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Bias Incident Policy

Bias Incident Report Form

 

Wheaton College Bias Incident Policy

The College aims to cultivate Christian character defined by intellectual humility, prudence and temperance. As followers of Christ, we are called to exercise our Christian freedom responsibly in holiness and humility (Eph.1:4, Col. 3:12); to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1-3); to uphold justice, mercy, and the equitable treatment of everyone (Mic. 6:8; Matt. 23:23; James 2:1-13); to edify one another and build up the Body of Christ (Rom. 14:19; Eph. 4:11-16). Biased behavior, speech, expressions, or actions fundamentally violate this Christian calling.

Wheaton College is committed to fostering a campus environment in which all members are free to learn and work without bias, thriving as unique persons made in the image of God and growing in their divinely endowed gifts. For purposes of this policy, bias incidents are defined as occurrences that display an unreasoned or unfair distortion of judgment in favor or against a person or group. Bias can be perpetuated by individuals, groups, or systems. Bias incidents impede objectivity and truth thereby negatively impacting a person’s or group’s experience at the College.

Wheaton College prohibits biased speech and behaviors that foster attitudes and/or actions condemned in Scripture, such as prejudice, slander, gossip, hatred, dissensions, factions, stereotyping, and exclusion, all of which threaten the ability to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and to nurture a learning community that reflects the Kingdom of God. Bias incidents are antithetical to the Wheaton College mission as expressed in the Wheaton College Community Covenant, Statement of Faith, and Christ-Centered Diversity Commitment.

The Bias Incident Policy intends to improve the campus climate by identifying and remediating incidents, whether by facilitating restorative, reconciling conversations among campus stakeholders or by invoking disciplinary action when needed to address individual, group, or systemic discrimination. The Policy seeks effective and efficient responses to bias-motivated incidents on and off-campus, which include students, staff, and faculty. Members of the College community are encouraged to report incidents to the Office of Intercultural Engagement, to help ensure equality, promote a sense of belonging for all, and successfully address bias incidents.

After a Bias Incident report is submitted, the Chief Intercultural Engagement Officer will review the report and contact the reporter unless the report is submitted anonymously. The student who reports bias incidents will have the option of choosing a restorative justice, student code of conduct, or no action reporting process. In certain situations, the College may choose to further investigate bias incidents. In all cases, the College will carry out this policy within the broader context of biblical principles for addressing and resolving conflict.

Although a bias incident report may be filed anonymously, it is most helpful if you provide a phone number or email address to ensure the appropriate college official can follow up to obtain additional information that may be crucial to addressing the incident. If you report anonymously, please note this may significantly limit the College’s ability to address your concerns effectively or support affected individuals. Information shared by all reporters will be treated with the utmost sensitivity. Faculty, staff, and students who do not report anonymously will be contacted by the appropriate College official. No one will be subject to discipline on the basis of an anonymous or non-anonymous report without due process.

Retaliation against an individual who makes a report or who participates in the information-gathering or resolution of such a report is prohibited. Retaliation exists when materially adverse action, including reputational harm, is taken against an individual because of that individual's participation in the protected activity under this Policy. Protected activity includes, but is not limited to, making a good-faith report of conduct in violation of this policy, cooperating in good faith in information-gathering related to a report under this Policy, and/or serving as a witness to any report of conduct in violation of this Policy.

Retaliation should be promptly reported to the CIEO, who has the discretion to address retaliation concerns promptly. Any acts of retaliation shall be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion, independent of the sanction or supportive measures imposed in response to the underlying report. 

As of September 21, 2020

Retaliation Clause amended on November 1, 2021