Bias-related incidents occur in every community. The strongest action to combat the mean-spiritedness of those few who perpetuate this behavior is a community that commits itself by loudly and publicly denouncing such acts. Each member of the community must do his/her part to bring an end to these indignities.
Bias is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of people based on race, religion, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
The existence of bias is not enough to rise to the level of a crime, however. Rather, a hate crime is a criminal offense that must have been motivated, in whole or part, by an offender's bias aganst race, religion ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
Miami University provides an annual report of hate crimes, reported to campus security authorities in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Campus Security Act). Hate crimes included in the report are crimes committed against "a person or property which are motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic/national origin, gender, or sexual-orientation group."
The Campus Security Act of 1990 as amended in October 1998 requires that all of the crimes included in the crime statistics report that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or disability be reported as hate crimes.
What You Should Know
Many individuals become targets of bias-related incidents because others are unable to accept differences based on race, religion, disability, ethnic/national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Miami University condemns such acts. At Miami, a bias-related incident directed at an individual or group, owing to their difference, is viewed as an attack on the entire community. For a basic guide to university resources explaining how the Miami community supports those who are targets of bias, see What You Should Know.
If you are a Miami faculty member, staff member, or student and feel that you have been the victim of an incident of bias due to your race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or disability, you are encouraged to submit a report.