Bias Response Team Members
UMaine Bias Response Team
The University of Maine is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community climate that is respectful, understanding and civil. There are times, however, when biased statements, actions and behaviors of community members impact other community members negatively and/or cause harm including fear. Bias and hate-related incidents degrade institutional trust, impair open and honest collaboration, and impede the learning and collegiate experience of those affected. Although some bias or hate-motivated, prejudicial and other disrespectful acts and behavior may be constitutionally protected speech and thus not subject to the university disciplinary processes or a formal investigation, the Bias Response Team will still address the negative impact of bias and hate-motivated behavior on the campus community and recommend steps to mitigate these harmful results.
Free Speech Policy: https://umaine.edu/studentlife/student-handbook/
Note: The Bias Response Team does not seek to limit First Amendment /Free Speech rights or academic freedom. No protected speech will be subject to investigation or discipline.
The primary role of the Bias Response Team (BRT) is to review hate-bias incidents to provide recommendations regarding appropriate university responses based on the nature of the incident and to work collaboratively to provide educational outreach to campus. BRT seeks to foster a campus community where all identities are supported and feel welcomed.
The BRT does not replace any of the current procedures and protocols in place to resolve alleged violations of policy regarding student conduct, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or violations of law. Rather, the BRT seeks to assure an effective response to hate-bias incidents including providing meaningful campus education and support to impacted parties.
Lauri Sidelko, Co-Chair
Asst. Dean of Students and Director of Community Life
The UMaine Bias Response Team (BRT) serves the UMaine community by: 1) offering a system and processes that invite students, faculty, and staff to document and address the impacts of bias-related incidents, behaviors and actions, and 2) assuring that institutional values are broadly known and reinforced.
The BRT does not replace or subordinate any existing processes for reporting or addressing acts of discrimination, harassment, concern or violence that may violate law and/or university policy. The team does not investigate incidents but can/will refer reported incidents to law enforcement and/or the appropriate university office (e.g., Office of Equal Opportunity; Community Standards, Rights and Responsibilities; Human Resources, etc.). The BRT limits its response to addressing community impact and to reinforcing institutional values.
Senior associate Director, Office of International Programs
Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion