Bias Response Team

Onondaga Community College is working to create an educational environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. OCC recognizes that because of the unique ways in which hate/bias behavior effect the community, care for the community is important when responding to bias incidents. The Bias Response Team has been created to address the needs of the campus community and support those impacted by bias incidents. 

If you have seen, heard, or experienced bias, you can make a report in the following ways: 

  1. Directly reported to the Office of Campus Safety & Security by calling 315.498.2311.  
  2. Complete the Bias Act Reporting Form
  3. Contact any member of the Bias Response Team.  

Bias Response Team

Frequent Asked Questions 

Bias related-incidents are occurrences where a student or a group of perceived to have been mistreated due to their actual or perceived race, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practices, age, ability/disability, sexual orientation, or any other protected class regardless of belief or perception. Bias related incidents can include criminal and non-criminal conduct. 

Some examples include: 

  • Verbal, physical, or online harassment (e.g. text, social media) 
  • Bigotry 
  • Intimidation 
  • Coercion 
  • Damage to property via written slur, graffiti, or hate symbol 
  • Bullying 

The Bias Response Team (BRT) is a group of dedicated Onondaga Community College (OCC) staff and faculty here to assist members of our community who experienced bias-related incidents. The goal of the BRT is to help educate and promote an inclusive and equitable community by supporting students through a clear and streamlined process for reporting incidents of perceived mistreatment, cultural/ethnic insensitivity, and bias.  The BRT allows campus members who have experienced or witnessed incidents of bias, prejudice, or discrimination involving a student to submit a report to the Bias Response Team.  

The BRT team will respond to all incidents swiftly while upholding our belief in an educational process---procedures aimed at supporting those affected and repairing the harm done. Under all circumstances, the focus of the BRT is the welfare and well-being of those affected. 

The team does not replace any of the college’s current procedures and protocols in resolving alleged violations of said student conduct, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or violations of criminal law policies. If a reported behavior is believed to violate OCC’s Student Code of Conduct or federal/state law, the BRT will refer the matter to the appropriate office while continuing to provide support to those affected. 

The teams focus is to foster a campus community where students, faculty. and staff of all identities feel welcomed and supported. Hence, the BRT will: 

  • Engage students who have witnessed or been the target of a bias related incident in a supportive dialogue to assist them in clarifying their encounter and making the appropriate referral 
  • Refer community members to appropriate campus resources educating reporting parties on what to expect from each source. 
  • Inform the community about the frequency and nature of bias incidents through summary reports each semester to drive discussion and make OCC a more inclusive and equitable community. 
  • We encourage any reports of bias related incidents to be directly reported to the Office of Campus Safety & Security by calling 315.498.2311.  
  • If you would like to report an incident of bias on campus without contacting Campus Safety & Security, you may do so by completing an online reporting form. The form can be found here: 
  • In addition to the online form, reports can also be made to any member of the Bias Response Team. BRT members will provide support and guidance while assisting the individual with any requirements that would be needed to address the concern. documentation and referral to the appropriate individual or office. 

*If the incident involves sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking additional resources for reporting can be found at 

To the greatest extent possible, OCC will strive to protect the confidentiality of persons reporting all incidents to the BRT and those involved in the incident.  However, in some cases, the College may have to take action and cannot guarantee complete confidentiality.  In these cases, strict privacy will still be maintained.  This means that even when some information needs to be shared, it will be limited to the greatest extent possible.  Examples of circumstances in which the College may not be able to maintain confidentiality include: 

  • If we believe you or someone else is in imminent danger and/or there is a risk/threat of harm. 
  • If more than one report is submitted on a single incident. 
  • If reported incidents suggest a trend (e.g., incidents continually occurring in a certain residence hall, etc.). 

In every case, personal information will only be shared with individuals with a legitimate need to know, like the Bias Response Team.  

The College’s ability to act on anonymous reports may be limited, depending on the shared information. 

First responders to the incident will immediately determine the need for emergency services, which may include Campus Safety & Security, medical response, or counseling.  

If emergency services are needed, Campus Safety and Security will be contacted to provide emergency support. 

If emergency services are not needed, a report will be taken and an investigation will begin right away, unless it would do more harm to the community to do so at that time.  

If the incident involves vandalism and/or offensive graffiti, we will wait until photos, or other, evidence can be taken before removing the inappropriate material.   Once that is completed the College will remove the vandalism as quickly as possible. 

After the immediate response, the information will be shared with the BRT chair. A member of the BRT will reach out to you to offer whatever assistance and support is necessary. The goal of this conversation is to gather additional information, understand your specific needs, share possible solutions and resources, and get your input/feedback. The BRT team member will then discuss with you reporting options, including the Office of Students’ Rights, Responsibilities, and Residence Life, Campus Safety & Security, Human Resources, and Title IX. They will also follow up to make sure that those affected are doing ok.  They will continue to be a support for as long as needed.  

Lastly, the BRT will continually review the impact on the community and actively work to repair any negative effects.