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: https://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.
BERT Members (2020-21):
- Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity and BERT Coordinator: Vincent L. Stephens
- Admin Officer, Department of Public Safety: Andrea Van Volkenburg
- Assistant Director, Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity: Christian Perry
- Athletics Representative: Kim Masimore, Head Coach, Women’s Lacrosse and Senior Woman Administrator
- Dean and Director of Access and Disability Services and SOAR: Marni Jones
- Director of Community Engagement, CCLA: Laura Megivern
- Director, LGBTQ Services: Todd Nordgren
- Director, Women’s & Gender Resource Center: Donna Bickford
- Faculty Representative: Maria Bruno, Associate Professor, Anthropology& Archeology
- Faculty Representative: (Currently vacant)
- Organizational Development and Training Specialist, Human Resource Services: Dennette Moul
- Student Representatives: (Currently vacant)
- Vice President and Dean of Student Life: George Stroud
- Executive Director, Office of Equity & Inclusivity: Amer Ahmed
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.