Steps to BIRT

What is BIRT?

The purpose of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is to anonymously collect data regarding instances of experienced bias within the PLU community and monitor the type and frequency of such occurrences. Doing so will help us better understand our campus climate, create community-based educational opportunities to address noted trends in such occurrences, and foster an environment where everyone feels welcome.

The BIRT does not adjudicate violations of PLU’s Student Code of Conduct, the Sexual Misconduct Policy, or Grievance Policy. It also does not address violations of federal discrimination laws. In such cases, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Campus Safety, and/or the University Dispute and Resolution Committee should be contacted.

The Bias Incident Response Form is for anonymous data collection only. Therefore, names and/or identifying characteristics of individuals involved in the occurrence are not collected. If you think the incident you have experienced may call for further action, please complete an Incident Report Form with Student Rights and Responsibilities or consult with the University Dispute Resolution Committee.

See PLU’s equal opportunity policies for additional information:
Equal Educational Opportunity (Student Rights and Responsibilities)
Policy on Equal Opportunity (Personnel Manual)

What are the Goals of the BIRT?

  • Document incidents of bias as experienced by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community on the PLU campus
  • Track trends and create targeted community-based educational opportunities to address noted trends
  • Support the delivery of bystander intervention education for the PLU community so that individuals know how to respond effectively when they witness explicit bias incidents or infer that an incident is driven by implicit bias
  • Promote the education of the PLU community on microaggressions, explicit and implicit bias, and how to avoid committing acts of bias intentionally or unintentionally
  • Activate various constituencies on the PLU campus to respond–intentionally and appropriately–to community, local, national, and international events that may impact the psychological well being and safety of members of the PLU community

Who Can Use BIRT?

Any member of the PLU community may use BIRT. This includes students, faculty, staff/administrators, alumni, and community members visiting campus.

Who are the Members of the BIRT?

Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice and Sustainability (Coordinator of BIRT)

What Happens to the Bias Incident Response Form?

Bias Incident Response Forms will be received by the Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice and Sustainability, who also serves as the Coordinator for the BIRT. The BIRT Coordinator will maintain summaries of experienced bias incidents for information gathering and archival purposes. Through recordkeeping, the BIRT will be better equipped to identify any patterns of bias that exist on campus. In addition, documentation will allow the team to evaluate the effectiveness of educational efforts. Collection of data will be coordinated with Campus Safety to ensure compliance with the Clery Act as well as with the University Dispute Resolution Committee and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities so as to gather information related to all incidents of experienced bias and thus create as complete a picture as possible of the issue.

The BIRT will meet at least twice a semester to assess the data that has been collected and coordinate targeted educational opportunities for the PLU community. Additional meetings will be called by the Coordinator as needed. At the conclusion of each academic year, the BIRT will create an Annual Report that shares information about the number and types of bias incidents experienced as well as the educational opportunities prompted by this information. These Annual Reports serve as a means to educate the community about PLU’s climate and encourage healthy discourse. As such, the report will be shared online as well as with the University Diversity Committee and with President’s Council in order to provide an opportunity for response and to engage with the BIRT on determining educational and professional development priorities and resources.