Creating and maintaining a respectful and welcoming environment for all to live, learn, work and thrive is a priority at the University of Michigan. To that end, a group of professional staff members, the Bias Response Team, focuses on addressing incidents that may reflect bias against members of the University community based on their identity.
Bias incident reports by U-M students, faculty and staff are addressed by the Bias Response Team. The Bias Response Team (BRT) is committed to providing support for those who may have been targets of or affected by bias. The BRT works to ensure that appropriate University resources and expertise are made available to anyone who feels they have been harmed by bias. Therefore, anyone who feels they have been affected by an incident of bias is encouraged to make a report to the BRT, so the University can offer assistance. The BRT cannot impose discipline and no one is required to participate in any aspect of the BRT’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 University community.
WHAT IS A BIAS INCIDENT
A bias incident is conduct that discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, harasses or harms anyone in our community based on their identity (such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion).
Bias may stem from fear, misunderstanding, hatred or stereotypes. It may be intentional or unintentional.
The Bias Response Team is comprised of representatives from the following units:
- Dean of Students Office (DOS)
- Office for Institutional Equity (OIE)
- Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI)
- Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS)
- Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA)
- Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR)
- University Housing, Diversity and Inclusion
The Bias Response Team may include other university representatives as needed, including staff or faculty from academic schools and colleges, human resources, and relevant administrative units. Community representatives who serve the U-M community may also be notified and asked to assist in educational response efforts.
The BRT is not a disciplinary body. The Office of Student Conflict Resolution is responsible for disciplinary proceedings. The BRT may discuss with a student how to file a complaint with OSCR or may itself refer a matter to OSCR if it appears that a violation of University’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities has been alleged, but it is not the role of the BRT to investigate or determine whether a reported incident involved bias or a violation of university policy. The BRT may invite persons alleged to be responsible for reported incidents to meet with a representative of the BRT to discuss the impact of the incident on others, but participation in this process is entirely voluntary. The BRT’s sole purpose is to assist those who feel aggrieved by incidents of bias and to promote respect and understanding among members of the University community.
HOW TO REPORT A BIAS INCIDENT
We encourage you to use these resources to report incidents and to encourage others to report if they have been the target of or witness to a bias incident.
There are several ways you can report a bias incident. The staff members at these offices are trained to be sensitive to student, faculty, staff and community concerns.
Bias Incident Reporting Line: Call 734-615-BIAS (2427) to report an incident during normal working hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). If it is after hours, leave a message and a staff member will get back with you by the next business day. Faculty and staff who call the number during normal business hours will be connected to the Office for Institutional Equity; students will be connected to the Dean of Students Office.
Wondering where to report an incident? View our reporting areas. These offices and resources exist to support students, staff and faculty.
Download the How to report an Incident PDF to print, post, and share this information.