Who Are We?
The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) at NC State provides support to people affected by incidents of bias on and around campus. We also keep the NC State community updated on the university’s response to reported incidents and work to develop educational activities and initiatives that ensure a welcoming, inclusive campus culture.
NC State has many existing policies and processes for reporting acts of discrimination, harassment, concern or violence, and our team does not replace or overrule those. We may, however, refer reported incidents to other appropriate university offices and personnel as needed.
What’s a Bias Incident?
BIRT defines a Bias Incident as any activity that intimidates, demeans, mocks, degrades, marginalizes, or threatens individuals or groups based on that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived protected class. These incidents can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. In identifying a bias incident, the focus is on the impact of an action on an individual or group, not the intention or motivation of the actor.
A bias incident is an occurrence that does not give rise to a policy violation. Policy violations are handled and redressed through the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, consistent with POL 04.25.05 and related Regulations. Student Conduct Code violations are handled and redressed through the Office of Student Conduct.
What Do We Do?
Our team emphasizes four areas of focus: awareness, support, education and restoration. We aim to equip the NC State community with the skills needed to appropriately confront offensive speech or actions — and to encourage offenders to understand the significance of their speech or actions and take responsibility for them. It is not BIRT’s goal to censor or limit protected speech.
We strive to ensure that everyone at NC State feels welcome, valued and safe. Our activities include:
- Developing and managing an easily accessible system for reporting bias incidents.
- Referring any confirmed actionable violations to appropriate campus organizations and personnel who can address acts of discrimination, harassment and violence.
- Coordinating communication (allowed by FERPA regulations) about bias incidents, and letting the campus community know how the university responded in a manner that is timely, appropriate and consistent.
- Documenting and monitoring patterns of bias and hate on and around campus in order to identify trouble spots, issues of concern and indicators that a bias incident might take place.
- Providing recommendations for developing and revising university policies, regulations, rules and practices.
- Working with campus partners to develop educational experiences that promote cultural sensitivity, increase cultural competence and build community.
- Working with campus partners to implement restorative practices, separate from any conduct processes, that normalize and heal the campus when bias incidents occur.