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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

The Community Bias Response Team, Explained

The Community Bias Response Team (CBRT) will continue its work in the 2018-19 academic year. CBRT informs the college community about instances of bias through all-school emails.

While planning and initial CBRT activity began in 2016, the committee officially formed in early 2017 in order to address incidents which the college does not publicize. 

“There was this silence. Some of these incidents people knew about, and this silence almost gave the perception that it was okay,” said Chief Diversity Officer Miguel Fernández, who heads CBRT.

However, CBRT only details instances of bias and not instances of harassment or assault. Those incidents are left inside the Title IX office, where they may not be reported to the community at all.

Examples of incidents of bias reported by CBRT include the removal of white nationalist propaganda found in the library.

One of the team’s earliest reports detailed an incident at the Sean Kingston concert in May 2017, where an Asian student expressed discomfort in seeing a non-Asian student wearing a Chinese farmer’s hat.

Before the team had fully formed, they issued statements as early as Nov. 2016, after acts of intolerance occured on campus after the U.S. Presidential election. 

CBRT consists of seven members: the college’s associate chaplain, associate dean for judicial affairs, Americans with Disabilites Act (A.D.A) Coordinator, chief diversity officer, human relations officer, a commons dean and a faculty member appointed by the faculty council. 

A student position may be created later. CBRT is also working toward creating an online reporting system, but is still resolving issues surrounding anonymity.

Students can report bias incidents to CBRT directly, to the Dean of the College or to Public Safety.