October 10, 2017
Topic: Campus News
The University of Michigan this week began a new online log to share information about each incident of bias reported to the university's Bias Response Team.
A bias incident is conduct that discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, harasses or harms any member of the university community based on such identity factors as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion.
The university's Bias Response Team, part of the Division of Student Life, is charged with creating and maintaining a respectful and welcoming environment in which all members of the university community can live, learn, work and thrive.
The Bias Response Team works with the Expect Respect program, both of which are housed in the Dean of Students Office.
Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones has provided leadership to make the log of bias incidents publicly available and to develop additional information on reporting options.
"We worked carefully with students and professional staff to create a bias incident log that shares information publicly while maintaining privacy for the affected students and other members of our community," Blake Jones says.
The bias incident log posted online this week details incidents reported since July 1. The log will be updated weekly, Blake Jones says. Details in the log include the date of the incident, the nature of the incident, the method used to express bias, the location of the incident and a summary of responsive actions.
The Bias Response Team is a group of professional staff members who focus on the response and management of bias incidents involving U-M students. All members of the university community are able to report incidents.
"This team of skilled professionals represent many aspects of the university community and work to coordinate a comprehensive response to each individual incident," says Assistant Dean of Students Nicole Banks, who leads the bias response effort.
The team is committed to providing support for students who have been targets of or affected by a bias incident. Team members work to ensure that appropriate university resources and expertise are consulted and utilized as incidents impacting students and the community occur. The team is responsible for providing a coordinated response that utilizes multidisciplinary expertise to support students involved in a bias incident.
The Bias Response Team is coordinated by and is currently composed of representatives from the following units on the Ann Arbor campus:
• Dean of Students Office
• Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs
• Office for Institutional Equity
• Office of Student Conflict Resolution
• Provost's Office
• University Housing
• U-M Police
There are several ways any member of the university community is able to report a bias incident, either experienced or witnessed:
• The Bias Incident Reporting Line: 734-615-BIAS (2427)
• The Division of Public Safety & Security: 734-763-1131
• The Office of Institutional Equity: 734-763-0235
• In residence halls, students may report bias to their resident adviser, diversity peer educator or hall director. Reports also may be made in person through the Dean of Students Office in Suite 3000 of the Michigan Union.
Once a report is made, a member of the Bias Response Team will make contact to set up a meeting to discuss what happened and offer additional support and assistance. Team members explain the process for following up on a report and what response options are available. A plan of action is created and implemented with follow-up occurring as appropriate.