Emergency Preparedness
Campus Safety

Bias-Related Incidents

Skidmore College's Bias Response Group Website


NYS Hate Crimes Act of 2000

Skidmore College informs incoming students about bias-related crime and prevention measures through programs that include workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and orientation sessions. The purpose of these programs is to disseminate information about bias-related crime, promote discussion, encourage reporting of incidents of such crime, and facilitate prevention. The information the College presents includes:


(1) Applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations on bias-related crime, including the provisions and coverage of the Hate Crimes Act of 2000 codified in article 485 of the New York State penal law. The laws and penalties for the commission of bias-related crimes can be located at the Laws of New York website.

A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense and either:

(a) intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, or
(b) intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.
(2) Penalties for commission of bias related crimes

When a person is convicted of a hate crime, the crime shall be deemed to be a higher category than the specified offense the defendant committed. Specific penalties and terms of imprisonment can be located at the Laws of New York website.

(3) Procedures in effect at the College for dealing with bias-related crime

Students should notify the Skidmore Office of Campus Safety (x5567) immediately of all incidents of bias-related crime so that protection – including police protection – can be provided if needed. When the accused is a Skidmore College student, the victim should file a report with Skidmore Campus Safety or with any of the on-campus designated personnel (see the Student Handbook 2004-05, p. 37 for the list of designated personnel). These individuals can provide students an opportunity to explore, in a private, one-on-one discussion, the full range of legal, medical, and counseling options available to them, both on campus and in the Saratoga Springs community.

Students may file formal charges with the police. If desired, Skidmore's Office of Campus Safety will provide students with information to help them with that decision. Campus safety officers or representatives of the College are available to accompany the victim to the police station to file formal charges. The College has no control over criminal investigations and criminal processes. Students may pursue a College judicial hearing by filing formal charges with the College, whether or not they pursue the case via formal charges through the New York State criminal system.

Enrolled students who believe they have been victims of bias-related crime may file formal charges with the Skidmore judicial system if the alleged perpetrator is an enrolled student. Although there is no time limit on the filing of formal charges with the College, a prompt formal charge is likely to result in a more satisfactory investigation. For more information on the campus judicial system, see the Student Handbook 2004-05, pp. 13-18.

(4) Availability of counseling and other support services for the victims of bias-related crime

If you believe that you have been the victim of a bias-related crime, remember that the Counseling Center and Health Services are available to all students free of charge. All consultations are fully confidential, and counseling is available whether or not you decide to report an incident of bias-related crime.

(5) Nature of and common circumstances concerning bias-related crime on college campuses

Such crimes can involve racial epithets, disparate treatment based on racially or gender-related assumptions, sexually discriminatory behaviors in terms of "hostile environment" (sexual harassment), and intolerance toward openly gay students (in language and action). The categories include1.faculty/staff-to-student incidents; 2. faculty-to-faculty, staff-to-staff incidents; and 3. student-to-student cases that come to the director of institutional diversity as appeals.

(6) The methods the College employs to advise and update students about security procedures

Safety orientations are conducted each year for first-year students during New Student Orientation and for all students at meetings held in the fall semester in each residence hall. In addition, numerous educational and awareness programs are sponsored throughout the year by student affairs staff members, student clubs and organizations, and the Center for Safer Sexual Relations. The Office of Campus Safety issues safety alerts when appropriate with information provided in a timely fashion to all members of the College community. These alerts may be transmitted via the College network, phone message system, and posted flyers.
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