I. POLICY STATEMENT

Discrimination against members of identified protected classes is prohibited under state and federal law, as well as under Drew University’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment (the “Policy”). This Policy embodies Drew University’s (“Drew” or the “University”) commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and open educational community. The Policy 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. Under this Policy, unlawful discrimination and harassment, based on protected class status in all forms and retaliation, are strictly prohibited. Allegations of sexual and gender-based discrimination and/or harassment are addressed under the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

All university employees, including contractors and students, must report any information that has been provided to them through other forms of notice (e.g., email, verbal, etc.) into the Bias or Hate Based Incident Reporting Form. Only truly confidential employees, while working within their legally privileged capacity, do not need to report incidents.

This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, University officials, visitors, guests, alum, contractors, and others.  The Policy does not alter an individual’s rights and remedies under the law. 

Nothing in this policy precludes or limits the University from independently working to remediate claims.

II. POLICY

A. Definitions

Complainant: Person whose rights under this Policy are alleged to have been violated

Respondent: Person who is alleged to have engaged in misconduct under this Policy

Discrimination:  Unwelcome conduct or action based on a person’s protected class status that may adversely and unreasonably interfere with their education or work and that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or offensive.

Discriminatory Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct that demeans or shows hostility, or aversion, toward an individual or group because of their protected class status.  Harassing conduct consists of a range of behaviors that a reasonable person would consider so offensive, severe, persistent, or pervasive as to interfere with a person’s ability to participate in educational or work activities or programs. 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: Hostile environment harassment 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. The more severe the conduct, however, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents

Preponderance of the Evidence: Preponderance of the evidence is defined to mean more likely than not. It is the standard of proof applied in determining responsibility under this Policy.

Protected Class: A group of people with a common characteristic who are protected by federal, state, and local laws from discrimination and harassment, based on that characteristic. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination and bias-based harassment based on actual or perceived: Race or color; Religion or creed; National origin, nationality, or ancestry; Sex, pregnancy, or breastfeeding; Sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; Disability; Marital status or domestic partnership/civil union status; Liability for military service; In housing: familial status and source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments; In employment: age, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, the refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available to an employer the results of a genetic test. For any complaint alleging sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the University's prohibitions against sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and retaliation are detailed in the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Retaliation: An act of intimidation, harassment, or reprisal against an individual for initiating a good faith complaint, participating in any proceeding under this Policy, or for otherwise exercising his/her rights under this Policy or the law. 

B.  Procedure and Standard of Proof

Once a report is made, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation under this Policy, pursue effective and reliable procedures and remedies, and seek to protect the rights of those involved. A finding that a violation of this Policy occurred is made by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard. 

Section III. below explains a variety of ways to report, both on and off campus. We strongly encourage everyone who may have been the target of bias, or who may have witnessed another being targeted, to complete the Bias or Hate Based Incident Reporting Form.

When a report is received, the process will be responded to as described in Sections IV-VIII. below.

C.  Claims of Retaliation 

Retaliation is a separate, serious offense under this Policy and will be considered independently from the merits of the underlying allegation. Upon a finding that retaliation has occurred, the individual(s) will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including, termination of employment or expulsion from the University, as applicable. 

D.  Cooperation

All members of the University community have an obligation to cooperate in achieving the University's goal of an environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

E.  False Accusations

Anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation will be subject to appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including, termination of employment or expulsion from the University, as applicable. 

F.   Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation 

Prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation is the responsibility of all members of the Drew community.  

G.  Multiple or Related Complaints

Where the same facts or circumstances involve violations of different University 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. 

H.  Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is central to the University’s mission.  This Policy is not intended to restrict free academic inquiry, educational purpose, or artistic expression. Drew’s policy on academic freedom follows best practices as articulated by the American Association of University Professors.

III. REPORTING, CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

In an emergency, go to a safe place and call 9-1-1. Campus Security can also provide assistance and contact the police. Campus Security can be reached at (973) 408-3379.

