Bias Incident Report Procedure

St. Olaf College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the St. Olaf community — students, faculty, and staff — are treated with respect and dignity, free from bias and harassment. Faculty, staff, and students are together responsible for maintaining an educational and working environment that is consistent with institutional values.

Incidents of bias, harassment, and hate crimes all include some form of unwelcome conduct that is based on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or any other protected class status.


Report of an incident of bias is made to the college through an employee or through the electronic bias incident reporting form:

Report a Bias Incident

When a report comes directly to a staff person, the individual reporting is asked to fill out the bias incident report form. The college staff working with the student may assist in filling out the form.

The electronic reporting form is received by:

  • President
  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Dean of Students
  • Associate Dean for Residence Life
  • Director of Public Safety
  • General Counsel
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion

The Dean of Students or the Dean’s designee will take the lead on contacting the individual who made the report, doing the initial intake, and coordinating the process. The Dean will explain the process, answer questions, and assist the individual in making contact with Public Safety and other appropriate resources.

College’s Response

A core group of College staff will consider how to proceed with regard to the report. If this initial evaluation determines that the College should move forward with disciplinary procedures, the process will be initiated. In cases where it is determined that there is no policy violation, this group will discuss any other procedures, including a conversation with involved parties.

The Dean of Students will work with the Public Safety Director and Marketing and Communications to provide a notice to the campus, as needed.

Public Safety will notify the Northfield Police Department of all incidents.

Bias Response Core Team members include:

  • Roz Eaton, Dean of Students
  • María Pabón Gautier, Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion
  • Bruce King, Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity
  • Fred Behr, Director of Public Safety
  • Mike Goodson, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Pamela McDowell, Associate Dean for Residence Life
  • Corliss Swain, Professor of Philosophy
  • Kari VanDerVeen, Associate Director of Communications
  • Carl Crosby Lehmann, Vice President and General Counsel (advisor)


Public Safety will gather basic information, including the identities of the parties involved, and will also discuss any personal safety concerns of the reporting individual. They will also gather any physical and electronic evidence provided by the reporting party for Public Safety.

Public Safety will complete an incident report and classify the incident for federal reporting purposes. The core group of college staff will consider the information gathered and determine how to proceed.

  • Public Safety will notify the Northfield Police of incidents
  • Public Safety/Dean of Students issues community notification as appropriate
  • Public Safety will encourage and provide support to the individual to make a formal complaint to the Northfield Police Department
  • Public Safety will begin an investigation of the incident and will secure any electronic evidence available from cameras, Ole card use, or network connections
  • As appropriate, extra attention will be provided to the location of the incident to ensure the safety of affected students

If the perpetrator is identified:

  • Case will be referred to St. Olaf student conduct process
  • Reporting individual is encouraged to file a formal complaint with the Northfield Police Department

If the perpetrator is not identified:

  • Case will remain open pending further information


Additional communication may be distributed based on the level of immediate risk to safety or the need for additional information from those who may have witnessed suspicious activity. Marketing and Communications will work with Public Safety and Student Life to inform students, faculty, and staff.

Communications will include a description of the incident, request for additional reporting, and action steps Student Life/Public Safety are taking as a result of the incident. Email will be the primary vehicle for these notices.

If there is a pattern of events or something that poses a serious safety threat, Marketing and Communications will inform parents and alumni and provide statements to media upon request.


Sanctions imposed on students may include a variety of institutional responses or requirements including, but not limited to, the following: suspension and/or expulsion from the College; removal from campus housing; not being allowed to represent the college in co-curricular activities or volunteer or paid work; restriction from off-campus study programs; restitution; required attendance at educational programs; required assessment or counseling; restriction of privileges; probation; and any other sanctions listed in the Code of Student Conduct or deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

Sanctions for employees found in violation of this policy are specified in the St. Olaf Faculty Manual, Faculty Handbook, or Staff Handbook.