When a bias report comes to administrators’ attention, Dr. Allen Groves, JD, Senior Vice President for the Student Experience at Syracuse University (NY), warned that many institutions fall short when communicating with the campus community about what can be expected after such a report is submitted. In a PaperClip Communications webinar (2021), Groves offered the following pointers about communicating next steps:

  • Use clear language to explain what will happen after someone submits a report
  • Describe the range of possible outcomes, emphasizing that there are a range of responses and referrals that might occur
  • Give a timeline as to when the institution will follow up with the reporter
  • Explain what information will be publicly shared
  • Identify what policies are involved and where the student conduct and/or police might get involved
  • Identify support systems
  • Do not promise what you cannot deliver

And, as some targeted populations might have distrust toward law enforcement, be especially careful to point out when police will get involved.

To learn much more about campus bias incidents, check out our Guide to Effective Bias Reporting, Response & Training Systems.