Anyone subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation is strongly encouraged to report the behavior by contacting the appropriate office or individual that can provide information about the variety of available reporting options and support services, including counseling and medical help, and can assist in contacting law enforcement. The best person to contact depends on whether the individual wishes to make a confidential report or is a student or employee. Anyone may file a private report via the Bias or Hate Based Incident Reporting Form.

All incidents of Bias and Hate must be documented in the University’s  Bias or Hate Based Incident Reporting Form. Should notice be given to a non-confidential employee, they must complete the form and provide all information that they have been made aware of. 

A.  Reporting Options

  1. Confidential Reporting

Information shared by an individual with persons who have a recognized legal privilege, which requires them to keep your information confidential, will not be disclosed to any other individual without express permission of the individual. These resources are prohibited from sharing confidential information except in cases that involve imminent threat of harm to self or others, child abuse, or a court order.

On-campus confidential resources are as follows:

    1. On-Campus Confidential Reporting Options for Students
      1. The McClintock Center for Counseling and Psychological Services:  Holloway Annex, counseling@drew.edu, (973) 408-3398
      2. Health Services, Holloway Annex:  health@drew.edu, (973) 408-3414
      3. University Chaplain:  Seminary Hall, (973) 408-3718
    2. On-Campus Confidential Reporting for Employees
      1. University Chaplain:  Seminary Hall, (973) 408-3718
      2. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): unum.com/lifebalance, 1-888-854-1446
  1. Private Reporting for Students and Employees 
      1. While the privilege of confidentiality is limited to persons with a recognized legal privilege, the following individuals can provide information about reporting options and procedures and assist in facilitating support:
        1. Dean of Student Life: Ehinger Center 147, (973) 408-3390 or stuaff@drew.edu
        2. Chief Human Resources Officer:  Madison House, (973) 408-3515 or humres@drew.edu
  2. Reporting to Law Enforcement

The University strongly encourages individuals to make a report to law enforcement of all criminal acts of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, in addition to and/or separate from a report made to the University. Campus Security may directly report suspected criminal acts to the Madison Police Department for investigation. 

Contact information for local law enforcement can be found below:

  • Madison Police Department:  (973) 593-3000 or 911
  • Morris County Prosecutor’s Office:  (973) 285-0006

Physical evidence, including but not limited to, documents, emails, texts, photos, social media posts, and videos should be preserved. 

B.  Privacy and Confidentiality 

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. Any person receiving a summary report, notice of outcomes or other documents is bound to the standards of privacy as established by University policy and any state and federal confidentiality obligations, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

IV. RESPONSIVE ACTION

The University will investigate, adjudicate, and remedy reports of violations of this Policy. The procedures utilized for responding to allegations of violations vary depending on the status of the Respondent, whether they are a student, faculty or staff member, or other. 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.

Conflicts of Interest or Bias

The University requires any personnel participating in the response process to disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest or bias to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Campus Life (VPEMCL). If a Party believes that any individual involved in the process has a conflict of interest or bias, they may make a request to VPEMCL that the individual not participate. This request must be submitted in writing to VPEMCL within three (3) business days after notification of that person’s involvement in the process. Any request must include a description of the conflict or bias. If VPEMCL determines that a true conflict of interest or bias may exist, the University will take steps to address the conflict or bias in order to ensure an impartial process. 

V. PROTOCOL FOR RESPONSE WHEN THE RESPONDENT IS AN EMPLOYEE

If the reported allegations are made against a University employee, the case will be referred to the Human Resources Department and/or the appropriate Dean’s Office, and addressed under the Employee Handbook and/or by the Professional Conduct Committee as deemed appropriate. If the Respondent is a regular employee of an outsourced role, that company/firm will be notified so they may begin their internal process.

VI. PROTOCOL FOR RESPONSE WHEN THE RESPONDENT IS A VISITOR, ALUM, GUEST, VENDOR, CONTRACTOR OR OTHER

If the Respondent is a visitor, alum, guest, non-regular vendor, contractor, or other, they may be referred for criminal prosecution, be required to leave University property and/or banned from the campus and from participating in future activities.  

