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Dealing with Harassment & Bias

Although we try our best to make campus a safe and welcoming place, there may be times when you experience harassment, bias, or discrimination. If this happens, there are few ways you can deal with it.

Confront The Problem

Your safety is the number one priority. IF you do not feel that you are safe, or if you are just uncomfortable with the idea of confrontation, don't do it. However, if you feel safe and comfortable doing so, you can confront the person or situation head on. There are two, relatively unintimidating ways to do this.

Ask a Question

When communicating with another person, sometimes the message we hear is not the message that the other person was trying to send. Ask a question about what the other person said or did. Often times, through answering your question they will see that what they said or did was offensive. They may have been unaware of this before hand. You may find that what you thought you heard, was not what was being said.

Speak Your Truth

As mentioned above, sometimes people are unaware of the impact their words and actions have on us. If someone is saying or doing something you find offensive, let them know. Always speak to the action being done or the words said, not the person. For example, say, "What you just said was really racist," not "I didn't know you were a racist." Do you see the difference? THe first statement allows for a dialogue to follow. The second statement is going to put the other person on the defense. Not much productive dialogue is going to follow. It may be they didn't realize how offensive they were being. On the other hand, they may know exactly what they said is offensive. You cannot stop others from sharing their opinions, but you don't have to listen to them in silence. You have an opinion, too. Share it!

Support Yourself

If you feel you are not safe or if you are uncomfortable with confrontation, don't' do it! Your safety and well being is the number one priority. Take some time putting together a support network of people who know your situation, who will provide support, and help you find solutions to your problems. The best defense is a good offense. You can go to a Safe Zone for support and physical security. Safe Zones are located all over campus and can be identified by these signs

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Report It!

If you feel that you have been a victim of injustice, oppression or discrimination, or denied your rights by a member of the College community, you can seek a resolution through established procedures of the college. This is the grievance process. You may file a grievance against another student, a faculty member, or a staff member. The grievance process is intended to be non-adversarial.

Basis for filing a grievance include:

  • act or threat of intimidation
  • act or threat of harassment
  • act or threat of physical aggression
  • act or threat of sexual assault
  • discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, age, race, color, national origin, religion, veteran status, or disability

Procedure For Filing a Grievance

If the grievance is against:

  • another student, contact the Dean of Students
  • Title IX Reporting Form
  • a staff member, contact the staff member's immediate supervisor
  • a faculty member, present the grievance to the faculty member. If a resolution cannot be reached, contact the Department or Division Chair.

If after presenting your grievance to the appropriate person, you disagree with the outcome/resolution, or if you have not received an answer with in 5 working days, you may move to the next step in the process. For a complete explanation of the student grievance policy, including the next steps, look at the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Grievance Policy starts on page 30.