Bias Incident Reporting

This reporting tool is for non-emergency incidents only.

For emergencies that need immediate attention, including safety concerns for members of our community: Dial 911, then contact the Office of Emergency Management and Public Safety at 518-587-2100 Ext. 2900.

Please be aware that the Bias Incident Response Team must inform local law enforcement of matters that may be considered a crime that are reported.

For complaints that may raise issues of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault, contact the Title IX office at

Empire State University prioritizes fostering a welcoming, respectful, and cooperative community that supports all its members. In line with this commitment, we have established a bias incident reporting system. This system is designed to monitor, review, and address incidents that affect our shared, learning and working environment. Your input is invaluable in helping us uphold our values of inclusion and mutual respect. This will allow us to enhance our community support and ensure a more inclusive environment for all.

What is a Bias Incident?

The term "bias incident" encompasses language and/or behaviors that reflect prejudice against individuals or groups due to actual or perceived factors, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, medical condition, body size, disability, marital status, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, veteran status, domestic violence victim status, ex-offender status, socioeconomic status or any other status protected by law now or in the future, should such laws be amended to include other protected classes.

A bias incident encompasses any intentional or unintentional act or behavior directed towards an individual or group based on any aspect of their identities. Bias incidents may be written, verbal and / or behavior that take the form of, but are not limited to:

  • Racist, sexist or other slurs that demean a person or group because of their particular characteristics
  • Derogatory comments
  • Offensive terminology
  • Cultural appropriations (taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture: e.g., costumes)
  • Microaggressions (subtle, nonverbal, layered insults/assaults based on characteristics such as race, gender, class, sexuality, language, immigration status, phenotype, accent, or surname, often carried out reflexively or unconsciously)

Bias Incident Reporting Process

This reporting system is for all Empire State University employees and students, and Empire State University the University takes seriously the reports made through this system. Please make your report as accurate and truthful as possible. All information contained within a report may become part of Empire State University's administrative record keeping and may be made available to the students to which it pertains under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Be professional, accurate, and factual. Statements, including observations and facts, are more useful than characterizations or labels. We encourage community members to resolve conflicts directly, when possible.

Empire State University is committed to evaluating your report thoroughly, fairly, and promptly, but the timing and manner in which the University investigates and addresses the report will vary depending on the information provided and whether you wish to remain anonymous. Below are the prescribed steps that will be applied to process your report.

Reporting Process Steps

Step 1

Once submitted, your report is electronically routed to the Office of the Assistant Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer (AVP/CDO) for initial review.

Note: In the event of the AVP/CDO is unavailable for an extended period, a designee will be assigned.

Step 2

The AVP/CDO will assign your report to a designated reviewer, who will contact you within five (5) business days to explain the process, gather any additional information needed, and consider your desired outcome. Please note that your desired outcome will inform, but may not govern, the final outcome of your report.

Step 3

The reviewer collaborates with all stakeholders to attempt to reach a prompt and mutually agreeable resolution. A final review of the outcome will be conducted by the AVP/CDO.

Note: If the Bias Incident Report reveals alleged violations of other SUNY Empire policies, or relevant federal or state laws, the matter may be reported to appropriate authorities and / or referred to governmental authorities for investigation under those laws and policies. FERPA requirements and other privacy laws may limit the amount of information we can share with you.

Preserving Evidence

It is important to preserve evidence related to the concern. If you experience or witness a diversity-related concern, document it the best you can:

  • If you experience a written slur or discover graffiti at any Empire State University location, do not erase it until the Office of Emergency Management and Public safety or local police have seen it. Also, photograph any physical evidence such as bodily injury, damaged property, or a license plate. You will be asked to provide an original or copy of the photographs or any other physical evidence that you obtain. If the incident is verbal, write down what was said, and get the contact information of any possible witnesses.
  • If the incident is held virtually (a meeting or discussion board), take screenshots that capture as much of the page as possible (including web address, meeting title, and other relevant identifying information.
  • Act immediately to preserve evidence, as speed and accuracy of response are critical.
  • Please note that the requirements of FERPA or other relevant laws governing privacy may determine the nature of how the evidence is preserved and used. In the event that the matter becomes an issue of law enforcement, that evidence may need to be disclosed or turned over to law enforcement personnel charged with investigation and resolution of the matter.

Bias Incident Response Team

The Bias Incident Response Team includes members of the university community who are available to support and guide members of the Empire State University community seeking assistance in determining how to manage reported incidents. Team members document incidents and assist with the coordination of support such as counseling, health services, or other referrals as needed to ensure safety and aid and comfort to those impacted. Team members also develop an appropriate plan to initiate communication with the broader community, and make referrals to Student Success, Human Resources, Emergency Management and Public Safety, and/or the Office of the General Counsel if the incident appears to violate a university policy or if a crime has been committed.