Bias Response Team
Addressing Incidents of Bias at Fairfield University
The Fairfield University Bias Response Team grew out of the President's Institutional Diversity Council (PIDC). The Bias Response Team is a new mechanism/remedy under our Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy (see Student Handbook).
The primary goal of the Bias Response Team is to provide education and awareness as a means of responding to certain types of bias-related discrimination within the Fairfield community. In general, the Bias Response Team will respond in situations where the informal or formal mechanisms of the Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy are not triggered, but where some response at the community level is nonetheless indicated. More detailed information related to the scope of this group's work can be found on p. 38 of the Student Handbook.
The Bias Response Team is comprised of campus partners from administration, academics, student affairs, and the student body. The Bias Response Team is headed by staff from the Office of Residence Life and Office of Human Resources. Any member of the University community wishing to contact the Bias Response Team may do so by contacting Ophelie Rowe Allen or Peter Carlson.
What is a Bias Incident at Fairfield University?
Fairfield University defines bias as language or behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons or groups because of race, color, ethnicity, religion, faith, national origin, political orientation, or sexual orientation, in which the perpetrator(s) cannot be identified and/or the acts of bias do not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment for purposes of Title IX. An example of bias might be graffiti appearing on the wall of a commonly used space on campus.
Any member of the University community impacted by the acts of bias are encouraged to report the behavior to the Bias Response Team. The Bias Response Team serves to advocate for both individuals and groups impacted by acts of bias and will assist in situations including but not necessarily limited to those in which the perpetrator of the bias cannot be identified and/or when the behavior in question does not constitute discrimination or rise to the level of harassment for Title IX purposes.
Identifying and Reporting Bias
Student, faculty, and staff who witness or experience bias activity or find evidence (or hear about past incidents) on Fairfield University's campus that impacts the campus community are strongly encouraged to report it to the appropriate parties: Department of Public Safety, Dean of Students, Office of Residence Life, or complete a confidential Report of Incident as soon as possible.
Reporting is confidential and open to students, faculty, and staff. While bias incidents can be documented through this form, incidents of discrimination or harassment or other acts which are criminal under law should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety or the Office of the Dean of Students.
Online Reporting Form
University community members can also report a bias incident online via my.Fairfield.edu.
- Students can go to the Student tab and select University Activities from the drop-down list.
- Faculty and staff can go to the Employee tab and select Human Resources from the drop-down list. The Bias Reporting Form will be in the Quick Links box at left.
- The form can also be accessed at data.fairfield.edu/bias_report
This report will result in:
- Appropriate involvement/communication from the Bias Response Team to the community.
- The Bias Response Team will follow up with the complainant to discuss the process, options, and resources available and when relevant (i.e., consistent with the wishes of the complainant), to bring it to the attention of the broader community.
- Intervention with witness(es) of the bias activity with assistance from the Dean of Students, Department of Public Safety, and Office of Human Resources if applicable
The Bias Response Team's processes do not create a new category of prohibited behavior or a new process for members of the University community to be disciplined or sanctioned. The Bias Response Team has no authority to discipline any student or member of the faculty or staff. When reported conduct is subject to existing University disciplinary or judicial procedures, the Bias Response Team does not have jurisdiction and will refer the complainant to the appropriate University department.
Bias Response Team Materials
If there is an emergency and/or you feel your safety or someone else's is at risk,
please call the Department of Public Safety at (203) 254-4090.