OUR COMMITMENT TO ADDRESSING BIAS ON CAMPUS:

Grand Valley State University strives to create an inclusive and equitable campus community where people are treated with dignity and respect.  If anyone in the Grand Valley community feels belittled, disrespected, or isolated based on their identity, there is a mechanism to report the incident (see below). The university is committed to safeguarding individual’s constitutional rights to free speech and assembly and we are also committed to addressing incidents of bias that may negatively affect individuals and/or communities at the university. 

Grand Valley facilitates educational dialogue to ensure that individuals understand both their right to free expression within the community and the impact of their expression on individuals and/or the community.  Any time an incident is reported, the reporting party will be contacted and informed about support resources available to them at the university.  Incidents reported through the bias system may violate university policies or the student code. These incidents will be investigated through the proper adjudicating body or bodies.

 

 

If you’ve arrived at this page, it’s likely that you or someone you know has experienced a bias incident on campus. That should never be something anyone on campus should experience and we want to provide you with the support and resources you need.

Incidents of bias or hate affecting a person or group are in complete opposition to Grand Valley State University’s commitment to creating an inclusive and respectful community that allows everyone to achieve their fullest potential.

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What is a "Bias Incident?"

The University defines a “bias incident” as any instance where someone feels belittled, disrespected, or isolated based on their identity.

Furthermore, the incident does not have to be a crime under any federal, state, or local laws.

If you have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, the best way to submit a report, would be through the online intake system. Once you have completed and submitted the online form, you will be contacted by a member of the GVSU community who serves as a representative of the Bias Incident support team.

Depending on the nature of the reported incident, the University may:

  • Offer support and information regarding available resources;
  • Depending on the nature of the report, it may be routed to other on-campus offices who are more appropriate to address (e.g. University Human Resources, Title IX Office, the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, the Dean of Students, etc.)
  • Inform and consult with University administration regarding a possible institutional response;
  • Coordinate support for community healing and educational outreach,
  • Assess avenues for minimizing or eliminating future incidents of bias

It is important to know that the Bias Incident Reporting process is NOT intended to be utilized as a disciplinary or punitive function.

While bias incidents sometimes target specific individuals, they may also impact an entire group or community. Instances such as public graffiti, defaced photographs and fliers, anonymous emails and language meant to harass individuals convey a message of intolerance.


REPORTING BIAS INCIDENTS:

If you have observed or experienced a bias incident, please report it through any of the following ways:

            Submit Online:
            (If you wish to remain anonymous, please use the online reporting option)

            By Phone or In Person: 

            Scott Ayotte, Director AA/EEO & Equity Officer
            Division of Inclusion & Equity
            4035 James H. Zumberge Hall (JHZ)
            616-331-2242

 

Download the Bias Incident Reporting Process handout

As adopted by the Board of Trustees, Grand Valley State University is committed to inclusion and equity, and strives to establish a climate that welcomes and affirms the contributions of all students and employees. The University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University strives to provide all members of its community an inclusive environment and equitable opportunities for success.

The University is also committed to maintaining a climate conducive to an educational, living, and employment environment that is free from unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination, as well as those defined by this policy. All members of the community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. It is neither the purpose nor intent of this policy to infringe on the First Amendment or academic freedom as defined by the University.

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University.

Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking.