In the fall of 2005, the Faculty Standing Committee on Diversity formed a subcommittee to review aggregate data and address the important issue of responding to incidents of bias-hate on our campus. Puget Sound is committed to cultivating a just and equitable campus where all who reside, visit, share, and participate feel safe and welcome. Our campus community members acknowledge that the response to such incidents must be intentionally coordinated. The burden of responding must be lifted from the shoulders of the targeted group's members. Core members of BHERT represent a collective of campus constituents made up of faculty and staff members representing different areas on campus that may offer information on patterns and trends on our campus. These individuals also assist the campus in becoming proactive in addressing these trends through educational opportunities.
The Bias-Hate Education Response Team (BHERT) aims to foster greater awareness of bias and hate on campus and how incidents of bias and hate may be shaping our community. BHERT cultivates a space for proactive dialogue related to emerging trends of bias or hate incidents on campus. BHERT represents a cadre of faculty and staff who take an active role in addressing trends of hate or bias incidents, create opportunities to confront these issues, and encourage dialogue for change.
Under the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity leadership, BHERT is a shared responsibility of the university, campus departments, and individuals. In collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), the Faculty Committee on Diversity (CoD), and the Office of Institutional Research, BHERT reviews aggregate data to inform and support effective responsiveness to bias and hate so that the campus community may be proactive in addressing trends and increasing awareness on campus. Hate and bias behaviors may seem isolated, but these incidents tell us a story about what is happening in our community when aggregated.
BHERT aims to uphold the University of Puget Sound’s institutional mission and commitment to fostering an equitable, inclusive, and learning environment where all members can contribute and flourish. In doing so, BHERT collaborates with other bodies on campus to:
- Provide a means whereby faculty, staff, and students on campus can report bias and hate incidents.
- Monitor incidents and share aggregate data with the campus community to raise awareness about bias and hate patterns.
- Provide support and resources for individual(s) and/or groups impacted by creating educational opportunities for dialogue, reflection, understanding, and action.
- Assure institutional accountability and responsiveness in addressing bias and hate.