Speak Up

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important part of our Bridgewater identity. We strive to foster a welcoming, safe, and inclusive campus climate that provides equal opportunities for success for all students, where they can thrive and belong. 

Bridgewater College’s mission is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in a diverse and global community. As such, we endeavor to provide a positive learning and working environment free from discrimination and harassment. The College does not discriminate in the administration of our educational programs on the basis of any of the following protected classes: race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, veteran status, or political affiliation.

Bridgewater College Non-Discrimination Notice 

Bridgewater College adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in private institutions of higher education Non-Discrimination Notice

Bridgewater College encourages students to report any discriminatory conduct contrary to the College’s non-discrimination statement and the College’s mission and values. Use the BC Speak Up Online Form to report a discriminatory issue or incident.

Reporting Process

Step by Step Process

  1. Submission
    A discriminatory incident is reported through the official   BC Speak Up Online Form
  2. Acknowledgement
    You will receive confirmation that your report has been received and be provided a list of support resources available to you on campus. A staff member will contact you to meet and collect more information about the incident and discuss next steps
  3. Evaluate
    Based on your report, the College will initiate a preliminary evaluation to determine the nature of the incident and how to address it.
  4. Respond
    Responses to discriminatory incidents vary depending on the nature and severity of the event. It is important to note that not every incident constitutes a violation of College policy or federal law and resolutions will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Incidents might be addressed through restorative processes and educational interventions to provide opportunities for our community to learn and grow and to foster a more welcoming and inclusive campus climate. The resolutions may include, but are not limited to:
    ✔ Restorative Circles
    ✔ Intercultural mediation
    ✔ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workshops
    ✔ Reflection Paper
    ✔ Immersion Experience
    ✔ Community Service Projects
  5. Assess
    Discrimination incident reports will be regularly reviewed to identify trends and/or campus climate issues. This information will be used to develop and implement educational opportunities to educate the campus community on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  6. Record
    Bridgewater College will maintain a record of your report. The discrimination reporting system is one of the tools we use to collect relevant information, identifying trends and issues associated with DEI attitudes and behaviors.

A visual representation of the reporting process can be found here.

Discrimination

Discrimination is adverse or unfair treatment of an individual based on a protected class. A protected class is a group of people protected against discrimination by College policy and/or by state and federal law. At Bridgewater College, the protected classes include: race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, veteran status, or political affiliation.

(See The Eagle: Student Conduct & Institutional Policy Handbook Non-Discrimination NoticeHarassment and Discrimination Grievance Procedure)

Discriminatory incidents have a negative impact on our community and require an active response to ensure a safe, equitable, and inclusive campus environment. Even when offenders are unaware and do not mean to offend, an expression of discrimination deserves a response and can be an opportunity for education. Examples of conduct that can constitute discrimination if based on an individual’s protected class include but are not limited to:

  • Verbal abuse, slurs, derogatory comments or insults toward an individual or group based on their membership in a protected group (e.g. offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs)
  • Display or circulation of written materials or offensive/degrading pictures or objects
  • Racist or derogatory graffiti or images/drawings
  • Physical contact, or threatening language or behavior (e.g. physical assaults or threats, intimidation)
  • Other conduct that interferes with an individual’s performance; limits participation in College activities; or otherwise creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive College environment.

Harassment (Non-Sexual) is a form of discrimination in which unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct is directed toward a person on the basis of their protected status other than sex (see Non-Discrimination Notice) by any member of the College community. Conduct constitutes harassment when it is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to interfere with or limit the ability of the person to participate in, or benefit from, a College program or activity.

Who can I talk to?

Please note that all discrimination reports are handled with concern for the privacy of those filing reports and those who are alleged to be offenders. However, the discrimination reporting system is NOT a confidential reporting option, and the information contained in the report may be shared with the appropriate College officials in order to review the concern. To make an anonymous report you may reach out to our Confidential On-Campus Resources.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by a discriminatory incident and you would like to consult prior to making a report, you can reach out to any of our on-campus resources:

In the campus recourse table, remove Manuela’s name and email for the associate dean for diversity. We also want to add Residence Life’s information as an additional non-confidential reporting option:

Residence Life
540-828-5380
reslife@bridgewater.edu

Bridgewater College seeks to promote a living and learning environment that is safe, positive, and in which the rights of all members of the campus community are respected. As an institution of higher education, we foster student learning and development through an accountability process focused on educational opportunities involving reflection on behavioral impact and resolving community concerns.

Bridgewater College utilizes restorative practices to foster community building, deter future problems, and as an intervention strategy after a conflict has occurred. Rather than a punitive approach, this process treats misconduct as a violation of people and relationships in the community. The restorative process encompasses reflective questioning and inclusive decision-making in order to repair harm, rebuild trust, and restore the community.

Every Bridgewater College student is responsible for knowing all campus policies outlined in

Any person who deliberately makes or participates in making a false report may be subject to disciplinary action.  False reporting may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Helping a Friend

  • Speak out when derogatory jokes or comments are made. 
  • Acknowledge your own biases, assumptions, and stereotypes. Examine your behavior and consider how it may affect others in the community.
  • Develop intercultural competence by attending programs, lectures, workshops, etc. that increase your knowledge and understanding of people different from you.
  • Be aware of your own frame of reference and reflect on the way you have been socialized.
  • If you make a mistake, accept your wrongdoing, take responsibility and commit to do better.

Submit a Formal Complaint through BC Speak Up Online Form