The Bias Education & Response Team (BERT) represents a cross-section of the Dickinson community (faculty, administrators, and students) who support anti-bias education. BERT is a non-sanctioning body that responds to bias incidents in a proactive manner, emphasizing educational resolutions. The team oversees a system that provides direct support to any individual(s) affected by a bias incident. BERT’s Coordinator documents incidents for information gathering and archival purposes, and coordinates responses to incidents of bias that take place on Dickinson's campus and/or between Dickinson-affiliated individuals including employees and students. To learn more about BERT visit our Statement of Purpose.
Reporting a Bias Incident:
Education and Prevention: BERT views proactive community education as an integral part of creating an inclusive community and minimizing bias. In addition to collaborating with resolution resources on campus for addressing incidents, BERT hosts educational programs and provides resources that increase cultural awareness and equip our community with the skills for navigating multiple forms of diversity productively. For more information and resources, click here.
Documenting Reports: Incident reports are confidential because they typically include sensitive information that requires private, secure storage of reports. All BERT incident reports are made online and reviewed by the BERT coordinator and the vice president for Student Life. Only incidences that are broad in scope and impact are discussed by the full BERT Committee. The BERT coordinator reviews all incident reports and archives them in a secure electronic file for archival purposes.
BERT regularly analyzes the types of reports to identify any patterns of bias and discrimination on campus, which will inform efforts toward addressing future incidents as well as advancing overall goals concerning diversity education. Evaluation of responses occurs to improve the College's response and education around incidents of bias and discrimination.
Coordinating Responses: All incidents are unique and some may require BERT responders to work in conjunction with other campus resources to coordinate responses to bias incidents. When incidents are referred to Student Conduct or the Department of Public Safety for follow-up, BERT responders are not involved in the investigative aspects of bias incidents.
Support & Partners: BERT responders provide direct support to any reporters, respondents, and witnesses through the process for reporting and resolving bias-motivated incidents (see the “Bias Incident Protocol” section of the Dickinson College Student Handbook). BERT responders also connect reporters to campus resources as additional sources of support. For example, individuals sometimes benefit from consulting with the Wellness Center or with campus mentors to process their experiences.
BERT Members (2023-24):
- Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity and BERT Coordinator: Yvette Davis
- Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer: Tony Boston
- Director, Women’s & Gender Resource Center: Katie Schweighofer
- Director, Asbell Center for Jewish Life: Marley Weiner
- Director, Center for Spirituality and Social Justice: J. Cody Nielsen
- Director, LGBTQ Center: Tommy Lee
- Dean and Executive Director of Access and Disability Services and SOAR: Marni Jones
- Vice President and Dean of Student Life: George Stroud
- Athletics Representative: Kim Masimore, Head Coach, Women’s Lacrosse and Senior Woman Administrator
- Director of Community Engagement, CCLA: Laura Megivern
- Director, Human Resource Services: Dennette Moul
- Faculty Representative: Ebru Kongar, Economics
- Faculty Representative: Rachel Jacobs, Political Science and International Study
- Faculty Representative: Sherry Harper McCombs, Theatre and Dance
- Student Representatives: Katarina Swendrowski '24, Shannon Foster '25, Molly Moran '24
Meetings & Membership: BERT meets periodically throughout the academic year (typically once or twice a month) to discuss ways to educate the Dickinson community on how to recognize, report, and -- most important -- prevent bias incidents. Committee members periodically receive relevant training. Each semester, a report of bias incidents will be generated by the coordinator.