The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is to support the targeted student or group, educate the Suffolk Community about the negative impacts of bias incidents and hate crimes, and help to foster a University culture and climate that fully welcomes diversity, while protecting the targeted student’s or group’s right to privacy.
Once a report of a bias incident and/or hate crime is received by the dean of students, BIRT to will be called together to determine initial response measures and identify additional campus resources to assist with the University response to the incident or situation being addressed.
Coordinated campus responses may include, but are not limited to:
- Identification of and referral to appropriate support services and resources on- or off-campus
- Referral for disciplinary action for violations of the Community Standards or other university policies
- Informal resolution measures such as mediation, facilitated dialogue between parties, discussions in residence halls or at other campus locations
- Recommendations for campus notices for fact sharing
- Efforts towards wider educational awareness, prevention and outreach.
BIRT does not play a role in the investigation of the alleged incident or render any decision concerning the responsibility of the parties involved.
BIRT may be composed of at least the:
- Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee
- Dean of Students, or designee
- Director of Suffolk University Police (SUPD), or designee
- Director of Diversity Services, or designee
- University Risk Manager, or designee
- Faculty representative(s) from the President’s Commission on the Status of AHANA Faculty, Staff and Students and the President’s Commission on the Status of GLBT Faculty, Staff and Students
Other members of the Suffolk University Community such as the Director of the Counseling Center, Director of Residence Life and Summer Programs, Director of Student Leadership and Involvement, University Chaplain, Director of Disability Services and Director of Public Affairs may be included as needed for a given set of circumstances.
Although the targeted student or group may not be present at BIRT meetings, the targeted student’s or group’s rights to anonymity will be respected by all members and overseen by the dean of students.
The dean of students, or designee, will maintain a historical record of documented bias incidents and/or hate crime reports that occur on campus or at college sponsored events, programs, or activities off-campus.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542) requires universities to publish statistics on certain types of crimes, including hate crimes, that occur on university grounds and are reported to SUPD or designated campus administrators.