Incident Communication Protocol

In Fall 2019 the Bias Education Response Team (BERT) identified a need to develop a clearer bias incident communication protocol. Three all campus open listening sessions were held on Oct. 9th, Oct. 18th, and Nov. 1st, with the Nov. 1st date being solely for students. Listening was essential for the BERT to understand the complexities, feelings, and needs when bias incidents occur.


Multiple and often competing goals of the BERT Bias Incident Communication Protocol:

  • Center the alleged victim(s) of the bias incident and enact a process that promotes and restores their sense of safety, agency, belonging, and ability to succeed at FSU.
  • Uphold the integrity of ongoing police investigations and University processes (i.e. resolving complaints which allege violations of the Student Code of Conduct).
  • Maintain transparency with the FSU Community, while not triggering or causing additional harm to victim(s) and/or marginalized communities.

The BERT primary goal is to center the alleged victim(s) (see goal 1). We understand that this can and may limit the ability of the larger community to receive details about the event (in real time or after an incident). We understand those not directly victimized can be harmed by bias incidents on campus. The BERT works closely with campus partners to bring together the community to provide support, processing, healing, and action, when appropriate.


Hate Crimes:

  • Any bias incident classified as a hate crime is disclosed through the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and can be found on the University Police Website.
  • The difference between hate crimes and bias incidents are outlined on the BERT Shared Language page.

Bias Incidents:

  • Students, faculty, and staff will be notified of a bias incident when the University has identified:
    • an imminent threat to community safety; or
    • a need for community support in the gathering of information that will aid in a thorough police investigation or University process.
  • The notification will include:
    • the nature of the imminent threat to community safety; and/or
    • a request for information from the community
  • Additional updates will be provided if there are changes in threat level and/or additional information is needed from the community.
  • Please note that consistent with other university policies and procedures (e.g. Student Conduct, Student Records, University Police), the BERT is unable to disclose specific information of those involved in, and outcomes of University disciplinary processes.
  • The BERT will notify and work closely with specific individuals and groups (e.g. residence halls floors, clubs, teams, classes) to provide support, processing, healing, and action while not impacting or influencing due process protections for the accused person(s).
  • The BERT meets monthly to review information on reported bias incidents (e.g. frequency, nature, and outcome of reported bias incidents). Summary information is available upon request.

If you would like to meet with the BERT or receive more information you may email the Co-Chairs, Jerome Burke, Director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence,; and Erin Jerrett, Director of Equal Opportunity/Deputy Title IX Coordinator,

Lastly, the BERT will continue to listen to the community and remain flexible to the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. We will maintain a focus on prevention and education as well as response.