At their first meeting of the year on Aug. 27, the UNO Student Senate voted unanimously to approve the proposal that information on hate and bias reporting be included on all class syllabi.
Led by Jabin Moore, the UNO Student Body President and Regent and Student Body Vice President Vanessa Chavez Jurado, the Student Senate reconvened on Aug. 27 to discuss numerous issues. The support for the inclusion of hate and bias reporting information on class syllabi was one of four resolutions that passed.
As the Student Senate looks to improve their approach to equity and inclusion on campus, members of Student Government and other student advocates believe that including information on hate and bias reporting information on all class syllabi is an essential part of this process.
According to the university’s official definitions of bias and hate, a bias incident is “an event that has the effect of demeaning or degrading an individual or a group and is motivated in whole or in part by the perpetrator’s bias against a particular group.” Biases can include “negative opinions or attitudes toward a group of persons based on their race, religion, ethnicity/national origin, or sexual orientation.”
UNO is open to receiving reports of bias incidents that have been either personally experienced or witnessed. Reports can be filed on the university website, and they are completely confidential unless circumstances involve safety or criminal action. Regardless, all matters are handled as discretely as possible.
When filing a bias report, one must give their name, their phone number, their email address, the date of the incident, the time of the incident and the location of the incident. In addition, if any other parties were involved (such as aggressors, targets/victims, or witnesses), UNO asks that their name and NUID number be provided as well, if known.
A bias report must include the nature of the alleged bias (i.e. was the victim being targeted for their race, age, gender, etc.) and a detailed description of the incident. The university asks that one uses “specific, concise and objective” language to describe the incident.
Finally, an individual has the option of reporting a bias incident as either “information only” or “request for follow up.” Reports marked as “information only” are used to conduct a more general assessment of the cultural climate on campus and may not receive a follow-up.
Reports are reviewed and responded to in a punctual manner. If the incident in question is an emergency, the university advises that an individual contact Public Safety at 402-554-2911 or the appropriate police agency.
By requiring the information above to be listed on all class syllabi, the Student Senate hopes that more students will be aware of the resources available at UNO to aid those who have been discriminated against or targeted by bias.
In addition to calling for the inclusion of hate and bias reporting information on class syllabi, the Senate is also forming a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee made up of student senators and additional interested UNO students. This committee will “lead the charge in highlighting areas that need improvement on campus in regard to equity and inclusion,” according to the official UNO Student Government September updates.