'Negative diversity comments' reported for bias at Penn State

A recent report compiled by the Pennsylvania State University classifies “negative diversity comments” and the display of a confederate flag as “bias motivated incidents” on campus.

The report released on Thursday documents 27 allegedly bias-related incidents from across the university during last year’s summer-fall semester of in an effort to “take a stand for a positive campus climate.”

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“One report from University Park was related to hanging of confederate flag [sic] in a residence hall window from student to student and larger community,” the document reads.

Another reported incident on campus includes “negative diversity comments” made by one student to another.

According to the university website, the report was put together by the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, a department that is dedicated to “fostering diversity and inclusion at Penn State and creating a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s faculty, staff, leadership, and student body.”

The published report, however, does not define or elaborate on the term “negative diversity comments,” and does not list examples of the allegedly bias-motivated incidents.

“One report from University Park was related to political verbal attack and harassment from community and alumni members to student,” the report continues, later documenting another “political verbal attack posted on a social media site.”

The majority of reported incidents in the document include hostile verbal and written remarks, race-related statements, and other forms of harassment.

Pennsylvania State University did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request to define and elaborate on the incident categories.

Several schools have released lists of reported bias incidents from their campuses, such as the University of Oregon. Earlier this year, the University of Wisconsin System schools held a symposium to address a tripling in reported “hate incidents,” though a report by UW-LaCrosee found that more than 10 percent of reported incidents were either fake or failed to qualify as bias incidents.

Other universities have taken on a plethora of tactics to combat bias incidents, including launching a bilingual 24/7 hotline, emailing the student body over a Confederate flag laptop sticker, and even telling students to dial 9-1-1—though the latter practice was ended.

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