Hate/bias incidents may be reported to WSU online through the new website of the Office of Equity and Diversity, http://diversity.wsu.edu.
As part of the development of the office, Interim Vice President Michael J. Tate has given the charge of managing the reports to the Center for Human Rights. “By centralizing these reports in CHR, our central compliance office, we hope to streamline the process and provide high-quality service to the community,” Tate said.
A bias incident is one which, although not criminal in nature, does have the effect of discriminating, stereotyping, excluding or harassing people based on some part of their identity. A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society, which is motivated by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin.
WSU has a coordinated reporting system that encourages people to file a report with one of several offices trained to gather the information. Offices welcoming reports include the Office of Equity and Diversity, Office of Student Affairs, the Women’s Resource Center, Multicultural Student Services, the Disability Resource Center, the Center for Human Rights, Counseling Services, the ombudsman’s office, International Programs and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Allies Program. Each incident is documented, necessary referrals are made, and a coordinated response, which includes relevant offices and agencies, is provided.
Tate hopes online access will encourage more people who experience some form of harassment to report it. “We want to make sure everyone who experiences hate and bias receives appropriate support from the university,” Tate said. Twenty-six hate/bias incidents have been reported since 1992.