Bias Resource and Response Team (BRRT)

Members:

  • Sierra Bonerb, Director-Support Services, Griff Center
  • Kathleen Farley, Associate Dean of Students & Title IX
  • Eileen Herbert, Chief Communication Officer, Marketing & Communications
  • Dr.  Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Interim Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Mark Piatkowski, Associate Director, Student Life
  • Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Alexis Browning, USA Student Representative
  • Jeannette Delaney, Admissions Office
  • Erika Seagren, Athletics Department
  • Cliff-Simon Vital, Hall Director
  • Kimberly Beaty, Campus Safety
  • John Tychinski, Dining Services;
  • Anita Butera, Asst. Professor-Criminal Justice
  • Aimee Larson, Director of Physician Assistant Program
  • Jonathan Lawrence, Assoc. Professor-Religious Studies/Theology
  • Jodel Woods, House Keeping/Facilities Manager
  • Keith Powers, Unity Student Representative  
  • Linda Walleshauser, AVP Human Resources
  • Bennie Williams, ALANA Student Center

Introduction:

In the spring of 2020, the divisions of academic and student affairs convened the Bias Resource and Response Team (BRRT) at Canisius College. The purpose of the BRRT is to develop proactive strategies that support a positive campus climate.   Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, the BRRT was convened to create opportunities for education, dialogue, and interaction among students, staff, and faculty.  Local and national events called for the implementation of a number of campus resources.  In partnership with the community, the BRRT sponsored walk-in hours in person and virtually, shared articles, websites and discussion guides for staff and faculty, and supported reflection activities. 

Supporting a Positive Campus Climate

The 18 member team (including 1 graduate and 2 undergraduate students) engaged in a semester of training that included identifying and addressing bias incidents, Title IX, student conduct, and trauma informed practices.  In addition, each member had access to the SUNY online training center.  Also, the office of human resources provided a review and update on the campus anti-discrimination and harassment policy and procedures.  The BRRT also offered recommendations and assisted with the revisions to the community standards and worked with members of the institution to create protocols for responding to incidents on campus. 

The BRRT collaborated with a variety of campus offices to host community gatherings, which included the 2020 Election Day Watch Party, prayer vigils in partnership with Campus Ministry, reflection spaces in campus lounge areas and over Zoom, and open office hours were held in the ALANA Student Center. In addition to providing physical and virtual community spaces to gather, the BRRT also provided recommendations to the senior leadership on educational resources to share with the campus following local and national news impacting various identity groups. The members of the BRRT also individually volunteered to serve as points of contact in the event that students preferred to connect with one-on-one support networks.

In addition to programming and support resources provided to the campus community, the BRRT also accomplished the following objectives for the year:

  • Updates to bias report form in myCanisius to include definitions and links to college policy
  • Collaborated with Human Resources, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and the Office of Student Life to enhance report protocols
  • Worked with student life to include language surrounding bias, bias-motivated and hate-motivated misconduct, racially motivated incidents, and microaggressions in the community standards
  • Information on the BRRT and its process was included in the training for resident assistants
  • Presented to the ABEC department in the spring semester

Reports of Bias 2020-2021

  • Incidents:        offensive language, physical harassment 
    • Types of Bias: sexual orientation, gender, gender identity
    • Outcomes:      referred to student conduct, meetings, educational conversations, and referred to Title IX

 

  • Incidents: Targeting by resident assistant, microaggressive comment, social media post, offensive graffiti
    • Types of Bias:  race, nationality, religion, ethnicity
    • Outcomes:      no policy violation, educational conversations, graffiti removed

 

  • Incident: Verbal assault or harassment
    • Type of Bias:   Ability
    • Outcome:        Referred to Human Resources

Total reports received: 9

Conclusion and Next Steps

The BRRT has identified priorities for the 2021-2022 academic year, which include continuing to support the building community and sense of belonging series, developing a campus wide education campaign, offering workshops to academic departments, student organization and/or classes, and implementing community topic forums each semester. 


Campus Policies

Bias Reporting Options

Should you wish to make a Bias Report, you can choose to complete the online report form available in myCanisius, leave a message on the Bias Hotline 716-888-BIAS(2427), or contact the BRRT Co-Chairs directly. To access the Bias Report Form in myCanisius, please click on the link below. Please note: The link may require you to log-in to myCanisius, however the log-in is not associated with the form. Individuals have the option to report anonymously.