VII. PROTOCOL FOR RESPONSE WHEN THE RESPONDENT IS A STUDENT

All incidents of Bias and Hate must be documented in the University’s  Bias or Hate Based Incident Reporting Form. Should notice be given to a non-confidential employee, that employee shall complete the form on behalf of the Complainant. 

A. Receipt of Report

Once a report is received:

  1. The reporter will receive an automatic confirmation email within two (2) business days which will contain, but not be limited to, available support and resources, and inform the reporter that a member of the Bias/Hate Incident Response Panel (“B/HIRP”) will be reaching out via email, provided their contact information is available, to schedule an intake meeting.
  2. Within three (3) business days, a member of B/HIRP will contact the reporter.
    1. Reporter is also the Complainant
      1. When the report is submitted by the individual who is targeted, they will be identified as the “Complainant.”
      2. The B/HIRP panel member will contact the Complainant to seek additional information regarding the incident including offering the  Complainant an opportunity to provide evidence and identify witnesses, ensuring that they are aware of support and resources offered by the University, and scheduling a time to meet with the targeted person or group.
    2. Reports on Behalf of Another
      1. When a report has been submitted on behalf of another, the B/HIRP panel member will:
        1. Contact the reporter to seek additional information regarding the incident, ensure that they are aware of support and resources offered by the University, and schedule a time to meet with the reporter.
        2. Within five (5) business days following the meeting with the reporter, the panelists will contact the targeted person or group to seek additional information regarding the incident including, offering the Complainant an opportunity to provide evidence and identify witnesses, ensuring that they are aware of support and resources offered by the University, and scheduling a time to meet with the targeted person or group.
    3. Anonymous Reports
      1. Should the report be submitted anonymously, the B/HIRP panel member will investigate the matter with the information that has been provided.
      2. If the investigation does yield information that identifies a Complainant or Respondent, within five (5) business days, the panelists will contact the targeted person or group to seek additional information regarding the incident including, offering the Complainant an opportunity to provide evidence and identify witnesses, ensuring that they are aware of support and resources offered by the University, and scheduling a time to meet with the targeted person or group.
      3. If the investigation does not yield any information that identifies a Complainant or Respondent, the B/HIRP panel will decide whether remedies should be offered to the community. These may include, but are not limited to, general campus notification, notification to specific community members (e.g., a residence hall), educational programming offerings, review of policies and procedures, etc.
  3. Within five (5) business days after the intake meeting with the Complainant, the B/HIRP panelist will convene the other members of the panel. The 3-person panel will:
    1. Review the information from the report and any subsequent materials and/or information.
    2. The panel will conduct an initial assessment of the information provided in the report to consider whether the alleged conduct, assuming all reported facts as true and if substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, could constitute prohibited conduct under the policy. If this standard is not met, within two (2) business days the panel will notify the Complainant that the alleged behavior does not violate policy and will not be adjudicated through this process. An appeal of this decision must be filed within three (3) business days as identified in the outcome letter and in accordance with the process outlined in Section VII.B. below.
    3. If a simple majority of panelists decide that the alleged behavior may violate University Policy, and the Respondent is a student, the panel will inform the Complainant within two (2) business days of its decision. The Complainant will have five (5) business days to decide and notify the B/HIRP in writing if they wish to remedy the alleged conduct through Supportive Measures, an Alternative Resolution, or a Formal Review. In instances of an Alternative Resolution, both the Complainant and the Respondent must agree to enter this process voluntarily. The University reserves the right to respond independently, or differently, from the requests of the Complainant.  Pathways for remedies include:
      1. Supportive Measures - Supportive Measures are non-disciplinary and non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, and as reasonably available. Supportive Measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s programs or activities without unreasonably burdening the other party, eliminate the prohibited conduct and prevent its recurrence. Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to, academic support, change of residence hall room, mutual no-contact orders, counseling support, extended time for academic work, etc.
        1. There may, or may not, be a meeting with the Respondent based upon circumstances presented to the panel.
