The Problem with Bias Reporting Systems

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Bias Reporting Systems (BRSs) are procedures or teams at colleges and universities across the country which encourage students to report “bias incidents” they observe on campus. These teams consist of faculty, staff, and sometimes law enforcement. Students are encouraged to report “bias incidents” to these boards (or teams) in the name of inclusion and tolerance, but it’s often unclear what the school considers “bias” in the first place. Overly broad or vague definitions of bias put all kinds of speech at risk of being reported- even unpopular speech which is protected by the First Amendment. Political speech and satire are particularly vulnerable because the system favors students who easily take offense.

REPORT: Our report examines a total of 821 higher education institutions. That number includes 441 private schools (23% of all private four-year colleges in the U.S.), and 380 public schools (49% of all public four-year colleges in the U.S.).

Click here to read our report, “Free Speech in the Crosshairs: Bias Reporting on College Campuses.”

Tips for Knowing Your Rights on Campus

Yorktown and Speech First outline what is included in students’ First Amendment rights on campus.

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University Bias

November 7, 2022

University Bias

The American Conservative


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Freshman Disorientation: How Colleges and Universities Lay the Groundwork for Student Indoctrination

This report offers an unprecedented window into the themes and material covered in the new student orientations of America’s largest public universities.

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