Bias Prevention Education & Review Team

Bias Reporting -

Take Notice - Take Action

Always dial 911 to report a crime


Office of Diversity and Inclusion

In collaboration with the Campus Police and Student Affairs, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides leadership and oversight to the Bias Prevention, Education and Review Program.

Responsibilities of the Bias Prevention Education and Review Program

  • To identify prevention methods;
  • To provide an annual review and assessment of the institutions, statistics, prevention, response and education practices
  • To create and/or offer education primarily on bias incidents and bias crimes to supplement current programs addressing prohibited discrimination/harassment; and
  • To collaborate with others on campus to offer programs to address patterns and trends in bias incident and bias crime prevention

Submit Education Idea

Stockton University Bias Prevention Education and Review Program

Haley Baum - Assistant Dean of Students, Atlantic City | Student Affairs |  609.761.1235

John C. Smith - Director of Academic Operations | Provost's Office | K-201C | 609.652.4290

Amy L. Jones - Director of Care and Community Standards | Office of the Dean of Students | F-107 | 609.652.4691

Ro Latoracca - Clery Compliance Coordinator | Campus Police and Safety | Building 71 | 609.652.4390

Tracy Stuart - Lieutenant, Campus Police and Safety | Bldg. 71 | 609.652.4390

Ethan Levine - Asst. Professor of Criminal Justice, Victimology | H 242 | 609.626.3123

Shedia Laguer - Assistant Director Student Development | CC-240 | 609.626.3190 

Craig Stambaugh - Assistant VP Engagement and Community Development | CC 243 | 609.652. 4717

Christy Cunningham - Associate Director for Training & Organizational Development | J-115K | 609.652.4778

Information, Questions, and Answers

This web page is intended to direct members of the Stockton community to information that will provide direction on defining, understanding, identifying, and reporting bias-related incidents and/or hate crimes.

Stockton University’s mission is to develop engaged and effective citizens with a commitment to life-long learning and the capacity to adapt to change in a multi-cultural, interdependent world.  We value diversity and inclusivity, which are one of six key areas in our Strategic Plan.  We are committed to integrity, honesty, dignity, civility, openness, respect, and accountability in its actions as well as in the means through which all members of its community communicate among themselves and with the wider world, as reflected in Stockton’s Mission/Vision/Values, as well as in Stockton’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Institutions of higher education are not immune from bias related incidents or hate crimes, and neither is Stockton University.  The 2020 Anti-Bias Vision for the Next Generations Report noted, among other things, that “bias incidents target people because of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship, and who they love.” [1] 

The University does not condone such incidents or behavior and will respond to such reports utilizing our codes of conduct and our non-discrimination policies, as appropriate.

  • Policy I-55 Campus Code of Conduct
  • Policy VI-28 Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace
  • Policy I-120 Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Academic / Educational Environment

If you witness what you believe to be a possible bias-related incident or hate crime, contact the University Police at 609-652-4390.  For emergencies, dial 911 immediately!

We all need to work together to help keep Stockton a place where everyone feels welcome, safe, and supported.

[1] New Jersey interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias (October 2020). An anti-bias vision for the next generation: Report and recommendations by the New Jersey Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias to the Govern & Attorney General, p. 1.

What is a bias incident?

For New Jersey law enforcement purposes, a bias incident is defined as any suspected or confirmed violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1(a)(1) or (2).1 A “bias incident” is any suspected or confirmed act of bias intimidation.[1]  Bias intimidation occurs when an enumerated offense, such as harassment, assault, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, arson, or homicide, is committed with the purpose to intimidate or with knowledge that the offense would intimidate an individual or group of individuals “because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity” [2] or any other protected class status identified in the University’s non-discrimination policies.

It is important to note, however, that behavior or expression may be considered inappropriate or disruptive without being a bias-related offense or policy violation. After a bias-related incident is reported, the incident will be reviewed and evaluated by the appropriate campus office(s).

There may be times when it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify the person responsible for the reported incident or behavior, or when the individual is not a member of the Stockton community and, therefore, is not subject to University codes or policies.  There may also be times when the reported incident is ultimately determined not to be a policy violation.  None of these situations precludes the University from implementing an educational and supportive response. Counter-messaging, condemnations, dialogue, education and support in the form of teach-ins, open forums, and residence hall meetings are just a few examples of how a University community can respond to hateful behavior and speech inconsistent with Stockton’s mission/vision/values.

While it isn't always easy to recognize, bias can be present in the classroom, workplace, and media, and often stems from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, or stereotypes. Even when offenders are not aware of bias or do not intend to offend, bias may be revealed by an act that is worthy of a response and can serve as an opportunity for education.


What is a hate crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offense in which the targeted individual was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias. 

In New Jersey, hate crimes are defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1 Bias Intimidation.  Pursuant to that statute, a person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation if the individual commits, attempts to commit, conspires with another to commit or threatens the immediate commission of an offense specified in chapters 11 through 18 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; N.J.S. 2C:33-4; N.J.S. 39-3; N.J.S. 2C:39-4 or N.J.S.2C:39-5,

  1. with the purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity; OR
  2. knowing that the conduct constituting the offense would cause an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression and national origin.

In the United States, federal laws that inform responses to hate crimes include the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2)), the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. § 994), and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (Division E of H.R. 2647).  In addition, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (20 U.S.C.§1092(f)) – also known as The Clery Act – defines hate crimes for the purposes of its reporting requirements. 


What differentiates bias incidents from hate crimes?

While bias incidents and hate crimes involve behavior motivated by bias, there is an important distinction between the two.

Hate crimes are criminal offenses motivated by bias. These crimes would be crimes even if not for the bias element.  

A bias-related incident may not involve criminal behavior. It may or may not be a violation of University’s codes of conduct or non-discrimination policies because not all behavior perceived to be biased or hateful rises to these administrative levels.

The New Jersey Bias Crime Report It! flyer also provides definitions and distinctions between bias incidents and hate crimes.


What are examples of hate crimes?

Hate crimes are motivated by race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity include such criminal offenses as:

  • physical attacks/assault
  • property damage
  • arson
  • homicide
  • terroristic threats
  • vandalism
  • sex offenses
  • robbery
  • burglary
  • theft

[1] See Memo from Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, to All Law Enforcement Chief Executives, Revised Bias Incident Investigation Standards Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Guideline 3 (Apr. 5, 2019), nj.gov/oag/newsreleases19/Bias-Invest-Standards_040519.pdf.

[2] N.J.S.A. § 2C:16-1(a)(1) or (2).

Some bias incidents or hate crimes may involve hateful speech. Hateful speech, like all speech is protected by the First Amendment provided the speech does not incite immediate violence. That does not mean, however, that hateful speech must be tolerated. Hate speech can still cause real harm.

Although some people may feel anger, resentment, frustration, or discouragement in response to hateful speech, those feelings alone are insufficient grounds to limit that speech. An effective response to hateful speech is exercising your own speech in ways that do not infringe upon speech of other individuals, such as ignoring the hateful speech, providing direct support to targeted individuals or groups, and/or participating in educational dialogues with your faculty and peers. 

For a deeper explanation of free speech and what you can do, click on the following resources.

When should I report?

The sooner you report an incident, the greater likelihood that you will remember important information and details.


How do I make a report if I witnessed or was the target of a possible bias-related incident or hate crime?

Online reporting is available here: Crime Tip Line or  Bias Incident Reporting.

  • Crime Tip Line, if you are reporting a possible crime
  • Submit an Incident Report, if you are reporting a possible bias incident

What information should I include in the incident report?

You will likely be asked to recall the following information, but don’t let the absence of such information deter you from reporting.

  • A detailed account of the incident: who, what, where, how, and why. Include words that were spoken, gestures, and other behavior.
  • The names, descriptions, and contact information of those involved, including witnesses.
  • Any other relevant information such as photos, screen shots, communications, etc.

Who will investigate a report of a possible hate crime and bias incident?

Several campus offices are responsible for processing incident reports when the report implicates the State of New Jersey criminal codes, the University’s code of conduct or the University’s non-discrimination policies.

  • Stockton University Police Department (SUPD) investigate hate crimes and are the first responders with respect to reports of bias and hate crimes. Reports of a possible bias incident or hate crime are referred to SUPD for investigation.  If the SUPD determines there is no crime involved in the reported incident, the SUPD will refer the incident to the appropriate University office for further processing.
  • If the reported bias incident is determined to implicate the Campus Code of Conduct, the incident will be referred to the Office of Care and Community Standards (students) or the Office of Human Resources (employees) for further processing.
  • Any reported bias incident that implicates the Student Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Academic Educational Environment (Policy I-120) or the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace (Policy VI-28) is referred to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Institutional Compliance for processing pursuant to those policies.
  • If the reported bias incident does not implicate the University’s code of conduct or non-discrimination policies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will contact the individual who made the report, if known, as well as the individual reported about in the incident report for further processing and closure.

University offices receiving reports consider privacy and due process rights of those involved.

What if I am concerned about my safety as the result of reporting an incident?

Stockton University prohibits retaliation (including, but not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination) against any individual who reports a potential crime or violation of a University policy or code or who assists in providing information related to a report.


Who should I contact if I require supportive measures?

Supportive measures regarding bias incidents or hate crimes may be requested through Care and Community Standards for students and the Office of Human Resources for employees.

Bias-related behaviors can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, with your help. When you recognize an act of bias, first and foremost, your safety is the priority.

If a situation arises where you feel comfortable safely interjecting or intervening, here are some strategies to consider:

  • Safety: Safely attempt to remove yourself and the targeted individual from the situation.
  • Be Direct: Tell the person their behavior or language is concerning or hurtful.
  • Ask: Ask the person why they used that language or behavior.
  • Share: Describe how that language/behavior makes you feel.
  • Distract: Divert attention away from the problematic language to de-escalate a situation.
  • Group Support: Recruit other people or friends to intervene together safely.
  • Show Support: Let the impacted person know you are there for them.
  • Bring in Support: If things become too serious, contact CAMPUS POLICE ext. 4390 or in an emergency 911.

* The Information, Questions, and Answers that appear on this web page were modeled after Rider University’s Bias Incident Response Protocol web page. We thank Rider University for granting permission to do so.

Harvey KesselmanStatement from President Kesselman

Please join me in reaffirming our commitment to sustain an environment where everyone feels welcome, safe, and supported. Stockton will always be committed to providing an environment of inclusiveness; where we value individual differences, and recognize how important having a diverse faculty, staff and student population is to the success of this institution.

Our community must do all it can to promote civility and respect when interacting with one another. Civility and respect promote the free exchange of ideas, and that is the hallmark of a great public institution of higher education.

If you see a bias incident or hate crime, contact the University Police via 911. If you feel you are victim of a bias incident or hate crime, please reach out to resources listed on this webpage under University Resources. We all need to work together to help keep Stockton a place where everyone feels welcome, safe, and supported.