Bias Incident Response Protocol/Team

Introduction

Bradley University promotes a community that fosters growth and celebration of diversity and the uniqueness of others. Driven by the University’s mission to educate “leaders, innovators, and contributors to the well-being of all humanity,” the Bias Incident Response Protocol/Team strives to promote a responsive, safe, and hate-free environment where all students, faculty and staff can live, work, and learn.

Purpose

The Bias Incident Response Protocol/Team outlines an organized response to bias incidents that may occur within the University community involving students. The primary focus of this document is to outline a set of responses which will provide assistance and support for individuals who perceive that they are the victims of a bias incident.

There is no intention to use this protocol as a disciplinary procedure or tool. Any discipline will follow the established University procedures. This protocol is, further, not intended to override the responsibility or authority of any University office designated to address complaints of alleged discrimination, harassment or hate crimes. Offices such as Residential Living, University Police, Student Support Services, Human Resources, and other appropriate offices will continue to respond to complaints that are directed to their attention. This protocol will complement the work of these offices. It will be used to ensure an efficient, effective and appropriate response to incidents that are considered to be bias-motivated.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the Bias Incident Response Protocol is to achieve the following:

  • Support the well-being of all University students.
  • Offer students a convenient and efficient means to report bias incidents.
  • Document and monitor all bias incidents to respond appropriately to incidents and incident trends.
  • Use cumulative bias report information as a basis to develop comprehensive and effective intervention and prevention strategies.

Definition of Bias incident: A behavior or act—verbal, written or physical—which is personally directed against or targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, or age. 

Procedures for Reporting Bias Incidents

Students who perceive they have experienced a bias-motivated incident, as well as students, faculty or staff who are witnesses to a bias incident involving students, are urged to report the incident immediately by one of the following means:

  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Garrett Cultural Center 2nd floor
  • Student Support Services, 101 Sisson Hall
  • Residential Living, 135 Sisson Hall
  • Division of Student Affairs, 100 Sisson Hall
  • University Police, Campus Town
  • Anonymous reports may also be filed online, using the reporting form posted at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/23412/index.html.

Do not use EthicsPoint to report events presenting an immediate threat to life or property. Reports submitted through EthicsPoint may not receive an immediate response. If you require emergency assistance, please contact University Police.

 Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)

A University Bias Incident Response Team has been established to determine an appropriate University response to incidents of bias. The representatives and responsibilities of the team are outlined below.

  1. The team may include, but is not limited to, representatives from the following areas:
    Vice President for Student Affairs
    Student Support Services
    Residential Living
    Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    Public Relations
    Additional members may be added to the BIRT as the need arises to include:
    • An individual with positional authority relevant to the incident.
    • An individual or individuals with an essential diverse perspective.
    • A representative with prior history and experience relevant to the reported incident.
  2. The team responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
    • Educate the University community about the protocol for reporting bias incidents.
    • Support target(s) of bias incidents, including those who are directly involved as well as identity groups that may be affected immediately after the incident.
    • Collect all bias incidents reported within the Bradley University community.
    • Meet quarterly to monitor the campus climate around issues of diversity and civility.
    • Recommend appropriate actions and educational programs that are responsive to bias incidents.

Institutional Responsiveness (Official Protocol)

  1. Any Bias Incident reported through the online form or to a team member should be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs within one business day.
  2. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will maintain a record of the incident and initiate contact with appropriate members of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT), making all members of the team aware of the incident.
  3. A member of the BIRT will follow up with the targeted student to ensure their safety and security. Students will be informed of university resources available at this time.
  4. The BIRT will be responsible for determining if a University response to the incident is necessary.
  5. If warranted, a university response to the incident will be developed and implemented in a timely manner. The team will consider the following:
    1. Relevant legal standards with regard to the First Amendment and academic freedom.
    2. Concerns and requests of the alleged victim, especially in regard to anonymity and desired outcome(s).
    3. Available University resources relevant to the situation.