Bias Response Team

2016-2017 Bias Response Team Report

Purpose:

To be a resource to members of the University community who have a concern about perceived bias-related situations, concerns, and/or complaints and to coordinate an appropriate response.  The BRT will provide an organized and coordinated method of assessment of the severity of an incident or situation affecting the University community. The BRT determines the need to refer the incident to the appropriate University official or committee.  Any BRT response will be educational at its core.  Voluntary interventions may include a variety of activities including discussion, mediation, training, counseling and consensus building. The BRT will not seek to discipline individuals for expression of views protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Because Missouri State values diversity and inclusion, it will provide educational opportunities for those engaging in speech contrary to those values and support to those affected by it.

Definition of Bias:

Bias can be defined as language or behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons or groups because of ability, race, color, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, faith, national origin, political orientation, or sexual orientation, in which the perpetrator(s) cannot be identified and/or the acts of bias do not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment for purposes of Title IX. An example of bias might be graffiti appearing on the wall of a commonly used space on campus.

Any University community member impacted by bias acts is encouraged to report the behavior to the Bias Response Team using the on-line reporting form. The Bias Response Team serves to advocate for both individuals and groups impacted by acts of bias and will assist in situations including but not necessarily limited to those in which the perpetrator of the bias cannot be identified and/or when the behavior in question does not constitute discrimination or rise to the level of harassment for Title IX purposes. (Definition adapted from Fairfield University)

Team Members

Dr. Thomas Lane, Dean of Students

Dr. Michele Smith, Faculty

Dr. Roberto Canales, Faculty

Wes Pratt, Diversity and Inclusion

General Counsel

Devin Scherer, Residence Life

Jordan Upchurch 

Jessica J. Perkins 

Juan Trujillo