Resources for Addressing Hate and Protecting Free Speech on Higher Education Campuses

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Resource List

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors across all of the Commonwealth’s higher education institutions. Sustaining a safe and inclusive environment requires sound policies, practices, and procedures to both protect free speech and promptly address incidents of hate which can threaten overall campus safety and climate, both for impacted individuals and the broader community.

This page is intended to offer campuses and stakeholders resources to help foster safe and inclusive environments. These resources include laws, definitions, policies, and contacts at the state, local and federal levels. This list is not exhaustive, but provides a snapshot of resources that may help sustain safe and inclusive environments on campus.

In case of emergency or a potential hate crime in progress, individuals should immediately report the incident to campus safety, local law enforcement, or call 911. Individuals who witness or are victims of a hate crime can also file a civil rights complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or call the office’s special hotline at 1-800-994-3228. Likewise, campus administrators who suspect that a hate crime has been committed on or within their campus communities should promptly reach out to and consult with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and/or the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office via the links and resources set forth below.

If you have questions, you may reach out to the DHE’s Campus Safety Advisor, Amanda Robbins, via email at

State, Local (campus level) and Federal Laws and Resources:

State Laws, Definitions, Policies, Resources, and Contacts

Federal Laws, Definitions, Policies, Resources, and Contacts

Institutional Policies and Resources