What to expect as a reporting party

The thought of submitting a bias report can be daunting and vague. The information below is intended to outline the response process and how reporters are engaged at each step. The complete Bias Response Protocol is found here.

You may be wondering what happens when a bias incident is reported. A typical response to a bias incident may include providing care and support to individuals and communities who are negatively impacted by the incident, asking questions to learn more about the incident itself, engaging in educational interventions if necessary and making referrals to university offices who work closely with the Bias Response Team (BRT) to provide care and restoration. Whenever you reach out to the BRT, you can expect patience, empathy and respect.

The Bias Response Team

To support the OSU community in navigating issues of bias, a team of faculty and staff comprise the BRT, who provide care, consultation and guidance to individuals who have experienced or witnessed bias.

What to expect when you submit a report:

Step 1. Bias incident is reported.

Reporters can also report anonymously or as third-party reporters.

Step 2: Bias incident report is received, evaluated and processed.

Reporters receive an acknowledgement email informing them that their report has been received and outlines what to expect next.

Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) evaluates the incident report to determine whether, based on the nature of the reported incident, referral to an EOA process is appropriate. Reporters will be notified if an EOA process is appropriate.

Step 3: BRT evaluates incident report and designates a liaison.

At weekly meetings, BRT evaluates new incident reports. A BRT liaison is identified to:

  • Provide follow-up resources
  • Gather additional information about the reported incident
  • Discuss potential responses
  • Determine capacity for collaboration in response

Step 4: BRT develops a response.

The BRT develops a response in collaboration with university partners, and reporters, as appropriate.

It is important to review what the bias response team does and what they do not do:

When evaluating a bias incident, the bias response team can...

  • Provide care to those negatively impacted by bias
  • Facilitate restorative processes to mend organizational and intergroup conflict 
  • Facilitate education and dialogue 
  • Coach managers and leaders
  • Utilize bias response data to inform policy and practice recommendations to mitigate the impact of bias
  • Allow reporters to inform what next steps they wish to undertake, unless it conflicts with mandatory reporting requirements

the Bias Incident Response Team CANNOT do...

While the team may advocate policy change, provide care and facilitate learning, the bias response team cannot:

  • Propose or facilitate formal discipline of faculty, staff or students
  • Terminate faculty and staff
  • Expel or formally discipline students
  • Censor or punish people for offensive or repugnant comments that are protected speech
  • Change curriculum
  • Investigate or make findings of fact
  • Replace hard conversations between faculty, staff and students

Step 5: BRT tracks response progress, and conducts aftercare outreach.

BRT Coordinator provides case updates and resolution information, as appropriate, to reporting and impacted parties.

The central goals of the BRT are care and education. As a university, we want to provide care and support to community members who may be hurt or negatively affected by bias incidents, while also educating the community about the harmful impact of bias, in order to reduce and prevent it. Submitting reports sheds light to areas where education and/or intervention need to happen.

If you have questions or would like to consult with someone before submitting a report, email [email protected] or schedule a virtual meeting with the coordinator of the BRT here.