Bias Incident Response at Saint Mary's College

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) of Saint Mary’s College strives to promote a safe, hate-free environment where all people can live, work, and learn. As a subcommittee of the Campus Committee for Inclusive Excellence, we work together to ensure that our institution has a collective pulse of the issues that our community is experiencing so that we can work to achieve our principles of inclusivity, quality education, and respect for all persons.

 

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) of Saint Mary’s College strives to promote a safe, hate-free environment where all people can live, work, and learn.  As a subcommittee of the Campus Committee for Inclusive Excellence, we work together to ensure that our institution has a collective pulse of the issues that our community is experiencing so that we can work to achieve our principles of inclusivity, quality education, and respect for all persons.

BIRT’s primary roles are to: 

1) educate the Saint Mary’s community about the protocol for reporting bias incidents and hate crimes and preliminarily assess whether reports are bias-related;

2) provide resources for reporters and/or individuals or groups that may be affected;

3) recommend appropriate actions and educational programs to responsible offices (e.g. trainings, restorative practices, mediations, collaborative programming), that are both preventative and responsive to bias incidents and hate crimes;

4) collect and share all reporting patterns with the Saint Mary’s community (reporting data is available on the BIRT website; when appropriate, a campus-wide message may also be sent out if a trend occurs); and

5) monitor the campus climate around issues of diversity and civility.

BIRT is not punitive and does not have a disciplinary function. Rather, BIRT is educational and strives to promote community and self accountability.

 

What is a bias incident?

An incident of bias is defined in the state of California as an action or incident that targets a category of people or an individual based on actual or perceived characteristics.  These characteristics or protected identities include, but are not limited to the following: sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, race or ethnicity, religion, disability, age (40 & over), or association with. 

How do I make a report of bias?

If you feel that you have been targeted by one of the above aspects of identity, you can file a BIRT report by clicking here

How will my report be addressed? What can I expect if I file a report?

When you file a report, you can choose if you’d like to be contacted by a team member to learn more about resources that may be helpful to you.  In this case, a member follows up with you directly. Reports can also be made anonymously. Simultaneously, BIRT determines if any protected categories of identity were targeted based on the information provided.  If bias-related, BIRT makes recommendations to the responsible SMC office for handling and accountability. A BIRT member or the SMC office may contact the reporter if more information is needed to resolve the report.  

Where can I find reporting patterns and how often will they be available?

Reporting patterns can be found on the BIRT website here and will be updated and made available on the 15th of every month.  Announcements will be posted regularly on the MySMC Portal when updated reports are available.

How do I request a training?

If you would like to request a training to learn more about what BIRT is, what the trends are, and how it supports our mission and principles as a Catholic Lasallian Liberal Arts college, please click here

 

We at Saint Mary’s College of California cherish the inherent dignity of each member of our diverse community. Grounded in Saint Mary’s mission, three traditions, and the five Lasallian core principles, BIRT is an on-campus resource made up of appointed campus community members among staff, faculty, students, and Christian Brothers.  Please visit our website here to learn more about our membership and process of report reviews, or for additional questions, email: smcbirt@stmarys-ca.edu