This policy acts as part of Shenandoah University’s commitment to challenge discrimination and bias on campus and in our communities, and to work toward creating a more diverse and equitable campus environment. The policy contains prohibited conduct, as well as best practices and recommendations for faculty, staff, and students, to encourage and strengthen our commitment to diversity and equity. In addition, the policy includes procedures for investigating reports of discrimination and bias in order to prevent, stop, and remedy such conduct. Shenandoah University encourages community members to report discriminatory conduct and incidences of bias contrary to the University’s non-discrimination statement and the University’s mission. The policy applies to SU students, employees, volunteers, visitors, guests, and vendors (and their employees).
Policy Against Discriminatory Conduct and Bias
Shenandoah University prohibits discrimination by members of the university community on the basis of any protected class listed in the university’s nondiscrimination statement, as well as bias. Shenandoah will address reports of discrimination or bias through the procedures described in this document.1 The university recognizes two actionable types of violations in this policy: (1) discriminatory harassment that creates a hostile environment and (2) bias incidents. Both types of violations may be sanctioned under this policy and are defined below. Discriminatory conduct that creates a hostile environment is considered more severe and is likely to result in more severe sanctions, up to and including suspension or dismissal from the university for students, and dismissal for employees.
The personal display to other members of the university community on campus, or during the course of a Shenandoah program, of clothing, flags, or other items that depict historically discriminatory symbols, such as those used by hate groups, including without limitation Nazi and Confederate imagery, is prohibited under this policy.2
Shenandoah University’s Non-Discrimination Statement
Shenandoah University adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in private institutions of higher education.
Shenandoah University values the unique and diverse perspectives of individuals and communities locally and globally and seeks to foster mutual understanding in an inviting community where individuals are welcome and respected. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, or on any other basis protected under applicable law.
Discrimination is any conduct that acts to, or results in, denying, depriving, or limiting the educational, employment, residential, and/or social access, benefits, and/or opportunities of any member of the Shenandoah University community, guest, or visitor on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in any of the protected classes listed above.
Discrimination may be intentional, unintentional, or based on more than one protected class. It may result from disparate treatment or disparate impact.
- Disparate treatment: treatment of an individual in a protected class (or classes) that is less favorable than treatment of others based on discriminatory reasons.
- Disparate impact: Practices that do not appear facially discriminatory, but that result in a disproportionate impact on a protected class, or a group within a protected class, that cannot be justified by business necessity.
Definitions of Prohibited Conduct
The two definitions below are what may be charged and sanctioned under this Policy.
1. Discriminatory Harassment – Hostile Environment
Discriminatory harassment is:
- Unwelcome conduct by any member or group of the community,
- Directed toward an individual or group on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a class protected by this policy; and
- The conduct is sufficiently severe, and/or
- Pervasive, and
- Objectively offensive such that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities.
Severity, pervasiveness, and objective offensiveness are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances (“in the shoes of the reporting party”), including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced. A “reasonable person” is presumed to be sober and exercising good judgment.
Examples of Discriminatory Harassment – Hostile Environment
- Threatening message(s) targeted toward an individual or group written in public spaces.
- Encouraging others to physically or verbally abuse an individual (or group of individuals) because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
- Repeatedly directing epithets, slurs, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes or stories at an individual or group because of that person or persons’ membership in a protected class.
- Repeated use of verbal epithets, slurs, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes or stories, even if they might be related to academic course material.
- Repeated use of written epithets, slurs, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes or stories that are not directly quoted from course materials and sources.
2. Bias Incident
A bias incident is any unwelcome, offensive behavior or act (verbal, written, or physical) that does not rise to the level of discriminatory harassment/hostile environment (see (a) above) which is:
- Personally directed against or targeted toward an individual or group
- On the basis of perceived or actual membership in a class protected by this policy
Incidents of bias may be intentional or unintentional or delivered as a joke or prank, or with humorous intent.
Unwelcomeness is evaluated subjectively and offensiveness is evaluated objectively from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances.
- Offensive images graffitied on campus sidewalks.
- Microaggressions, such as requesting that an underrepresented student provide perspective on behalf of “their people.”
- Dressing in costumes that stereotypically represent members of a protected class.
- Social media posts directed against a member of a protected class..
- Failing to learn to pronounce, or continuing to mispronounce, the name(s) of a student(s) after being corrected, either as part of a deliberate act of disrespect, or without acknowledgement of the difficulty of pronunciation.
Parties and Witnesses
Shenandoah uses the term “reporting party” to denote the person(s) who experienced the discrimination or bias. They may or may not be the person who submitted a report. Reports brought by individuals other than the person who experienced the discrimination or bias are referred to as “third-party reports” and those bringing them are deemed “third-party reporters.” “Responding party” is used to denote the person alleged to have violated this policy.
Shenandoah may assume the role of “reporting party” in any complaint at the discretion of the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards (“DSC”) or Director of Human Resources (“DHR”). This may happen when a reporting party does not want to make a report or when a third-party reporter makes a report and the DHR/DSC determines an investigation is needed. In cases where a non-student or employee is the person who experienced the discrimination or bias, Shenandoah will assume the role of “reporting party.” In those cases, the non-student or employee who experienced the discrimination or bias will be considered a witness.
