BERT – Bias Education and Response Team

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 a 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.

A BERT Support Team of approximately 40 students, faculty, and staff representing a broad range of populations and constituents will assist in responding to specific incidents as appropriate. BERT may respond to a bias incident report in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the incident and the needs of those impacted. Response may include connecting those impacted with resources and support, working with university stakeholders to facilitate transparent and open communication, supporting opportunities for dialogue and restorative justice, or referring information to other offices to determine if policies were violated.

BERT Core Team Co-Chairs
Haven Hart, Assistant Vice President, Student Development*
Student Affairs
hhart@auburn.edu

Virginia Koch, Ph.D., Director Residence Life*
Housing and Residence Life
vak0001@auburn.edu

BERT Core Team Departments
Campus Safety and Security
Susan McCallister
mccalsm@auburn.edu

AA/EEO/TIX
Kelley Taylor
taylokg@auburn.edu

Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Venus Hewing, Ph.D.
vrh0003@auburn.edu

Office of Student Conduct
Nick Wiard*
nrw0002@auburn.edu

Office of Accessibility
Trace Donald*
donaltd@auburn.edu

Athletics
David Mines, Ph.D.
minesdd@auburn.edu

Multicultural Diversity Commission
Jared Russell, Ph.D.
russej3@auburn.edu

Faculty Representative
Tessa Carr, Ph.D.
twc0009@auburn.edu

*Threat Assessment Team members

OVERVIEW
BERT will not investigate, adjudicate or take the place of other Auburn University processes or services; rather, the aim is to complement and work with campus entities to connect impacted parties and communities with appropriate support and resources. In keeping with best practice, the following definitions provide guidance to members of the Auburn campus community.

WHAT IS A BIAS-RELATED INCIDENT?
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 unsafe or unwelcoming environment. A bias incident may involve behavior which does not rise to the level of a violation of Auburn University policy.

HOW TO REPORT AN INCIDENT
To report a suspected bias-related incident, contact any BERT member or submit a report via the online form at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?AuburnUniv&layout_id=7