BERT

Bias Education and Response Team

Auburn University values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. While openness protects the expression of controversial ideas, there are times when actions or conduct can negatively affect individuals or groups. A bias-related incident involves acts, behaviors, conduct or communications against a person, motivated by the offender’s bias against age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. These acts, behaviors, conduct or communications may
produce an unwelcoming environment. A bias incident may involve behavior which does not rise to the level of a violation of Auburn University policy.
The Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) consists of a cross-disciplinary group of staff and faculty who will ensure that students, faculty, and staff have the means to report bias incidents, share information about incidents reported to the BERT, and advocate for prevention and awareness programs. BERT members will also connect those impacted by bias-related incidents with immediate and ongoing support resources.

Purpose

The Bias Education and Response Team is a non-judicial team of faculty, staff, and administrators which supports members of the Auburn family by:

  • Ensuring that all members of the Auburn family have a means to report bias incidents.
  • Serving as a safe resource for members of the Auburn family to raise concerns
    regarding bias-related incidents, acts of harassment, and discrimination on campus.
  • Collecting information about incidents and providing an annual report of all reported bias-related incidents impacting the Auburn University community.
  • Advocating for prevention and awareness programs which educate all Auburn family members about bias-related incidents and reporting options.
  • Connecting those affected by bias-related incidents with immediate and ongoing support systems.
  • Working with university stakeholders to ensure transparent and open communication following the report of a bias-related incident.
  • Supporting opportunities for dialogue and restorative justice, when possible, for those impacted by bias-related incidents.

BERT does not:

  • Replace existing reporting and support mechanisms.
  • Initiate disciplinary action or impose sanctions.
  • Supersede the work of police o established campus investigative units.
  • Provide crisis or emergency services.

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Last modified: 06/29/2021