02 March 2012

Advertising the Online Bias Reporting Form

Purdue’sonline bias reporting form needs to be advertised. I haven’t seen much of anything discussed on this topic to the Purdue community. The only time I have heard it discussed to a group of students was during a Queer Student Union (now the LGBTQ Student Alliance) meeting concerning the bias reporting procedures. More may have occurred on the subject, but I have not seen it. During a forum held by Purdue’s president I asked how Purdue was going to advertise its bias reporting procedures, and was given an answer that involved BGR and the Greek letter organizations. Boiler Gold Rush is our first-year student orientation, and would thus be a very useful place to start. Yet just hitting up the first-year students that go to BGR and the Greeks won’t fully cover the issue. I thus think a lot falls on us, the students, to make sure word gets out.

I see two issues running simultaneously here. How do we get out the word on how the bias reporting procedures work? How do we create a culture in which people report? I think the ability to finally be able to report anonymously, and to be able to report online, helps for the second issue. Yet those are merely steps in the right direction, and don’t actually solve the problem of creating a culture in which people report incidents of bias and discrimination. We have to get the word out, however, before we can take the steps on the climate around reporting.

The bias reporting website really needs a simple URL. It needs to be something like a /biasreport or /stopbias. I currently get a “Page Not Found” error for purdue.edu/biasreport, and think that would be a good home for the form. It would be simple to advertise it then, and people could actually remember the URL. We students should push for a simple URL to exist for this form now. EDIT: Apparently there is a short URL. It is purdue.edu/report-hate. It just isn't the one that shows when you click the link on the webpage for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion because it is a redirect to the more complicated URL.

We could also request for a mention of the bias reporting form to appear in syllabi. The university can insert things into these. When swine flu was a concern, all syllabi began stating that in the case of an emergency they are subject to change and a place was listed where those changes could be found. A simple statement could be made in the syllabi like:
Purdue University prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran. Purdue encourages the reporting of incidents of bias and discrimination at purdue.edu/report-hate
I think this could be something worth demanding. I feel this would be especially useful as people often don’t think about needing a policy like this until something happens. If the policy is present in the syllabi, they will occasionally hear it on the first day of classes. This information would also commonly be on hand, and certainly have a much larger exposure.

I think a poster campaign would be useful for bias reporting. I don’t know if people really look at posters (I mean QSU had color fliers for the Big Gay Callout all over campus and yet I still frequently hear people’s surprise when they find out QSU exists), but posters are a start. I will leave the people who are good at poster design to imagine how this might occur. EDIT: One of the CORE Senators has also just shown me some advertisements in the form of handouts that the Division of Diversity and Inclusion has produced. Hopefully these will become visible soon as well, though some sort of poster, maybe on the E-Sidewalk, would still be very useful.

There are a lot of other things that can happen to try to get the word out. Forums could be held. More trainings could happen. I think the most profound thing that could happen, however, would be for students to again press for more. We have to keep asking. We aren’t going to be handed nice things just because they would help improve the community. We have to push. This pushing has worked though. In the past two years the nondiscrimination policy was updated because of student demands, and the online bias reporting form came into existence because we students were vocal about wanting it.

Making certain that the Purdue community is aware of the online bias reporting form is the next step in our push to make Purdue’s nondiscrimination policy be all it can be. The fighting didn’t end with the addition of Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Genetic Information. The fighting didn’t end with getting an online web form. We have more to do. I thus hope we can start the next phase of student demands concerning the nondiscrimination policy. 

1 comment:

  1. Till now I didn't hear about the online bias reporting form, With your I am knowing this. I like this form features very well.