Reporting Discrimination or Bias
Community members are encouraged to use the online form as the preferred method to report incidents of discrimination or bias:
Reports should be filed promptly, and preferably within the same semester the prohibited conduct occurred. Reports may also be filed anonymously. However, reports not filed in a timely manner or filed anonymously may make it difficult to investigate and address the conduct thoroughly and accurately.
Assigning a Case Manager
Incident reports are received and reviewed by a Case Manager, who is either the DSC, DHR, the Director of Campus Safety (DCS), or their designee.
- Incidents where the responding party is a student (or students) or guest(s) of a student are directed to the DSC.
- Incidents where the responding party is an employee (or employees), or other persons not designated to the DSC, are directed to the DHR.
- If the DSC or the DHR receive a report involving both a student and employee, they shall forward a copy of the report to the other for the purpose of offering supportive services.
- In cases where no responding party is named or discovered, the DCS will be the case manager. In cases where DCS is the case manager, DCS will investigate utilizing their own internal procedures, which may include providing copies of the report to the Threat Assessment Team.
The DHR or DSC shall also provide a copy of the report to the Bias Education and Support Team (described below) on any report which the DHR or DSC reasonably believes may have a significant campus community impact. The DHR or DSC may appoint a designee to fulfill their responsibilities in any particular matter in which case the acronyms should be read to refer to such designee(s).
Role of the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST)
BEST is comprised of a diverse group of no more than seven (7) faculty and staff selected by the Provost, Vice-President of Student Affairs, DSC and DHR annually. The purpose of BEST is to provide, when requested by the DSC or DHR, the team’s collective experience and knowledge on discrimination, bias and/or crisis management, as well as guidance on how best to respond to the report internally and potentially externally.The Case Manager may consult with BEST in cases when subject expertise is needed. BEST helps coordinate the University’s response to bias-related crisis situations. If a BEST member receives a report of discriminatory conduct or bias directly (rather than from the DSC or DHR), that member shall complete the online form and submit the report no later than 24 hours after they were made aware of the concern.
BEST will be advisory to university leadership in bias-related crisis situations with the following:
- Recommending support measures for individuals and groups
- Ensuring adequate listening measures are in place to support members from marginalized groups targeted by bias have prominent voices in the University’s response measures.
- Developing response strategies and recommendations to support accountability, transparency, and educational opportunities for the University community
- Reviewing communication and supporting OMC
In cases where no responsible parties have been identified, the DCS may ask BEST to help guide the University’s response to reduce the potential impact on the community. Members of BEST will not serve as investigators of complaints reported in accordance with this policy. BEST will have a Student Advisory Board (SAB) that will advise them on reports that BEST has been asked to review. Members of SAB will not be members of BEST; however, they will provide an advisory role to BEST. BEST will select students to serve on SAB with recommendations from the President’s Representatives for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (PRIDE).
Depending on the severity of the incident, the DHR or DSC may contact the DCS to conduct immediate interviews and a preliminary investigation so a threat assessment can be performed. A threat assessment will be performed for all reports that allege or suggest an imminent threat of violence.
The DCS (or designee) will contact local law enforcement if a suspected “hate crime”3 has occurred.
Interim measures are actions taken to maintain the health and safety of all members of the community, and may remain active during the pendency of a case through the appeals process. Interim measures may be enacted by the DSC or DHR in cases of imminent violence, or in which they believe there is a threat of imminent violence, or a substantial disruption to the university community. These measures include, but are not limited to:
- Altering the housing situation of a residential reporting and/or responding party
- Campus ban
- Activities restriction
- Interim suspension
The DHR or DSC will work with the responding party and/or reporting party to make reasonable arrangements to maintain access to Shenandoah’s education programs (e.g., video conferencing for remote participation in class). Shenandoah may take any action permitted by law in the case of employee respondents.
Case Creation and Assigning Investigators
The DHR or DSC will review and assess reports assigned to them, and determine whether to seek guidance from BEST. Assessing a report may require an informal inquiry to help determine if a report rises to the level of a policy violation. If the facts in the report, taken as true, constitute a policy violation in their reasonable opinion, the DHR or DSC will create a case file and assign an investigator or investigation team. If the report does not allege conduct that rises to a policy violation, the DHR or DSC will advise the reporting party of its decision. The DHR or DSC may also provide the reporting party with supportive resources, regardless of whether a report rises to the level of a policy violation.
If a case file is created, the DHR or DSC may serve as investigator or assign one or more investigators to the case. Investigators will be chosen from a pool of faculty and staff investigators who will receive investigation training no less frequently than annually. Third party investigators may be engaged at the discretion of the DHR or DSC, with approval from the Vice President of Administration and General Counsel (or designee) or the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee).
