Hate has no place on our campus. #NotatTU
Towson University strives to create a learning environment that is inclusive of diverse groups, ideas, and opinions and that is sensitive to individual rights of expression. The University promotes a campus community that allows for understanding and civility among those living, working, teaching, learning, and studying, while discussing, discovering, and debating different viewpoints.
Acts of destruction or violence which are motivated by animosity against a person or group because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or homelessness, or which infringe on the rights and freedom of others will not be tolerated at Towson University. The University will investigate and respond to all reports of hate crimes and bias incidents.
To foster a safe and inclusive campus, the University will investigate all incidents motivated by bias. In order to prompt an investigation, the incident must be reported. Anyone who feels that they have been a victim, who has witnessed, or who learns of a hate crime or bias incident can report the incident via the Hate Crimes & Bias Incident Report Form. You may also contact the Towson University Police (TUPD) for immediate assistance/response at 410-704-4444.
Incidents can also be reported by calling:
Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity: 410-704-0203
For additional support in reporting an incident:
The person reporting the incident can expect a confirmation of receipt of their report within two business days. Once the report is made, a review will begin. The reviewing authority will be determined by the status of the persons involved as well as the nature and location of the incident. Investigations might include interviewing all involved parties and reviewing camera footage. University procedures are illustrated on the University Review Process Flowchart.
Towson University’s Police Department will determine if incidents are criminal in nature.
In cases of hate crimes, individuals can be punished with fines and/or imprisonment. Felony offenses demonstrated to be motivated by bias are subject to enhanced penalties.
In cases where a student is found responsible of a University policy violation, penalties may include: educational sanctions, probation, and/or suspension/expulsion. No-contact orders can be requested even if there is no finding of a violation of University policy. Please review the Code of Student Conduct for possible sanctions related to prohibited conduct.
In cases where a faculty or staff member is found responsible for a hate crime or bias incident, penalties may include transfer, unpaid suspension, or termination.
Any personal information obtained during the course of an investigation of a hate crime and/or bias incident will be handled with discretion and kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. At times, administrators or investigating police officers may need to share information with appropriate parties. For instance, if the behavior or language in question seems to stem from a misunderstanding or dispute between students, information may be shared with the alleged offender in order to address the matter expeditiously. Additionally, the University may respond to the incident with actions including - but not limited to - campus-wide programming, conversations with student leaders, and/or meetings with individuals and communities most impacted separate from and while the investigation is on-going.
A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person(s) or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias towards the actual or perceived group membership(s). Hate itself is not a crime and Towson University is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
Bias incidents involve verbal, written, or physical behaviors which are not criminal offenses, but target a person because of their actual or perceived identity or group membership(s) and may be in violation of a University policy. This includes inflicting mental or emotional distress upon a person through a course of conduct involving abuse or disparagement of that person's actual or perceived identity or group membership(s). It is important to note that all hate crimes are bias incidents but not all bias incidents are hate crimes.
Sometimes it is unclear if an incident is motivated by bias, but a behavior may still violate University policies. Some examples of prohibited conduct include:
Links to monthly reports on all reported hate crimes and bias incidents are provided below. Due to privacy laws, Towson University is not able to provide the name and specific sanction(s) related to incidents where an individual is found responsible for violating University Policy.
A special thank you to the Student Government Association who originally developed this page, in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs, as a means of increasing transparency around responses to hate crimes and bias incidents on campus.