How BERT Functions

How Does the Bias Education Response Team Function?

The Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) is the first response from the Division of Student Affairs and the College in coordinating responses to bias and hate incidents on campus.

Coordinated responses may include, but are not limited to measures such as facilitated dialogue between parties, facilitated discussions in residence halls or other campus locations, restorative justice practices, recommendations for campus notices for fact sharing, and educational programs and outreach.

BERT is responsible for:

  • Consulting with appropriate college personnel, individuals, or groups to ensure that relevant information and context are provided.
  • Supporting affected person(s) through appropriate referrals on-­ and off­-campus.
  • Determining whether the reported act meets the definition of a "bias incident" according to definition. If the reported act is determined to be a bias incident, BERT will consider available educational measures to address the incident. These measures or responses should not interfere with adjudication proceedings that might be occurring or under consideration.
  • Notifying the community of the bias or hate incident when appropriate.  This may occur via email, website, posters, The Quindecim (Goucher's independent student newspaper), or other campus venues. BERT will consider the full context of the incident and consult with relevant parties, including targeted persons, and the severity of the incident when determining the nature of such communications.  In some cases, the nature of an incident may require communication from an administrator who is not a BERT member.  BERT may also determine that campus-wide notification of an incident is not warranted and that educational outreach can yield more value.
  • Recommending educational resources and outreach in response to the incident. Often the educational programming entails a network of administrators, faculty, and students willing to engage the campus in fostering climates of inclusion, equity and respectful discourse.

Goucher College considers incidents of bias, microaggressive behaviors, and acts of hate as contrary to the principles that represent our community's values. The reporting of these incidents enables the college to promptly and systematically respond to violations for the purpose of maintaining a safe learning environment for all. The purpose of the Bias Response and Hate Crime Protocol is to provide information about responding to bias incidents or hate crimes that occur on campus, and to outline the procedures and resources available to members of the Goucher College community. It is not the purpose or the intent of this protocol to define whether or not an act may violate Goucher College Regulations or State or Federal law.

Holding firm to Goucher College's ideals, the college's principal objectives are to help each student master significant areas of knowledge and skills while developing an appreciation for individual and cultural diversity, a sense of social responsibility, and a system of personal and professional ethics.  Goucher believes these goals are best achieved in an environment that responds to students both as individuals and as members of multiple groups. Accordingly, education at Goucher is based on an expanding sense of community--a community where discourse is valued and practiced, where students attend small classes and interact closely with faculty and one another, and where students can participate in and lead extracurricular programs.  Please visit the sites below for information on Goucher's Nondiscrimination Policy and Diversity Statement.