Bias Education & Response

Washington College is a caring community. We take bias seriously and have a strong responsive protocol in place.

“We will confront and challenge attempts to dehumanize others through prejudiced attitudes, behaviors, and practices that exclude, demean, or marginalize any individual or group.” 

- Washington College Diversity Statement

All About BERT

The Bias Education Response Team (BERT) is a cross-departmental team of professionals who collect and publish data on bias reports and outcomes, facilitate broad-level educational initiatives, and provide resources to assist in formal and informal bias response with the goal of assisting all college stakeholders in understanding, responding to, and minimizing the harmful impacts of bias. 

BERT includes professional representation from Residential Life, Human Resources, Public Safety, Office of Student Intercultural Affairs,  Athletics Department, Marketing & Communications, and consults with Academic Affairs through the Diversity Committee, Academic Dean, and the Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. Student representation is invited, welcomed, and strongly encouraged.

Tricia Biles                                                                         

[email protected]     

Chair of BERT & Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Success 


Greg Krikorian                                                                      

[email protected]  

Dean of Students representing Title IX/Conduct/Residential Life  


Antoine Jordan 

[email protected] 

Director of Student Engagement  


Hillary Bitting 

[email protected] 

Director of Marketing & Production  


Kate Laking 

[email protected] 

Director of Human Resources 


Tyler Faulkner 

[email protected] 

Associate Athletic Trainer   


Ryan C. Colman 

[email protected] 

Director of Public Safety


Obella Obbo 

[email protected] 

Student Affairs DEIB & Wellness consultant

Why report? 
  • Reporting bias incidents helps Washington College better understand and respond to bias within our community. 
  • The Bias Education Response Team uses data from reported bias incidents to identify areas of need and guide educational efforts on behalf of all college stakeholders.
How to Report* 
  • Notify Public Safety (verbally or in writing) (410) 778-7810 
  • Submit a CARE report (anonymous reporting is an option)
  • Tell an RA, department head, or a member of the Bias Education Response Team

*Simply reporting bias may not resolve the incident.

BERT guides the college in a procedurally sound and humanistic bias response process, outlined in the following flowchart. 

BERT process flowchart

Washington College is committed to providing a dynamic and inclusive living, learning, and working environment in which every person is valued and treated with dignity, where free expression and debate are encouraged, and care for fellow community members, especially in moments of conflict, is strived for.  

This policy, aligned with our college mission, codes of conduct, and diversity statement, establishes a mechanism for addressing situations involving an objectively true or subjectively perceived bias act. It includes pertinent definitions, reporting and investigating guidelines, approaches to resolution and accountability, and references to relevant policies. 

Review Full Policy

BERT publishes bias report outcomes and other bias related information and initiatives to the college community in News for BERT.  

News from BERT


View of Casey Academic Center with students walking in front of it

Report Bias

Washington College is a caring community. We take bias seriously and have a strong responsive protocol in place. 

Submit a CARE Report


Frequently Asked Questions

A bias incident is any unwelcome, offensive behavior or act (verbal, written, or physical) personally directed against or targeted toward an individual or group based on perceived or actual membership in a protected class. A bias incident may or may not rise to the level of policy violation outlined in the Discrimination, Harassment, Title IX, Social Media Policies, and/or College Codes of Conduct. 

Incidents of bias may be intentional or unintentional or delivered as a joke or prank, or with humorous intent. 

If you are the individual who was targeted by the bias act, depending upon the nature of the conduct, you may have the right to know the outcome of the investigation or Honor Board decision if you elect to proceed with a complaint. If you made the report as a witness or are asked to participate in the investigation as a witness, you are not entitled to know the outcome. Both the person who experienced an act of bias and the person alleged of bias acts are entitled to have their student or employee records kept confidential. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that prohibits institutions from sharing identifying information from confidential records, including disciplinary records, unless it is under very limited circumstances when a party is found responsible for a crime of violence that by its nature involved substantial risk that physical force against the complainant was used in committing the offense, in which case notification may be permitted. 

BERT reports bias report data and outcomes each year free of identifying information. 

The college will: 
  • Determine if the report involves a policy violation. If so, the report is formally investigated through Public Safety. If not, the report is informally investigated and managed within the department in which it occurred.  
  • Support individuals impacted by the reported bias incident through individual consultations and offers of college resources including peer support, counseling, and accommodations. 
  • Conduct honor board hearings when investigations indicate that a policy violation may have occurred. 
  • Document the report and outcomes.  
  • Publish bias report data annually. 
  • Review bias report data regularly, identify needs, and design educational programs and initiatives to meet identified needs. 
  • Review and update bias-related policies annually. 

No, BERT, as a unit, is not involved in the investigation or adjudication of bias reports. Investigation and purview of Public Safety, Human Resources, local law enforcement, and/or the department where the bias occurred. The college Honor Board is our internal system for adjudication. 

BERT reviews generalized data to inform educational efforts. Certain individual members of BERT may, within the scope of other assigned duties, have privileged access to bias reports. (for example, our Public Safety representative). However, BERT does not review or discuss individual identifying information in a bias report. 

Yes, all reports will be recorded and appropriately allocated to formal or informal investigations. Further, just because conduct may not be a violation of our institutional policy does not mean it was consistent with our institutional values. Reporting perceived bias can help support awareness and educational efforts. 

Yes, anonymous reports can be filed through the CARE system or through to Public Safety’s anonymous tip form . 

Reporting anonymously does not allow for additional questions to be asked, which can limit the College’s ability to respond. Please consider the following limitations of an anonymous report when deciding how to report a bias incident: 

  • Although a report is received anonymously, the College may have to move forward to address the concern and the respondent may assume the reporter’s name due to the nature of the complaint. 
  • You will not receive updates on the status of the case and / or if action has been taken. 
  • You will not be offered a chance to participate in any other part of the process (e.g., formal investigation). 
  • Depending on the information reported, the College may be limited in its response.  
  • Due to limitations in collecting information from you, the College may not be able to resolve the concerns through your desired resolution. 

Members of BERT welcome your questions, feedback, and dialog around issues of bias. 

Contact a Member of BERT