Questions and Answers

Harassment and discrimination should NOT be dismissed.  Please read the Q&A below to understand how you can respond to a bias incident.

What can I do if I believe I am the target and/or witness of a bias incident that took place on campus?

  • Preserve any evidence (graffiti, phone call recording, email message, letter, etc.)
  • Report incidents immediately to Campus Police by calling x2304 (or 1-911 in an emergency).
  • Mount Holyoke encourages the reporting of all such situations.  Typically the Campus Police should be the first point of contact.  Bias Incidents can also be reported to an office in the Bias Response Network (Dean of Students, Residential Life, Counseling Center, Health Center, and Ombudsperson) or online.
  • See question below for information about reporting an incident that takes place off campus.

What will The Campus Police do in such cases?

  • Gather and preserve evidence (if applicable).  Note: Campus Police may photograph damage, vandalism, etc if preservation is not possible.
  • Investigate cases in which an alleged crime has occurred, and work with you if you wish to develop a criminal case.
  • Follow-up concerning the status of the investigation

What options/resources exist for targets of bias incidents?

  • Bias Response Network
    The Bias Response Network is made up of the following offices/departments Campus Police, Residential Life, the Dean of Students office, the Counseling Center, and Health Services.  Each of these offices can assist students with reporting a bias incident, understanding their options, getting connected to a campus advocate, and receiving additional support.  If you need assistance after hours, contact Campus Police and they can assist you or connect you to the Dean on call.
  • Student Counseling Service
    Targets of hate crimes and/or bias incidents often need assistance in working through complex emotional and psychological consequences.  Others in the community may also experience the hate crime or bias incident as a personal attack.  Anyone affected by such acts is encouraged to contact Counseling Service at 538-2037.  Counseling Services can offer caring support and help in working through difficult issues. 
  • Bias Advocacy Team
    Campus Advocates are volunteer-trained faculty and staff members who can work with a student on an individual basis and help her navigate the college process.  Advocates will reach out to the affected student to offer support, answer questions related to the process, relay concerns to the appropriate campus representative(s), and reinforce other support systems available to the student.  Their primary role is to make sure that student needs are being met within the system.
  • Ombuds Office
  • Diversity and Inclusion

What is the range of outcomes for reported incidents involving Mount Holyoke community members?

  • The range of outcomes depends on the outcomes of the investigation into the case and which courses of action the target chooses to pursue (i.e. none, informal grievance, formal grievance, Council on Student Affairs, Student Disciplinary Process through the Dean of Students Office, legal remedies).  Outcomes may include, but are not limited to: a letter of reprimand, mandatory educational project, social probation, suspension, required withdrawal, and inconclusive findings.
  • Grievance procedures
  • Council on Student Affairs procedures
  • Standards of Social Conduct

What if I am the target and/or witness of a bias incident that took place on campus that involves someone who is not a member of the Mount Holyoke Community?

  • Preserve any evidence (graffiti, phone call recording, email message, letter, etc.)
  • Report incidents immediately to Campus Police by calling x2304 (or 1-911 in an emergency).
  • Mount Holyoke encourages the reporting of all such situations.  Typically Campus Police should be the first point of contact.  Bias Incidents can also be reported to an office in the Bias Response Network (Dean of Students, Residential Life, Counseling Center, Health Center, and Ombudsperson).
  • See question below for information about reporting an incident that takes place off campus.

What if my guest is the target of a bias incident on campus?

  • Preserve any evidence (graffiti, phone call recording, email message, letter, etc.)
  • Report incidents immediately to the Campus Police by calling x2304 (or 1-911 in an emergency).  Campus Police will discuss your options with you.
  • Mount Holyoke encourages the reporting of all such situations either to Campus Police or to an office in the Bias Response Network (Dean of Students, Residential Life, Counseling Center, Health Center, and Ombudsperson). 

What can I do if I believe I am the target and/or witness of a bias incident that took place off campus?

  • Preserve any evidence (graffiti, phone call recording, email message, letter, etc.)
  • Report incidents immediately to Mount Holyoke College Campus Police by calling 538-2304 (or 1-911 in an emergency). Campus Police will discuss your options with you.
  • Mount Holyoke encourages the reporting of all such situations either to Campus Police or to an office in the Bias Response Network (Dean of Students, Residential Life, Counseling Service, Health Center, and Ombudsperson).  Any of these offices can work to support you in connecting to appropriate support services.
  • Mount Holyoke takes all incidents seriously and wants to support targets, but our responses may be limited to our jurisdiction: the MHC campus.

What can I do to make a difference?

  • Speak out when jokes or comments are made that are hateful or demean others because of perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/presentation, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, social class, veteran status, or any combination of these or related factors.
  • Ask yourself if you use derogatory, degrading, or offensive terms in describing others and if you avoid people who are different from you.
  • Educate yourself.  (add links to educational resources).

How is the college community informed when a bias incident occurs?

  • With the target’s permission, a brief anonymous description of the bias incident will appear on the Bias Incidents Web site.
  • Any reported hate crime that occurred on campus will appear in the Campus Police log with minimal information in order to protect the anonymity of the reporting party.

What off campus resources are available to provide support and information around bias incidents and hate crimes?