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Bias-related Incident Policy

A bias-related incident is any deliberate act or attempt to injure, harm or harass an individual or group because of the person or group's gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, veteran status, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, possession of a general education development certificate as compared to a high school diploma, or any other legally protected status or because the alleged perpetrator perceives that the other person or group has one or more of these characteristics. Such behavior includes acts or attempts that may pose physical or psychological harm or threat to individuals or groups.

The United States Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation." Hate itself is not a crime—and the federal government is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

Bias related incidents and hate crimes both involve behavior that is motivated by bias. However, it is important to note the distinction between the two. Hate crimes include a definable crime, such as: threats of violence, property damage, personal injury and other illegal conduct. A hate crime is an infraction of the law and will be addressed accordingly.

A bias-related incident can be a violation of this policy but may not rise to the level of a hate crime, but all hate crimes are bias related-incidents.

All incidents should be reported in order to determine the level and type of offense, to support the affected person(s) or group, to mitigate subsequent incidents by raising awareness of the offense, to develop an educational response and to activate appropriate campus review and judicial processes when necessary to address individual or group behavior.

Report a Bias-Related Incident

In the event that a victim requires immediate assistance, the victim or witness should contact Campus Security at 717-361-1111 . Campus Security is the first response team at Elizabethtown College and has responsibility to dispatch emergency medical services if necessary.

All college community members and campus guests are encouraged to report bias-related incidents by using the ECHotline (our online incident report system), or by contacting the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities or the Dean of Students (students) or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (employees) or with the Director of Campus Security (students and employees).


Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation process to the extent practical and consistent with the College's need to undertake a full and impartial investigation.

College Reporting Requirements (Clery Act)

The College is required by law to issue a timely warning about hate crimes that present a continuing danger to the campus community and to disclose annual statistics about these crimes. Only general information, as opposed to personal or identifying details, will be disclosed in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act.

Documentation of the Incident

It is essential that individuals who have experienced bias, and witnesses, or other individuals reporting a bias-related incident provide as much information as possible about the incident. A detailed account including date, time, exact location, names of persons involved, including any witnesses, is considered necessary for an investigation by Campus Security and/or the local police. Impacted individuals and witnesses are encouraged to preserve evidence. For example, do not erase or remove graffiti, vandalism or public postings; take a photo if possible. Make a written record of any verbal assault; maintain any email record (do not alter, delete or forward the message). If the incident occurred by telephone, make note of the time and length of the call along with the phone number if possible, but do not engage with the caller.

College Response

Report of a bias-related incident will be referred to the appropriate college official for review and investigation. Individuals making a report will be given an opportunity to provide additional information, review issues of confidentiality, and discuss potential next steps. The resolution process for any reported incident will follow procedures outlined in the Student, Faculty and Employee Handbooks.

Role of Campus Diversity Advocates

The Campus Diversity Advocates is a volunteer group of faculty, students and staff that supports individuals or groups who have been the target of a bias-related incident. The Campus Diversity Advocates (CDAs) do not have an official role in the investigation or resolution of bias-related incidents. Rather, the CDAs are knowledgeable and approachable peers and professional colleagues who are committed to (1) affirming the human dignity of all members of the Elizabethtown College community, (2) affirming the member's concern, (3) offering support in a non-judgmental environment, and (4) directing campus members to resources for addressing bias-related incidents or complaints. For more information about the Campus Diversity Advocates, please see:

Campus Crime Report       

A Campus Crime Report is available for viewing at the Campus Security webpage at This report is updated annually in October with information for the previous calendar year.






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