The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - 59

Are You My Ally

sleep disturbances, low self-esteem, and internalized oppression (Choi et al., 2013; Smith, et
al., 2007). Bias-related incidents can negatively
affect students regardless of if the incidents
are explicit or implicit bias. Implicit bias incidents, also called macroaggressions (MinikelLacocque, 2013), are considered brief incidents
of hostile, derogatory, or negative insults that
target a student's actual or perceived marginalized identity (Sue, 2010). These actions can
be intentional or unintentional, although commonly individuals who perpetrate macroaggressions are unaware of the impact of their
actions (Sue, 2010).
According to Siseros (2011) and Rankin
(2003), students from historically marginalized populations perceive campus and residence hall climates to be more negative than
their student counterparts. Bias-related incidents also have negative effects on student retention and success in higher education (Sue,
2010). Resources and support for historically
marginalized students have become a focus for
institutions and include cultural centers, diversity workshops, and multicultural Greek organizations (Pope, Mueller, & Reynolds, 2009).
These efforts need to continue and grow to
support targets of bias-related incidents (Pope
et al., 2009).

Response Protocols and Practices
As the need for bias-related incident response
grows, colleges and universities are establishing policies, protocols, and Bias Response
Teams (BRTs) (LePeau et al., 2016). In a study
to analyze how BRTs respond to disclosures
of bias-related incidents, LePeau et al. (2016)
explained that bias response processes often
have two sides: a transparent side and an

opaque side. The transparent side is communicated openly to the college/university and
explains how BRTs will respond when a disclosure is made. Often these processes include
reviewing the disclosure, providing support to
targeted individuals, creating an educational
response, and ultimately working to create a
safer and more inclusive community (LePeau
et al., 2016). In addition to these reactive protocols, LePeau et al. found that BRTs have more
complex and hidden processes, which they
call the opaque side. The opaque side of biasrelated incident response is focused on finding
balance between various goals like creating individual and systematic change, creating proactive and reactive practices, and going beyond
self-defining as an ally and being perceived as
an ally (LePeau et al., 2016).
Even with these reporting protocols, many
students are not disclosing their experiences
to university employees (Sue, 2010). Studies
have shown that historically marginalized
students experience these incidents regularly
(Harper et al., 2011; Harwood et al., 2012;
Hughes et al., 1998; Rankin, 2003), although
there is a gap in the literature regarding why
students choose to disclose their experience
to university employees. Without disclosures,
BRTs will not be able to meet their transparent
goals including creating more inclusive and
safe communities for students from historically marginalized populations.
A lack of literature that analyzes why students are not disclosing their experiences to
university employees exists. In response, this
study was conducted in 2015 to analyze the
thought processes of students disclosing their
experiences of being targeted in bias-related
incidents.

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 3 - Cover1
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