Bias Incidents Report

The Bias Incidents Update has been published to the campus community annually since fall 2011. The purpose of this report is to increase awareness about bias behaviors in our community. The College hopes to increase transparency about bias behaviors and thus engage the community in ongoing education and response to reduce bias behavior.

During the 2019-2020 school year, twenty six (26) incidents of bias were reported to Gettysburg College. Quantitative summaries of the bias incidents by semester and by type are below. Additionally, there is a qualitative summary of the 2019-2020 incidents following the quantitative tables.

Bias Incidents by Semester

Totals 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Total Incidents 24 24 29 24 24 26
Fall Total 14 15 17 11 12 18
Spring Total 10 9 12 13 12 8*

Bias Incidents by Type

Totals 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Race / Ethnicity 6 11 19 12 15 12
Gender Identity 11 10 5 8 6 9
Bias Motivated by Sex 5 1 3 2 2 2
Religion 2 2 2 2 1 3

The 2019-2020 reported data are summarized as follows:

  • Thirteen (13) of the incidents were reported through the Community Concern Form, seven (7) were reported by e-mail to the Office of College Life, five (5) were reported directly to the Department of Public Safety, and one (1) was reported by word of mouth.
  • Sixteen (16) incidents were of race/ethnicity, gender identity, bias motivated by sex, or religion bias from students or student organizations and were captured from the student body.
    • Two (2) of the incidents provided enough information to allege a student of a bias policy violation.
      • One (1) case was resolved by an administrative hearing in the Office of College Life.
      • One (1) case was resolved by a hearing with the Student Conduct Review Board.
  • Six (6) incidents were of an unknown source.
    • The Department of Public Safety investigated these incidents and could not determine if it was another student, faculty, staff, or a non-community member responsible for the behavior.
  • Two (2) incidents were with a faculty member saying inappropriate comments or engaging in an insensitive act in the classroom.
    • These incidents were resolved by a conversation with the Associate Provost.
  • One (1) incident involved an employee saying insensitive comments in a common space.
    • This issue was resolved by the Office of Human Resources.
  • One (1) incident involved a former student posting derogatory messages on social media.
    • The College investigated this incident.
    • The individual is not permitted on campus.

*Gettysburg College closed on March 19, 2020 for the spring.

Information on specific individual outcomes or sanctions is classified under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Please note that sexual orientation and gender identity bias were of similar behaviors and have been combined into one category of gender identity. Bias motivated by sex represents bias behaviors that occur because of someone’s biological sex (male or female).

The College's Bias Conduct Policy was revised during the 2018-2019 school year. The revised policy is called the Anti-Discrimination, Harassment, and Bias Conduct Policy.

The College recognizes that not all bias incidents are reported for various reasons. The College improved its bias reporting process and is continuously seeking feedback. Please contact DPS or use the Community Concern Form to report bias.

The Office of College Life finalized a Bias Sanction Guide during the 2019-2020 school year. The Bias Sanction Guide will govern accountability for bias incidents that involve students. Feedback was sought from students, student organizations, and various institutional committees. The final Bias Sanction Guide will be published and implemented during the 2020-2021 school year.

The Bias Awareness and Resource Committee (BARC) is continuously working on improving education in our community around bias. Visit the BARC website for more information.

The Bias Incidents Update is published on the Digest for faculty, staff, and students every year. A copy of this report is also kept on the Diversity and Inclusion website. Contact the Office of College Life with questions about this summary at 717.337.6900.