Bias Response Advisory Committee

Duke University is committed to being a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all students, faculty and staff. We value the broad spectrum of human experience, and we work continuously to create an open atmosphere with meaningful opportunities to learn.

As part of this commitment, Duke Student Affairs has established a Bias Response Advisory Committee to advise the Vice President for Student Affairs when allegations of bias-related incidents may impact the Duke community.

Our mission is:

  1. To support the University’s commitment to respecting personal identities of each community member.
  2. To suggest avenues for recourse for individuals or groups found responsible for engaging in bias-related incidents.
  3. To make recommendations for educational interventions to help the larger University community deepen awareness and fluency on the diversity of human experience.
  4. To make recommendations for avenues of support for specific communities that may be impacted by bias-related incidents.
  5. To provide recommendations for institutional policies and procedures.
  6. To inform students, faculty, and staff about opportunities for students who may have experienced bias incidents to voice their experience.

 

What is a bias incident?
A bias incident is an act or behavior motivated by the offender’s bias against the identity of an individual or community. Bias occurs whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may be directed toward an individual or group. A bias incident may take the form of a verbal interaction, cyber-interaction, physical interaction, or interaction with property.  Bias often contributes to or creates an unsafe/unwelcoming environment.

Can individuals who engage in bias-related incidents be disciplined by the University?
The University takes seriously its responsibility to appropriately balance its core values of protecting individual freedoms (e.g., freedom of speech, artistic expression, freedom of association, academic freedom) and ensuring equal and fair treatment of all. These values may sometimes be in conflict. There are many considerations when determining whether bias-related conduct violates the University's expectations of members of our community. In so doing, the University is always mindful that academia is a unique place where the exchange of ideas, robust debate and artistic expression are critical to the University’s teaching and research missions. Investigation and adjudication of possible violations of university policy as the result of reported bias-related incidents are handled by the Office of Student Conduct. Any violation of the policy that is shown to be “motivated in part or whole by race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, genetic information, or age” will be considered an aggravating factor that increases the stringency of the sanction. 

 

The Bias Response Advisory Committee holds no authority to investigate, adjudicate or otherwise intervene in bias-related incidents other than to make recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

 

What happens when a bias incident occurs?
The Duke Community Standard (DCS) stresses the commitment that students share with all members of the community to create a climate of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability at Duke University. Students affirm their commitment to foster this climate by signing a pledge that includes taking constructive action if they witness or know about behavior they perceive to be inconsistent with the DCS, which may include violation of university policies.

When an incident occurs and a report is submitted, information about the incident is shared with the Office of Student Conduct, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Bias Response Advisory Committee.  Either the Dean on Call or the Associate Dean for the Office of Student Conduct will notify a variety of campus offices such as Campus Identity Centers, CAPS, Duke Police, Housing & Residence Life, and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  These offices will coordinate support for impacted communities.

The Vice President for Student Affairs may ask the Bias Response Advisory Committee to convene to review the incident and make additional recommendations.

How to Report a Bias Incident:

Thank you for your willingness to report a bias incident within the community. Duke University is committed to being a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all students, faculty and staff. Fostering an inclusive climate includes taking constructive action if one witnesses or knows about behavior perceived to be inconsistent with the Duke Community Standard, which may include violation of university policies.  

You may elect to submit an incident report here.

If you wish to report anonymously, you can use the Care Report here.

Bias Response Advisory Committee Members:

  • Nick Antonicci, Director, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • LB Bergene (Co-Chair), Associate Dean for East Campus, HRL
  • AY Bryant, Associate Director, Director of Training, Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Linda Capers, (Co-Chair), Director, Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Valerie Glassman, Assistant Dean, Office of Student Conduct
  • Kiah Glenn, Student Development Coordinator, Muslim Life at Duke
  • Ada Gregory, Assoc Director, Kenan Institute for Ethics and Student Ombudsman
  • Chandra Guinn, Director, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
  • Joanne Kang, Student Development Coordinator, Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Marvice Marcus, Assistant Director for Training Programs, Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Theresa Survillion, Assistant Director, Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Tiarra Wade, Assistant Dean of Students, DukeReach

Additional Resources: