Bias Reporting

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is committed to providing a living, learning, and working environment that respects the dignity of each person. 

Incidents of bias are inconsistent with the university’s Lasallian Catholic mission. If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member who has experienced or witnessed a bias incident, we want to address the incident and provide you with resources.

To report a bias incident, please use the online reporting form.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bias incident is any unwelcome conduct that has a negative impact on an individual or group and that one could reasonably conclude is based on an actual or perceived protected characteristic.

A protected characteristic includes  any of the following: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, family status, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a local commission, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

This definition of bias incident is used for reporting purposes only. Bias incidents vary in degree. Some bias incidents rise to the level of a hate crime, harassment, or other policy violation. Please refer to our student handbook or sexual misconduct policy for more information. Other bias incidents do not rise to that level but still have adverse effects on our community members.

Bias incidents include, but are not limited to, any of the following: degrading language, slurs, epithets, permanent or temporary graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, images with language or symbols linked to hate groups, discrimination, harassment or assault based on protected characteristics.

The primary purpose of the reporting system is to connect the reporter or target of the bias incident with support and resources. In addition, the university will use the data from the reporting system to track bias incidents and to initiate investigations of policy violations.

If you feel like you or someone else has been adversely affected by a bias incident, make a report. Don’t worry if you are not sure whether it meets a definition. Saint Mary’s will consider whether the factors and circumstances meet the definition and can offer support resources regardless of whether it is classified as a bias incident. 

  1. It is not a judicial or disciplinary proceeding.
  2. It is not an investigation. Bias incidents are reported for informational purposes and, if the student wishes, to discuss options for how the student might move forward.
  3. It is not for crisis situations. Anyone in a dangerous or threatening situation (i.e., violent or potentially violent) needs to contact Campus Safety and the local police immediately. If the situation involves a bias report, it can be reported at a later time.
  4. It is not to police thought or speech. The university does not tell people what to think or how to talk. We do support the students whose ability to feel safe, at home, or welcome in our community is frustrated by the prejudicial behavior of those around them. 

Any current Saint Mary’s faculty member, staff member, or student can make a report - the person who experienced the bias, a friend, or witness.

Yes, you can report anonymously using the online reporting feature on this page by simply leaving the name, phone, and email fields blank. However, you are encouraged to include your name and contact information so Saint Mary’s can provide you with resources and support. Anonymous reports are often missing details needed to fully respond to the incident.

If you decide to report anonymously, please provide as much detail as possible, including the location of the incident, a detailed description of what occurred, and information about groups or individuals who have been negatively impacted. If you choose to report anonymously, you may choose to identify yourself at a later time. 

You can use this Report a Bias form or report a bias incident in person to any one of the following offices:

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Vlazny 105
507-457-1781

Vice Provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs

Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning
Rochester Campus
507-457-8700

Campus Safety - Winona
Toner Student Center
507-457-1703

Campus Security - Twin Cities
LaSalle Hall
612-720-0417

Human Resources
Saint Mary’s Hall
507-457-1508

Department Chair or Dean

If the incident took place in the classroom, you may also contact the department chair or dean of the school or college. Please consult the Saint Mary’s directory for contact information. 

Students are encouraged to call Campus Safety or local law enforcement immediately if they become aware of a possible hate crime to ensure an immediate response. A hate crime is criminal conduct against a person or property motivated in whole or part by bias and often involves violence, vandalism, or arson. To be considered a hate crime, the act must be considered a criminal offense and be motivated by bias. Hate crimes violate Saint Mary’s policy and the law. A hate crime is a severe form of a bias incident.

You may use this form for institutional follow-up.

If you use this form to report a bias incident, the following individuals may receive the report based on the incident and the campus location.

  • Director of Campus Safety (Winona Campus)
  • Director of Campus Security (Twin Cities Campus)
  • Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning (Rochester Campus)
  • Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Affairs
  • General Counsel and University Secretary
  • Vice Provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs

These individuals will assess the report and forward the report to the appropriate office(s) or administrator(s). For example, for incidents that took place in the classroom, the department chair/and or dean of the school or college will be notified.

The response will vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances. With all non-anonymous reports, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs or vice provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs will reach out to the student reporters to offer support and resources. Other responses may include: an investigation, referral to the student conduct process, disciplinary action for employees, education or training for Saint Mary’s community members (faculty, staff, and students), or dialogue. Any sanctions will vary based on the facts and circumstances, ranging from a formal warning to expulsion. In determining sanctions, the university considers a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the nature of the conduct, intent, and the incident’s impact on the Saint Mary’s community.

The assistant vice president for Student Affairs, vice provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs, or academic unit will reach out to the student(s) identified in the report. Their goal is to understand the incident and the need(s) of the individual(s). They will offer appropriate support and resources and determine next steps. Online reports are reviewed regularly. Saint Mary’s strives to respond in a timely manner. If you need an immediate response, please contact Campus Safety (Winona) at 507-457-1703 or Campus Security (Twin Cities) at 612-720-0417.

If you make an anonymous report, Saint Mary’s will not be able to respond directly to you, but will assess the information submitted and consider response options.

If you need more resources or would like support following a bias incident, you can reach out to one of the following departments:

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Vlazny 105
507-457-1781

Vice Provost for Faculties and Academic Affairs
 

Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning
Rochester Campus
507-457-8700

Campus Safety - Winona
Toner Student Center
507-457-1703

Campus Security - Twin Cities
La Salle Hall
612-720-0417

Campus Ministry
Vlazny 132
507-457-6936

Wellness Center
Vlazny 131
507-457-1773