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Hate Crime or Hate Incidents

A hate crime is a criminal act against a person or his/her property targeted because of that person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Further information about what constitues a hate crime in Utah can be found at Federal law differs in certain respects from state law.

Hate incidents are considerably more common on college campuses than hate crimes. Unlike hate crimes, there is no formal legal definition for a hate incident. They are generally the same types of behaviors and crimes as described above except that one or more of the formal legal criteria described above are not met. Regardless, the victims tend to experience the same range of emotions and benefit from the same level of caring response. When you are aware that a student has experienced a hate incident or hate crime:


  1. When possible, see the student in private.
  2. Be aware that the student may be experiencing a wide range of emotions including shame, anger, fear, and denial.
  3. Advise the student to contact the Dean of Students Office (801.422.2731)
  4. Inform the student that the Dean of Students Office will listen to the complaint and help generate options for how to procede.
  5. Advise the student that the Dean of Students Office can refer the student to specific law enforcement officers known for their sensitivity and knowledge about these types of situations if the student wishes to report an incident that is also a crime.
  6. Advise the student that counseling is available through Counseling and Psychological Services (801.422.3035).
  7. Advise the student that s/he may report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator on campus (801.422.2130) if the hate incident is related to race, gender, religion, national origin or other protected category.
  8. Advise the student that s/he may report the incident to the University Police (801.422.2222).


  1. Try to explain or get caught up in the technical differences between a “hate crime” and “hate incident.” These differences are generally immaterial to the feelings being experienced by the student and his/her need for support and information. The hate incident response coordinator can explain the technical difference between these categories, and how the categorization of the incident will inform the set of options available to the student.
  2. Minimize the situation or indiscriminately share information about the crime or incident with others without the permission of the student.
  3. Express personal biases.