Kalamazoo College aspires to be an environment of living and learning that will foster understanding, mutual respect, intellectual curiosity, and social commitment. We commit ourselves to treat with respect those with whom we differ, to recognize the rights held by others, to resolve conflicts, and to provide a physically and psychologically safe learning environment.
In an effort to better understand the ways in which community members experience the campus, the Bias Data Gathering System (BDGS) was developed. The goal of the BDGS is to gather information about the state of the K community, specifically as it relates to bias. The intention of the program is to collect information that will inform campus practices and policies.
The College’s working definition of bias for the BDGS is a preconceived negative preference, inclination, or attitude about groups of people, often based on physical, cultural, religious, or social identities. The term ‘bias related’ refers to language and/or behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons because of, but not limited to, their actual or perceived identities. Examples may include defacement of posters or signs, intimidating comments or messages, vandalism to personal or college property, or similar acts, if there is evidence that the target or victim was chosen because of a characteristic such as those listed above.
Please be aware, however, that although an expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias-related incident. Kalamazoo College values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. Intellectual academic discourse often involves the expression of controversial ideas and differing views. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals. The BDGS does not prohibit speech historically and currently protected by College policies.
What to Expect After Reporting an Incident of Bias
After a member of the community provides information through the Bias Incident Report form or through members of the Bias Incident Response Team, the information will be used to determine if an incident was bias-related. The information will then be referred to offices that are a part of the current resolution systems and to inform other ways the College may proactively build a welcoming and affirming campus environment.
Please feel free to contact members of the Bias Incident Response Team with questions.
How to Report Bias Related Information
The College has several channels through which you can report an incident of bias or receive support. Bias incidents may be reported through the Bias Incident Report form or by contacting members within the Bias Incident Response Team.
Do not use the Bias Reporting Form to report an immediate threat. If you require emergency assistance, call 911. To report issues related to sexual misconduct of any kind, please be sure to use the Title IX reporting form.