Reporting Bias

Bias incidents can hinder our capacity to work with, teach, and learn from one another. If you observe or experience an incident of bias, we encourage you to file a bias incident report to Mason’s Bias Incident Reporting Team (BIRT). The BIRT will provide information and referrals to resources, while also tracking incidents to examine trends and opportunities for education.


What is a bias incident?

A bias incident is an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, violence or criminal offense committed against any person, group or property that appears to be motivated by prejudice or bias. Such are usually associated with negative feelings and beliefs with respect to others race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age social class, political affiliation, disability, veteran status, club affiliation or organizational membership. Such bias incidents may be intentional or unintentional and affect the individual or Mason community.

Where can I report a bias incident?

Incidents of bias can be reported here.

Please note that the completion of a bias incident report does not constitute filing a formal complaint. To file a formal complaint, contact the Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics ( or the University Police (, as appropriate.

What is the purpose of the BIRT?

Some bias-motivated, prejudice or otherwise disrespectful acts may be constitutionally protected speech and thus not subject to University disciplinary action or formal investigation. However, at times they are out of congruence with our University’s values and characteristics. The BIRT enables Mason to provide support to community members who file a report, keep records of bias incidents, and analyze trends in efforts to continually improve our campus community with regard to our values.

The BIRT does not investigate, arbitrate, or replace other Mason procedures or services. Its purpose is to supplement and work with campus units to connect those who have been a target of an act of bias or those who have witnessed such an act with appropriate support and resources. The new protocol complements but does not substitute for University procedures regarding the reporting of discrimination, including sexual misconduct, to the Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Equity ( 903-773-8730).

What happens when I file a report?

After a report submission, the BIRT will designate one of its members to respond to the reporting party within one business day. Upon communication with the reporting party, the BIRT will assess the needs of the complainant and determine next steps.

If the action violates the law or any Mason policy, further action may be taken by the following individuals or offices:

  • University Police
  • Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Equity
  • Human Resources
  • Office of the Provost
  • Appropriate campus administrators (vice presidents, deans, or supervisors)

Can I report anonymously?

While you may report anonymously, this may seriously hinder the University’s ability to take action on the report you submit.

What is the composition of Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)?

The core Bias Incident Response Team is composed of representatives from University Life (Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Assistant Dean for Student Conduct, and the Associate Director for Special Diversity Initiatives); Compliance, Diversity, & Ethics; and Human Resources.

As incidents are reported, the group will determine when or if other departments are included in the response process, depending on the nature of the incident. These responders includes but is not limited to ODIME+LGBTQ Resources, Housing and Residence Life, International Programs and Services, Student Support and Advocacy, and Student Involvement.

Additional resources beyond BIRT