Bias Response Task Force
Welcome to the task force website. The information on this page is currently in development. Expect frequent changes. Thank you for visiting.
The Bias Response Task Force has been constituted and met for the first time on Sept. 11, 2017. The task force is chaired by Dean of Students, Dr. Donavan McCargo. Membership on the task force consists of faculty, administrative, student, community leaders, and experts on dealing with bias-speech response. The purpose of the task force is to advise the president of the university on how to respond to bias incidents such as hate speech.
Bias Incident: Any act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation directed at an individual or group based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status, which may be a violation of law, university conduct standard, or policy.
For purposes of this protocol, a "bias-motivated incident" is any of the following:
Discrimination: An adverse employment or education related action or decision that is based on or motivated by an individual's race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.
Examples of discrimination may include, but are not limited to:
- Not receiving the grade you deserve because of your membership in a protected class; and
- Not receiving a raise or promotion you deserve because of your membership in a protected class.
Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures DIV-009
(applies when the individual(s) who engaged in a bias incident is a non-student employee or off-campus vendor)
Student Code of Conduct
(applies when the individual(s) who engaged in a bias incident is a student)
Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Unwanted physical contact; and
- Obscene or harassing telephone calls, e-mails, letters, notes or other forms of communication.
First Amendment Protections:
Please be aware, as an academic community, Kutztown University values the robust exchange of ideas and the expression of free speech, as protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The ability to engage in academic discourse in an open, honest and respectful manner is what makes Kutztown unique. Just because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias incident.
Reporting Incidents of Bias
Protocol for Reporting Incidents of Bias
Individuals can complete the Bias Incident Report form
Individuals can report Bias incidents in person at:
- International Admissions & Services
When an Individual comes to report a bias incident, the office will:
- Assess the individual's emotional state and make appropriate referrals if necessary.
- Assist the individual in their completion of the Bias Incident Report (BRT).
- Inform the Individual that the BRT will review the report and take appropriate action.
- Let the individual know they will hear back from the BRT within 72 hours.
- Make the individual aware of the resources available to assist them.
Responding to Bias Incidents
The Dean of Students in consultation with Bias Response Taskforce (if needed), may respond to reported incidents in the following ways:
- Review all reports of bias submitted to the Taskforce to learn more about what happened and what kind of response may be appropriate.
- Consider whether the incident has potential free speech or academic freedom implications.
- Determine what issues the report presents and which campus partners should be involved in the discussion about how best to respond.
- Conduct an impact assessment to help determine response recommendations and actions. Considerations may include but are not limited to:
- Which University members and communities are most directly impacted, and what support do they need (e.g., witnesses to the bias act, affinity groups, etc.)?
- What other University members may be impacted by, or have a particular interest in this bias incident report (e.g. faculty, staff, students)
- Are there off-campus constituencies that may be impacted by this bias incident?
- To what extent could this bias incident create a rupture in the campus community?
- Is the incident part of a pattern of bias incidents targeting a particular identity or community?
- Is there any historical or present-day context that should be considered
The Taskforce then provides recommendations for responses that may include but are not limited to:
- Reach out to any directly impacted individuals immediately to let them know that the bias incident report has been received, provide resources for support, and learn more about their preferred response.
- Contact students, groups, or other members of the community who may also be affected by the incident and need assistance or support.
- As appropriate, provide educational information to parties involved in the bias incident report about the University's commitment to equity, inclusion, academic freedom, and freedom of expression.
- As appropriate, convene Bias Response Taskforce to determine the need for a campus-wide response or other action steps necessary for maintaining an environment conducive to learning, living, and working.
- Refer the bias incident report to investigative offices as appropriate, such as Public Safety, The Dean of Students Office, Social Equity, and the appropriate Vice President.
- Assist in coordinating opportunities for community dialogue and education as needed (e.g., listening sessions, training, town halls, panels).
- Consider what communications are needed to effectively inform the campus community and impacted groups about bias incidents and responses.
Reports of bias incidents that could violate University policy or the law:
The Dean of Students, and or Taskforce, will refer potential violations of University policy or law to the proper University offices and law enforcement agencies. The Bias Response Team does not have an investigatory or disciplinary role.
Task Force Members:
Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson, President
Barry Althouse, Police Supervisor
Nykolai Blichar, Graduate Student
Andy Arnold, Senate President
Jen Schlegel, Past Senate President
John Dillon, Chief of Police
Jesus Pena, Deputy to the President
Anne Zayaitz, Cabinet
Warren Hilton, Cabinet
Jerry Silberman, Cabinet
Matt Santos, Cabinet
Donavan McCargo, Chair, Dean of Students
Geroge Fiore, Kutztown Community Member
Uttam Paudel, Student Trustee
Braden Hudak, SGB President
Clyde Killebrew, SGB Vice President
Isabelle Waddelow, SGB Treasurer
Allison Kostaras, Student
Leah Cassellia, Director of Student Involvement
Jonathan Shaw, Assoc. English Professor
Arthur Garrison, Chair, Comission on the Status of Minorities
Thomas Stewart, ASPCUF President
Andy Vogel, Chair, English Department
Robert Portada, Assoc. Political Science Professor
Bruce Gottschall, Chair, Rohrbach Library
Amber Pabon, Asst. Professor Secondary Education
Desiree Reasoner, Director of Residence Life
Amy Pfeiler-Wunder, Chair, Commission on Human Diversity
Emily Cripe, Chair, Commission on the Status of Women
Christine Price, Director of GLTBQ Resource & Women's Centers
Rhonda Branford, Director of Multicultural Center
Bias Protocol Development Team:
Dr. Donavan McCargo, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students
Mike Demetor, Associate Dean of Students/Student Conduct
Jamie Kardos, Director of Graduate Admissions
Jerry Schearer, Associate Dean for Inclusion and Outreach
Des Reasoner, Director of Residence Life
Christine Price, Director of Women's Center & GLBTQ Center
Jacqueline Fox, Assistant Director of Social Equity/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Rhonda Branford, Director of Multicultural Center
Roger Douglas, Director of International Admissions
Barry Althouse, Police Supervisor
Information and Resources
Freedom of Speech and the Press
By Geoffrey R. Stone and Eugene Volokh
"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." What does this mean today? Read More
President Hawkinson's Related Statements
- August 25, 2017 - 2017 State of the University Address
- April 28, 2017 - Message from President Hawkinson
- April 10, 2017 - Message from President Hawkinson and Vice President Hilton
- March 7, 2017 - President Hawkinson Reaffirms Support of Transgender, All Other Students During Open Hour
- Feb. 8, 2017 - Message from President Hawkinson and VP Hilton Regarding Recent Campus Postings
- Jan. 30, 2017 - A Message from Dr. Hawkinson on Recent National Events
- Oct. 27, 2017 - Update from Dr. Hawkinson on KU Bias Response Task Force Meeting
Bias Response, Student Activism, and Free Speech Training
Presenter/Trainer: Dr. Donavan McCargo
Presentation Title: The interconnected aspects of Free Speech, Bias Incidents, & Student Activism
Audience: All (Students, Faculty, Staff)
Presentation/Training Overview: This interactive presentation is designed to provide an overview and increase understanding of bias, bias incidents, and student activism and the potential impact it has on college campuses and communities. Further, the presenter will provide participants with guidance on how to manage, respond to, and report bias incidents on campus, as well as, how to provide support to community members who experience bias incidents.
- Participants will be able to identify one fact about Free Speech;
- Participants will be able to identify one element about Student Activism;
- Participants will be able to identify one element about what a Bias Incident is;
- Participants will be able to identify one campus support resource
Time: 60-75 minutes
To request this training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org