About and Mission
The Bias Response Team (BRT) is committed to ensuring that all WSU Vancouver students, staff and faculty experience the campus as a safe, welcoming, and hospitable place, not in spite of, but because of their multiple identities. Such an environment fosters a more equitable and inclusive campus climate, a goal for which we strive. To proactively maintain and elevate the strategic goals of equity, diversity, and belonging at WSU Vancouver, the BRT has a threefold mission to:
- Coordinate campus response to reaffirm, reinforce, and restore campus values of equity, mutual respect, belonging, and safety when incidents disrupt or have the potential to disrupt the educational and/or working environment of the campus community.
- Assist in the incident reporting process for students, staff, and faculty to the WSU Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation.
- Meet regularly to discuss the impact of bias incidents on WSU Vancouver and develop strategies in accordance with culturally responsive best practices for establishing a safe, hospitable campus climate.
Campus Response to Incidents
- The BRT mobilizes, assesses and responds with urgency to reaffirm every individual of the campus community and restore campus values of equity, mutual respect, belonging, and safety. In the wake of incidents and/or possible campus unrest, the BRT is proactive in holding space to heal and restore community (safe space, campus forums, etc.).
- The BRT provides consistent support, resources, and information regarding the university’s response.
- The BRT recommends, if applicable, an institutional response from the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and/or Chancellor’s Cabinet to comprehensively and transparently address the impact of the incident(s) and reinforce campus values of equity and belonging. The BRT may also provide a response in conjunction with campus senior leadership.
Assistance in Reporting Incidents to WSU Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation
- If requested, a BRT Liaison (Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment, or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) may provide students, staff, and faculty assistance in locating, completing, and submitting bias incident report to the WSU Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation (CRCI).
- BRT Liaisons are not investigators of reported incidents of bias and/or discrimination. BRT Liaisons are mandated reporters and may be required to report a matter to CRCI in accordance with WSU policy. BRT Liaisons will consult with the CRCI on incidents that implicate Executive Policy #15 (EP 15). CRCI may conduct investigations or engage in other resolutions for allegations which implicate EP 15.
Examine and Develop Best Practices
- The BRT examines and discusses national, local, and campus-related incidents (at colleges/universities in general, including WSU Vancouver).
- The BRT provides a structure and guidelines for consistently evaluating, assessing, and responding to incidents.
- The BRT develops best practices for responding to campus incidents of bias and generates proactive strategies that promote a more hospitable and equity-minded campus climate.
Bias Response Team Members
- Brenda Alling, Campus Director, Marketing and Communications
- Felix Braffith, Director of Student Equity and Outreach
- Davina Cepeda, President, Associated Students of Washington State University Vancouver
- Allison Chambers-Dixon, Staff Psychologist
- Renny Christopher, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Obie Ford III, Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Julia Getchell, Director of Human Resources
- Dave Stephenson, Campus Police (Consult partner)
- Domanic Thomas, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment