Bias Education & Response Team

The Division of Student Affairs and the Center for Race, Equity, and Identity established the Bias Education Response Team (BERT) to ensure that affected community members have access to appropriate resources, to assist the College in its response, to bias-related incidents and any situations that may impact the campus climate.

Creating and maintaining a respectful and welcoming environment for all to live, learn, work and thrive is a priority at Goucher College. A group of professional staff members, the Bias Education Response Team (BERT), focuses on addressing incidents that may reflect bias against members of the Goucher community. BERT plays an educational role in fostering inclusive campus climate and supporting targeted individuals when bias and hate incidents occur. BERT cannot impose discipline and no one is required to participate in any aspect of the BERT’s work. Its purpose is to assist those who feel aggrieved, to help students, faculty or staff understand how their behavior has affected others and, over time, to contribute to the maintenance of respect and understanding among members of the college community.

BERT serves as a hub for:

  • Educating the campus community about the nature and impact of bias;
  • Connecting students, faculty, and staff to resources for support;
  • Collecting and tracking campus trends pertaining to climate; and
  • Providing recommendations and advocacy towards institutional, cultural, and structural equity for marginalized and oppressed individuals and groups in our community.

BERT is comprised of representatives from the following units:

  • Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students
  • Office of Title IX
  • Office of Campus Safety
  • Center for Race, Equity, & Identity
  • Office of the Provost

BERT may include other college representatives as needed, including staff or faculty, human resources, and relevant administrative units. Other community members may also be notified and asked to assist in educational response efforts.

The BERT is not a disciplinary body. The Office of Community Standards & Values is responsible for any disciplinary proceedings for students. BERT may discuss with a student how to file a student conduct complaint or may itself refer the matter if it appears that a violation of Goucher’s Student Code of Conduct has been alleged, but it is not the role of BERT to investigate or determine whether a reported incident involved bias or a violation of college policy. BERT may invite persons alleged to be responsible for reported incidents to meet with a representative of the BERT to discuss the impact of the incident on others, but participation in this process is entirely voluntary. Any reports that include faculty and staff will be referred to the Office of the Provost and/or Office of Human Resources.

BERT’s sole purpose is to assist those who feel aggrieved by incidents of bias and to promote respect and understanding among members of the Goucher community.

Note: The expression of an idea or point of view some may find offensive or charged is not necessarily a bias-related incident. Goucher values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. The expression of controversial ideas and differing views is a vital part of campus discourse. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate aimed at individuals or groups that violate College policies.