Respect MHU /
Bias Incident Reporting

Respect MHU: Bias Incident Reporting

Mars Hill University is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming experience for all members of and visitors to the MHU campus community. The work of creating and maintaining an inclusive environment requires the efforts of the entire university, and we recognize that each member of the community holds some responsibility to foster an environment in which its members can thrive without fear of hate or bias.  The creation of Respect MHU allows for the community to work together to report and address incidents of bias and hate on campus, thereby enhancing and contributing to the authentic pursuit of knowledge and truth that lies at the heart of our institutional identity and purpose.

Respect MHU is a structure that allows campus community members who have been the targets or witnesses of a bias incident to bring these incidents to the attention of university administration in an easily accessible and understandable manner.

Respect MHU builds community by:

  • Creating a process whereby members of the campus community can report acts of bias and hate,
  • Establishing a Bias Incident Report Team (BIRT) of MHU employees to respond to incidents of bias and hate and recommend potential next steps, and
  • Working collaboratively across campus to reduce bias incidents and promote a more healthy multicultural learning and living environment.

Bias incidents are defined as harmful incidents – verbal, physical, or virtual – that target an individual or group based upon actual or perceived demographic or personal characteristics (including, but not limited to: gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, age, disability, or physical appearance).

Reporting process:

University employees, students, vendors, and visitors, who perceive that they have experienced a bias incident or hate crime, as well as those who witness one, are urged to report the incident immediately.

For immediate assistance or for an emergency please contact the campus security at extension 1230 from an on-campus phone, or (828) 689-1230 from off-campus or a cell phone.

Persons reporting an incident may self-identify or remain anonymous by any of the following means. Anonymous reporting, however, will impact the university’s ability to respond or pursue appropriate action against the alleged perpetrator.


Respect MHU and members of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) will respond immediately to the needs of the affected party or parties by contacting the appropriate departments and offices necessary to implement an appropriate intervention. Those offices will notify members of the campus community as appropriate and/or as required by federal law.

The BIRT is composed of faculty and staff members. It is not an investigating and/or sanctioning body. Its role is one of advocacy/support of the person filing a report. The BIRT may make a recommendation on a coordinated campus response if deemed appropriate. Such responses (as outlined in student and employee handbooks) may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identification of and referral of affected individuals and communities and/or alleged perpetrator to appropriate support resources and services on or off campus,
  • Disciplinary action, if necessary, to be administered according to the Student Conduct Code, Residence Life Guidelines, University Guidelines, and/or any local, state, or federal laws and regulations.
  • Educational awareness programs for the full university community, or for some part of the community involved in the incident.