Bias Response Team

VCU is committed to creating and supporting a safe and welcoming campus for all students, faculty and staff.

Bias Response

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is committed to creating and supporting a safe and welcoming campus for all students, faculty and staff. We work continuously to create an open environment with meaningful opportunities to learn and engage.

At VCU, it is the responsibility of every member of the community to foster an environment of respect, openness and understanding. VCU is dedicated to creating and promoting an environment free from racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, homophobia, ableism, and xenophobia.

What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is an action taken by an individual or group that may involve, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, assault, damage to property, sending of threatening mail or e-mail, writing racial slurs or graffiti, stalking, verbal harassment and other bias-motivated behavior that contributes to or enables an unsafe and hostile campus environment.  As such, these acts are an antithetical to the University’s values of inclusion, diversity and social justice. While such acts may be focused on one individual or group, these acts negatively impact our entire community.

Bias Response Team

The Bias Response Team is comprised of staff from the Dean of Students Office, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, University Counseling Services, and the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. The University Police Department will separately evaluate the complaint to determine whether any Commonwealth laws have been violated.

Responding to Bias Response Incident on Campus

When there is a report of a bias incident, the Dean of Students (or designee) will convene the Bias Response Team to respond to a bias complaint. The Dean of Students (or designee) will appoint a Bias Response Team member to serve as the primary contact for the reporting party.  The Bias Response Team member will interview the reporting party to obtain additional information regarding the complaint and in collaboration with other team members assess the facts for possible violation(s) of University policy, including the Student Code of Conduct.

The Bias Response Team member will coordinate resources and support for the affected student/group.  The assigned Bias Response Team member will continue to follow up with any reporting party until an individual case is concluded.

Even when it is determined that a complaint has not violated criminal law, University policy, and/or the Code of Conduct, the Bias Response Team may choose to address the issues in the form of an institutional response such as educational programing within buildings or residence halls, email response to all students, make recommendations to schools, departments, and university administration, etc. The team is also responsible for monitoring trends and supporting preventive measures the reduce/prevent incidents of bias at the university.

How to report a bias incident

Bias related incident can be reported by email at vcudean@vcu.edu.