Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Resources

The GW CS department aims to support a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment for all Computer Science Department faculty, staff, residents, and students regardless of age, race, ethnicity, country of origin, language, religion, spiritual practice, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, introversion/extroversion personality dimensions, and socioeconomic and mental/physical status. This page provides resources for students in the case of a harmful (ex. bias, discrimination, or harrassment) incidents. The page is published by the GW CS JEDI Committee.

Disclaimer: If you are in an emergency situation please call GWPD: 202-994-6111 or 911


    What is a bias-related incident?

    Generally, bias-related acts are characterized by some expression of hate or bias against a particular group, or towards an individual because of their membership (or perceived membership) in that group.  Bias incidents may range from acts considered to be offensive to actions that cause harm.

    Although bias-related acts sometimes constitute discrimination (as defined under the University's Equal Opportunity Policy), or hate crimes (as defined by federal, state or local law), not all bias incidents rise to the level of discrimination or a hate crime.  

    Bias acts may be verbal, written, or contained in an image, or physical in nature. These behaviors often contribute to creating an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for individuals and social identity groups. Acts can qualify as bias acts even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or a prank. 

    A bias incident is conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by bias or prejudice. A bias-related incident is not criminal. 

    What are examples of a bias-related incident?
    • Using a racial, ethnic, or other slur in a joke or to identify someone 
    • Ridiculing a person’s language or accent
    • Language and imagery objectifying a group, for example, women
    • Comments made by professors or students that express harmful stereotypes relating to gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, or disability
    • Making a joke about someone being deaf or hard of hearing, or blind, etc.

    What resources do I have on campus for bias-related incidents?

    • The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) was established to respond with resources, support, and actions. They are available to assist students with bias-related issues.
    • Students who have been the target of, or who witness, a hate or bias incident are encouraged to make the university aware of these incidents through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement
    • Students can report an incident online through this form.
    • Students may also call or visit the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement from the hours of 9 am to 5 pm. They may call 202-994-7434 or visit Building YY at 812 20th St. NW, Washington, DC (DEI Office).
    What is a discrimination incident?

    The Code of Student Conduct and GW’s Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Non-Retaliation policy prohibit discriminatory misconduct.  Discriminatory misconduct includes both prohibited discrimination and discriminatory harassment.  Prohibited discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual or group(s) based on a protected characteristic, rather than individual merit that interferes with an individual’s participation in a university program or activity. Discriminatory Harassment is any unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic where such conduct creates a hostile environment.  A hostile environment exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the university’s educational, co-curricular, and/or campus-residential experience when viewed through both a 16 subjective and objective standard. This means that an aggrieved party’s subjective perception that certain conduct violates this provision must be objectively reasonable to constitute discriminatory harassment.

    What are examples of discrimination incidents?
    • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or less favorable treatment (e.g., more severe discipline, denial of promotion) because of their protected characteristic
    • Failing or refusing to hire an individual because of their protected characteristic 
    • Failing or refusing to allow an individual to participate in a student organization or activity based on their protected characteristic 
    • Terminating an individual from employment or an educational program based on their protected characteristic

    A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment.

    What resources do I have on campus for discrimination incidents?
    What is gender- and sexual- based harassment incident?

    Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct based on an individual's actual or perceived sex.

    Sexual Harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

    • A university employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
    • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university’s Programs or Activities;
    • Sexual Assault;
    • Dating Violence;
    • Domestic Violence;
    • Stalking;

    What resources do I have on campus for gender- and sexual- based harassment incidents?

    • Students who have been the target of, or who witness, a gender- and sexual- based harrasment incident are encouraged to make the university aware of these incidents through the Title IX Office
    • Students may report an incident online here.
    • Students may also call 202-994-7434, the Title IX Office from 9am to 5pm. After hours, students may call the Sexual Assault & Intimate Violence (SAIV) Helpline (which is run by the Title IX Office) at 202-994-7222. SAIV is a confidential crisis helpline for GW students impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking.
    • Title IX Quick Links 
    Reporting at GW

    If you are unsure who to turn to, EthicsPoint supports all types of reporting at GW, and has resources to direct you to the right teams.

    EthicsPoint is a third party service for anyone to report anonymously (or not if you choose) an incident or concern. The GW Compliance team will handle addressing the situation and can support redirecting to the right office or area within GW. EthicsPoint can be used to report any incident at GW. 

    Resources for Chosen Name, Gender Identity, and Pronouns

    Students have the ability to update their chosen first name that will appear internally at GW. This will affect GW systems such as:

    • Banner
    • GWeb
    • GW Online Directory
    • Microsoft 365
    • Blackboard
    • Engage


    Instructions on how to update your chosen first name may be found on the GW IT website.

    Additional information for which services will be affected by this name change, where a legal name will still be used, and how to change your legal name can be found on the ODECE website.  

    Resources for Disability Support Services

    Disability Support Services (DSS) at GW supports students in registering with the university to have access to accommodations including service animals, academic needs, and housing circumstances. DSS works collaboratively with students, faculty and staff across the campus to foster a climate of universal academic excellence, while also promoting disability culture and GW’s broader diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    Students may register with DSS here.

    What other resources are available to me on campus?

    Mental Health Resources on available on campus:

    • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS):
      • Counseling services available 24 hours a day by calling 202-994-5300. To speak directly with a CAPS clinician call during walk-in hours, 12:00pm - 4:00pm.
      • Additional information may be found on the Colonial Health Center website.
    • GW Listens:
      • Student run and led mental health support.
      • GW Listens is available to call or text at 202-902-8255 from Sunday through 9pm to 1am. They are also available to chat online.
      • Additional information may be found on the GW Listens page.  
    • CARE Team:
      • GW community is able to identify GW students who may need additional support by providing a CARE referral. The CARE team can assist in providing students with support and referring them to the appropriate services. 
      • Submit a CARE referral
      • Additional information may be found on the Care Team webpage
    Provide feedback to the JEDI committee



    For quick reference, here are links to related GW Offices: