Bias Response Team

About and Mission

The Bias Response Team (BRT) is committed to ensuring that all WSU Vancouver students, staff and faculty experience the campus as a safe, welcoming, and hospitable place, not in spite of, but because of their multiple identities. Such an environment fosters a more equitable and inclusive campus climate, a goal for which we strive. To proactively maintain and elevate the strategic goals of equity, diversity, and belonging at WSU Vancouver, the BRT has a threefold mission to: 

  1. Coordinate campus response to reaffirm, reinforce, and restore campus values of equity, mutual respect, belonging, and safety when incidents disrupt or have the potential to disrupt the educational and/or working environment of the campus community.
  2. Assist in the incident reporting process for students, staff, and faculty to the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  3. Meet regularly to discuss the impact of bias incidents on WSU Vancouver as a campus and develop strategies in accordance with culturally responsive best practices for establishing a safe, hospitable campus climate.

Campus Response to Bias Incidents

  • The BRT mobilizes, assesses and responds with urgency to reaffirm every individual of the campus community and restore campus values of equity, mutual respect, belonging, and safety. In the wake of incidents and/or possible campus unrest, the BRT is proactive in holding space to heal and restore community (safe space, campus forums, etc.).
  • The BRT provides consistent support, resources, and information regarding the university’s response.
  • The BRT recommends, if applicable, an institutional response from the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and/or Chancellor’s Cabinet to comprehensively and transparently address the impact of the incident(s) and reinforce campus values of equity and belonging. The BRT may also provide a response in conjunction with campus senior leadership.

Assistance in Reporting Incidents to Office of Equal Opportunity

  • If requested, a BRT Liaison (Campus Director of Equity/Diversity, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment, or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) may provide students, staff, and faculty assistance in locating, completing, and submitting report of an incident to the WSU Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • BRT Liaisons are not investigators of reported incidents of bias and/or discrimination. The BRT Liaison will consult with the Office for Equal Opportunity on incidents that implicate Executive Policy #15 (EP 15). The Office for Equal Opportunity may conduct investigations or engage in other resolutions for allegations which implicate EP 15.  Note, a BRT Liaison may be required to report a matter to OEO in accordance with WSU policy.

Examine and Develop Best Practices

  • The BRT examines and discusses national, local, and campus-related incidents (at colleges/universities in general, including WSU Vancouver).
  • The BRT provides a structure and guidelines for consistently evaluating, assessing, and responding to incidents.
  • The BRT develops best practices for responding to campus incidents of bias and generates proactive strategies that promote a more hospitable and equity-minded campus climate. 

Bias Response Team Members

  • Obie Ford III, Campus Director for Equity and Diversity
  • Nancy Youlden, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment
  • Renny Christopher, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • Vicente Chavez, President, Associated Students of Washington State University Vancouver
  • Director of Student Diversity and Outreach (TBA)
  • Director of Human Resources (TBA)
  • Brenda Alling, Director, Marketing and Communications (Consult partner)
  • Lt. Dave Stephenson, Campus Police (Consult partner)
  • Counseling Services (TBA, Consult Partner)
  • CSEJ (TBA, Consult Partner)
  • Diversity Council (TBA, Consult Partner)
  • Diversity Advisory Board (TBA, Consult Partner)