TRENTON—Today the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights (DCR) released the “Addressing Bias on Campus” resource guide. The resource guide, which OSHE developed in partnership with DCR, emerges from recommendations of the New Jersey Youth Bias Task Force, and includes bias response materials applicable to the whole campus community, including faculty, staff and students.
The “Addressing Bias on Campus” resource guide will provide New Jersey campus stakeholders with the tools to prevent and respond to bias incidents effectively.
“Protecting the physical and emotional well-being of New Jersey students remains paramount,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Taking a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to bias is key to creating a safe, welcoming educational environment for every student. Today’s recommendations will provide institutions of higher education with the guidance they need to help address underlying issues and create a culture of equity and inclusion on their campuses.”
“All students deserve to feel safe, supported, and included in their chosen learning environments,” said Dr. Brian K. Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education. “The release of this guide, in collaboration with our sister agencies, provides resources and actions to be taken by institutions across New Jersey to prevent, address, and remedy cases of bias in the interest of promoting educational excellence and well-being throughout our higher education community.”
“Here in New Jersey, we stand firmly committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn in an environment free from hate, racism, and bias,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The resource guide we are releasing today will provide critical guidance to colleges and universities as they work to prevent bias incidents and to respond appropriately to bias incidents when they do occur. With the support of Governor Murphy and our sister agencies, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with our institutions of higher learning to reduce the incidence of bias and hate on college campuses.”
“No student should ever have to live in fear of hate and bias on campus,” said Division on Civil Rights Director Sundeep Iyer. “As bias incidents rise across the State, it is more important than ever that colleges and universities have guidance on best practices for preventing bias incidents on campus and for responding in the aftermath of a bias incident. I am grateful for the partnership of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education on this critical resource.”
The resource guide for institutions of higher education builds on the commitment made in the “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation” New Jersey State Plan for Higher Education, which maintains that all New Jersey students should have safe, supportive, and inclusive campuses.
The guide highlights key state resources and actions dedicated to achieving the goal of safer campuses. The guide links to resources published by the Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment Working Group, which contains guidelines for the implementation of recommendations made by the 2017 Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault; an inventory of campus climate surveys; and sample policies for diverse campuses intended to address harassment, hate, and bias-related crimes. The guide also details the establishment of the Campus Sexual Assault Commission; and the requirement for all institutions of higher education to conduct regular campus climate surveys.