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.
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 2017-18 Dickinson College Student Handbook, pp. 3-6: http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/7557/2017-2018_student_handbook.pdf).
BERT responders also connect individual(s) 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.
Education: 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 annual educational programs and provides resources that increase cultural awareness and equip our community with the skills for navigating multiple forms of diversity productively.
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, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusivity and the Vice President for Student Life. The BERT Coordinator reviews all incident reports and archives them in a secure electronic file for archival purposes.
BERT regularly analyzes the reports to identify any patterns of bias and discrimination that exist on campus, which will inform our 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.
2019-20 B.E.R.T. Members:
- Corporal Public Safety: Andrea Van Volkenburg
- Dean and Director of Access and Disability Services and SOAR: Strategies, Organization, and Achievement Resources: Marni Jones
- Director, LGBTQ Services: Erica Lawrence
- Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity: Vincent L. Stephens
- Faculty Representatives: Professor Maria Bruno (Anthropology); Professor Naila Smith (Psychology)
- Director, Human Resource Development: Dennette Moul
- President's Commission for Women, Gender & Sexuality representative: Professor Donna Bickford
- Student Representatives: Nick Osagie '21 (fall 2019)
- President's Commission on Diversity representative: Brenda Bretz, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Inclusivity
- Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students: George Stroud
Meetings & Membership: B.E.R.T will meet periodically throughout the academic year (a minimum of twice a semester) to review reported bias incidents and/or to receive relevant training. Each semester a report of bias incidents will be generated by the coordinator.