Nondiscrimination Policy & Procedures.

 

Human Rights Policy

Drew University Human Rights Policy

Discrimination and harassment, constitute acts that adversely impact employment or educational opportunity and are based on legally protected classes, such as race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, handicap and/or disability, atypical heredity cellular or blood trait, pregnancy, AIDS or HIV status, genetic information, and veteran status or liability for service in the military. Discrimination against members of identified protected classes is prohibited under state and federal law, as well as under Drew University’s Human Rights Policy. This Policy embodies Drew’s commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and open educational community. It is intended to educate the community about discrimination and harassment and to support and protect any member of the community who uses this Policy responsibly to pursue a complaint. Drew will investigate, adjudicate, and remedy reports of violations of the Policy.

Drew’s Title IX Policy separately addresses sexual harassment and misconduct, including discrimination based on the protected classes of gender, gender identity and expression, and affectional or sexual orientation.

Drew University is committed to maintaining and supporting diversity throughout the Drew community.  Discrimination or harassment in education or employment on the basis of protected class status constitutes a violation of this policy.  Offensive or unwelcome conduct or repeated differential treatment, as defined in this policy, is prohibited. Each member of the University community is expressly prohibited from verbal, physical, written, or other technology-based conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment based on identified protected class characteristics that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive to unreasonably interfere with education or employment.

Purpose

The purpose of the Drew University Human Rights Policy is to provide all members of the University community equal educational and employment opportunity, access, and benefits in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.  The policy seeks to foster an atmosphere of trust and collegiality within the University community and to educate the members of the community on their responsibilities.  Under this policy, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of any report of protected class discrimination or harassment and will provide effective and reliable processes and procedures for seeking remedies, while affording those accused of violations a fair opportunity to be heard.

Scope of the Policy

The Drew University Human Rights Policy applies to members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and University officials.  Discrimination or harassment, based on protected class status, even if it occurs off campus, can create a hostile environment and is prohibited under this policy.

Visitors, alumni/ae, guests, vendors, and contractors, who violate this Policy may be referred for criminal prosecution, be required to leave University property and/or banned from the campus and from participating in future activities.  Hosts, including students or employees, or other individuals directly affiliated with the Drew community, are subject to this Policy and may be held responsible for the actions of their visitors or guests.

Forms of Discrimination

Discrimination is any distinction, preference, advantage for or detriment to an individual, when compared to others, that is based on any protected class status and that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and offensive to unreasonably interfere with, deny, or limit a student’s or employee’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational programs, activities, or workplace environment.

Harassment

Discriminatory harassment is verbal or physical conduct that demeans or shows hostility, or aversion, toward an individual because of his/her protected class status.  Harassing conduct consists of a range of behaviors that a reasonable person would consider sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or objectively offensive working or educational environment.  It can include epithets, slurs, jokes, negative stereotyping or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to a person’s protected class status.   Harassment can be communicated through spoken words, physical actions, written or graphic material, or electronic or social media.

Hostile Environment Harassment/Misconduct

Frequently, hostile environment harassment/misconduct is based on protected class status and that is frequent and repeated or continues after someone has asked that it stop.  The more severe the conduct, however, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents.

Hostile environment harassment and misconduct can result from verbal or written communications, including attempts at humor or derogatory comments directed at an individual or group, based on protected class status, as well as comments made via phone, text message, e-mail, electronic posting, or other electronic media.   It includes communications that continue after a request to stop, and/or are unwelcome, and which unreasonably interfere with a student’s or employee’s ability to benefit from or participate equally in the University’s programs or work.

Retaliation

Drew University’s Human Rights Policy seeks to encourage students, staff, and faculty to express freely and responsibly their opinions and feelings about any complaint of discrimination or harassment. Any overt or covert act of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, coercion, or harassment against a person who uses this policy and its procedures not only undermines the University’s atmosphere of trust and collegiality, but threatens its ability to conduct investigations and to address violations. Retaliation includes any threat or other form of intimidation directed at a complainant, a witness, or a supporter at any point before, during or after an investigation, mediation and/or hearing. Accordingly, such acts violate this Policy and will be subject to appropriate and prompt disciplinary action.

Important Definitions

Complainant

A complainant is the person whose rights under this Policy are alleged to have been violated,

Respondent

A respondent is the person who is alleged to have engaged in misconduct under this Policy.

Other Important Principles

False Complaints

This Policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious charges against students, faculty or staff members. Discipline under the appropriate University policy may be taken against any person knowingly bringing a false complaint of any form of discrimination

Multiple or Related Complaints

Where the same facts or circumstances involve violations of different Drew policies, all related complaints against a person will be addressed, heard, and resolved in an appropriate forum based on the constituency of the person complained against.   Complaints alleging violations of this Policy that involve the same facts and circumstances cannot be pursued in multiple forums or on a serial basis.

