Bias Education and Response

Hartwick College seeks to maintain a workplace and educational environment that promotes mutual respect and is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, including bias and hate. Bias and hate related conduct are not tolerated at Hartwick and must be reported immediately.


Bias Education and Response Team (BERT)

The Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) is a non-disciplinary team that will come together as needed to assess incidents of bias and hate that impact our campus.

BERT will:

  • assess incidents for community impact;
  • provide education to those impacted by or responsible for bias/hate conduct;
  • serve as a resource to the Hartwick community; and
  • monitor trends in campus climate/incidents to inform educational efforts.

Report an Incident

There are three reporting options

Report Emergencies to Campus Safety at 607-431-4293

What Conduct Is Prohibited?

A bias incident at Hartwick College includes a broad range of conduct that can be verbal, non-verbal, written, or physical conduct that harms, discriminates or harasses anyone in our community based  on age, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, gender, gender identity (including transgender status or gender expression), familial status, marital status, military status, national origin, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy-related condition, prior arrest or conviction record, sex, race, religion, retaliation for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, or other classes protected by applicable law.

Examples: racial slurs, microaggressions, degrading language, graffiti of offensive words or pictures, etc.

is a criminal act involving violence, intimidation, and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice. As defined by article 485 of the New York Penal Law, a hate crime is when a person commits a specified offense and either:

1. intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

2. intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

Discrimination is any distinction, preference, advantage for, or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected status that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a college activity, or is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a college activity.

Examples: Failing or refusing to hire or include an individual because of their protected characteristic.

Discriminatory Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal, written, online, or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected status when an individual is subjected to substandard terms, conditions or privileges of employment. For example, when:

1. such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment; degrades, humiliates, or denies a person or persons the full and free exercise of their rights or privileges; or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or the progress of the individual’s education; or

2. the acquiescing to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement, or

3. the acquiescing to or resisting of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such an individual.

A single instance of inappropriate conduct may or may not be sufficient to create such an environment. The determination depends on the severity of the conduct and related circumstances. Inappropriate behavior that is repetitive and pervasive is normally deemed to create such an environment and thus will constitute harassment.

Harassment is not limited to prohibited behavior by one gender towards another, or by a supervisory employee toward a non-supervisory employee, or a faculty to student. Harassment may be student to student, faculty to staff, or any gender identity and combination of student, faculty, staff, or visitor.

Examples: Unwelcome jokes or comments about the legally protected characteristic (e.g. racial or ethnic jokes) negative or offensive remarks or jokes about a person’s religion, physical attacks or threats of violence, etc.

Retaliation is any intentional adverse actions, including harassment and intimidation, taken by an individual or allied third party against another individual who has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the College’s Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment.

Hartwick's Bert Process

When a bias incident report is recieved, it is reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator and (when applicable) referred to the BERT team for further review.

  • Once a report is filed, the reporter(s) and/or impacted will be provided confirmation from a BERT team member that the reported has been received.
  • The BERT team will identify any immediate individual or community support that is needed. This may include collaborating with additional campus staff or faculty members.
  • Once immediate support is provided the BERT team will review the incident to identify how to best reslove the matter. This may include meeting with the involved parties and gathering information to assess impact.
  • At the conclusion of the incident review, an incident response will be determined and communicated to the involved parties or stakeholders.
  • As needed, the BERT team will involve the impacted parties and/or community to participate in the resolution of the incident.
  • After the incident has been resolved, and in an effort to restore the community, BERT will continue to identify and offer support, offer opportunities for accountability, and provide educational options for individuals.
  • Once the incident is resolved the report will be closed.
  • The BERT team will assess the resolution outcomes.
  • The BERT team will follow up with impacted community members as needed.

Resources, Supports and Helpful Information

All community members are encouraged to report concerns of bias, hate, discrimination, and harassment and/or seek guidance from campus resources when concerning incidents arise. Hartwick employees are required to report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.

Hartwick College informs students and employees about bias/hate-related crime and prevention measures through programs that include workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and orientation sessions as well as printed or web-based materials. The purpose of these programs and information resources is to disseminate information about bias/hate-related crime, promote discussion, encourage reporting of incidents of such crime, and facilitate prevention.

To ensure we Hartwick is a safe and welcoming community that is free from bias and hate, all Hartwick students; Hartwick employees including faculty and visiting faculty, staff, and administrators; contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or third parties; and visitors or guests affiliated with the College are required to uphold and adhere to Hartwick College’s Policy Against Bias, Discrimination & Harassment.

All reported incidents of bias and hate will be reviewed in accordance with the grievance process outlined in the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy. Individuals found responsible for engaging in bias or hate related conduct are subject to sanctions. More information about the College’s internal process to respond and resolve bias/hate related conduct can be found by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at 607-431-4293 / or consulting the Policy Against Bias, Discrimination & Harassment.

In New York State, laws and penalties for the commission of bias/hate-related crimes, are codified in Article 485 of the New York State Penal Law. Individuals seeking to file a criminal complaint should contact local law enforcement.

Those impacted by bias, hate, discrimination or harassment may obtain support from the College in the form of Supportive Measures.

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services that can range from referral to supportive services such as counseling services or schedule and housing modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence.

Supportive measures are provided to the Complainant (victim) and the Respondent (accused), as appropriate and reasonably available, without fee or charge.

Participation in a grievance process is not required to obtain supportive measures.

To obtain a supportive measure contact the Title IX Coordinator or BERT Member.

Confidential Campus Resources

Perrella Wellness Center (Student Healthcare Services)

Counseling Services: 607-431-4420

Health Services: 607-431-4120

HEART Student Peer


Confidential Community Resources

Employee Assistance Program(Employee Services)

Opportunities for Otsego Violence Intervention Hotline607-432-4855 (available 24/7)


Confidential Medical Resources

AO Fox Hospital, Oneonta, 607-432-2000

Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, 607-547-3456


Non-Confidential Campus Resources

Title IX Coordinator: 607-431-4293 / 

Campus Safety: 607-431-4111

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Center

Office of Global Education – 607-431-4423

Accessibility Services – 607-431-4546


Law Enforcement

New York State Police: 607-432-3211

Oneonta Police Dept.: 607-432-1113 or 911

To ensure transparency with the Hartwick community and compliance with New York Education Law 129A § 6433, Hartwick College will post all reported hate crimes that are published in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report below effective Fall 2023.

Contact a BERT Team Member. We are here to help.

Meet the BERT Team

Alicia Richardson

College Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Officer

Biama Charles

Deputy DEIB Officer & Founding Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB)

Gianna R. Boveri

Health Promotion Coordinator

Aaron R. Tolbert, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs