Jun 01, 2020  

Right to be Free from Discrimination and Harassment

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Andrews University affirms that every human being is valuable in the sight of God. The University expects students, employees and guests to treat each other and the wider community with respect and dignity and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment. Students, both male and female, have the right to supportive academic, work and residential settings that are free from conduct that could create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. Students and employees should report inappropriate, erratic, harassing, threatening or violent behavior, no matter how mild or severe, that may jeopardize the health or safety of an individual or the community or that disrupts the mission and/or normal processes of the University. This allows the University to address behavioral concerns in a timely manner.

Andrews University prohibits unlawful discrimination against any member of its community on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic in matters of admissions, employment, housing or any aspect of its educational programs and activities. As a religious institution, the University retains its constitutional and statutory rights to make employment, admission and educational decisions in a manner that is consistent with the University’s Code of Student Conduct (see Code of Student Conduct ) and with the tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Such rights are conferred upon religious institutions by various laws, including but not limited to 42 U.S.C. 2000e-1, 2000e-2; 6-15 of Federal Executive Order 11246; 41 CFR 60-1.5(5); 34 CFR 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57, 106.12(a)(b); 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(3); and Porth v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, 209 Mich. App. 630 (1995). The University further claims the right to disregard the provisions of Title IX set forth in 34 CFR Sections 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57(b) insofar as they conflict with the teachings and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Sexual orientation is regarded by the University in a manner consistent with the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which makes a distinction between orientation and behavior. On the basis of sexual orientation, in itself, the University does not discriminate in academic, work, residential or other campus environment matters except as the University may deem it appropriate in response to housing and residential concerns. All students are required to comply with the University’s Code of Student Conduct, which prohibits certain behaviors that are inconsistent with the University’s commitment to moral propriety as understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For a detailed statement on the University’s position, policies and protections regarding differences in sexual orientation, please refer to Appendix 1 (see Appendix 1: A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University ). This non-discrimination policy is in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 (as amended), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (45 CFR 86 et seq., Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Section 402 of the Veterans Era Veterans Adjustment Act of 1974 and the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

Andrews University prohibits harassment of any kind whether it takes place on-campus, off-campus or in online communications.

Harassment is often based upon an intentional intolerance or disparagement of perceived or actual personal characteristics such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or any legally protected characteristic. Harassment occurs when a person or group engages in unwelcome conduct that is so objectively offensive and sufficiently severe, or persistent or pervasive, that it unreasonably interferes with or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from academics, work or other services and activities or it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic, work or residential environment. This definition of harassment should not be construed to infringe on the right of faculty, staff and students to discuss, inquire, express and petition within the limits described (see Right to Discuss, Inquire, Express and Petition ).

Harassing behaviors prohibited by this policy include, but are not limited to, the following: severe, persistent or pervasive use of derogatory words, jokes, slurs, epithets, statements or gestures; stereotyping activities; use of graffiti or other forms of pictorial or written messages of intimidation; threats about unwelcome physical contact; unwelcome physical contact; stalking; and bullying (repeated and/or aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person).

What to do about Discrimination or Harassment
If you witness or experience behavior which you think is inappropriate, you should do something about it. The following steps are suggestions you may want to consider. Every circumstance is different, however, and the important thing is that you do take some steps to correct the behavior.

  • Indicate assertively to the alleged harasser that such conduct is offensive and unwelcome and should be stopped immediately (studies show that most harassers will stop if they know their behavior is offending someone).
  • Document a written report of the incident noting date, time and location; identifying alleged harasser and witnesses; and giving a detailed description of the unwanted behavior incident.
  • Submit the report to one of the following: academic advisor or academic dean (if classroom-related), work supervisor or Human Resources director (if work-related), or Student Life (if peer-related or you are unsure who to report to).
  • Report any alleged retaliation. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person participating in an investigation of discrimination or harassment. Adverse actions may include name-calling, taunting or other threatening behavior. Retaliation against an individual for alleging discrimination or harassment, supporting a party bringing a complaint, or assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of discrimination or harassment is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of discrimination or harassment.

Andrews University takes seriously any reports it receives of discrimination or harassment. A process is available for an investigation to be conducted and, where necessary, for corrective action to be taken.

Any student who makes, in good faith, a complaint/report of discrimination or harassment will suffer no adverse action from the University because of that complaint/report.