Auburn University values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. While openness protects the expression of controversial ideas, there are times when actions or expression can negatively affect individuals or groups. A bias-related incident involves conduct (acts, behaviors, or communications) against a person, motivated by the offender’s biases regarding age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, nation origin/nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or other identity. These acts, behaviors, conduct or communications may produce an unwelcoming environment. A bias incident may involve behavior which does not rise to the level of a violation of Auburn University policy, including legally protected free speech.
BERT does not:
Replace existing reporting and support mechanisms.
Initiate disciplinary action or impose sanctions.
Supersede the work of police o established campus investigative units.
Provide crisis or emergency services.
The Bias Education and Response Team is committed to fostering robust and respectful dialogue within our campus community. The team does not tell university members what they can or cannot do or say. The team also does not have any role in investigating or disciplining any community members for their speech or expression. Rather, the team’s aim is to provide resources and support for campus members who have been harmed by bias incidents, including those that may have stemmed from protected free speech; affirm the university’s values of equity, diversity, and free expression; and support the creation of spaces for more speech and dialogue around issues of social identity that affect our campus community.