The CAS Community Values & Resources Team (CVRT) is a resource for students, staff, and faculty who aspire to be in community with each other in CAS-related environments including academic departments, administrative offices, co-curricular activities, and social events.
The Team engages the community in multiple ways including the following:
- Advising departments and offices on effective ways to develop shared values and expectations
- Educating the community on ways to recognize and interrupt bias
- Offering informal, restorative resolutions to conflicts.
The Team has an educational focus that embraces the College’s belief that “diversity of thought and background furthers our mission to serve the public good through education, research, and discovery” and how this is most fully realized in “a diverse, collaborative environment.”
Creating an environment where all who engage in our community experience a sense of full participation requires ongoing education about ways to engage meaningfully across differences. Similarly, it requires an accessible way for community members to share their concerns when they are experiencing bias and conflict and seeking a resolution.
To file a report use the following link: EOO incident reporting form
The Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) reviews all incidents filed initially and determines the appropriate response path. If EOO refers the incident to CAS CVRT a designated team member will coordinate follow-up with filers and respondents to gather relevant information.
CAS CVRT is a consulting resource and is not a punitive or disciplinary body. All filers and respondents are welcome to correspond voluntarily but are not required to do so.
If you are considering filing an incident report but are unsure you are welcome to consult with the Team members listed below for general advice and support.
Alyssa Baker (she/her), Director of Graduate Affairs, GRS
Kerry Buglio (she/her), Assistant Dean, CAS Advising & Academic Services
Danielle Kane (she/her), Deputy Title IX and DEI Coordinator, CAS Diversity & Inclusion
Vincent L. Stephens (he/him), Associate Dean, CAS Diversity & Inclusion
Resources for Further Education and Skill-Building
Resources for Faculty & Staff
You can find the CVRT resources for Faculty & Staff in the electronic folder linked here.
Self-Advocacy Toolkit for Students
You can find the CVRT Self-Advocacy Toolkit for Students in the electronic folder linked here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can departments and/or offices reflect on their values and establish expectations?
The CVRT encourages CAS departments, programs, and offices to reflect on ways to foster inclusive, welcoming, and dynamic learning and working environments. Multiple academic departments at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. have developed values statements that reflect their shared expectations of each other.
Some examples of these values and expectation statements include the following:
- MIT Biological Engineering Department Community Values Statement
- USC Department of English Statement of Values
- Boston University Chemistry Department Statement of Community Values
Departments, programs, and offices seeking consultations can email CAS Diversity & Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can community members recognize bias?
- Bias is understood as exclusionary, discriminatory, and/or marginalizing behavior toward a person, or property, based on protected identity categories, including ability, age, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, marital status, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Bias incidents do not rise to the level of a formal policy violation typically but might lead individuals affected to consult support resources from the College based on the way they are experienced and/or perceived.
- According to BU’s Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action policy, protected categories include the following: race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or marital, parental, or veteran status.
- Bias is usually understood as diversity-related conflicts that can cause a breach of trust for an individual or community harmed by a pervasive and hostile climate.
What is the difference between bias and a hate crime?
In the state of Massachusetts, “Hate crimes are crimes that are motivated by the offender’s bias toward the victim because the victim is a member of a protected group.”
Under the primary Massachusetts hate crime statute, there are three elements of hate crimes:
- Underlying criminal offense: The offender committed an assault or battery upon the victim or damaged the victim’s property.
- Offender’s intent: The offender acted with the intent to intimidate the victim.
- Victim’s protected characteristic: The offender targeted the victim because of the victim’s race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other protected characteristic.
If you experience or witness a hate crime on campus, please contact the BU Police Department.
How does the CVRT assist with addressing bias concerns and how do I report concerns?
- Resource teams such as the CVRT “can help address incidents, facilitate communication among campus stakeholders, and identify gaps in campus policy, and help administrators weighing how to respond to incidents that are not at the level of criminal acts or policy violations” (Miller et. al, 2018, “Free Speech Tensions”).
- To assist with supporting the community’s needs CAS encourages individuals who witness or experience bias to employ EOO’s incident reporting form. Reporting is, however, voluntary.
If EOO directs an incident to CVRT our team can serve as a resource for incidents witnessed or experienced in CAS-related contexts.
- CAS-related contexts include the following: classrooms, departmental offices, digital communication, laboratory spaces, meetings, and social events.
To file a report use the following link: EOO incident reporting form
Who are members of the resource team?
The CVRT’s members are an experienced group of CAS staff, faculty, and administrators who coordinate educational resources around building inclusion and interrupting bias, review and respond to incident reports through informal resolutions, and advocate for policy changes to improve the cultural climate.
- Alyssa Baker (she/her), Director of Graduate Affairs, GRS
- Kerry Buglio (she/her), Assistant Dean, CAS Advising & Academic Services
- Danielle Kane (she/her), Deputy Title IX and DEI Coordinator, CAS Diversity & Inclusion
- Vincent L. Stephens (he/him), Associate Dean, CAS Diversity & Inclusion
The CVRT will engage annually with CAS stakeholders including student organizations and faculty regarding the quality of the Team’s resources, programming suggestions, and climate related concerns.
What is the desired impact of education and resource work and how does the Team remain informed and engaged?
Education and resource teams have the capacity to alter systemic processes that perpetuate inequitable systems from which incidents of bias originate. They accomplish this in the following ways:
- Connecting their educational response work to larger institutional learning objectives related to how the outcomes move beyond psychological and historical dimensions of campus climate
- Engaging in educational work that creates systemic change and prevents incidents in the first place
- Working with CAS leadership to respond to patterns and attain resources that alter the conditions on campus and nurture and sustain bias on a foundational level
- Participating in ongoing education on legal issues in higher education with a specific focus on free speech as well as campus-level policies
How could I increase my capacity to address and respond to situations where bias is present potentially?
- BU also has multiple resources for capacity building, and the Team will regularly promote these opportunities to the CAS community. Some examples include the Student Conflict Resolution Program and the Office of the Ombuds.
- CAS Diversity & Inclusion will regularly facilitate and promote educational opportunities related to recognizing and interrupting bias among other topics. These workshops are advertised widely to the entire CAS community throughout the academic year.
- The CAS CVRT has also created two electronic folders with resources for further education and skill-building, one for Faculty & Staff and one for Students, which can be found above. These resources are updated annually.