Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)
While valuing freedom of thought and expression, the University of Mississippi is committed to an inclusive living and learning community that celebrates difference, values each student, and fosters an atmosphere of civility and respect. The BIRTeam exists to affirm our Creed when incidents of bias arise.
The University of Mississippi is a community of learning dedicated to nurturing excellence in intellectual inquiry and personal character in an open and diverse environment. As a voluntary member of this community:
I believe in respect for the dignity of each person
I believe in fairness and civility
I believe in personal and professional integrity
I believe in academic honesty
I believe in academic freedom
I believe in good stewardship of our resources
I pledge to uphold these values and encourage others to follow my example.
- Provide students, faculty, and staff with an avenue for reporting perceived bias behavior
- Provide support and a process for effective advocacy on behalf of the student, faculty, or staff member who is a recipient of bias
- Promote educationally driven outcomes to enable students, faculty, and staff to learn about discriminatory behavior and language
- Track bias data to share with campus partners for monitoring campus climate
- Using the principles of restorative justice, work to gather all information and facts of perceived incidents before making recommendations
- Serve as a liaison between Center for Inclusion & Cross Cultural Engagement, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Equal Opportunity & Regulatory Compliance, Office of Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct, and any other constituents that may need information
Bias Incident Definition
Bias incidents include conduct, speech or expressions that are threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile and are motivated by a person’s identity or group affiliation. A bias incident includes, but is not limited to, the person’s actual or perceived race, age, disability status, gender, gender identity/expression, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion. Bias can be defined as an inclination, temperament or prejudice for or against persons because of their memberships in a protected class, especially in a way considered to be unfair.