Information and Resources

Resources for the SDSU Community

Terms and Definitions

Business & Financial Affairs (BFA) Website 

As defined by the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy, discrimination means adverse action1 taken against a Complainant because of a protected status2.  
As defined by the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy, harassment means unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct engaged in because of a complainant’s protected status2 that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the complainant, and is in fact considered by the complainant, as limiting their ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by the university. If a complainant is harassed because of their protected status, that means the complainant's status is a substantial motivating reason (but not necessarily the only reason) for the conduct.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal harassment (e.g., epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs), physical harassment (e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement), and visual forms of harassment (e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, symbols, or gestures.)
As defined by the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy, retaliation means that a substantial motivating reason for an adverse action1 taken against a person was because the person has or is believed to have:

  • Exercised rights under this Nondiscrimination Policy;
  • Reported or opposed conduct which was reasonably and in good faith believed to be in violation of this Nondiscrimination Policy;
  • Assisted or participated in a policy-related investigation/proceeding regardless of whether the complaint was substantiated; or,
  • Assisted someone in reporting or opposing a violation of this Nondiscrimination Policy, or assisted someone in reporting or opposing retaliation under this Nondiscrimination Policy.
  • Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.

1Adverse Action: is an action engaged in by the Respondent that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the complainant’s ability to participate in a university program, activity, or employment. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a complainant does not constitute an adverse action. An adverse action is any conduct or employment action that is reasonably likely to impair an employee's job performance or prospects for advancement of promotion.

2Protected Status: includes age, disability (physical or mental), gender (or sex), genetic information, gender identity (including transgender), gender expression, marital status, medical condition, nationality, race or ethnicity (including color, caste, or ancestry), religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, and veteran or military status.

SDSU Free Speech Site 

The First Amendment protects various freedoms, including freedom of speech, assembly, petition, religion and press. The speech protections apply to written and spoken words as well as expressive conduct (i.e., actions that do not involve written or spoken words but do contain a message, such as art or gestures). The First Amendment does not prohibit any speech, but there are some types of speech for which there is no, or very limited, First Amendment protection. These include: (1) speech that promotes and incites actual, immediate and imminent violence and harm; (2) “fighting words” (i.e.,words directed to a person that are so abusive that they tend to incite an immediate physical retaliation); (3) true threats (i.e., when a reasonable person would view the speech as a serious intent to harm and there is the prospect of immediate action); (4) defamation (i.e., libel and slander); (5) obscenity; (6) severe, pervasive and objectively offensive harassment that deprives the individual of equal access to resources; (7) false advertising; and (8) use of public resources for partisan politics. But these exceptions are interpreted very narrowly; most speech will still be considered protected under the First Amendment.

No legal definition of “hate speech” exists, and the courts have made it clear that no one has a constitutional right to not be offended by speech. For this reason, what is commonly known as hate speech is as fully protected on campus as is any other form of protected speech. People, including those in the SDSU community, are as free to condemn any category of individual – whether on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, citizenship status, political party, ideology, hair style or taste in music. Because this applies only to speech and expressive conduct, the First Amendment does not protect an individual’s conduct simply because that conduct is motivated by the person’s beliefs.  For example, hate crimes are regulated under both state and federal law.

This does not mean that you should not communicate incidents of hate speech to the Team so that these non-inclusive actions can be addressed through educational and other processes.  How much one values the First Amendment is tested most severely when the person who is speaking is saying things that we find offensive or hateful, or that we disagree with. Yet that speech is also protected because when the government has the right to suppress certain ideas, everyone is subject to censorship.  The better way to respond to hateful or offensive speech is to encourage more speech that exposes the offensive speech for what it is. In one famous US Supreme Court case, Justice Brandeis wrote, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”  The ACLU agrees, and states on its website that “where racist, sexist and homophobic speech is concerned, the ACLU believes that more speech – not less – is the best revenge. This is particularly true at universities, where the mission is to facilitate learning through open debate and study, and to enlighten.” SDSU is strongly committed to that educational imperative, and to working with its faculty, staff and students to find positive, constructive, affirming and progressive ways to build a robust and inclusive climate for all members of the campus community.

Clery Crimes/UPD Website 

A criminal offense that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Is a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, or disability.
The unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another.
Simple Assault
An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
Destruction / Damage / Vandalism of Property
To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of it.

American Association of University Professors Website 

Academic freedom" is a concept pervasive within the higher education sector that supports the understanding that the free search for truth and its free exposition -- which includes the freedom to research and teach a range of topics, ideas and ideologies -- is a democratic right, and benefits us all. SDSU is committed to academic freedom and both encouraging and protecting artistic, scientific, literary and political speech. The American Association of University Professors provides additional information about academic freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any member of the SDSU community (e.g., student, faculty, staff, administrators) may make a submission to Inclusive SDSU.

When you submit an Inclusive SDSU report, you can expect an immediate acknowledgment of receipt of your report followed by a communication from a member of the Inclusive SDSU team to discuss appropriate follow-up as well as offer resources and support to impacted parties. Appropriate referrals to campus resources are made as needed.

  • Referring submissions regarding extraordinary acts of diversity and inclusion to Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, for recognition of those actions.
  • Referring reports to Facilities Services for removal of building markings or repair of property damage.
  • Referring submissions to campus divisions, departments and offices for the purpose of developing educational programs to address inclusion or other related subjects.
  • Recommending campus climate programming based on patterns of activity seen through submissions.
  • Referring the reporter to on-campus and off-campus resources for support and success.

As a community that is committed to diversity and inclusion, we would like to celebrate and acknowledge areas where our campus is showing strengths and/or positive progress. Highlighting inclusive acts supporting our diverse campus is also a way to support community development and foster the values of the institution. Reporting positive acts of inclusive diversity provide us an opportunity to share our community successes in social media posts and serve as possible recognition through awards and recognition.

SDSU is committed to cultivating a campus climate that promotes human dignity, civility, and mutual appreciation for the uniqueness of each member of our campus community. In support of our educational mission, the campus supports the free expression of ideas, but encourages the campus community to express those ideas in a way that does not promote hate or bias toward any other member of the campus community while still respecting free expression. Reporting incidents that erode inclusion will help the campus identify concerns and patterns, address problems and disputes, develop appropriate educational responses, and otherwise foster an environment of inclusion for all students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members. While not every report of a negative incident will result in institutional response, each submission will be reviewed and considered within the framework of developing a more inclusive campus environment.

Information shared through Inclusive SDSU is protected by FERPA. The identity of the individual submitting the incident is kept confidential to the larger campus community, and is only shared with administrators as situations arise.

Note, as mandated reporters we are required to immediately report cases involving harm to self or others.

The Inclusive SDSU Communication Team is comprised of trained and caring representatives from:

  • Associated Students
  • Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Office of Employee Relations and Compliance
  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
  • Student Ombudsman
  • University Police
  • Conduct counter peaceful protests and share counter narratives;
  • Invite leaders of objectionable message to a meeting to discuss concerns (Restorative Justice Approach);
  • Address concerns with university administrators;
  • Also don’t forget to prioritize your own person health and well being; 

The whole point of free speech is to have the right to voice your opinion AND hear the viewpoint of others.  You may not always “win” but you bear responsibility in engaging in healthy dialogue.

Get in Touch

Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity

Inclusive SDSU
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

Welcome to Inclusive SDSU

SDSU's commitment to diversity and inclusion.