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Bias Incident Report

For emergencies or crimes in progress, call 911 or MIAD Security: 414-847-3300


Guided by our Core Value of Inclusion, to find strength in diversity, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design commits to maintaining an environment where its diverse community of students, employees, and guests are met with mutual respect and an appreciation of their individual contributions.

If you or someone you know has experienced bias or prejudice, please let us know. It is recommended that anyone considering filing a Bias Incident Report first discuss the issues with the person involved, and/or the person’s supervisor. This step is not required, but ensures the concern has been shared, and potentially, resolved in a cooperative setting.

A Bias Incident Report may be filed by any employee, student, or guest of the college. Complaints may be made anonymously, though this limits our response.

What is a “bias incident?

Single or multiple acts toward an individual, group, or their property that are so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that they create an unreasonably intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or program environment, and that one could reasonably conclude are based upon actual or perceived race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, creed, color, genetic information, physical or mental disability, HIV status, status as a veteran, or any combination of these or other related factors.

The above definition is used for reporting and statistical purpose only. It carries no independent sanctioning weight or authority.

Bias incidents on their own do not constitute a violation of any policy or law. Bias will, however, be deemed an aggravating circumstance to any violation of the college’s policies, regardless of its category. Consequently, bias-related violations may result in action up to, and including, permanent separation from the college.


A Note on Free Speech:

Please be aware that while an expression or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias incident. The college values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas; the expression of controversial ideas and differing views is vital to college discourse. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect actions which violate policies listed in the student or employee handbooks.


Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Who can report a bias incident?
    Any members of the MIAD community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, or parents/family. Reports may be made anonymously, though this limits the response taken.
  2. What are examples of bias incidents?
    Incidents of bias can include, but are not limited to, defacement of posters or signage, intimidating comments or messages, vandalism to personal or college property, microaggressions, slurs, degrading language, epithets, graffiti, vandalism, intimidation, symbols, assault and harassment.
  3. What happens after a report is shared?
    All reports will be reviewed by the Director of Inclusivity who will, in consultation with appropriate leadership, make an initial determination of how to proceed. The Director may opt to convene the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT), in full or in part, in the event of a large-scale or disruptive incident.


    All reporting individuals will be informed about supportive resources available to them. Reporters who allege violations of college policy or applicable laws will be informed of processes and additional resources.

    Response to bias incident reports is dependent on several factors, including the nature and severity of the complaint, the reporting individual’s wishes, the overall effect on the community, and the college’s obligations under law. Immediate measures may be taken if a student is found to be making a threat of harm to themselves or others.

  4. Will the person I reported be in trouble?
    Not necessarily. The primary purpose of the Bias Incident Reporting process is to identify issues of prejudice and intolerance on campus and to provide resources for both the reporter and any alleged perpetrator. This process is designed to be restorative and not punitive – the college’s judicial and grievance policies are best suited for that task.  Regardless of the situation, when you are concerned about someone’s well-being you should notify the college.
  5. What help is available for targeted individuals who experience bias?
    Targeted individuals may need immediate support. Student Services offers counseling and consultation.


    The Resource Center for Equity and Inclusion offers web, print, and in-person resources for responding to bias.

    Targeted individuals are encouraged to report the incident. If follow-up is requested, a college employee will contact them to provide support and resources.

Terms Defined

Campus climate
Interchangeable with “campus culture”; refers to the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of all employees, students, and guests of the college concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.

Hate Crime
A hate crime is a violent manifestation of intolerance and prejudice, intended to hurt and intimidate, committed against a person, property, or community that is motivated by an offender’s bias against a specific characteristic.

Hate crimes are criminal offenses that include acts such as physical assault, stalking, cyberstalking, criminal threatening, intimidation, terrorizing, criminal use of explosives, arson, vandalism or damage to property, reckless conduct, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or hate mail. Not all bias incidents are hate crimes, but all hate crimes are bias incidents.

Sex Discrimination
Sex discrimination is defined as making a distinction in favor of, or against, a person on the basis of gender rather than on individual merit that deprives a person of the ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s education program or activities. MIAD prohibits all forms of sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. For further details, please see MIAD Sexual Offense Policy and Procedure Guidelines.


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