Hate crimes prevention

The Diversity & Equity Center (DEC) is committed to providing effective education and outreach related to combating hate and bias on campus. This includes ally development, tolerance, self-actualization and reflection, sensitivity training and exposure to a variety of topics and issues that address diversity-related issues.

The DEC is a safe, welcoming, educational and fun center on campus where students of all identities and cultural groups can find support, friendship, and assistance. The DEC is located in the Center for Student Success (Building 22, 2nd floor) and is open from 8-5 — sometimes longer — look for lights, or call 360-754-7711, ext 3497.

The DEC believes in the development of a set of cultural competencies that assist and prepare students for life after college. Programs and events include cultural celebrations, issue-based lectures and forums, advocacy trainings and personal development.

For information about current and future events and programs, visit our DEC website or call 360-596-5383.

Resources

  • Campus Security 596-5299
  • Diversity & Equity Center 596-5383
  • Counseling 596-5306
  • Vice President for Student Services 596-5231
  • Vice President for Human Resources 596-5360
  • Safeplace (Sexual Assault & Domestic  Violence Services) 24-Hours Crisis Line 360-754-6300
  • Crisis Clinic (24 Hours) 360-586-2800
  • Police/Medic/Fire 911
  • The Trevor Project Lifeline (24 hours suicide-prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, and questioning youth): 866-488-7386

Safe Zone Program

A Safe Zone is a friendly and secure location that offers immediate safety and personnel to provide a sanctuary and safe passage through the campus.

Members of the campus community can utilize a Safe Zone office when they:

  • feel that their safety is immediately threatened, and/or
  • have been on the receiving end of bias of any kind.

The goal of the Safe Zone Program is to facilitate members of the college community finding a sanctuary on every floor of every building on campus if they feel under siege, physically threatened, or even just in need of a kind word.

The personnel providing the sanctuary is a certified Safe Zone Participant who has completed the required Safe Zone training. Becoming a Safe Zone Participant is a voluntary choice, and requires a serious commitment.

You can report a bias incident/hate crime in a Safe Zone office. The occupant of the office will have reporting forms and has been trained to assist people in need.

The Safe Zone Team

The Safe Zone Team addresses campus climate issues related to bias-motivated incidents and crimes and acts as advocates for persons affected by such incidents. The team is comprised of:

  • Director of Diversity and Equity
  • Member of Counseling staff
  • Vice President for Human Resources
  • Vice President for Student Services
  • Director of Campus Security
  • Dean of College Relations Office
  • Vice President for Instruction
  • Dean of Student Life

Depending on the nature of the incident other departments may be involved (e.g. Disability Support Services and International Student Services)

The Safe Zone Team will meet to review the report and determine the appropriate course of action.

Depending on the nature of the offense and the available evidence, actions may include:

  • Disciplinary action as outlined in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  • The college reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action in the case of off-campus incidents, when the alleged offender and behavior involved threatens the health, safety, and/or property of the college, its staff or students.
  • Campus authorities will assist victims in notifying proper law enforcement authorities.

Any member of the college community can file a third party report with the BIRT Coordinator detailing a potential bias-motivated incident or hate crime. The college cannot initiate student judicial action or a criminal complaint against the alleged offender based on a third party report. However, the report is still encouraged, as it can provide important and useful information for protecting the community and connecting similar reports while simultaneously protecting the victim's anonymity to the extent permitted by law.

Role of the Safe Zone Team Coordinator

The Safe Zone Team Coordinator facilitates appropriate services that are available for the victim or witness. These may include:

  • Crisis counseling
  • Appropriate medical referral
  • Referral to Student Support Services to meet with a college counselor
  • Providing advice on the college's complaint process and procedures
  • Contacting the victim/person affected within 24 hours and encouraging them to seek assistance.

In addition, the Safe Zone Team Coordinator:

  • Encourages person(s) affected to report the occurrence to law enforcement.
  • Notifies the following offices, or others as appropriate and with the victim's consent, to the extent allowed by law: Vice President for Student Services (if incident involves a student, either as the victim or the perpetrator), Vice President for Human Resources (if incident involves an employee, either as the victim or the perpetrator), Student Support Services - Counseling, and International Student Services (if either the victim or the alleged offender is involved in that program)
  • Maintains confidentiality, to the extent permitted by law.
  • Provide statistical information and data to Public Safety as required under the Jeanne Clery Act

Third Party Involvement

Third Party individuals who are contacted by a person affected by a bias-motivated incident or hate crime should encourage that person to:

  • Contact Campus Security and/or law enforcement to file a report.
  • Report the incident to the Safe Zone Coordinator (link to email)

If the victim wishes to speak only to the Third Party, then the Third Party should:

  • Ascertain whether the victim needs immediate medical assistance. Ask the victim directly if he/she is all right physically and call 911 for immediate medical assistance as needed.
  • Find out the victim's most critical concerns and respond in a non-judgmental way. Recommend appropriate resources for the victim and feel free to consult with the Safe Zone Coordinator for additional guidance. Victims can remain anonymous. If the victim  requests anonymity, respect that wish.
  • Remember, the person affected may wish to do nothing further, other than have a conversation with the Third Party.
  • Report the incident to Campus Security (names of victims are not required) so the college can comply with legal reporting requirements.