Bias Education Response Team1 (B.E.R.T)

In keeping with the Framingham State University Mission Statement, we strive to provide a learning, working and living community free from hate, discrimination, harassment, and intolerance. As such, the Bias Incident Protocol (“Protocol”) has been developed to address instances of bias that undermine our university mission.

The purpose of this protocol is to establish how Framingham State University defines bias incidents and hate crimes and to describe the function and purpose of the Bias Education Response Team (“Team”).  The Team’s responsibilities include considering and recommending community responses to reports of bias incidents, as well as serving an educational role in helping to cultivate community values of inclusion, civility, and mutual respect.

Behavior reflecting bias or discrimination may constitute a violation of university polices, including but not limited to those set forth in the University’s Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Plan (“EO Plan”), as found in the Ram Handbook, and/or the Faculty Handbook.  Such conduct may also violate state or federal law.  The University’s response to reports of bias incidents will depend on many factors, including the nature of the incident, whether the party responsible for incident can be identified, the wishes of the individual reporting the incident, the University’s obligations to the campus community as a whole, and the University’s requirements under applicable law.

The Protocol does not create a new category of prohibited behavior or a new process for members of the Framingham State University community to be disciplined or sanctioned.  The Team does not have authority to discipline any student or member of the faculty or staff.  Reported conduct that may be a violation of university policy will be referred through existing employee and student complaint and investigation processes.