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Bias Response

If this is an emergency or you would like to report an incident, please call Public Safety at 617.879.7800

MassArt is dedicated to providing learning, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people and affirm the rights of all members of the community to be treated with respect and dignity.


What is bias?

Bias generally refers to any belief, attitude, behavior or practice that reflects an assumed superiority of one group over another. Bias is expressed through prejudice or discrimination and can be overt or covert. Bias can be directed against individuals or groups, but it can also be institutionalized into policies, practices and structures. While freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas are a vital part of the educational discourse, bias activity dehumanizes people, erodes individual rights, debilitates morale, and interferes with the effectiveness of work and learning environments.

Definitions for Bias Incident Reporting

What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, violence, or criminal offense committed against any person, group or property that appears to be intentional and motivated by prejudice or bias. Such are usually associated with negative feelings and beliefs with respect to one’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, disability, veteran status, etc.

Bias can manifest itself in the following ways:

  • Telling jokes based on a stereotype
  • Offensive graffiti or images
  • Excluding or barring participation from university sponsored clubs and events based on one's perceived identity
  • Using a racial, ethnic, or other slur
  • Offensive or disparaging comments (written or verbal) about someone’s disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or religion that threaten, coerce, harass or intimidate
  • Speaking/acting in a way that reinforces stereotypes, or belittles/ridicules someone because of their gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, faith, etc.

Bias stems from: fear, misunderstanding, stereotypes, prejudice, ethnocentrism, culturally programmed assumptions.

filing a complaint

The Complaint Form is used to report any alleged discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation pursuant to the College’s Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan (“EO Plan”) and/or the Community Standards.

File a Complaint

The provisions of the EO Plan, in compliance with applicable laws and collective bargaining agreements, apply to every educational, employment and co-curricular activity at the College. All benefits, services, and opportunities pertaining to the College’s educational programs, employment, and services are available to all applicants, students, employees and others having dealings with the College regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital or parental status, or veteran status. No provision of the EO Plan is intended, and should not be used, to discriminate against any applicant, employee, or student on any prohibited basis.

The Complaint Form may be used by any member of the MassArt community (including faculty, staff, students and contractors), or any visitor to the campus, and may be completed by either targets of bias-related incidents and sexual misconduct or witnesses thereto. (For specific information about reporting incidents of sexual misconduct, please go to the Title IX page.) Please include as much information as possible. All reasonable efforts will be made to maintain the involved parties’ confidentiality. The Complaint Form may be submitted anonymously. For additional resources and confidential reporting options, please see Resources and Support, below.

It is unlawful to retaliate against a student, employee, or any other person affiliated with the College for reporting an incident or for cooperating in an investigation of an incident. All persons should feel free to report their concerns without fear of retribution or reprisal.

The safety of our community requires the active participation of a community committed to fundamental human dignity and equality to successfully address them. We appreciate your help in bringing these incidents to our attention.

Completed PDF Complaint Forms can be submitted the following ways:


Mail or Hand Deliver: 
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Office for Justice, Equity, and Transformation
Tower Building, 11th floor
621 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA  02115

Bias Incident Reporting is subject to updates and revisions.

process after report has been filed


If you are in an emergency situation, contact MassArt Public Safety immediately at 617.879.7800 or dial 911 for the Boston Police Department.

For confidential resources contact the Counseling & Wellness Center at  or 617.879.7760. Staff members may also contact the College’s Employee Assistance Program at 800.451.1834.

Notice: This form may be completed to report an incident involving bias. Should an incident be reported that might be in violation of College policies or state or federal law, the Bias Response Team will immediately refer the matter to the appropriate College official or office, e.g., Title IX Coordinator, academic deans, Student Conduct Office, Human Resources, MassArt Public Safety, etc.

For complete policies and procedures review:

Equal Opportunity Plan

For more information contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at, or the College’s Title IX Coordinator at