Bias Response Team and Reporting

CONTACTS

Report a Bias Incident

Purpose of the Bias Response Team

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) Bias Response Team (BRT) will work collaboratively with existing groups on campus to offer proactive education related to hate/bias incidents and advise college administration regarding a comprehensive response to hate/bias incidents that impact the college community.

Goals of Bias Response Team

  • Inform the college community about reporting options for hate/bias incidents
  • Collect and analyze reports from across campus related to hate/bias incidents
  • Assess the severity and reach of a hate/bias incident inclusive of fact finding with students and employees
  • Advise college administration regarding a comprehensive and timely response to hate/bias incidents that impact the college community
  • Refer incidents to existing groups and/or provide immediate assistance to those impacted by hate/bias incidents
  • Collaborate with college groups and individuals (inclusive of students and employees) to offer proactive education related to hate/bias incidents
  • Collaborate with college groups and individuals (inclusive of students and employees) to offer post hate/bias incident response programming
  • Ensure post incident response review

Definitions

  • Bias: A belief (positive or negative) held about a particular group.
  • Bias Incident: A discriminatory act (conduct or speech or behavior) directed towards an individual or group based on their protected status with the intent to demean, intimidate, and/or threaten the individual/group/community. This does not rise to the level of a crime. Examples may include: slurs, graffiti, or written messages.
  • Hate Speech: A commonly used term that does not have a legal definition. It is any form of expression through which speakers intend to vilify, humiliate, or incite hatred against a group or a class of persons. This is another example of a bias incident as it is speech that does not raise to the level of a crime.
  • Hate Crime: This consists of two parts: it must first be a criminal offense against a person or property AND it must also be motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a person’s or groups protected class.
  • Protected Class: Legal recognition of protected class at the federal level currently includes: race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. At the state level the list includes: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap (and the crime is called “malicious harassment”.)
  • Targeted Group/Person: The bias response team refers to individuals who are the recipient of bias motivated behavior as a “targeted person or group”. This behavior may be motivated by an identity that is not a protected class such as immigration status or political affiliation.
  • Freedom of Speech/1st amendment rights: LWTech respects and supports the right of students and employees to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. We do have policies that provide limits on the time, place, and manner of this speech to ensure the college can operate to fulfill its educational mission.

Bias Response Team Structure

The Bias Response Team meets monthly or as needed in the event of an incident. The current BRT includes:

  • Ruby Hayden, Vice President of Student Services
  • Meena Park, Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Suzy Ames, Vice President of Instruction
  • Leslie Shattuck, Director of Communications & Marketing
  • Stephanie Bazalar, Coordinator, Financial Aid & Veteran Services
  • Meisha Wangerin, Coordinator, Outreach & Recruitment
  • Anthony Bowers, Director of Campus Public Safety
  • Katie Peacock, Director of Student Development
  • Sharon Raz, Faculty
  • Sue Wozniak, Associate Professor, Library
  • Audry Bernal, Coordinator for Student Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Please use the online reporting form to contact us about a bias incident.