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What Happens After a Report is Received

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is the first response from the Dean of the College division and the College in coordinating responses to reported bias and hate incidents on campus.

BIRT will respond to reported incidents in the following ways:

View BIRT Flow Chart (PDF)

1. Information from an incident report is received by the BIRT Coordinator. BIRT responds to individual(s) submitting a report to acknowledge receipt and to also offer appropriate support.

2. A core team of administrators (BIRT Coordinator, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, and one or two other administrators, depending on the type of incident—ex. Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center, LGBTQ/Gender Resources, Religious & Spiritual/Jewish Life) is convened to review the report and determine whether a bias or hate incident is likely to have occurred. Reported incidents are reviewed as promptly as possible.

3. As necessary, the BIRT Coordinator consults with other College officials (President, Dean of the College, Office of Communications, Director of Safety and Security, etc.) and relevant offices to coordinate responses.

4. If the reported incident is determined to involve bias, BIRT will record a descriptive summary in the Incident Log, which requires a Vassar Username and Password to view.  In these reports, the primary aim is to be descriptive.

5. When a reported incident has had a campus-wide impact or involves campus risk, a BIRT email alert with a link to the Incident Log may be sent to the campus. Trigger warnings may also apply. In certain situations, the President may also send a message to the campus community.

6. Safety and Security investigates reported incidents of bias or hate crimes, and forwards the results to BIRT for inclusion in report summaries.  Adjudications and disciplinary hearings fall within the Office of Student Living and Wellness Office and/or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. When there is a potential hate crime, local law enforcement handles investigations in cooperation with Safety and Security.

7. Every effort is made to update the Incident Log when additional information is available.  The incident log also constitutes an archive of reported incidents reviewed by BIRT

Vassar College strives to provide an educational, working, and living environment free from discrimination, harassment, intolerance, and hate. Such behavior will not be tolerated. The purpose of the Bias Response and Hate Crime Protocol is to provide information about responding to bias incidents or hate crimes that occur on campus, and to outline the procedures and resources available to members of the Vassar College community. It is not the purpose or the intent of this protocol to define whether or not an act may violate Vassar College Regulations or State or Federal law.