Free Academic Inquiry

Academic freedom is central to the University’s mission.  This policy is not intended to restrict free academic inquiry, educational purpose, or artistic expression.

Cooperation

All members of the campus community should cooperate in an inquiry, investigation, and complaint resolution processes as required to ensure a prompt, adequate, reliable and impartial investigation of complaints.  Fact finders are authorized to call upon any administrative subdivision of the University or employee or staff member for assistance as necessary to complete its investigation and/or may utilize external resources to conduct any aspect of the investigation as necessary.

Privacy

All proceedings, documents, activities and meetings related to a specific investigation and/or complaint are considered private, as permitted by this Policy or applicable law.  While privacy will be maintained to the extent possible, the University cannot commit to privacy on an across the board basis.  The University will use its best efforts not to disseminate information about an investigation or complaint beyond those who have a need to know.  Consistent with its obligations under state and federal law, however, the University may be required to take reasonable investigative steps, even in the face of a request for privacy or a request not to pursue an investigation.

Parties and those interviewed in connection with a claim of discrimination or harassment should not disclose information about the report, investigation, mediation, or adjudication to those outside the process in order to avoid interference, claim of undue influence, or retaliation.

Certain serious offenses, including hate crimes motivated by perpetrator bias against the victim based on protected class status, including race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability are required to be maintained by Public Safety in a log and are listed in the Annual Security Report consistent with the requirements of federal law. That information, however, is logged and listed for statistical purposes only and does not contain names or other personally identifiable information. Such incidents should be reported to Campus Security, the EEO Officer, or to the staffers listed on the Contacts and Resources page.

Privilege and Confidentiality

You can discuss matters confidentially with persons who have a recognized legal privilege, which requires them to keep your information confidential and generally prevents them from disclosing information provided to them in confidence. Those with such privileges are limited and include health services and counseling services personnel. Communications between students and faculty or staff are not legally privileged.

If you have questions or concerns about discussing a matter, or are simply not ready to make a report, to either Drew or law enforcement, a variety of confidential counseling services are available and are listed on the Resources and Contacts page.

Confidentiality of Sanctions

Under federal law, a student’s sanction or discipline is part of the educational record of a respondent who is a student and is protected from disclosure with certain exceptions. In those cases, this information may be released to the complainant, but only when consistent with the requirements of federal law.

In matters involving faculty and or/staff only, both parties will be advised of the outcome and sanction of a disciplinary proceeding. Otherwise, as a general rule, an employee’s specific sanction will not be disclosed to persons other than supervisors.

Reporting Discrimination

University faculty, staff, administrators, and employees, including student employees and volunteers are required to share with the EEO Officer or one of the designated individuals listed on the contacts page reports of discrimination based on protected class status. This obligation does not extend to employees, such as psychological or psychiatric counselors or medical staff while acting in a privileged capacity. The EEO Officer, Meredith Palmer, can be reached at (973) 408-3976 or via e-mail at: mpalmer@drew.edu.

Clery Act Reporting

Certain serious offenses, including reports of bias or hate crimes, as well as murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, arrest, weapons possession, and certain offenses involving sexual violence, are required under federal law to be maintained by Public Safety in a log and listed in the Annual Security Report consistent with the requirements of federal law. That information is logged and listed for statistical purposes only and does not contain names or other personally identifiable informationSuch incidents must be reported to Campus Security, or the Title IX Coordinator, or EEO Officer. Drew’s Annual Security Report can be accessed here: https://www.drew.edu/Safety/statistics

Training & Education

All members of the University community are required to familiarize themselves with the content of the Policy as well as with the procedures. Ongoing training and awareness programs, including on-line education and training or face to face training will be scheduled or are currently available.  Employees who are likely to receive reports of discrimination or harassment, including faculty, administrators, resident assistants, health and counseling personnel, and athletic staff, should ensure they receive training, be familiar with these policies and procedures, and be able to identify appropriate contacts within the University for handling reports or complaints of violations. Complaints of discrimination should be reported to Meredith Palmer, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ  07940, at: (973) 408-3976 or via e-mail at: mpalmer@drew.edu.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal, state, and local laws, Drew University does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status in employment, admissions, financial aid, or its educational programs and activities. Drew’s Title IX Coordinator is Cynthia Garrett and EEO Officer is Meredith Palmer, both of whom are designated to coordinate the University’s efforts to comply with Title IX, Section 504 and other equal opportunity regulations and laws. Questions or concerns regarding Title IX, Section 504, or equal opportunity should be directed to:

Meredith Palmer, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940

Cynthia L. Garrett, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940

Notice of Prompt Reporting

Drew encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all criminal acts to the Madison Police, the Morris County Prosecutors Office, and/or to Drew Campus Security.