        2. The incident will remain notated only in the Complainant’s record.
        3. Within five (5) business days of the receipt of the Complainant's decision for Supportive Measures to the B/HIRP panel, the Complainant will be notified of the instituted measures.
      2. Alternative Resolution - This process may include either a Facilitated Discussion or Informal Resolution, as voluntarily agreed to by both the Complainant and the Respondent.
        1. Facilitated Discussion - A discussion is facilitated by members of the B/HIRP panel between the Complainant and the Respondent to highlight the impact and harm of the behavior. The discussion will be scheduled and completed within 15 business days of receipt of the Complainant’s email to the B/HIRP panel notifying the panel that the Complainant would like to proceed with this remedy, pending the panel’s approval of such request.
          1. The Complainant and the Respondent will be sent a summary notice of the outcome, highlighting the completion of the Facilitated Discussion.
          2. The incident will be closed. Should the behavior continue, or any new behavior that violates the Policy occur, a new incident report must be filed.
          3. There is no option for an appeal from a Facilitated Discussion.
        2. Informal Resolution - Informal Resolution is an alternative to a Formal Review designed to eliminate the conduct at issue, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects in a manner that meets the expressed preference of the Complainant and the safety and welfare of the campus community. It consists of a voluntary meeting involving the Complainant and the Respondent resulting in mutually agreed upon remedies to the behavior, generally designed to allow a Respondent to acknowledge harm and accept responsibility for repairing harm (to the extent possible experienced by the Complainant and/or University Community). An Informal Resolution can be requested at any time prior to a determination of responsibility in a Formal Review. The Informal Resolution process is voluntary for all parties and is neither an admission of responsibility nor viewed as a finding against the Respondent. Either party can end the Informal Resolution process at any time prior to signing a resolution agreement, and proceed with a Formal Review.
          1. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will convene with the panel.
          2. The Respondent will acknowledge harm and accept responsibility for the impact on the Complainant.
          3. A signed resolution agreement, sent to both parties, which may include timelines and/or deadlines, will serve as the binding document and notice of outcome. There is no option for an appeal, and no ability to take this same matter to a Formal Review.
          4. Failure of any Party to comply with the signed Informal Resolution agreement will be sent through the Student Conduct process for further review and adjudication.
          5. Should the informal process cease, information learned through the Informal Resolution will only be used in a Formal Review process if gathered through the formal investigative process.
          6. The time frame for completion of the Informal Resolution may vary, but the University will seek to complete the process within 60 business days of receiving the Complainant’s written request to proceed with, and the B/HIRP’s approval of, the initiation of an Informal Resolution process.
          7. There is no option to appeal  an Informal Resolution Agreement.
      3. Formal Review - During this process, the B/HIRP panel will conduct a thorough, impartial and fair investigation, determine responsibility and administer sanctions.
        1. Within two (2) business days following the Complainant's decision to request a Formal Review, the panelists will schedule an initial meeting with the Complainant and Respondent, individually, to discuss next steps regarding the investigation.
        2. Within 60 business days of B/HIRP receiving Complainant's written request for a Formal Review, a summary report of the investigation by B/HIRP will be presented to the Complainant and Respondent.
          1. Each party must provide any requested changes or additional information in writing to the panel within five (5) business days of receiving the summary report.
        3. Within 90 business days of B/HIRP receiving Complainant's written request for a Formal Review, the panel will decide, by a simple majority vote, if the alleged conduct violates University Policy utilizing the preponderance of the evidence standard. If Respondent is found responsible, sanctioning will be decided. The outcome, and sanctions if applicable, will be shared with the Complainant and the Respondent, serving as the notice of outcome. 
          1. Under federal law, a student’s sanction or discipline is part of their educational record 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.
          2. Within five (5) business days of receiving the written notice of outcome, either Party may submit an appeal to the identified Appeal Officer in accordance with the process outlined in Section VII.B. below.

B. Appeals 

The Complainant or Respondent has the right to one appeal, in addition to their right to appeal a dismissal in accordance with Section VII.A.3.b. above.

