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Bias Incidents and Discrimination

Call 911 immediately if you are in physical danger or in need of medical attention.

The Macalester Department of Public Safety (651-696-6555) is also available for 24/7 reporting and response.

Macalester fosters a community of respect, integrity, and care. If you have experienced a possible bias incident, discriminatory harassment, or discrimination, please use this form to report the incident:

Please note that you do not need to determine if the incident meets specific criteria. We will address all reported incidents and make appropriate referrals. If contact information is provided, we will reach out within one week.

Additional information about Macalester’s non-discrimination policy may be found here:

Information about discrimination and discriminatory harassment in the Student Handbook may be found here:

What is a bias-related incident?

Bias-related incidents refer to language, images or behaviors that demonstrate bias against another person based on but not limited to their membership in a group, based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexuality, disability, age, religion, or an individual’s particular characteristics, role, or behavior.

Expression of ideas or points of view that may be offensive or inflammatory to some, may not necessarily be a bias-related incident. The College does value freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. This value of openness protects controversial ideas, but it does not protect harassment or expression of bias or harassment aimed at individuals that violate college policy.

What is harassment?

When these acts are intended to harm an individual or have the purpose or effect of unreasonably or substantially interfering with an individual’s safety and security by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment they can be defined as harassment. These acts defined as harassment may be based on a person’s identity characteristics or they may not.

What is the difference between discrimination and bias-related incidents?

Unlawful discrimination refers to specific conduct prohibited by law that unfairly treats people differently because of their characteristic or perceived characteristics that the law deems to be unrelated to merit. An example of unlawful discrimination would be to deny membership into a group because a person is Muslim.

Bias is a preconceived negative opinion or attitude about a group of people who possess common physical characteristics or cultural experiences. 

Unlawful discrimination often results from bias. Bias-related incidents, however, do not always result in unfair treatment that violates nondiscrimination laws.

What can I do to create a culture of inclusion and respect at Macalester?

  • Speak out when jokes or comments are made that are hateful or demean others.
  • If you witness or experience discrimination, harassment, bias motivated incidents, report the behavior.
  • Examine your own behavior and consider how it may affect others in the community. Take steps to understand what motivates you and how you can help create an affirming, supportive environment for all people.
  • Attend programs, lectures, workshops, etc. that increase your knowledge and understanding of people different from you.