Andrew Bluebond, writing in Port Side, which describes itself as "a progressive magazine dedicated to advancing debate at the Claremont Colleges with thoughtful insights and reporting," comments on the colleges' use of "bias-related incident" reporting as a way to document students' grievances with all sorts of perceived verbal affronts that make life less "welcoming" on campus.

He notes that providing for these reports is usually the most that can be done, since actual discipline for "hate speech" alone is legally difficult.

Even though CMC is a private institution, it is not free to respond to student speech however it pleases. The College’s ability to respond to speech-related incidents is limited by the 1992 Leonard Law that protects freedom of speech for college students in California. In Corry v. Stanford, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that the law “ensures that constitutionally protected speech not be restricted on [Stanford University’s] campus,” allowing the judgment to be broadly applied to other private colleges. This ruling does not prevent CMC from condemning actions it finds repugnant – including speech that is discriminatory – even though it may not be able to punish students for their behavior.

But the bias-related incident complaints are not helpful if they are vague or otherwise underinformative, Bluebond says.

A student’s complaint indicates an unwelcoming campus, but the reports are only significant if they are contextualized and include some details.
    If the details of each incident were made available, the reports could be a tool for prospective students to assess how welcome they would feel at a given campus. As Gerbick mentioned, the process is subjective. Current and prospective students should be allowed to know the details of the incidents so they can make their own assessments of the situation. Maraña’s recent email describing “anti-Christian slurs” and “a sexually explicit drawing” did not provide enough information for readers to form their own opinions of the situation. CMC may be afraid of spreading offensive content by reprinting the details, but that can be solved with a disclaimer or warning within the email. Without the specifics of each incident, community members are left to speculate absent proper evidence. The school should also keep in mind that the best way to eradicate bigotry is to shine a light on it—to make those who spread hatred stand by their biases in a public forum.