Bias Crimes Prevention

Hate Crimes and the Law

Tompkins Cortland Community College is committed to protecting all members of the Tompkins Cortland community by preventing and prosecuting bias or hate crimes occurring within the College’s jurisdiction. Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias or attitude against an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics, such as race, color, creed or religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, military status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, disability, or any other protected status. Hate/bias crimes have received renewed attention in recent years, particularly since the passage of the federal Hate/Bias Crime Reporting Act of 1990 and the New York State Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Penal Law Article 485). Copies of the New York law are available from the Office of Public Safety/Campus Police.


Penalties for bias-related crimes are very serious and range from fines to imprisonment for lengthy periods, depending on the nature of the underlying criminal offense, the use of violence, or previous convictions of the offender. Perpetrators who are students also will be subject to campus disciplinary procedures where sanctions, including dismissal, are possible.

Bias related activities

In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, the Office of Public Safety/Campus Police also helps address bias-related activities that do not rise to the level of a crime. These activities, referred to as bias incidents and defined by the College as acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation directed at a member or group within the Tompkins Cortland community based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, martial status, or other protected status, may be addressed through the College’s discrimination/ harassment complaint procedure.

Bias/hate incident reporting

If you are a victim of, or witness to, a hate/bias crime on campus, report it to one of the following:

  • Office of Public Safety/Campus Police, Room 118, 844.6511
  • Baker Center for Learning, 844.8222, Ext. 4415
  • Human Resources, Affirmative Action Officer, Room 219, 844.8222, Ext. 4251
  • Darese Doskal, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Room 229, 844.8222, Ext. 6591
  • Seth Thompson, Senior Diversity Officer, Room 124, 844.8222, Ext. 4358

Online/Anonymous Reporting

Tompkins Cortland law enforcement and local police officers will investigate and follow the appropriate adjudication procedures. Counseling and support services for victims are available from the Office of Counseling, Career, and Transfer Services.

More information about bias-related and bias crimes, including up-to-date statistics on bias crimes, is available from John Gebo, Director of the Office of Campus Police, Room 118, 607.844.6511.

Educational Programs

Educational programs to promote awareness of bias-related crime prevention measures are presented to the campus community at orientation and throughout the year by the Office of Counseling, Career, Transfer Services.