The College of the Holy Cross, guided by our Mission, aims to create an inclusive and welcoming community for our students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Jesuit, Catholic identity of the College emphasizes the inherent dignity of all individuals. Therefore, incidents of bias, discrimination and harassment targeted towards individuals or groups are in conflict with our institutional values and damage the quality of our community. The Bias Response and Community Restoration Team (BRT) works with students, staff, and faculty to recognize incidents of bias when they occur and to coordinate resources for individuals and groups in an effort to rebuild community.
Purpose & Scope
The College’s Bias Response and Community Restoration Team coordinates campus resources after the report of a Bias Incident to provide support to individuals and populations impacted by such incidents. The BRT evaluates each incident referred by Title IX/Equal Opportunity on a case by case basis to determine the needs and support mechanisms warranted. The BRT is charged with the following:
- Considers options for supplemental individual and institutional support and resources for those who have been impacted by alleged acts of bias.
- Coordinates campus support resources for individuals and the campus community as a whole, including initiating trained “Community Support Volunteers” response, as needed.
- Collaborates with campus entities to improve and repair relationships between people and communities.
- Works to restore productive dialogue or education when there are disruptions, disagreements or allegations of harm within our community that are not covered by the policies listed above
- Coordinates campus notification of referred acts of bias, as appropriate.
- Collaborates with the Office of Title IX/EO to monitor and analyze trends and patterns of reports of bias-related incidents to determine potential prevention methods, educational opportunities, and support services.
- Does not investigate, adjudicate, arbitrate, provide supportive measures under the Sexual Misconduct Policy or Interim Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy, initiate disciplinary action, or impose sanctions, or take the place of other College processes or services.
The College has instituted a number of policies that define prohibited acts and procedures for reporting, investigation, adjudicating and resolution. Bias incidents, on their own or in combination with other actions, may constitute a violation of one or more following:
- Community Standards
- Sexual Misconduct Policy
- Interim Equal Opportunity & Discriminatory Harassment Policy
- Local, state and federal laws - e.g., “hate crimes”
The College has designated a number of offices to oversee these policies and to conduct investigations when necessary:
- Office of Title IX and Equal Opportunity
- Office of Student Integrity & Community Standards
- Department of Public Safety
- Office of Human Resources
Bias Response Team Members 2023-2024
Jerrel Burgo - Director of Student Inclusion and Belonging
- Shawn De Jong - Director of Public Safety / Chief of Police
- Derek DeBobes - Director of Title IX & Equal Opportunity
- Heather Hayes - Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Chief of Staff & Secretary
- John Hill - Chief Communications Officer
- Paul Irish - Associate Dean of Students
- Marybeth Kearns-Barrett - Director, Chaplains' Office
- Michele Murray - Senior Vice President for Student Development and Mission
- Charles Todd - Associate Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
- Tomicka Wagstaff - Vice Provost and Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Past Bias Incidents
Below is a list of past instances of bias reported to the BRT, starting with the 2023-2024 academic year.
- Sept. 2023: Anti-LGBTQIA+ etching found in a residence hall bathroom stall