Bias Incident Report

Bias Incident Report

Point Loma Nazarene University is committed to providing a work, learning, and living environment that provides equal opportunity for all and that is free from harassment and discrimination. Accordingly, harassment, discrimination or retaliation based upon race, color, age, national origin, sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related conditions), physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local law is strictly prohibited. Additionally, other inappropriate conduct of a harassing or offensive nature may be considered a violation of this policy.

In support of these commitments, Point Loma Nazarene University responds to allegations of bias, discrimination, or harassment through one of two processes:

  1. Allegations of all other forms of bias, discrimination, or harassment will be responded to by the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT).
  2. Allegations of sex discrimination and sexual harassment will follow the processes outlined by the Title IX Office.

Make a Report

Reports of bias, discrimination, and harassment can be reported through any of the following methods*: 

PLNU takes reports made through this system seriously. A BIRT team reviewer will contact you within two business days to explain the process, gather any additional information needed, and consider your desired outcome. This reporting system is for all Point Loma Nazarene University community members.

*These reporting tools are for non-emergency incidents only. For emergencies including safety concerns dial 911, then contact the Department of Public Safety at (619) 849-2525

What is a Bias Incident?

A bias incident is any intentional or unintentional act or behavior directed toward an individual or group based on any facet of the individual’s or group’s identities.

Bias incidents may take the form of, but are not limited to:

  • Racist slurs
  • Derogatory comments
  • Offensive terminology
  • Cultural misappropriations (e.g., taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture: e.g., costumes)
  • Microaggressions (e.g., subtle, nonverbal, layered insults/assaults based on race, gender, class, sexuality, language, immigration status, phenotype, accent, or surname, often carried out automatically or unconsciously)

Harassment may take many forms, but most commonly includes the following:

  • Verbal conduct such as epithets; derogatory jokes or comments; slurs; insulting sounds; unwanted sexual innuendos, advances, or propositions; and/or graphic, suggestive, or obscene comments, letters, notes, e-mails, internet posting or blogging, unwelcome invitations;
  • Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually suggestive images, posters, pictures, photography, cartoons, drawings, or gestures;
  • Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted physical contact or touching, blocking normal movement;
  • Threats or demands to submit to sexual requests; and
  • Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.

Bias Incident Reporting Process

The university is committed to evaluating your report thoroughly, fairly, and promptly, but the timing and manner in which the university addresses the report will vary depending on the information provided and whether you wish to remain anonymous. Below are the prescribed steps that will be applied to process your report:

  • Step 1
    • Once submitted, your report is electronically routed to the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT).
  • Step 2
    • A BIRT team reviewer will contact you within two business days to explain the process, gather any additional information needed, and consider your desired outcome. 
  • Step 3
    • The reviewer coordinates with all involved people in an attempt to achieve a mutually agreeable resolution as soon as possible. A final review of the outcome will be conducted by the Bias Incident Response Team.

Support services will be offered and provided to those impacted by the bias incident and as those involved move through this process

If the Bias Incident Report reveals alleged violations of other PLNU policies, the report may be referred for investigation under those policies to the Dean of Students office or Title IX office. FERPA requirements and other privacy laws may limit the amount of information we can share with you.

Making a Report & Preserving Evidence

  • Please make your report as detailed, accurate and factual as possible. Recitations of observations and facts are more useful than characterizations or labels.
  • Remember that all information contained within a report may become part of PLNU’s administrative record-keeping and may be available to the students to which it pertains under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
  • We encourage community members to resolve conflicts directly, when possible. 

It is important to preserve evidence related to the concern. If you experience or witness a diversity-related concern, document it the best you can. 

  • If you experience a written slur or discover graffiti, do not erase it until police or public safety have seen and documented it.  Also, photograph and preserve any physical evidence.
  • If the incident is verbal, write down what was said, and get the contact information of any possible witnesses.
  • Report incidents as soon as possible as speed and accuracy of response are critical.

Bias Incident Response Team

The Bias Incident Response Team includes members of the university community who will provide support and guidance to students and other members of the PLNU community seeking assistance in determining how to resolve reported incidents. Team members document incidents and assist with the coordination of support such as counseling, health services, or other referrals as needed to ensure safety and provide assistance and comfort to those impacted. Team members also develop an appropriate plan to initiate communication with the broader community and make referrals to Student Life and Formation, Human Resources, Public Safety, Title IX, and/or the PLNU legal counsel if the incident appears to violate a university policy or state/federal law.

  • Mary Paul, D.Min., Vice President for Student Life and Formation
  • Danielle Brown Friberg, Title IX Coordinator
  • Jake Gilbertson, Ed.D., Dean of Students
  • Melanie Wolf, Associate Dean of Student Care and Engagement
  • Esteban Trujillo, University Chaplain
  • Cory Lozano, Assistant Director of Public Safety
  • Samara Timms, AVP of Human Resources
  • April Cordero, Ph.D., Dean of Educational Effectiveness
  • Ben Coleman, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Training

PLNU’s anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the University, including supervisors, managers, and administrators, as well as co-employees, students, vendors and visitors to the University.

Any type of harassment or discrimination may subject individuals or groups to disciplinary action and may also have legal consequences. Point Loma Nazarene University is committed to preventing and stopping discrimination or harassment whenever it may occur at the University or in its programs.