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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024
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“Into the Void”: Exploring Knox’s Bias Report Form Process

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In last term’s protests, many students brought up the lack of response they received from Knox’s Bias Report Form.Some students even compared the confidential form to “submitting to a void”, as their reports rarely got resolved.

The form can be found under “Campus Resources” or “Reporting Bias Incidents” on the Knox website. The site says, “The confidential process permits the reporting party to maintain confidentiality/anonymity while documenting the incident.”

The form promises to have the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST) respond to these reports.

I decided that I would explore the process myself, and see just how far the process would take me.

The first thing that I noticed when I was submitting my sample report was that the anonymous  form was insistent on getting my information, and even prompted me to log in through another window.

The form then asks for a list of all the parties involved in the incident, including the person submitting the report. If the submitter does not know the names of the parties involved, they may leave their names as “Unknown”. 

Next, the submitter has to indicate the type of incident via a dropdown list ranging from bullying to sexual harassment. The submitter must also indicate what type of hate or bias the incident was and if the hate or bias was an isolated attack or is ongoing.

The form asks the submitter to write a narrative of what happened, including any important details that they would want the BEST team to know. This is also the spot for any descriptions they have about the parties involved.

While the form was pretty easy for me to understand, I couldn’t help but wonder who exactly would be reading my report. The form encourages the submitter to also contact the Galesburg Police Department as well as Campus Safety.

But what if the party being reported is someone from Campus Safety, or someone who is on the BEST team? Who is the unbiased party who reads these reports?

I got in contact with Assistant Dean for Campus Life Jacob McLean about the bias report process. 

“Mary Crawford as the Associate Dean of the College, Tianna Cervantez as the Associate Dean/Director of Intercultural Life, Deb Southern as the Dean of Students, Kim Schrader as the Title IX coordinator, and Brad Nolden as the VP of Administration and General Counsel make up the Bias Education and Support team,” said McLean.

“Additionally, it is my understanding that the team convenes when a report is submitted and they discuss the best course of action to address the report,” he said.

He did not know how the team would tackle conflict of interest, so I decided I would take my questions toVice President for Student Development Dr. MarQuita Barker. 

“If a bias report is filed against someone on the BEST team, that person is removed from the process and is not included in any conversations about the report or any conversations regarding the outcome of the report,” she said.

The submitter gets the option to be followed up with about their report. They can answer either yes or no, but are further prompted with their desired outcome of the report. In other words, do they want to be contacted about the status of their report?

The BEST team promises the submitter that an appropriate member will follow up directly with the submitter unless they wish to remain anonymous.

To end the form, it asks for the submitter to describe their desired outcome of submitting their report. The submitter can then attach supporting documentation (photos, videos, texts, etc.) if they chose to.

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About the Contributor
Christina Donovan
Christina Donovan, Staff Writer
Christina Donovan '24 (she/they) is a Elementary Education and Creative Writing double major at Knox College. She has been working for TKS since 2022 as a staff writer.

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