Table of Contents
Applications are now
available for the 2011-2012 SPEAC Team. Click
more information and to download the application.
The application deadline has been extended to April 8th
at 5:00 pm. Please note, only recommendations will
be accepted after the deadline.
The Bias Initiative was created both to implement
ongoing education programs and to respond to incidents
of intolerance. We remind all members of our community
that it is our collective responsibility to make Tufts a
place where all people and points of view are truly
respected. The Bias Initiative is made up of two
components: Administrative Support Team, and a peer
education program, SPEAC.
purpose of the program is to:
to bias incidents on campus
Encourage an understanding of bias and its effects
community responsibility and involvement
and environment of mutual respect through education
Administrative Support Team:
The Bias Response Team coordinates the University’s
response to incidents of intolerance. The team is
composed of staff from the Dean of Students Affairs
office, a staff member of the Office of the President,
and a staff member of Diversity, Education, and
The Evolution of the Peer Education Group and the
Introduction of SPEAC:
Until this year we were the Bias Education and Awareness
Team or BEATBias, which was an undergraduate peer
education program that coordinated student responses to
acts of intolerance. BEATBias sought to improve student
life by providing a forum to discuss issues around bias
through awareness events and peer-led discussions.
the team changed its name because we felt that Students
Promoting Equality, Awareness, and Compassion better
describes our mission and our initiatives. Through our
endeavors we aim at promoting a safe, welcoming,
respectful environment for everyone at Tufts. SPEAC is
taking a proactive approach to create a campus that is
not only tolerant, accepting, and well informed.
Although this is a challenging task for such a small
group to do, we are making strides towards our goal day
We believe that through dialogue and communication
the members of the Tufts community will be able to
examine our stereotypes and belief systems affecting our
By having conversations with our peers about an
array of important societal issues, we hope to
enhance awareness and improve the campus climate.
By hosting unique and interactive events and
programs where students can learn, be exposed to a
diversity of ideas, and talk about many different
topics, we hope students experience a refreshed
sense of their beliefs.
By encouraging an understanding of different
issues and the impact that intolerance and
discrimination have on our community, we strive to
create a sense of responsibility and build an
environment of mutual respect.
What is a Bias Incident
Examples Of Bias And Hate Incidents:
Defacing signs by using slurs or negative images
associated with group identity, graffiti, verbal
epithets, or violent acts that target a person or
community based on race, color, national or ethnic
origin, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual
orientation, or gender identity and expression.
Differences Between Hate Crimes And Bias Incidents:
Bias Incident - any act directed against a person or
property that includes the use of slurs or epithets
expressing bias on the basis of race, color, national or
ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual
orientation, or gender identity and expression.
Hate Crime - a hate crime is a criminal offense
expressing those same biases.
Report An Incident
If you experience a bias incident or harassment or
know someone who has:
Contact TUPD at x6-6911 (617-627-6911)
Contact the Residential Assistant on duty.
Contact the Bias Response Team at x7-3158
Report Online via
How to Get Involved
Members of SPEAC are
always excited to hear when students want to get
involved! We love the work that we do and are open
to spreading our message creative ways. So what can
YOU do to get involved?
Attend our events! We try to hold at least
two events a semester open to the whole campus.
So keep an eye out for what we are doing next!
As events are being planned you will see them on
our website, Facebook, and in emails sent out to
our elist. To become a part of our elist please
email your request to
Invite us to help you host a discussion! The
Tufts campus is a very active community so
whether you may be a part of a discussion group,
an action group, or a sports team, consider
bringing us in to help facilitate discussions
about important issues. In addition, we
collaborate with Residential Life staff to host
activities in the Tufts residence halls. We can
also work with faculty members to creative
programs that are appropriate for your classroom
experience. So ask your RA or your teacher about
having us contribute to your community.
Be an ally! Stand up to intolerance. Most
importantly, make it known to others that you
respect and welcome all people. Everyone has the
power to make a difference. If you see
something, say something. We are all here to
learn, so take some time to talk to your peers.
You will not only be educating your peers, but
also enhancing your own awareness.
Educate yourself! We all need to enhance our
understanding of issues that perpetuate
discrimination in our society. Get involved in
campus organizations that help you better
understand the wide array of experiences that
students bring to Tufts, reasons why incidents
occur, and how to take steps to build a more
cohesive and welcoming community.
Last semester we brought you:
Twilight Dracula and Anti-Semitism
We discussed the anti-Semitic roots of the
modern day vampires and their pop media
reincarnation in today’s sensationalized film
Twilight. Those who attended seemed shocked
that so many of recognizable traits that
distinguish vampires can be traced back to the
Eastern European Jew. We discussed what it meant
to be an “outsider” in today’s culture and in
the society in which Vampires first emerged and
how our sensationalized image may relate to the
tendency to fetishize all things “exotic.”
Hook Up Culture Discussion
SPEAC collaborated with a fraternity and
sorority to put on a discussion framing the hook
up culture at Tufts. We explored many ideas: How
prevalent are hook ups, really? Is there a
pressure to hook up? How do gender roles, race,
and sexuality play a part in this culture?
Open Minds SPEAC Out!
As a follow up to Tim Wise’s event, SPEAC held a
discussion on identities and their place at
Tufts. Students were asked to stand in a line
and step forward or back based on different
identities or experiences they had. Through this
activity we explored how it felt to explicitly
acknowledge these privileges and disadvantages.
We also discussed how we experience the world
around us and how our perceptions are shaped by
the way others perceive us. We especially
focused on the importance of looking into our
own biases, privileges, and assumptions and ways
to encourage the other individuals to engage in
a similar exploration.
Eat Your Words
We will be talking about the power of words and
how language evolves. We will discuss the
etymology of some charged words and discuss
their relevance in our everyday lives. We will
question what is “politically correct” and when
do we feel it important to adhere to this
notion. We will challenge ourselves to question
how we can balance being respectful while still
maintaining freedom of speech and personal
SPEAC your Mind: Microaggressions at Tufts
We will explore the idea of microaggression and
examine how these seemingly innocuous incidents
have detrimental effects on our society. We will
look at examples of micoaggression on the Tufts
campus and in society as a whole. Though this
topic is discussed as a way of understanding
racism today, we will also explore how other
communities experience covert prejudice.
More coming soon!
SPEAC Fall 2010 Members