Frequently Asked Questions


What is the role of the Bias Education and Resource Team?

The role of BERT is to provide support, resources, and programming to address and prevent issues of bias and discrimination at the University of San Francisco.

What does BERT do?

  1. We assist and support students, staff, and faculty who report bias incidents involving students by providing the opportunity to meet with a Process Advocate. 
  2. We keep annual statistical records of bias incidents on campus. 
  3. We promote understanding and dialogue about issues of bias and discrimination.

What does BERT NOT do?

  1. We do not investigate cases for the University.
  2. We do not conduct disciplinary procedures involving the cases. Some cases that may have violated policies are forwarded to Human Resources if they involve faculty or staff, and students are forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities.
  3. We are not a crisis response team. If there is a crisis, we ask people to contact our Public Safety office.

Who are the members of BERT? 

BERT is composed of staff in the University of San Francisco community. The Office of the Dean of Students oversees BERT and is responsible for the initial review and referring BERT reports to the appropriate offices (i.e. Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities, Human Resources).

Representatives on BERT from other campus departments create and provide resources, training, and support to the individuals involved and to the university community to expose and eradicate bias and discrimination.

What are the reasons why I should report?

Community members should report acts of bias and discrimination to the University to ensure the emotional and physical welfare of all community members. Reporting incidents allow the University to understand how the community experiences bias and to find ways to continually educate and attempt to eradicate instances of bias at the University.

Who can submit a bias incident report? 

Students, staff, and faculty can report an act of bias using the BERT incident report form. Any of these parties can submit a report if they were the impacted party and/or a witness to an act of bias from another community member. If the impacted party feels in any way threatened based on an act of bias, they should contact Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 immediately.

What happens once a bias incident report is submitted? 

When a bias report is submitted to BERT, the Office of the Dean of Students makes a determination of referral based on the impacted and alleged party’s community role. All impacted parties are referred to a Process Advocate for addition support through the BERT process.

Incidents Involving Students ONLY

Incidents involving only students are referred to The Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities and offered the opportunity to meet with a Process Advocate if the alleged is more than likely in violation of a student code of conduct policy. If it is more than likely not a violation of the student code of conduct, the BERT team will provide the impacted party with the opportunity to meet with a Process Advocate.

Incidents Involving Staff/Faculty and Students

Incidents involving both staff or faculty, and students are referred to the appropriate department based on the community role of the impacted or alleged parties. If the staff/faculty are the alleged party who may have committed an act of bias, the incident report may be shared with Human Resources. If the alleged party is a student, the incident report is forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities. Any impacted parties will be referred to a Process Advocate for additional support and resources.

What does it mean to be the impacted party? 

An impacted party is a community member who is directly or indirectly the target of bias which includes but is not limited to words, actions, and/or illustrations.

What is a Process Advocate?

Process Advocates provide support and resources to impacted parties of bias and/or discrimination. These individuals offer to meet with the impacted party individually and can serve as an advocate throughout the process. In addition, process advocates serve as BERT workshop facilitators as needed.

Who can serve as a Process Advocate? 

Any staff and/or faculty member can serve as a Process Advocate by recommendation and appointment of the current BERT membership. Service to BERT is a one-year appointment with the opportunity to renew from year to year.

If I submit a report is my identity revealed to the alleged party?

The identity of the impacted party is kept confidential when possible. Depending on the act of bias, your name may revealed to assist with addressing the incident appropriately. When possible the name of the impacted party is disclosed at the discretion of the individual.