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Bias Related/Hate Crimes

Barnard College is a community comprised of students, faculty, administration and staff from diverse backgrounds. To benefit from this diversity Barnard College is committed to ensuring sensitivity to members of its community and respect for the cultures that nurture them. Barnard College has therefore established policies and procedures to protect the entire Barnard College community from the effects of "Bias Related Crimes."

What is a Bias Related Crime?

According to New York Police Department Guidelines a "Bias Related Crime" or "Hate Crime" is any offense or unlawful act that is motivated in whole or in part by a person's, a group's or a place's identification with a certain race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender or age.

Hate Crimes have been recognized as a genuine threat to our society and a growing problem on college campuses. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service ("CRS") report of June 1, 2000, a combination of factors, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the growing of diversity among college students; (ii) the reality of college as the "first occasion [for students] to have extensive contact with individuals who differ from them in socially significant ways"; and (iii) the particular stress, anxiety and competitiveness associated with college, have contributed to the rise of Hate Crimes on campuses.

To combat this growing threat a number of laws have been passed to help prevent the occurrence of Hate Crimes. These laws include the following federal legislation: (i) Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999; (ii) Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996; (iii) Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act; and (iv) Hate Crimes Statistical Act of 1990, as well as the New York State Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Penal Law Article 485).

What If I Am the Victim of a Bias Related Crime?

In order to effectively handle incidents of Bias Related Crimes and prevent future occurrences of such crimes, victims or witnesses of a Hate Crime are encouraged to immediately report the incident to the Public Safety Department by calling x88 or x43362 or by going to the Public Safety Department Office at 104 Barnard Hall so that the matter may be thoroughly investigated.

There are numerous resources available to victims of Hate Crimes. Counseling and referral services are offered by the Rosemary Furman Counseling Center (x42092), located on the first floor of Hewitt Hall. In addition, peer counseling, support and referrals are available at the Barnard/Columbia Rape Crises/Anti-Violence Support Center, located in Room 100, Brooks Hall (x4HELP for counseling) and (x4WALK for 24 hour advocacy). Other services are available and listed in the Barnard Student Handbook, as well as other Barnard and Columbia publications.

What are the Penalties for Committing a Bias Related Crime?

Penalties for the commission of a Hate Crime can range from fines to extended prison sentences based on the specifics of the crime. In addition, students guilty of committing a Hate Crime may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the College.