How EWU handles hate crimes

By Daisy Garcia, Staff Writer

EWU defines a hate crime as abuse, bullying, destruction of property or harassment that targets specific groups, as outlined by the official EWU guidelines of Policies and Procedures under social misconduct.

The way a crime is dealt with depends on the level of the act that is committed. A hate speech-related crime may result in a citation whereas a physical hate crime results in the perpetrator being arrested and booked under more serious charges. Once a student commits an act that violates the student conduct code of discrimination, it must be addressed by the police, the dean of students, the Student Affairs Office, a council hearing or any agency that has jurisdiction, Laurie Connelly, associate to the president said.

Deputy Chief of police at EWU Gary Gasseling said, “Luckily, EWU has not had a reported hate crime since 2012 but the need to watch for hate crimes still stands because the safety of the students is priority.” The lack of reported hate crimes on campus does not indicate that hate crimes have not occurred, it simply means that no one has come forward.

Hate crimes and hate speeches are based on federal and state laws that categorize them as criminal offenses, Mike Bowers, director of student rights and responsibilities emphasized. These serious criminal offenses call for consequences and should be reported in order for help to be given to the individuals involved, Trent Lutey, university policy administrator said.

Hate crimes root from discrimination and in light of the recent events in Paris, Muslims and Middle Easterners around the world have been targeted with discriminatory views, presenting the possibility that Muslim and Middle Eastern students at EWU could fall victim to discrimination driven actions.

According to the Police Department at EWU and the Rights and Responsibilities office, nothing has been reported involving hate targeted at the Muslim and Middle Eastern community. Should an incident arise however, it will be dealt with according to the student conduct code and be reviewed by the Student Discipline Council.

In order to prevent a dangerous situation that may be life threatening, any sign of hate crimes must be reported. Should a student have knowledge concerning hate crimes or any behavior that puts another individual in a position in which he or she feels uncomfortable or targeted in any way, said student has the opportunity to report it. Reports can be made to the police department, Counseling and Psychological Services, the dean of students, human resources, the Office of Global Initiatives (for international students) and anonymously through the Office of Student Affairs.