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Bias-Related Behavior

The Simpson Code expects all students to respect the rights of other persons.  Simpson students and other members of our community have the right to study, work, and live in a campus environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, violence, or intimidation based on their perceived or actual identities.

Bias-related behaviors include speech or other behaviors which have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual or group’s safety, security, or educational opportunities by creating an intimidating, hostile, or abusive educational or working environment based on an actual or perceived identity. Those identities include race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or other legally protected characteristic. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, epithets, slurs, intimidation, stereotyping, threats, assault, or any physical interference with the individual’s normal work or movement. This conduct may occur through:

  • Direct oral expression and/or physical gestures or actions;
  • Notes, letters, and other forms of written communication distributed via U.S. mail, campus mail, or otherwise made visible to the public;
  • Phone calls, phone messages, or other forms of electronic verbal communication;
  • E-mail, text messages, instant messaging, social networks, or other means of electronic communication regardless of whether Simpson College’s network or equipment is being used;
  • Graffiti and property damage

When considering the appropriate sanction for an incident of bias-related behavior that violates this policy, both the intention of the respondent as well as the extent of the impact on the complainant and/or community will be taken into account, as well as the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct at issue.

Allegations of student harassment, discrimination, or other bias-related behavior will be investigated and addressed through the processes outlined in the Student Handbook.  If employees of the College are involved in the allegations as potential responsible parties, the Director of Human Resources and appropriate Vice Presidents of the College will be consulted regarding appropriate next steps.


Bias-Related Behavior: Bias-related behavior broadly encompasses actions that may involve the use of images, language or behaviors that directly or indirectly demonstrate hostility or contempt toward a person or group on the basis of actual or perceived identity. Discrimination, harassment and hate crimes are specific examples of types of bias-related behavior.

Discrimination: Discrimination is conduct of the type listed in the bullet points above that involves inequitable treatment of a person or group based on an actual or perceived identity.

Harassment: Harassment is conduct based on an actual or perceived identity that creates or contributes to a pervasively intimidating, hostile or abusive environment, as defined above. It is impossible to exhaustively list all conduct which may constitute harassment, and the examples given above are for purposes of illustration, and not to limit the type of conduct that may result in a violation.

Hate Crime: A hate crime is an act that violates state or federal criminal law and is motivated by the offender’s bias against an actual or perceived identity. Definitions of what constitutes criminal acts and their enforcement are determined by state and federal entities. While all hate crimes are bias incidents, not all bias incidents involve criminal acts. Simpson College’s investigation and adjudication of a bias incident is not dependent upon whether an incident has been classified as a hate crime, meaning both that incidents which are not criminal in nature may still violate College policy and that criminal acts may be subject to both legal and College processes.


Students who have experienced an incident that they believe involves bias-related behavior are encouraged to Report an Incident. This report may be completed anonymously, but community members should be aware that filing an anonymous report significantly limits the ability of the college to follow up or investigate the incident.

Please know that any incident involving sexual or relationship misconduct will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator for review and response.  For more information relating to that process and resources, please visit http://simpson.edu/student-life/title-ix/.

Students may also initiate a report of a potentially bias-related incident by contacting the Dean of Students or Security.  If an incident involves a possible crime, students may also directly contact the Indianola Police Department at 515-961-9400.

Outcomes & Sanctions

If a situation necessitates initiating the College’s conduct process, the parties involved will be informed in writing of the outcome of any investigation or subsequent conduct findings. The College will strive to provide simultaneous notification to the involved parties. In the event that the respondent is found to have violated a policy, the complainant will be informed of any sanctions that are directly related to the complainant (e.g., no contact order, suspension of respondent, educational sanction).


Students who feel they may have been the victim of any form of discriminatory or harassing conduct may wish to seek confidential counseling or support. The following individuals are designated as confidential resources; they will seek to ensure that information remains private and will not share confidential information with college officials or others, unless required to do so by law:

  • Counseling Services: Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1556
  • Student Health Services: Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1604
  • Chaplain: Smith Chapel, 515-961-1684

Additional support and information regarding options for addressing bias-related behavior can be found through the following services and organizations:

  • Assistant Dean of Multicultural and International Student Affairs: Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1233
  • Dean of Students: Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1562
  • Academic Dean: Hillman Hall, 515-961-1720
  • Director of Security: Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1711
  • Title IX Coordinator (for instances of sexual or relationship misconduct): Kent Campus Center, 515-961-1536
  • Student organizations and resource centers available to provide support and information:
    • Multicultural Student Alliance
    • Latinos Unidos
    • La Casa Unida
    • Carver Cultural Center
    • PRIDE