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College’s Bias Incident List Includes Making Social Media Posts Mocking Someone’s Political Views


While anonymous online bias reporting systems have become standard at universities across the country, Williams College encourages people to report comments their peers make on social media that reference someone’s political beliefs.

As The College Fix recently discovered, the Williams College “Speak Up” program lists an array of offenses that constitute “bias incidents.” From saying the phrase “no homo,” to using the color pink for women and blue for boys, the school has an exhaustive list of things that can cross the line into a reportable offense. Some of the bias incidents, however, include referencing someone’s political beliefs:

Making comments on social media about someone’s disability, ethnicity, race, national origin, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs

Writing on a white board about someone’s disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliations/beliefs

Drawing or creating pictures that imitate, stereotype, or belittle/ridicule someone because of their gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, faith, or political affiliation

Another bias incident includes the broad statement, “Saying that all ______
[people of a certain group or identity] are _____ [stereotyping].”

Under these guidelines, someone posting something along the lines of “all Republicans are racist” on Facebook would be an offensive worthy of being reported as a bias incident--something many, no doubt, have done without ramifications.

As the Speak Up website notes, a bias incident is different from a hate crime, as hate crimes require an actual crime to be committed. However, the website still states, “bias-related incidents do require the active participation of a community committed to fundamental human dignity and equality to successfully address.”

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