Hate Crimes Policy

Hate crimes are criminal acts or attempted criminal acts against an individual or group of individuals because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Because they are targeted for who they are, victims of hate crimes continue to feel threatened long after an attack. These crimes victimize everyone — individuals and our entire community.

Some hate-motivated offenses do not rise to the level of a crime that can be charged in court. These acts are called hate incidents. Although they may not meet the definition of a crime, they leave individuals feeling victimized and can escalate into criminal behavior.

Free speech is protected by the United States Constitution and is not a hate crime. However, speech that carries a credible threat of violence against an individual or group of people is criminal.

Hate crimes and discrimination are violations of both California State University and San José State University policies. San José State University is committed to creating an atmosphere in which all persons and groups can work and study free of unlawful discrimination. For more information on student discrimination and harassment complaints visit Student Discrimination and Harassment Complaints and Chancellor Executive Order 1074.

The following acts are examples of hate crimes under California law when they are motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability:

  • Using force or threatening to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person who is exercising his or her constitutional rights
  • Defacing or damaging another person’s property to intimidate or interfere with that person’s free exercise of his or her constitutional rights
  • Desecrating a religious symbol or displaying a swastika on another person’s property with the intent to terrorize another person
  • Vandalizing, burning, or bombing a church, synagogue, mosque, or other house of worship to terrorize other persons

Reporting Hate Crimes to Police

If you are the victim or witness of a hate crime, it is important that you report it to law enforcement. To report a hate crime, please call 9-1-1 or dial 4-2222 from any on campus phone or dial 408-924-2222 from any phone.

Confidential reports can also be made to UPD via File a Confidential Police Report.

Note: If the criminal offense was not committed because of bias, an appropriate criminal charge can nonetheless be filed.

California Hate Crime Statues