Principles of Bias Prevention


Stop it before it starts. Broad constituent/community consensus that actions which are motivated by hatred of others on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or veteran’s status must be made known to students to aid in prevention of bias incidents, acts, or crimes.

For example: At the first organization meeting of the year, the executive committee provides a diversity training for its members with emphasis on educating new members and first years students about their university’s commitment to developing intercultural relations.


Know the trouble spots. Identification of issues and indicators which may give rise to actions motivated by bias is critical to prevention efforts.

For example: During the jury’s deliberation in the federal case against the three white policemen who were accused of assaulting Rodney King in Los Angeles, staff held vigils in the student centers to defuse tensions among students and to allow them to acknowledge their anger and their hope.


Manage the situation when a bias act occurs. Timely reporting (to appropriate staff) of and intervention in a bias incident and response to the constituents/community involved, i.e. victims, perpetrators, secondary victims, and witnesses, is required when an incident occurs.

For example: Three students approached the chair of an academic department about a pattern of anti-gay comments their instructor made when discussing AIDS.


The act of relating the facts of a bias incident to the appropriate authorities: a supervisor, Rutgers Police, a Bias Prevention Education Committee representative, or other student life staff person.


Heal the Environment. Short and long-term steps must be taken by students and staff to normalize the environment in which a bias incident has occurred. Other organizations/departments may be called upon to assist in the healing process. Restoration enables the development of new prevention strategies.

For example: After a poster of stick figures with watermelon heads speaking in stereotypic black speech was pasted on the door of the black student union building, students organized a well-publicized candle-light vigil which invited faculty, staff, students from all backgrounds to enunciate their commitment to anti-racist living.