BIRC Process

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Bias Incident reporting committee (BIRC) process

Dear Campus Community:

After much work, the UW Tacoma Race & Equity Committee is proud to announce that we have begun a new process to report incidents of bias.  This new process will be open to all campus users: faculty, staff and students as well as community members who may be on campus. 

This reporting process, which includes the new Bias Incident Reporting Website, is meant to supplement, not replace, the systems that already exist for conflict resolution at the UW.  We encourage you to use the existing processes already in place in your department that relate to conflict resolution or resources such as UCIRO, the Ombud Office and Safe Campus when applicable.  However, when these processes do not address your specific issue or if it is not possible or safe to resolve the issue on your own we encourage you to use the Bias Incident Reporting Website

This Bias Incident Reporting process features an online reporting tool.  We have tried to make the process as streamlined as possible and all information will be stored on the same server as our admissions data, with all of the same security protections.  If you wish to speak to a person directly and have them help you fill out the online form, please feel free to contact anyone listed below who is associated with the Bias Incident Reporting Process.

Once a form is submitted an initial review will commence.  However, if the incident is an emergency situation, you should contact Campus Safety (253-692-4416) or call 911 immediately.  Those who submit a form can expect a reply in two business days.  Should you need to talk to someone outside university business hours, please contact Safe Campus (206-865-7233) as they are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

The initial review of the form will be done by four UW Tacoma staff members: Ed Mirecki, Dean of Student Engagement; Alison Hendricks, Director of Academic Human Resources; Ricardo Ortega; Director of the Center for Equity and Inclusion; and Susan Wagshul-Golden, Director of Campus Safety.  This group of individuals will analyze the report to determine if the incident already falls into existing processes the UW already has in place (e.g. UCIRO, Student of Concern, Title IX, etc…) If the report does fall into existing structures this body will be responsible to make sure that the submitter of the form is able to effectively connect with the respective office.  If the report falls into an area outside of these processes, the realm that this Bias Incident Reporting process was meant to cover, it will be forwarded to the Bias Incident Review Committee.

The Bias Incident Review Committee is currently made up of 6 individuals: Surtida Shelton, Associate Director of Student Engagement; Crystal Gonsalves, Staff Psychologist in the Student Counseling Center; a representative from the O­ffice for Equity and Inclusion, a student representative from the University Discipline Committee, a Campus Safety representative and Marian Harris, Ph.D., M.S.W. a Professor in the Social Work & Criminal Justice Department.  This committee will bring in experts as needed on a case-by-case basis.  An attached infographic provides a visual representation of this process.

We want to stress that this committee is not designed to be punitive.  Its operational precepts are based on restorative justice.  The committee will decide appropriate measures on a case-by-case with the goal of having the campus grow in its understanding and embracing of equity issues. 

We wish to thank all those who have helped in putting this process together, with special thanks to Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Melissa Lavitt and Chancellor Mark Pagano who supported the creation of this new process.  We hope that this new Bias Incident Reporting Process helps our campus to continue to strive towards it’s commitment to become more equitable, to serve this community and to be a place where we can all feel compassion and growth.