BEST Team

The purpose of the Bias Education and Support Team at Stetson University is to provide students with an opportunity to receive education, support and appropriate resolution in response to bias-related incidents.

Bias-related incidents are defined as threats or acts of harassment or intimidation, whether verbal, written or physical, which are directed against Stetson University student(s) because of that student's age, color, ability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), socioeconomic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, family medical or genetic makeup or information, intellectual perspective, criminal background and potentially other identities or identifiers.

BEST provides impacted parties opportunities to be heard and supported and creates space for parties to process, gain understanding and plan response to the situation. BEST also educates and informs the community as appropriate. Although we hope all parties find value in the space created for exploration and dialogue, all parties' participation in the BEST process is optional. If a member of the BEST team identifies a situation in which there is a possible violation of the Stetson University Code of Community Standards or the law, the information will be transferred to the Office of Community Standards, the Title IX office and/or law enforcement for investigation and possible adjudication. The Bias Education Support Team is not a disciplinary process and does not function in lieu of any disciplinary or complaint processes within or outside of the University.

Reporting a Biased Related Incident

  • Individuals can report a biased related incident in the following ways:

Immediate Response

  1. Report received (verbal, reportit, Public Safety, email, other)
  2. On-call Team immediately manages safety issues if needed
  3. On-call Team reviews for overlap of Title IX, Community Standards or HR Concerns
  4. If overlap, the appropriate Title IX, Community Standards or HR procedures take lead, but with an added support from the BEST team

Short-term Response

  1. BEST team reviews report
  2. BEST Chair directs report to appropriate BEST member
  3. BEST member reaches out to student making report or named in report as the impacted party
  4. BEST meeting with potentially impacted party:
    1. Assesses avenues for minimizing or eliminating the possibility of future harm
    2. Provides campus resources to the individual if needed
    3. Supports ongoing community healing and educational outreach
    4. BEST follow up:
      1. Assigned BEST member check-in and follow up on the situation as needed
      2. The summary included for reporting
      3. Examination of cumulative data for trends

Examples of Potential Report Outcomes:

The BEST member asks what the potentially impacted student wants to see happen, here are some of the typical outcomes from reports:

1) Discussion/mediation with the reported person(s) or groups with the potentially impacted student present

2) Discussion with the reported person(s) or groups without potentially impacted student present

3) Support the potentially impacted student in writing a letter/communication to the reported person(s)

4) Generalized follow up without attachment to a specific incident (For example- Discussion with fraternity leadership without mentioning specific incident)

5) University-wide educational action (For example- Student helps to co-plan a speaker or event)

6) No action- just make a note for records

Long-Term Response

1. The Bias Education Support Team puts a report together that is included in the Annual Bias Incident Report and shares it with the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Staff Advisory Committee, and the President's Cabinet.

2. The President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee reviews the Annual Bias Incident Report, identifies gaps, makes institutional recommendations, presents them to the Cabinet, and shares its recommendations with the University community on the website.

3. Annual report informs ongoing educational and institutional reforms and initiatives.

Bias Education Support Team Members

  1. Joanne Harris-Duff, Director of Diversity and Inclusion – Chair
  2. Savannah-Jane Griffin, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Excellence
  3. Lynn Schoenberg, Dean of Students
  4. Cisco Ortiz, Director of Public Safety
  5. Michael Eskenazi, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  6. Dee Carpenter: Public Safety Captain
  7. Yasas Vithanage: Residential Life Coordinator
  8. Lindsey Carelli: Associate Director of Religious and Spiritual Life
  9. Akeem Todman: Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusive Trainings

» Download Biased Education Support Team Reports from the 2019-2020 academic year