Bias Incident Response Team

If this is a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 to illicit Emergency Services.

What is bias?

Bias is used to describe the conscious or unconscious preferences we hold about someone or something. While bias (as a noun or verb) can be neutral in the effect that it may have on a person, biased-based actions can also cause intentional or unintentional harm to another. When it harms or negatively impacts any student, AU’s mission compels a response.

How is AU proactive in promoting, inclusivity, mutual respect, and understanding across differences?

AU is proactive in celebrating diversity, engaging in learning across differences, and advocating for equity and social justice. View our ongoing events and campus resources that highlight this work. 

About the AU Bias Incident Response Team

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a diverse group of staff that promotes a welcoming and inclusive campus climate by encouraging the community to be proactive about examining individual biases and responsive to incidents of bias that harm or negatively impact a student of Aurora University. BIRT leads efforts to educate students, staff, and faculty about both the meaning of bias and the potential harm that unexamined biased behavior may cause in the Aurora University community. The team also serves the community by responding to incidents of bias that negatively impact or harm any student(s).

  1. Submit a report online: Report BIAS Incident
  2. For assistance in submitting a report, please see options below:
    1. During business hours, call the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer: (630) 844-5142
    2. Arrange an in-person meeting with a member of BIRT:
      • Chief Diversity Officer
      • Director of Campus Life
      • Director of Latino/a Student Initiatives
      • Director of Black Student Initiatives
      • Director of Pathways
      • Director of Counseling Services
      • Disability Resource Director
      • Faculty Representative
  1. AU member experiences, witnesses, or becomes aware of a bias incident that either has, or has the potential to, harm or negatively impact a student and reports it.
  2. Within 1-2 business days, AU’s BIRT reads and reviews the report, then contacts impacted parties to offer support and schedule a meeting. If needed, BIRT gathers additional information or clarification from the reporter (who may or may not be the same as the impacted party).
  3. AU’s BIRT meets in person with the impacted parties, collects additional information, offers care and support, and discusses a preliminary response plan.
  4. Within 7-10 business days, AU’s BIRT meets to discuss the preliminary plan while continuing to offer support and care to impacted community members.
  5. Within 1-2 business days after step 4, BIRT contacts affected student(s) to discuss the final response plan.
  6. BIRT activates the response plan.
We will... We will not...
Educate the campus community about a particular bias incident. Issue discipline.
Hold space for and mediate conversation that leads to understanding, restoration, and reconciliation. Conduct formal investigations.
Monitor the campus climate and culture for trends related to incidents. Violate free speech rights and academic freedom.
Receive and record reports of bias-related incidents that harm any community member.
Inform campus leadership of bias incidents and trends.
Refer community members to appropriate services for care, education, or further action.


Responses could include:

  1. Ongoing care and support from university services.
  2. Conversation(s) concerning the incident and impacted person(s).
  3. Connect affected members to additional supportive resources.
  4. Refer reporter to appropriate campus offices that can effectively respond.
  5. Mediated conversation between parties to promote understanding and reconciliation.
  6. Documenting, assessing, and planning a response to incident.
  7. Submitting reports and recommendations to senior administration to address systemic issues.