Definitions of Bias Acts and Hate Crimes
According to New York State Penal Law § 485.05, a person commits a hate crime when he or she
commits a specified criminal offense and either intentionally commits the act or intentionally selects the
person against whom the offense is committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or
perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age,
disability, or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.
A bias act is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group based on the social
identity categories of national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, gender identity & expression,
sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, marital status or any combination of these
characteristics. The perpetrators may be known or unknown and the act may be verbal, written or
physical and occur on the SUNY Oneonta campus or within an area that affects the campus community.
Activity protected by the First Amendment will not constitute bias acts.
Information about the College’s response to bias acts and hate crimes can be found at
http://www.oneonta.edu/bias and is disseminated through the Office of Human Resources, the Office of
Multicultural Student Affairs, the Office of Judicial Affairs, and the University Police Department. Anyone
who believes that she/he has been the victim of a hate crime or bias act is encouraged to seek
assistance at any of those offices.