Disagreements and conflicts, including those involving identity-based bias, are often best addressed through informal, direct strategies, and community members are encouraged to do so whenever possible.

This policy aims to adequately define what an act of identity-based bias is and recommend a process any community member can follow to address them. Intended to foster awareness, understanding, accountability, and growth, this process is holistic, documentary, voluntary, and educational.

This process is available to anyone, especially those concerned that they may have caused harm, those who may have witnessed harm, or those who believe they were personally harmed.

Bias is complex and can influence actions ranging from innocent misunderstandings to hateful misconduct. The college has formal avenues to acknowledge, investigate, and adjudicate situations of potential wrongdoing, such as the Social Misconduct Policy, Discrimination Policy, Sexual Misconduct Policy, Grievance Policy, General Employment policies listed in the Faculty Manual and Staff Manual, and relevant sections in other college policies.

As an educational approach, this policy is not intended to override these formal avenues or replace the responsibilities of the committees and respective chairs which govern them. Still, it is strongly advised as the first step in any situation where the presence of misconduct is reasonably uncertain.

Bias Response Team (BRT)

The BRT comprises 14 members: seven students, four faculty, and three staff. BRT members receive specialized paid training, are eligible for compensation, and can serve for one or two years. The BRTC will solicit nominations and select the inaugural BRT. All community members are eligible for nomination to the BRT. Afterward, the BRTC and BRT work together to vet future nominees.

When processing Bias Response Reports, the BRT does not adjudicate or recommend sanctions, nor do they have the power to do so. Instead, they work with impacted parties to formulate a constructive response. Each incident is unique and open to interpretation, so no prescribed or perfect responses exist. The BRT strives to honor the complainant’s wishes and the rights and agency of all involved.

To interrupt harmful bias requires proven methods and creativity, so the BRT and BRTC are empowered to be innovative in their efforts. For example, the BRT may invite various stakeholders into the process and conversation. As a result, the BRT or BRTC might provide or coordinate additional support, information, counseling, education, mediation, and other individualized services and resources to the impacted parties, organizations, or constituencies. In some cases, where intentional misconduct seems likely, the BRT’s response might simply be a recommendation that the reporter files a misconduct complaint via the formal avenues mentioned earlier.

More generally, BRT is an informal group that assists the BRTC in creating and maintaining a campus climate database, primarily comprised of the Bias Incident Reports and the BRT’s responses. It could also include general information from the CRA and other related reports, documents, and insights from supporting COA committees. This database aims to create data-driven reports, programming, initiatives, and interventions to improve campus life, evolve policy, and catalyze necessary systemic changes.

Confidential Resource Advisor (CRA)

If you believe that you have contributed to, witnessed, or experienced a harmful act of identity-based bias, and were unable or unwilling, for any reason, to resolve it directly, please contact the Confidential Resource Advisor (CRA) in person, online, or anonymously by phone.

The CRA is the recommended single point of first contact for anyone wishing to explore informal or formal avenues to address such situations. However, if you feel uncomfortable interacting with the CRA, another community member may speak on your behalf.

The CRA does not adjudicate anything or have the power to do so; they cannot officially determine what is or isn’t biased. Instead, the CRA is specially trained to help you talk things through, build clarity, and decide on your next steps.

There are no expectations or time constraints on this part of the process, nor are there limits to how many times you can talk to the CRA about a given situation. By engaging the CRA, you are not required to take any additional steps, even those recommended or strongly advised, and the CRA can only take further actions with your consent.

As the CRA is not a mandated reporter, confidentiality is strictly protected, except in situations with clear and imminent danger. Notes are free of identifiable information but may be used to keep track of campus patterns. Insights shared with the college community are generalized and cannot be traced back to individuals.

As a safeguard, the college will ensure two additional community members or off-campus professionals are sufficiently trained to assume the CRA’s part in the bias response process should the CRA be over capacity or unable to perform their duties.

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