Bias Incidents and Hate Incidents and Crimes
The USC Bias Assessment Response and Support Team receives reports of bias and hate incidents, assesses the incidents and coordinates the response to the incidents for the University community. The response includes supporting those impacted within the community and informing the community about the nature of the incidents. The team generates an annual summary of bias incidents and regularly reviews incident summaries to best understand University climate and identify opportunities for proactive anti-bias education.
According to the Clery Act, “bias” is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or gender identity.
Under the Clery Act, 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. “Bias” is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or gender identity.
California Penal Code section 422.55 provides in part: “Hate crime” means a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:
(4) Race or ethnicity.
(6) Sexual orientation.
(7) Association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
Not all expressions of hate or group bias rise to the level of a hate crime as defined in state and federal statute. Derogatory words or epithets directed against a member of a protected class, as listed above if not accompanied by a threat of harm with the ability to carry it out are considered protected speech and not a hate crime.