  1. If either Party chooses to submit an appeal, the appeal must be submitted in writing to the identified Appeal Officer within five (5) business days of receiving the notice of outcome.
  2. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Appeal Officer will notify the other party that an appeal has been submitted.
  3. Failure to submit a written appeal within this five (5) business day period forfeits the right to appeal under this Policy, and the decision is final.
  4. Deference is given to the B/HIRP panel’s findings and decision regarding responsibility and/or any sanctions. The burden of proof is on the party filing an appeal to sufficiently demonstrate cause to alter procedures, the original decision, or any sanctions.
  5. Grounds for Appeal - Appeals may be granted for the following reasons only:
    1. New Information - Material new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the decision regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter.
    2. Process Review - A procedural error was made that materially affected the outcome of the matter. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
    3. Disproportionate Sanction - The sanction(s) assigned are clearly disproportionate with the violation.
  6. Within 15 business days of any submission of materials for an appeal, the Appeal Officer will email their decision to the Complainant and the Respondent.
  7. Appeals must be submitted within the timelines described above. 

VIII. TIME FRAMES

Time frames listed above, and included within infographics, may be extended for good cause as necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of this process. Possible reasons for an extension of time frames include, but are not limited to: a Party’s decision to cease one process and continue with an alternative process prior to either the signing of a resolution agreement in an Informal Resolution, or a finding of responsibility in a Formal Review; compliance with a request by law enforcement; accommodation of the availability of witnesses; accounting for exam periods, school breaks or vacations; and/or accounting for complexities of a specific case, including the number of witnesses and volume of information provided by the Parties. The University will notify the Parties in writing of any extensions of time frames and the reason for the extension.

IX. MEMBERS OF THE BIAS/HATE INCIDENT RESPONSE PANEL (B/HIRP)

Below are community members identified to play a role in remediating claims of harassment and be responsible for adjudicating actionable incidents.


First Name

Last Name

Email Address

Edwin

Aponte

eaponte@drew.edu

Tanya Linn

Bennett

tbennett@drew.edu

Stephanie

Bias

sbias@drew.edu

Barb

Bresnahan

bbresnahan@drew.edu

Michelle

Brisson

mbrisson@drew.edu

Erin

Case

ecase@drew.edu

Dina

Cenicola

dcenicola@drew.edu

Jill

Cermele

jcermele@drew.edu

Michelle

Coles

mcoles@drew.edu

Steven

Couras

scouras@drew.edu

Fredricka

Cox

fcox1@drew.edu

Megan

Fonseca

mfonseca@drew.edu

Cynthia

Garrett

cgarrett@drew.edu

Dana

Giroux

dgiroux@drew.edu

James

Hanson

jhanson@drew.edu

Sean

Hewitt

shewitt@drew.edu

Ryan

Hinrichs

rhinrichs@drew.edu

Brian

Hirschberg

bhirschberg@drew.edu

Linda

Jones

ljones3@drew.edu

Denis

Kelleher

dkelleher@drew.edu

Jessica

Lakin

jlakin@drew.edu

Elizabeth

Leonard

eleonard@drew.edu

Jinee

Lokaneeta

jlokanee@drew.edu

Monica

Madera

mmadera@drew.edu

Mecca

Madyun

mmadyun@drew.edu

Steph

Mazarella

smazzare@drew.edu

Stephanie

McCormick

smccormick@drew.edu

Frank

Merckx

fcmerckx@drew.edu

Tiffany

Murray

tmurray1@drew.edu

Stephanie

Pelham

spelham@drew.edu

Siobhan

Quinlan

squinlan@drew.edu

Christa

Racine

cracine@drew.edu

Judy

Redling

jredling@drew.edu

Robert

Seesengood

rseeseng@drew.edu

Terrance

Somesla-McCornell

tsomeslamccorne@drew.edu

Lynn

Vogel

lvogel@drew.edu

Richard

Wall

rwall@drew.edu

Julie

Weiner

jweiner@drew.edu

Alisha

Whitmore

awhitmore@drew.edu

Tamayo

Zhou

tzhou@drew.edu







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