Frequently Asked Questions

Should certain discussions be avoided in classrooms and/or offices?

We do not recommend that you avoid difficult topics altogether; often times it is the absence of engaging in certain topics that creates an environment where it is difficult to facilitate and provide educational moments. Therefore, we recommend reaching out and taking advantage of professional development opportunities designed to provide you with additional skill sets to navigate difficult conversations in the classroom in order to reduce harm. The Center for Race, Equity, and Identity provides various workshop opportunities and can design a curriculum to fit both your academic and professional needs. In addition, the following individuals are also resources:

Center for Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching, Robin Cresiski, Director
Office of Accessibility, Arnelle Hanley, Director
The Office of Community Based Learning, Cass Freedland, Director
Student Counseling Services, Monica Neel, Director

What is the role of B.E.R.T. as it pertains to academic freedom?

Bias can happen in the classroom, and the team is here to help all community members not only engage in difficult topics and conversations to minimize harm but maximize opportunities for engagement. The team does not get involved with issues that pertain to academic freedom; our interest is to access faculty member engagement, and actions pertaining to the interaction with a student.

What if a student comes to me with an incident? What should I do?

If a student shares an incident, and you are not sure if it's bias or not, encourage the student to submit a B.E.R.T. report on the Goucher website. If the incident is not within our function as a team, we'll make sure it is passed on to the proper channels. Ultimately, it is important that we receive reports and have the opportunity to assess them.

In addition, you are also welcome to submit a report on behalf of the student, but please ask for permission and communicate with the student before submitting.

Reports can be submitted anonymously with this reporting form.

Can faculty and administrators submit a report if an incident is witnessed?

Yes, faculty and administrators can submit reports as a witness of an incident.  If you are unsure of the nature of the incident, please submit the report and B.E.R.T. will conduct the assessment. When in doubt, please submit a report. Reports can be submitted anonymously.

Should we submit reports to B.E.R.T. instead of contacting Public Safety?

No.  If it is an emergency, please call 911 or Public Safety at 410-337-6111. You can also submit a B.E.R.T. report after you have contacted Public Safety.

What happens when a report is submitted?

The chair of the team, Stacy Cooper Patterson, Associate Dean of Students receives the initial report. A confirmation email is sent to the individual who submits the report (even if the report is submitted anonymously). If the report is not anonymous, and the individual would like to be contacted, one of the chairs will schedule a meeting with the individual, conduct a check-in, and review the B.E.R.T. process.

The chairs then notify the CORE Team, consisting of 3-4 members of the larger team, to review and assess the report for bias. The full team is notified that a report has been received, and the team reviews a copy of the report with all identifiers removed. The full team will then meet to discuss the report and the CORE Team's assessment and recommendations. The full team conducts a final assessment and develops an action plan.

Is it ever too late to submit a report?

No. We encourage folx to submit reports because the team can connect you and/or those affected to supports and resources. In addition, the more reports we receive, the more accurate our data will be regarding campus climate.

Can I submit a report for an incident that has occurred off campus?

Yes.  We encourage all members of the Goucher community to submit reports of incidents that have occurred off-campus.  We believe it is important to be aware of the climate outside of Goucher but, most importantly, we want to provide support to the individuals targeted.

Note: All off-campus reports will appear in a separate summary chart when shared with the community.

If names appear on the report, will they appear in the final summary report provided to the campus community?

No, all names and identifiers will be removed for the final report and individual(s) will remain anonymous. Please note that we will try and keep anonymity, but we are a small campus and it is possible that some members of the community will be aware of the individuals involved in certain incidents.

Are all reports bias?

No, not all reports are found to be bias; however that does not mean that an incident can’t have an impact on the community. If an incident has impact on the community, there is still the opportunity to provide a space to process and/or educate.

It is also important to note that some reports do not contain enough information to determine if the incident was bias or not. Those reports may not be classified as bias but will be included in the final numbers of the summary report shared with the community.

Are bias incidents hate crimes?

While all hate crimes are bias incidents, not all bias incidents are hate crimes. In Maryland, a hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or their property because of the person’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or because that person is homeless. Depending on the underlying criminal act, the hate crime may be considered a separate misdemeanor or felony and the offender may be subject to additional sentencing beyond that imposed for the underlying crime.

What are the resources on campus, and who do I contact?

Campus resources include but are not limited to:

Center for Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching, Robin Cresiski, Director
Dean of Students Office, Bryan Coker, Vice President and Dean of Students
Office of Accessibility, Arnelle Hanley, Director
The Office of Community Based Learning, Cass Freedland, Director
Student Counseling Services, Monica Neel, Director