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Georgetown’s student newspaper begins documenting “bias incidents”

(Photo via Georgetown)

The official school newspaper of Georgetown University is teaming up with ProPublica to begin documenting and reporting incidents of “bias” on the school’s campus.

According to The Hoya, the official Georgetown University student newspaper, hate crimes on college campuses have dramatically increased within the past year, and Georgetown has also experienced a number of hate crimes within the past year.

The new venture by The Hoya was inspired by ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate Project,” a nationwide effort the group started after a 2016 election that “left many in America afraid—of intolerance and the violence it can inspire.”

Per the Georgetown Code of Student Conduct, the term, “bias-related,” refers to language and behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons who are “motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

While individuals are encouraged to report any “instance of bias or hate” directly to the Georgetown University Police Department, such incidents are rarely reported to the school. Now that the school is affiliated with ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project, victims of such crimes can speak to members of the press at the Hoya student newspaper, “which helps journalists better track incidents and identify patterns of bias at Georgetown.”

According to a description of the project from ProPublica, the effort to document bias spans from a lack of government agencies dedicated to investigating “bias incidents,” which has caused them to partner with local news agencies to investigate incidents of bias and hate.

“At this point, there is simply no reliable national data on hate crimes,” the project’s description states. “And no government agency documents lower-level incidents of harassment and intimidation, such as online or real-life bullying.”

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