Bias Incident Response Team

St. Edward's University's Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) serves our community to create and maintain a safe, inclusive educational environment. BIRT operates as a cross-functional consulting body that actively addresses bias incidents and their impact on the St. Edward's community by monitoring, reporting, assessing, and recommending responses to potential incidents of bias.  

What is an incident of bias? An incident of bias is defined as conduct or behavior (verbal, nonverbal, written) that is threatening, harassing (pervasive unwelcome behavior), intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile and is based on a person's identity or group affiliation, including but not limited to, race, age, disability status, gender*, gender identity/expression*, national origin, sexual orientation or religion.

When to make a report:

  • when you want to make an official report of a biased incident or hate crime.
  • when you have personally experienced conduct or behavior that  may be biased in nature.
  • when you witness conduct or behavior of another person that may be biased in nature.
  • when you have concerns about the welfare of a specific community member or group due to a possibly biased incident.
  • when you know of a recent event in which something of a biased nature occurred.
  • when you have concerns related to an upcoming event or program that may target or alienate a specific identity or group.
  • when you come across vandalism on campus that may be biased in nature or targets a specific identity or group.

How to make a report about a**:

  • A university employee or third-party contractor - To report an incident or a concern about a university employee or a contracted employee to Human Resources
  • Student - To report an incident or concern about a university student to the Dean of Students Office
  • General incident of bias - To report an incident in which you are unsure of persons involved or whether it meets the standard of bias, but you are seeking resources or want to make the university aware 
  • Immediate Emergency or to make a police report - call 911 or the University Police Department at 512-448-8444/TTY: 512-233-1444

BIRT Members

stevenp [at] stedwards.edu (Steven Pinkenburg) (Chair)
Dean of Students

llopez14 [at] stedwards.edu (Lionel Lopez)
Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion

melissaesqueda [at] stedwards.edu (Dr. Melissa Esqueda)
Associate Vice-President of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion

margarew [at] stedwards.edu (subject: BIRT%3A) (Jen Wichman)
Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct

homerh [at] stedwards.edu (subject: BIRT%3A%20) (Homer Huerta)
Chief of Police

* May also fall under Title IX.
** If you have any questions about a situation or how to report, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 512-448-8408.