What is the Scope and Charge of the Bias Education and Resource Team (BERT)?
The fundamental roleof the BERT is toaddress the impact of incidents of bias and related community concerns on Tufts University campuses by:
Recommendingeducational programming and resources for the community in collaboration with staff in the President’s Office, Provost’s Office, Office of Equal Opportunity, Division of Student Diversity Inclusion, University Chaplaincy, and Divisions of Student Affairs.
Developingcommunity dialogue and/or healing space for impacted community members after bias incident occurs.
At Tufts, an incident of bias is defined as a violation of University policy and/or federal or state law that is motivated by bias against an individual or group's membership in a protected category: race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression (including a transgender identity), veteran status, genetics, retaliation, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. The role of the BERT is to address the impact of incidents of bias and related community concerns on Tufts’ campuses. This work is separate and distinct from processes at the University for reporting, investigating, adjudicating, and/or sanctioning incidents, including violations of Tufts’ Non-Discrimination Policy and/or hate crimes. (See “Does the BERT Investigate Incidents or Issue Sanctions?”.) In light of its particular scope and charge, the BERT works to address the impact of both proven violations of University policy and/or federal or state law, as well as perceived or potential violations, which may also impact the Tufts community.
Members of the BERT will convene as soon as possible after a report of an incident of bias is provided to them by senior administration, TUPD, or the Office of Equal Opportunity, to whom all reports of bias, discrimination, and/or hate are referred for investigative and/or tracking purposes, in collaboration with other offices. The BERT may also convene when information about a possible incident of bias is brought to the attention of the University through other avenues. The members will:
● Review information about the incident. The nature of the information shared with the BERT will be determined at the discretion of OEO in collaboration with other relevant offices, taking into account the privacy, safety, and well-being of the reporter and others impacted, and their wishes for action by the University, among other considerations.
● The BERT will develop and recommend educational programming and resources for the community in collaboration with other offices; and, if determined appropriate, develop dialogue or healing spaces.
The work of the BERT in addressing the impact of incidents of bias is separate and distinct from processes at the University for reporting, investigating, adjudicating, and/or sanctioning incidents, including violations of Tufts’ Non-Discrimination Policy and/or hate crimes. These processes remain under the purview, as appropriate, of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Tufts University Police Department, and/or the appropriate Dean and/or Student Affairs office at each school (AS&E and/or Fletcher School). The BERT focuses on community understanding, education, support, and engagement. For information about the number and type of cases reported to the University, please see the Reporting Statistics on OEO’s website.