- University Policy # 10 - Non-Discrimination Equal Opportunity Programs
- University Policy #53 – Discriminatory Harassment Policy
- University Policy # 109 - Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures
- University Policy #82 - University Facilities Use Policy
- Code of Student Conduct
The following are some common terms related to bias reporting:
Bias Complaint: A report of a threat or act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation - verbal, written or physical - which is personally directed against or targets a Western Carolina University student because of that student's race, age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, religion, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
This definition is used for reporting and statistical purposes only. It carries no
independent sanctioning weight or authority.
The University encourages prompt reporting of bias complaints so that it can investigate the allegations for possible violation(s) of University policy, including the Code of Student Conduct, and refer such complaints to law enforcement to determine whether an independent investigation for violation(s) of criminal law is warranted.
Although the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a violation of law or University policy. The University values and embraces the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression, all of which must be vitally sustained in a community of scholars. While these freedoms protect controversial ideas and differing views, and sometimes even offensive and hurtful words, they do not protect personal threats or acts of misconduct which violate criminal law or University policy.
Unlawful Harassment: The term “unlawful harassment” means unwelcome or unsolicited speech or conduct based upon race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military veteran status, political affiliation or sexual orientation that creates a hostile environment for students, or denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the University’s programs, or interferes with an employee’s work performance. University Policy #53 - Sexual Harassment and Other Unlawful Harassment provides additional information.
UNC Board of Governors Policy Manual 700.4.2 states and requires:
No student shall threaten, coerce, harass or intimidate another person or identifiable group of persons, in a manner that is unlawful or in violation of a constitutionally valid University policy, while on University premises or at University-sponsored activities based upon the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender-identity, creed, disability, or veteran status. No student shall engage in unlawful harassment leading to a hostile environment. Unlawful harassment includes conduct that creates a hostile environment by meeting the following criteria: It is:
a. Directed toward a particular person or persons;
b. Based upon the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender-identify, creed, disability, or veteran status;
d. Severe or pervasive;
e. Objectively offensive; and
f. So unreasonably interferes with the target person’s employment, academic pursuits, or participation in University-sponsored activities as to effectively deny equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities.
In determining whether student conduct violates this provision, all relevant facts
and circumstances shall be considered. Care must be exercised in order to preserve
freedoms of speech and expression, as articulated in current legal standards. Advice
should be sought from campus attorneys, as appropriate.
As defined by the WCU Code of Student Conduct
A “hate crime” is a offense under NC state law that is committed because of the victim's race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin. Conduct that may not rise to the level of a “hate crime” may still constitute “unlawful harassment”.