University Community Response Team

Welcome to the University Community Response Team website. The information on this page is updated frequently. Thank you for visiting.


The University Community Response Team is chaired by the Chief Diversity Officer, Mr. Jerry Schearer. Membership on the University Community Response Team consists of faculty, administrative, student, community leaders, and experts on dealing with potentially bias conduct. The purpose of the University Community Response Team is to advise the president of the university on how to respond to potentially bias conduct.

  • Reporting Incidents
      Protocol for Reporting Incidents


      Individuals can complete the Incident Report form

      Individuals can report incidents in person at:

      When an Individual comes to report an incident, the office will:

      • Assess the individual's emotional state and make appropriate referrals if necessary. 
      • Assist the individual in their completion of the Incident Report.
      • Inform the individual that the incident report will be reviewed by a member of the University Community Response Team within 72 hours to determine appropriate next steps and/or course of action.  
      • Make the individual aware of the campus resources available to assist them.
    • Definitions

      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 reportable 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 Procedure 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 potentially bias conduct 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.

    • Responding to Incidents

      The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) in consultation with the University Community Response Team (if needed), may respond to reported incidents in the following ways:

        • Review all incident reports submitted to the University Community Response Team to learn more about what happened and what kind of response may be appropriate.                                                                                                                                        
        • 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 incident, affinity groups, etc.)?
            • What other University members may be impacted by, or have a particular interest in this incident report (e.g. faculty, staff, students)
            • Are there off-campus constituencies that may be impacted by this incident?
            • To what extent could this incident create a rupture in the campus community?
            • Is the incident part of a pattern of conduct targeting a particular identity or community?
            • Is there any historical or present-day context that should be considered

      The University Community Response Team then provides recommendations for responses that may include but are not limited to:

        • Reach out to any directly impacted individual(s) as soon as possible to let them know that the 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 incident report about the University's commitment to equity, inclusion, academic freedom, and freedom of expression.                                                                                                                     
        • As appropriate, convene the University Community Response Team 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 incident report to investigative offices as appropriate, such as Public Safety, Office of Student Conduct, the Dean of Students, 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 incidents and responses.

      Reports of incidents that could violate University policy or the law:

      The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), and/or the University Community Response Team, will refer potential violations of University policy or law to the proper University offices and law enforcement agencies. The University Community Response Team does not have an investigatory or disciplinary role.

    • Membership

      Task Force Members:

      Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson, President

      Barry Althouse, Police Supervisor

      Lorin B. Arnold, Cabinet

      Desiree Aston, Director of Residence Life

      Patricia Brenner, Chair, Commission on Human Diversity

      Leah Cassellia, Sr. Director of MSU & Student Involvement

      Matt Delaney, Cabinet

      Lisa Frye, Senate President

      Albert Fu, ASPCUF President

      Dr. Arthur Garrison, Chair, Commission on the Status of Minorities

      Payton Mentzer, Student Trustee

      Dr. Amber Pabon, Asst. Professor Secondary Education

      Jesus Pena, Cabinet

      Sylvia Pham, Librarian

      Christine Price, Director of LGBTQ+ Resource Center & Women's Center

      Melinda Quinones, Director of Multicultural Center

      Leanne Recla, Director of Marketing

      Bilal Salaam, Athletics & Recreational Services

      Matt Santos, Cabinet

      Jerry Schearer, Interim Asst. VP & Dean of Students/Chief Diversity Officer

      Dr. Jen Schlegel, Faculty

      Jonathan Shaw, Assoc. English Professor

      Gavin Stone, SGB President

      Dr. Steve St. Onge, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

      Christian Temchatin, Superintendent of KASD

      Andy Vogel, Chair, English Department

      Bias Protocol Development Team:

      Barry Althouse, Police Supervisor

      Des Aston, Director of Residence Life 

      Mike Demetor, Associate Dean of Students/Student Conduct

      Christine Price, Director of LGBTQ+ Resource Center & Women's Center 

      Jerry Schearer, Interim Asst. VP & Dean of Students/Chief Diversity Officer

    • University Response to Current Issues

      Action Items related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

      To review statements more than two years old, please .

    • Educational Information & Resources

      Diversity Works at KU 

      Speech on Campus By the American Civil Liberties Union

      Hate Speech is Protected Free Speech, Even on College Campuses By Erwin Chemerinsky

      Free Speech on Public College Campuses Overview By David L. Hudson, First Amendment Scholar

      Hate Speech & Campus Speech Codes By David L. Hudson Jr., First Amendment Scholar, and Lata Nott, Executive Director, First Amendment Center 

      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

    • Training and Development

      Response, Student Activism, and Free Speech Training

      The interconnected aspects of Free Speech, Bias Incidents, & Student Activism. 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. To request this training, please contact

      Courageous Conversations Training Program

      This program trains individuals to create spaces on campus where students, staff, and faculty can have open conversations without judgment. The training teaches the principles of having courageous conversations (i.e. non-violent communication) including as it relates to intersectionality (race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.). The learning outcome for this session is for participants to be able to articulate and demonstrate the essential components for having courageous conversations. Contact: Mr. Jerry Schearer, Sr. Associate Dean & Chief Diversity Officer

      The Safe Space Program

      The Safe Space Program at Kutztown University is designed to provide education and resources to the KU campus and community members in order to keep a safe and nurturing environment, free of discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual identity, and gender identity. The purpose of this program is to provide an intro-level understanding of issues within the LGBTQ community and how they may affect students here at Kutztown, as well as basic knowledge on how to be an ally to the community.

      Green Zone Training  

      Green Zone/Got Your Six sensitivity awareness training that educates faculty and staff about the student-veteran transition experience so they can become campus advocates. Contact Veterans Services: or 610-683-4228.

      Multicultural Services Training

      The Multicultural Center supports and encourages students to fully participate in college life, and provides guidance and direction to help any student find resources, explore opportunities, and develop or enhance their academic and personal skills. We also provide resources and support to individuals, groups, and organizations seeking to develop multicultural-focused workshops and programs.  For more information, click here.