Bias Prevention and Education Team

The Bias Prevention and Education Team is a group of University staff and faculty who support and guide students seeking assistance in determining how to handle an alleged bias incident. Members of the Bias Prevention and Education Team will respond to reported bias incidents in the following ways:

  • Meet with impacted students and connect them to campus resources for support and guidance.
  • Refer reported  incident to relevant campus administrative bodies for review. If the reported incident appears to rise to the level of a policy violation, the case is referred to the appropriate campus units that govern and oversee applicable policies in the Student Code of Conduct and Nondiscrimination policy.
  • Convene to discuss possible solutions and develop effective educational and outreach programs aimed to address underlying issues or systems that impact campus climate.

BPET Members:

  • Dean of Students
  • Director for Student Diversity & Inclusion
  • University Police Representative 
  • Staff and Faculty Representatives 

What is a Bias Incident?

A bias incident is an alleged act of discrimination or harassment that is directed toward an individual or group of individuals because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristics. A bias incident may be an alleged physical, spoken or written act of abuse, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and/or intimidation. A bias incident can occur whether the act is intentional or unintentional. Speech or expression that is consistent with the principles of academic freedom does not constitute a bias incident.

What is the purpose of WPUNJ Bias Prevention and Education Team?

The Bias Prevention and Education Team (BPET) enables WPUNJ to provide support to community members who file a report, keep records of bias incidents, provide community education and analyze trends in efforts to continually improve campus community with respect to equity, inclusion and well-being. 

BPET does not investigate, arbitrate, or replace other WPUNJ student conduct or Title IX 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.

What happens when I file a Bias Incident Report?

After a bias incident report submission, the BPET will designate one of its members to acknowledge receipt of the report and advise of next steps to the reporting party within two business days. Upon communication with the reporting party, the BPET will assess the needs of the reporting party, provide support to the reporting party and determine next steps.  If the action violates the law or any WPUNJ policy, further action may be taken by the following individuals or offices:

  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Compliance and Employee Relations
  • WPUNJ Police
  • Human Resources (faculty and staff)
  • Appropriate campus administrators (vice presidents, deans, or supervisors)

Please do not use the Report Bias Incident Report Form if you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police, psychological, or other emergency services are needed. In case of an emergency, call 911 to get the appropriate services. If you are on campus, contact University Police at 973-720-2300.

Disrupting Bias

Everyone has a role to play in creating an inclusive culture. If you’ve witnessed harmful words or actions and been hesitant to get involved for fear of what others may say or think, you’re not alone. When we take action to help another person and interrupt harmful behavior, we are helping create a safe, respectful environment. Remember, if you feel uncomfortable with a situation, chances are others do too and will support you for taking action.

  • Take Action. If you see something, report it. You can report a bias related incident using the  WPUNJ Bias Related Incident Report Form; or by reporting to a university official at the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, the Black Cultural Center, the Center for Latinidad, the Office of Student Development or University Police.
  • Get Support. If you experienced or witnessed a bias related incident the Bias Prevention & Education Team (BPET) is positioned to connect students to campus resources and services.
  • Promote education. The University offers Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging online training for students which offers strategies on addressing bias. In addition Know Your Rights and Bystander Intervention workshops are offered throughout the year. Check Pioneer Life for program and education details.