The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a small group of faculty, staff and students who are committed to addressing bias wherever it may occur within the Wittenberg community. Hate crimes, harassment and incidents of bias all include some form of unwelcome conduct that is based on a person's race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, disability, or any other type of bias. Sadly, there are occasional incidents on campus, some of them serious, in which evidence of bias can be seen. The team reviews such incidents and recommends a campus response.
Wittenberg University affirms the right of every person to live, study and work in an environment where the differences among people are celebrated. Diversity on campus is a source of pride, and we believe it is an educational imperative to further our students' appreciation and understanding of a culturally diverse society. Bias incidents tear at the heart of community and must be addressed so that all people feel valued and respected, and so that they are not repeated.
The purposes of the BIRT are as follows:
- To encourage reporting of incidents
- To give voice to victims
- To respond to victims' needs
- To inform campus when an incident has occurred
- To facilitate an appropriate response
- To recommend proactive programming to educate students, faculty and staff about bias, how to recognize it, and how to eliminate it from our daily lives
Wittenberg strongly encourages individuals who have become victims of hate crimes, harassment or bias to report the incidents that affected them. Anonymous reports are accepted.