In response to the volume and complexity of bias incidents and issues on campus in recent years, many institutions have developed a Bias Response Team to intake and respond to incidents, as well as monitor and improve campus climate. The scope, activities, and impact of these teams vary widely, as do their reception on campus.
While these teams have existed on some campuses for many years, they have come under increased scrutiny and pressure in recent months with heightened tensions on campuses and across the country over free speech. While some argue that they are in important tool for institutions to monitor campus climate, and for students impacted by bias to have a pathway to report their experiences, others fear the impact that these teams have on stifling free speech and open dialogue on campus.
Your institution must decide whether a formal team is the right fit for your campus activity, student population, and institutional priorities. Whether you are currently considering launching a team, or evaluating an existing team, EAB research uncovered four key lessons learned around BRTs to guide your efforts.