A Michigan State University student filed a bias response complaint because she read an offensive comment on an Instagram post: Someone had asked whether the women depicted in the photo looked "Indian."
Another student reported his roommate for watching a Ben Shapiro video on his laptop. "Ben Shapiro is known for his inflammatory speech that criticizes and attacks the African American community," the student wrote in his complaint. "I thought hate had no place on MSU's campus yet MSU has roomed me with someone who supports hate speach [sic]."
One student filed a report because they overheard someone misgender Caitlyn Jenner, referring to her by her former name, Bruce Jenner.
A Christian student was told that conducting a door-to-door survey of other dormitory residents was making people uncomfortable, and so she filed a bias incident report as well, complaining that she had been humiliated by this criticism.
These were just a few of the reported incidents highlighted in an investigation by The College Fix, which obtained a list of bias incidents filed in the fall 2018 semester. According to The Fix's Christian Schneider, there were 35 such reports in total. The ones he describes sound incredibly trivial—even petty. In some cases, they had nothing to do with the university:
- Someone said the word "nigga" on an Instagram post; the person was found not to be connected with MSU.
- A discarded game of "hangman" was left on a whiteboard in a residence hall; the word "SOUTH" was the last one played.
- An MSU student posted a Snapchat video in which he says "I hate white people."
- A student complains twice in three days that someone posted a cartoon making fun of liberals in a residence hall and it offended her.
- A student used a residence hall list to e-mail her political beliefs to an entire dorm.
Bias response teams are a part of life at more than a hundred colleges and universities. Just because a report was filed does not mean any action was taken. But perhaps it's not a good idea to encourage students to tattle on each other, or to expect that their incredibly minor grievances are being taken seriously by campus authority figures?
Read The College Fix's report here.