University of Massachusetts Amherst

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What are Acts of Bias and Hate?

  • Hate Crime: Hate crimes are traditional crimes motivated by the offender’s bias toward the victim because the victim is a member of a protected group. The Massachusetts hate crime statute specifies three elements of hate crimes: 1) underlying criminal offense, 2) offender’s intent, and 3) victim’s protected characteristics, which are race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The determination of whether an incident is a hate crime is not made by campus officials. Suspected violations of hate crime laws are criminal acts and offenders are typically prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office.

 

  • Discrimination: A violation of the University's Harassment and Discrimination Policy, other University policies, and/or anti-discrimination laws. Suspected violations of university discrimination policy are investigated and determined by the Office of Equal Opportunity.

 

  • Act of Hate/Bias Incident: A bias incident is a hateful action taken against people or property that does not appear to constitute a crime or actionable discrimination, but which may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten a member or group. Hateful and offensive speech or symbols, although repugnant, are not necessarily violations of civil rights law or crimes. Violations of the Code of Conduct are investigated and determined by Student Conduct and Compliance.

 

The UMPD daily crime log posts a list of all calls including those related to hate crimes, discrimination, and acts of hate/bias.