Guided by our Statement on Community Values, VCFA strives to cultivate and support an environment that is inclusive and equitable, empowering a rich working and learning experience free from incidents of hate, bias, and discrimination within the college community.

The Community Bias Response Program (CBRP) enables the college to track bias incidents, collect aggregate data, identify educational responses, connect affected individuals with supportive resources, and support program and department leaders. CBRP is not a mechanism for investigative or disciplinary action. The program does not seek to limit academic freedom and artistic expression. CBRP does not replace any of VCFA’s current procedures and protocols in place to resolve alleged violations of policies such as those regarding student conduct, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or violation of criminal law, and VCFA’s policies and procedures take precedence over CBRP, when applicable.

What Is a Bias Incident?

Bias incidents involve behavior, conduct, or acts based on or motivated by prejudice, bigotry, or other negative feelings towards an individual or group, whether intentional or unintentional, because of their membership (or perceived membership) in a group or other personal characteristics, which may or may not be legally protected. Bias incidents may include actions that are motivated by bias but do not meet the necessary elements to prove a crime or violation of another College policy.

Although hate crimes or discrimination (as defined under the College’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy) can also meet the definition of a bias incident, reports of a hate crime or discrimination may be referred to an appropriate college department, area, or individual per an existing policy or to law enforcement to address instead of this program. Not all bias incidents rise to the level of a hate crime or discrimination. The reporting form covers types of incidents that go beyond the scope of legally protected categories. Any incident that a member of the VCFA community believes is a bias incident may be reported.

Goals of the Program

  • Develop consistent and supportive responses to incidents of bias.
  • Support those who are targeted or impacted by incidents of hate, bias, or discrimination.
  • Engage with individuals and communities in voluntary, educational, reparative conversations.
  • Educate the campus community about bias, institutional policies, and reporting protocols related to bias and discrimination.
  • Review and assess policies, procedures, resources, and responses related to bias and discrimination.
  • Monitor trends in the college climate, complaints, and issues to inform educational efforts and responses, provide information, have conversations, and make recommendations.
  • Refer incidents that go beyond the program’s purview such as alleged policy violations or criminal acts.

Non-Emergency Contacts

If this is an emergency, please contact an emergency service listed in this contact reference.

David Markow
Vice President for Student Services/Chief Operating Officer
Title IX Coordinator (lead)
(802) 828-8535
[email protected] 

Bias Response Teams

The Community Bias Response Program is comprised of three distinct teams:

  • The Incident Screening Team handles the initial review of all reports to determine how and by whom the reported incident must or may be best addressed. The range of reports may include those that fall under other policies and procedures, to be addressed by a different department, area, or individual. This team will ensure confidentiality to the extent it is required and appropriate.
  • The Community Support Team’s purpose is to help assess whether a reported behavior, event, or action may be bias-related or discriminatory if it occurred as reported; to help ensure that appropriate and necessary educational support and opportunities are available; to help the college take a timely and comprehensive approach to address incidents; and to aid in communication with the college community about incident-related concerns.
  • The Institutional Data Team tracks and monitors the trends and patterns of bias incidents over the years and works with stakeholders, in some cases including the Community Support Team, to determine proactive approaches to programming, practices, and procedures that have a lasting and sustainable impact on the community.

Community Bias Reporting Process

Questions & Answers

Who are the people on the teams?

The teams are composed of trained members of the VCFA community that reflect various constituency groups. The Incident Screening Team includes the Title IX Coordinator and representatives from Human Resources and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help provide the first level of confidentiality, if necessary. The Community Support Team is made up of administrative and program staff, faculty, and students. The DEI Action Group members also serve as the Institutional Data team. This arrangement enables the flow and leverage of the data and insights to inform the institutional work of advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging at VCFA.

Many members of these teams are fixed appointments, with the exception of the student and faculty appointments on the Community Support Team. Students and faculty can serve up to one year and are selected through an application process.

How confidential is the process?

Your trust is important to the Community Bias Response Program (CBRP). We will maintain your privacy and confidentiality to the extent possible. All reports through the bias incident reporting form will be handled as sensitively and discreetly as possible. Information about individuals or situations and follow-up conversations will be shared only with those who have a legitimate need to know. The CBRP cannot guarantee anonymity in any circumstances.

Although we cannot guarantee anonymity or confidentiality, we will make every effort to respect your privacy. You have the option of submitting reports anonymously. However, the College’s actions in response to a complaint may be limited if the complaint is submitted anonymously.

What happens after submission?

If this is an emergency, please contact an emergency service listed in this contact reference.

The Community Bias Response Program reviews reports during business hours on weekdays. There are no set parameters for responding timeframes or action steps. The decision and approach to responding, if at all, to reported incidents depends on the content of the report, the nature of the incident, the parties involved, the severity, and the College’s obligation under the law. Some incidents may activate a different set of policies and protocols that may need immediate attention from another department, area, or individual at the college, such as the Human Resources office, Title IX Coordinators, or the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Some incidents may be referred externally, such as to law enforcement. There may be cases where the Community Response Team may decide not to respond and will wait to monitor and track the pattern of incidents and behaviors.

Although not every report will meet the definition of bias incident or be a violation of College policy or law, all reports will be reviewed for an appropriate response.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is an act carried out by an individual, policy, or procedure that produces unfair and unjust treatment of people based on characteristics such as race, color, sex, gender identity, genetic information, age, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, religion, sexual orientation, veteran or military service status, HIV-positive test result status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic.

What is harassment?

As defined in our Discrimination & Harassment Policy, “Harassment may include, but is not limited to, verbal or physical attacks, written threats or slurs, e-mail messages or social media postings, unwelcome banter, teasing, or jokes that are derogatory, or depict individuals in a stereotypical and demeaning manner, or any other conduct which has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with an individual’s work or educational performance, and which create an offensive, hostile, or intimidating working environment based on or because of an employee’s or student’s race, color, sex, gender identity, genetic information, age, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, religion, sexual orientation, veteran or military service status, HIV-positive test result status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic, as and to the extent that such characteristics are defined by applicable law.”

What is microaggressive behavior?

A microaggression is a behavior, in the form of an insult, action, or comment, that reflects a subtle, indirect prejudice, intolerance, or bigotry (intentional or unintentional) against an individual or group of individuals. Such behavior may create a hostile environment or unwelcoming experience.

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime is a criminal act (against a person or property) that is motivated in whole or in part by the offender’s hate or bias towards a particular individual or group because of membership in that group (as defined by law). Bias incidents are sometimes considered to be hate crimes, but not always.

(Featured work by Min Choi, GD ’18)