Statement of Philosophy

Gettysburg College is committed to sustaining a living and learning community where all members of the community are respected and differences among us are celebrated.  Bias-related behaviors are inconsistent with the mission, values and goals of Gettysburg College.  In addition, these are hurtful to individuals and groups of individuals in our community.  In its commitment to provide an environment conducive to learning, Gettysburg College will not condone behaviors that undermine an inclusive learning community. It should be noted that while the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a violation of law or College policy. Freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression do not protect personal threats or acts of misconduct that violate criminal law or College policy. 


Policy Definitions

Gettysburg College prohibits the behaviors and conduct described below. Students who feel they have been the target of bias (or who have witnessed bias related conduct) may report the incident online, or contact the Dean of Students Office.


Inappropriate Bias Behaviors

Inappropriate bias behavior is defined as an act (speech, written or verbal, or conduct) targeted at a person or group that creates what the College deems an insensitive or unwelcoming environment on the basis of actual or perceived identity/expression, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability status. Inappropriate bias behaviors may consist of name calling, epithets, slurs, or degrading language, directed toward the targeted person or group.  Inappropriate bias behaviors may occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional or is targeted at an individual or group. Acts may qualify as inappropriate bias behaviors even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or prank.  

Examples of Inappropriate Bias Behaviors


Bias Conduct

Conduct that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, or discriminatory, is a conduct violation. When paired with inappropriate bias behaviors, it is a conduct violation in addition to a bias conduct. 

Examples of Bias Conduct


Where can I learn more?





* Some material adapted from Syracuse University , Lehigh University , Dickinson  College, and the University of Virginia. 

Adopted by the Student Life Committee on February 13, 2013 for implementation on August 1, 2013. 



Recent Bias Postings

On April 27, 2012 a faculty member reported that while off-campus, a current Gettysburg student directed a racial epithet at him. The Pennsylvania State Police were called and are currently investigating. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working to investigate and follow-up with all potential parties involved.

In the early morning of February 17, 2012, spray painted graffiti was discovered on the fence, sidewalk, air handling unit and exterior door of Patrick Hall,  on the west end of Patrick Hall and in the area between Patrick and Hanson Hall. One of the three words was a homophobic epithet denigrating to members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) community. The other two words and the image were vulgar expressions, but not bias-related.