Residence halls see bias incidents, property damage


Collegian | Connor McHugh

The northeast residential wing of Newsom Hall at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO Friday, Sept. 24th, 2021.

Katrina Leibee, Editor in Chief

Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this article here.

Colorado State University hall residents received an email April 8 regarding incidents of bias in the residence halls as well as multiple incidents of damage to the halls.


The email, sent by Director of University Housing Helena Gardner and Director of Housing & Dining Facilities Carolyn Bell, stated, “Unfortunately, this year there have been multiple incidents of bias reported, and we are also tracking a steep increase in acts of vandalism and destruction throughout our halls. Regarding the latter, we have tracked roughly 150 incidents that have resulted in $60,000 worth of damages to residential facilities (this is in comparison to about 20 tracked incidents last academic year).” 

Gardner and Bell have since provided more information on the specifics of the bias and damage incidents. 

Gardner noted many incidents of bias in the residence halls tend to be interpersonal, such as a roommate conflict. In Summit Hall, posters in hallways with identity-based resources offering students support were removed, and in Corbett Hall, racist language was written on the property.

Gardner said it is important to remember not all bias incidents are reported through the bias reporting form online, which explains why some of these incidents are not available to see online.

“We sent (the April 8 email) in hopes that residents could help us deter this behavior and to encourage our residential community to end the year on a high note, as we know it’s had its ups and downs for everyone.” -Carolyn Bell, Director of Housing & Dining Facilities

“These incidents are shared with hall residents based upon the situation, and every incident that is reported is reviewed by the Bias Assessment Team,” Gardner wrote in an email to The Collegian. “All reported incidents from the residential communities are internally reviewed by a small team within Housing & Dining Services. This review assesses impact to the individual, the community and resources for response. Interpersonal conflicts are often navigated between the involved parties only and are referred to the Student Resolution Center.”

According to the fall 2021 bias report, “A bias incident is any conduct, speech or expression motivated in whole or in part by bias or prejudice that is meant to intimidate, demean, mock, degrade, marginalize or threaten individuals or groups based on that individual or group’s actual or perceived identities.”

The fall 2021 semester saw 118 reports of bias incidents, a little under double what the fall 2020 semester saw (63), according to the fall 2021 bias report. There were 77 reported bias incidents delivered through verbal or written speech, 21 through graffiti or vandalism and eight through social media. Residential spaces saw the most reports. All of these numbers come from the total reports submitted to the bias reporting system, and “one incident of bias may be reported several times.”

Incidents of bias were not the only problem the residence halls saw this year. Bell wrote in an email to The Collegian that most of the incidents of damage involved signage or damage to property, like furniture or restrooms.

“Other types of damage have included graffiti, intentional clogging of drains, wall damage, etc.,” Bell wrote to The Collegian. “Cameras monitor public spaces and in some instances have assisted in identifying those responsible, who are subject to fines and referral to the Student Resolution Center. We are also considering closing some community spaces because they are in locations where cameras are not present and continue to be damaged.” 


Bell said the residence halls with the highest incidents of property destruction are Newsom Hall and Corbett Hall. 

Bell noted the incidents of damage cause great strain to the staff and residents in the halls, as the staff works hard to keep places clean. 

“We sent (the April 8 email) in hopes that residents could help us deter this behavior and to encourage our residential community to end the year on a high note, as we know it’s had its ups and downs for everyone,” Bell wrote.

Reach Katrina Leibee at or on Twitter @katrinaleibee.