Hate Crimes


Persons within the state of Iowa have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • National Origin
  • Political Affiliation
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Disability Status

Under Iowa Law, a Hate Crime means one of the following public offenses:

  • Assault
  • Arson
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Trespass

When committed against a person or a person’s property because of the person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability status, or the person’s association with a person of a certain race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability.  Iowa Code 729A Violation of Individual Rights.

In Iowa, a hate crime is considered a “penalty enhancement,” which means a person convicted of one of the above enumerated crimes would receive a sentence one degree higher than it would be for the same crime without a bias or hate component.

Hate or hate speech alone, while not in line with Iowa State University’s Principles of Community, is not considered a hate crime under the Iowa Code.  Even though hate speech may not rise to the level of a crime under the Iowa Code, ISU Police is concerned about any behavior that undermines the safety of the Iowa State community or the campus climate.  Please contact ISU Police with any reports or concerns you may have.

If you have been the target of a hate crime or have been a witness to one: 

  • Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
  • Consider filing a report or speaking with an officer to determine your options (ISU Police non-emergency line 515-294-4428).
  • Know that you have the right to be safe from violence and the threat of violence.
  • As with all cases, do not change anything at the location where the assault occurred in case there is physical evidence, so that it may be documented and preserved.
  • Leave any documentation (email, phone, text messages, videos) intact until an officer can obtain a copy.

You should also contact the Office of Equal Opportunity to report a violation of the University’s non-discrimination policies.

Other Campus Resources

Contact services on campus that can assist with support, counseling, and information: