RISD Bias Response

The Office of Institutional Discrimination + Title IX is responsible for response efforts, as well as providing resources and support, to reports and complaints of bias, discriminatory harassment based on protected categories, and sexual related misconduct against community members, including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. The Office oversees RISD’s compliance with Title IX of the Federal Higher Education Amendment of 1972, including Title IX education and prevention efforts.

Bias Incident Response Protocol:

The purpose of this protocol is to ensure that all RISD community members are familiar with the College’s available resources, support, and response protocols for bias-related incidents. Any community member who experiences a bias-related incident is encouraged to report it to our Office using the bias report form.

In the event of an emergency, all bias-related incidents should be reported directly to Public Safety, 401.454.6666.

What is a bias-related incident?

Bias-related incidents can be related to an event, image, utterance, or behavior that demeans or degrades an individual or group based on their belonging or perceived belonging to a particular identity group. Bias incidents are not required to be violations of any state, federal, or local statutes, and, at the time of reporting, do not have to be determined to have violated other College policies. Although bias-related incidents can also be acts of discriminatory harassment, not all bias-related incidents may constitute discriminatory harassment or a violation of other College policies. Bias-related reports do not themselves trigger a formal process under the College’s discriminatory harassment policies and procedures or other College policies.

Examples of Bias-related conduct, may include but are not limited to:

Reporting Process:

If you or someone you know has been impacted by a bias incident, please report using our bias report form. For all emergencies, please call 911 and/or Public Safety at 401.454.6666.

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RISD recognizes that bias may present as either localized or community based. All reported incidents will be reviewed by the appropriate parties to determine appropriate response steps. At any time, other factors may also be considered.

Localized Bias: are categorized as incidents that are seen or heard by an individual or a contained group of individuals. In these incidents, the bias material is typically contained to those involved.

Community Bias: are categorized as incidents that are seen or heard by many individuals or groups. In these incidents, the bias material is typically widespread and may involve members from both the immediate RISD community but also the greater outside community

How to Report a Bias Incident?

If an incident requires an immediate response and/or is an emergency, call Public Safety at 401.454.6666 and/or 911.

When a community member reports that they have been subjected to a bias incident, they can                    immediately report this using our bias report form. All reports submitted via our online report form have the option to be submitted anonymously. 

College Response to Bias Incidents:

Not all reported incidents of bias trigger other RISD policies and procedures, however, all bias incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis. Reported incidents of bias do not automatically trigger an investigation process and bias reporting is not meant to replace other College procedures.

The purpose of bias reporting is to connect and support community members who have been impacted by bias incidents to resources and support. Reporting bias incidents also enables the College to gain a better understanding of the types of bias incidents occurring on campus as well as develop appropriate resources and support, educational programming, policies, and intervention strategies. As such, our office reviews the report and provides parties with the appropriate resources and support. When necessary, a report may be routed to other appropriate departments and personnel.

Some incidents of bias may also trigger other College policies and procedures within departments, such as Student Conduct, Human Resources, and Discriminatory Harassment. In the event that a bias incident triggers another College policy, the College reserves the right to collaborate with the appropriate office(s) and investigate and respond to the reported incident(s) under the respective College policies and procedures.

Privacy and Confidentiality:

RISD is committed to preserving community member privacy. Under certain circumstances, information reported to our office may need to be shared with appropriate parties in order to assist a community member, provide safety planning, or provide safety response for the greater campus community. RISD CAPS, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP- faculty and staff), and RISD Health Services are confidential resources.

Notice of internal process and right to external processes:

The Office of Institutional Discrimination + Title IX processes and procedures are intended to offer an internal resolution to complaints. Any person who harasses or discriminates against another person may be held personally liable to the complainant and may be subject to processes and procedures independent of those utilized by the College. This policy does not preclude parties from exercising their individual rights before any other appropriate forum, including filing charges under state or federal law.

BIAS INCIDENT RESPONSE FLOW CHART