BERT – Bias Education and Response Team
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.
BERT will not investigate, adjudicate or take the place of other Auburn University processes or services; rather, the aim is to complement and work with campus entities to connect impacted parties and communities with appropriate support and resources. In keeping with best practice, the following definitions provide guidance to members of the Auburn campus community.