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Racist attitudes and beliefs may be revealed in threats and other communications or acts of violence, hatred, abuse of authority, or ill will that assault the person or the sense of self-worth of the victims. Such communications and acts vilify, ridicule, and humiliate the victim and also can cause serious emotional distress, impede the learning process, and, in the form of "fighting words," may provoke a violent response. Racist behavior also brings dishonor to the perpetrator, demoralizes and disrupts the academic community as a whole, and diminishes the stature of the University. For all of these reasons, the University unequivocally condemns racist behavior in all of its forms.
The University also is committed to the principles of free inquiry and expression. Members of the University community have the right to hold, vigorously defend, and express their ideas and opinions to flourish or wither according to their merits. Respect for this right requires that students tolerate expression of views that they find abhorrent. But whatever the legal boundaries of free speech, the members of an educational community should voluntarily adopt standards of civility and good taste that reflect mutual respect, understanding, and sensitivity among its diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. In particular, members of the faculty represent the University and have a special role and position of authority with respect to students. They should treat students with respect and should be sensitive to the impact of their words and opinions on them.
If a violation is committed of a regents' rule or any other properly promulgated and published University rule, policy, or procedure, other than those defining and punishing racial harassment, because of the race, color, or national origin of a student or students directly harmed by the violation, such a discriminatory purpose shall be treated as an aggravating factor for the purpose of determining the appropriate discipline or penalty.
Upon the receipt of an allegation of racial harassment, the race relations counselor shall ascertain the facts and provide mediation services to assist the student. These mediation services may include consultation with the student and alleged wrongdoer, either separately or together, and with student affairs staff, deans, or other administrative officers of the University. If such mediation efforts result in a solution satisfactory to the student, the student shall be asked to complete a written and signed statement to that effect. Where such mediation efforts fail or the student does not wish to pursue mediation, the student complainant may seek a formal resolution upon the submission of a written and signed statement to the race relations counselor, department chairperson, or dean. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will coordinate the investigation and resolution of such formal complaints which shall be handled following established University policies and procedures applicable to student and employee discipline. Disagreement by any person with the resolution of the complaint may be pursued according to the University's established procedures for grievances.
Confidentiality in mediation, investigation, and resolution activities shall be maintained to the extent permitted under the law, and the rights of individuals involved will be protected.
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28 August 1996. Registrar's Web Team
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