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Ripon College provides an outlined procedure for students, faculty, and staff to reference when bias incidents occur. This supports efforts to address behaviors that create an intimidating or threatening social or working environment.

Ripon College Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The official Ripon College diversity mission statement reads; Ripon College values diversity, as it is the foundation upon which a liberal arts education is built. We promote multiculturalism by providing a welcoming atmosphere that encourages social activism and inclusivity while providing the tools necessary to mold culturally competent leaders.

Ripon College Statement on Intolerance and Harassment

Ripon College is committed to free speech and open exchange of ideas and views, as reflected in the institution’s Core Values. This commitment requires the confrontation of challenging issues in the context of civil discourse and intellectual inquiry. However, behavior that exceeds the bounds of appropriate discourse and civil conduct will not be tolerated. Ripon College is dedicated to maintaining a community free from all forms of harassment, hostility, and intolerance.
It is the policy of Ripon College, consistent with its efforts to foster an environment of respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the College community, that all varieties of harassment and intimidation – sexual and non-sexual, physical and non-physical, verbal and non-verbal – of employees, students, and guests at Ripon College are unacceptable forms of conduct that will not be tolerated.

Harassment includes behavior, speech, or writing that demeans or stereotypes individuals in a harmful way. Harassment may create an intimidating, hostile or demeaning environment and often has the effect of interfering with an individual’s full and free participation in the life of the College.

Ripon College on the Bias Policy

Ripon College is committed to free speech, the open exchange of ideas and views and to providing a safe and inclusive campus environment.  Our core values enshrine the diversity and integrity of our community, envisioning Ripon as a place where “differences of perspective, experience, background, and heritage enrich the College” and where “actions reflect the principles of honesty, fairness, candor, respect, responsibility, trust, inclusiveness, and openness.”

The College expects that all members of our campus community will strive to foster an environment that honors these core values.  Bias incidents often fall beyond the scope and protection of existing federal and state laws pertaining to discrimination, harassment and hate crimes.  The College community is obligated to judiciously address biased behavior, while also respecting freedom of speech and expression.  Offensive speech, by itself, is not necessarily grounds for triggering a bias incident.  

Ripon College has a Bias Incident Response Protocol that is designed to address incidents that might harm or threaten individuals or groups based on characteristics of identity including, but not limited to, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious affiliation, sexual orientation or preference, age, marital or family status, disability, or veteran status.  

For speech/expression to constitute a bias incident, it must lack any relationship to an educational, political, or artistic goal.  Furthermore, it must directly threaten or intimidate an individual or group based on one or more of the characteristics of identity above.

Bias is:

A Bias Incident is characterized as a behavior or act—verbal, written, or physical—which is personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as: age, disability, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, skin color, socioeconomic status, or veteran status. 

According to the Ripon College Student Handbook, some bias incidents may fall under the “Harassment/Title IX” violation. If so, they will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. 

Hate Crimes are:

According to Wisconsin State Law, Hate Crimes are crimes in which the perpetrator “intentionally selects the person against whom the crime is committed or selects the property that is damaged or otherwise affected by the crime in whole or in part because of the actor’s belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property, whether or not the actor’s belief or perception was correct” (WI Statute 939.645 (1)(b)). I

More information can be found at:  https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/939/IV/645

Our Procedure

  1. Complainant experiences bias incident.  The complainant may discuss the incident with any member of the faculty or staff for assistance in completing the Bias Incident Report Form on the myRipon Portal, or go directly to myRipon Portal and submit a report.
  2.  The Dean of Students and/or Dean of Faculty evaluates the incident and assesses the need for interim measures, including the possible involvement of the Title IX team or outside law enforcement.  
  3. The Dean(s) may then also seek the advice of appropriate members of the administration, faculty, staff and Bias Incident Response Team to determine whether or not the initial report merits a formal investigation by the Bias Incident Response Team.  
  4. If grounds for a formal bias investigation are not determined, the case and details are then recorded for the record.
  5. If grounds for a bias investigation are determined, the Dean(s) will ask the *Bias Incident Response Team to investigate the case and submit its findings to the appropriate Vice President(s).  The Bias team is only responsible for presenting findings and does not determine or recommend sanctions or penalties.  

*Appointed by the Dean of Students and Dean of Faculty, the Team is comprised of faculty and staff.

How the Ripon College Community can support this policy

Every member of the Ripon College community can play a role in fulfilling our vision of educational, working, and living environments free from discrimination, harassment, intolerance, and hate. Examples of ways you can participate in creating this environment:

  • Speaking out against, denouncing, and/or interrupting all forms which challenge the Ripon College Diversity Statement or Harassment Policy.
  • Reporting all bias incidents.
  • Assisting in investigations by providing information to staff or officers when approached.
  • Participating in on-campus programming around multiculturalism, diversity and social justice (Social Justice Retreat, Multicultural Programming, Diversity Workshops, Safe Zone Training, Bystander Intervention Training, etc.).
  • Committing to creating a safe, welcoming, and affirming community to all at Ripon College, including guests we invite into this community.
  • Engage in respectful dialogue about our differences with other members of the community.