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Definitions for Bias Reporting

Definitions (Massachusetts General Law)

  • A Hate Crime is a criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias.
  • A Bias Incident is any conduct or expression that demeans, degrades or harasses an individual or group based on their actual or perceived identity such as ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability (physical, emotional or intellectual), veteran status, ethnicity or national origin.
For the purpose of this protocol, a bias incident is any of the following:
  • Discrimination – conduct that denies any individual or group equal privileges or access to a particular activity or opportunity because of the individual’s identity (as listed above).
  • Harassment – unwelcome conduct based on identities (as listed above) that unreasonably interferes with the person’s work or educational performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment. Examples may include, but are not limited to, images, slurs, jokes, epithets, electronic communication or other verbal, graphic or physical conduct.
  • Acts of Intolerance – conduct motivated by discriminatory bias or hatred toward other individuals or groups based on perceived or actual characteristics of identities listed above.
Behavior reflecting bias may constitute a violation of university policies, including but not limited to, the UMass Lowell Equal Opportunity and Outreach Guidelines, Student Code of Conduct, and Residence Life Guidelines (pdf). These behaviors may also violate local, state and/or federal laws and regulations.