conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s membership in a legally protected category that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s work or academic performance, or that creates a hostile working, educational or living environment.


A type of Bias Incident which does not rise to the level of a University policy violation (e.g. Discrimination, Harassment, etc.) or Hate Crime, in which everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their group membership.  Microaggressions may be intentional or unintentional, and are generally protected by the First Amendment.

  Hate Crime  Discrimination & Harassment Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities Microaggression
Primary Classification Violation of Law  Violation of UVM Policy Violation of UVM Policy Community Concern (Our Common Ground)
Primary Responding Office UVM Police Services Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity (AAEO) Center for Student Conduct Bias Response Team
Type of Response* Criminal Process (campus discipline may also result) Disciplinary Disciplinary Educational, e.g. Restorative Practices, Community Dialogue












*All Bias Incidents will be responded to educationally.