Bias/Hate-Related Crimes

It is a SUNY College at Old Westbury University Police mandate to protect all members of the College community by preventing and prosecuting bias or hate crimes that occur within the campus jurisdiction. Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are a criminal activity motivated by the perpetrators’ bias or attitude against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics such as race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Hate based crimes have received renewed attention in recent years, particularly since the passage of the federal Hate/Bias Crime Reporting Act of 1990 and the New York Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Penal Law Article 485). Copies of the law are available from the Office of University Police at the College.

Penalties of bias-related crimes are very serious and range from fines to imprisonment for lengthy periods, depending on the nature of the underlying criminal offense, the use of violence, or previous convictions of the offender. Perpetrators who are students will also be subject to campus disciplinary procedures where sanctions including expulsion are possible.

In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, the University Police Department at SUNY College at Old Westbury, in concert with other entities on campus, also assist in addressing bias-related incidents that do not rise to the level of criminal activity. These activities, referred to as bias-related incidents and defined by the University as acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation directed at a member or group within the College at Old Westbury community based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, or marital status, may be addressed through the SUNY College at Old Westbury Discrimination Complaint Procedure or the Code for Student Conduct. Bias incidents can be reported to the University Police as well as to the Affirmative Action Officer at ext. 3179. Hate /bias related crimes committed on campus are included in the compilation of campus crimes included in this document on page 18.

If you are a victim or witness to a hate / bias crime on campus, report it to the University Police by calling the Department at 516-876-3333 from an outside phone or ext. 3333 from any campus phone, using any Emergency Phones on campus, or stopping by University Police Headquarters. The University Police will investigate the incident and follow the appropriate adjudication process.

Victims of bias crimes or bias incidents can avail themselves of counseling and support from the campus by contacting the Center for Counseling and Psychological Wellness Services at 516-876-3053 or in person in Room 107 of the Student Union.