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Bias Incident Response Form Shut Down, Under Review

At the beginning of the semester, a form was created for students to report incidents of bias. Several weeks later, that form was shut down for what its creators call a process of review. The review will start soon, Dean of Students Thomas Mogan said, and will be done by a committee that includes representatives from student life and members of the faculty. There is not yet a date set for the form’s return.

The form, which began in the Office of the Dean of Students, was originally meant to establish a clear line of communication between the students and the administration. It served as a place for administrators to collect data on bias-based incidents at Boston College, particularly microaggressions and other acts which otherwise would go unreported. The form also gave students and faculty the option to report other members of the BC community anonymously.

Part of the reason the form was removed was due to complaints from faculty about academic freedom, Mogan said, with concerns being raised about how the reporting protocol would apply to faculty in the classroom.

“We’ll be looking at the bias response protocol and reviewing it to make sure that it is consistent with existing policies and procedures that the University already had in place,” Mogan said.

He could not elaborate on the exact nature of the complaints, or where they originated, but noted that the problems revolved around the application of the protocol to academics. In addition, because the form was anonymous, it was difficult to tell whether submissions were actually from BC students. The vast majority of the submissions received were not things that could be further investigated, Mogan said. The review process will examine whether it is worthwhile for the form to be anonymous.

“We received a lot of submissions that were inappropriate or not actionable,” Mogan said.

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October 29, 2015