Notices to Parties
The case manager and investigator will communicate with the parties throughout an investigation and resolution. The following notices to both the reporting party and the responding party are required:
Notice of investigation: The case manager will send a notice of investigation within two (2) days of deciding to move forward with an investigation. This notice does not apply to an informal inquiry.
Notice of investigator(s): The case manager will send a notice of the name(s) of the assigned investigator(s) for the case. This notice may be included with the notice of investigation or sent promptly thereafter, once the investigator(s) is assigned.
Notice of hearing panelists/administrator: In a formal resolution (described below), the case manager will send a notice of the names of panel members or the name of the administrator who will decide the case at least two (2) days before a hearing.
Notice of hearing: In a formal resolution, the case manager will send a notice of the time and place of the hearing at least two (2) days prior to the hearing.
Notice of outcome: In a formal resolution, the case manager will send a notice of outcome (found responsible or not responsible) to both the reporting party and responding party after receiving the written determination. If a report is resolved in the informal process the outcome will be notated as “resolved informally.”
Support Person to Parties
Each party is entitled to a support person during the investigation and resolution process. The support person may accompany the party to interviews, meetings, and hearings. A party may choose any support person who is a part of the university community (any faculty, staff or student currently affiliated with the university). The support person may provide guidance and support, but are not allowed to participate directly in interviews and hearings. Parties must inform the case manager of the support person’s name at least two (2) days prior to the first meeting or interview. A party may change their support person during the process with notice to the case manager.
Reporting Conflicts of Interest
Parties, investigators, hearing panelists, and informal resolution administrators are encouraged to report conflicts of interest that may adversely affect their investigation, or the outcome of a case, to the Case Manager as soon as possible after the conflict is discovered. Parties are encouraged to review notices which include the name(s) of investigators and hearing panelists/administrators who will decide a case, and must report to the case manager any conflict of interest or bias that may affect the investigation or case outcome within twenty-four (24) hours of their receipt of notice. The Case Manager is responsible for determining if a conflict disqualifies a person from serving in an informal or formal resolution process, or as an investigator, and will promptly replace any person who has a conflict.
Resolutions and Procedures
The university offers informal or formal resolution procedures for complaints submitted under this Policy. Upon receiving a complaint, the Case Manager (or designee) will meet with the reporting party to discuss the resolution options. Shenandoah encourages, where appropriate, parties to discuss the conflict with the responding party in writing or in person. The university can provide staff to help this discussion through mediation, restorative justice, reflective structured dialogue, and other discussion methods.
Regardless whether the matter is resolved through an informal or formal resolution process, the determining whether the policy was violated shall be made utilizing the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Preponderance of the evidence means that “it is more likely than not a policy violation occurred.”
Confidentiality of Resolution Proceedings
Parties and witnesses involved in an informal or formal resolution are encouraged to maintain as confidential the details of the case. Witnesses and third party reporters are not entitled to information on the outcome of a case.
In the informal resolution process the Case Manager (or designee) will investigate the complaint and make a recommended finding and sanctions. All parties must agree to an informal resolution at all points in the process. If all parties accept the recommendation, which may include sanctions, the case will be documented as “Resolved Informally.” If either party or the Case Manager does not consent to an informal process, the formal resolution will be used.
If a formal resolution process is used, the DHR or DSC will assign one or more investigators to investigate and create a report (see below). The DHR or DSC will assign a mix of faculty and staff members to form a 3 person hearing panel. Hearing panelists will be chosen from a group of faculty and staff trained annually. One of the panelists will be named Chair of the panel. The Chair is responsible for enforcing decorum during the hearing and also has the responsibility to record the decision of the panel in writing.
Investigation and Investigation Report
In a formal resolution, the investigator(s) assigned to the case will collect evidence, hold interviews with the parties and any witnesses, and provide an opportunity for the parties and witnesses to share evidence. The investigator(s) may also include evidence gathered by the DCS (or designee) in the investigation report. The investigator(s) will complete an investigation report and submit it to the DHR or DSC. Prior to submitting the investigation report, the investigator(s) will send a copy of the report to the reporting party and the responding party. Each party may submit comments and request the investigator(s) ask additional questions of a party or witness. The investigator(s) shall note in the investigation report any questions requested by a party that were not asked, and the reason for their exclusion. The reporting party and the responding party will receive a copy of the final report prior to the hearing and determination of responsibility.
Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within ten (10) business days, though some investigations may take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc. The university will make a good faith effort to complete its investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties (to the extent permitted by law) to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.
The DHR or DSC (or designee) shall send the investigation report to the hearing panel and organize a time for the hearing panel to convene. The reporting party and the responding party shall be given at least two (2) days notice of the time and place of the hearing. The reporting party and responding party may request that witnesses interviewed by the investigator(s) attend the panel hearing. The parties may not introduce witnesses, documents, or other evidence at the hearing that were not provided to the investigator(s) during the investigation. The case manager will ask the reporting party and responding party in writing whether witnesses are requested and the names of the witness(es) prior to scheduling a hearing. Formal hearings may occur remotely via video conference, in person, or a mix of the two. If a party does not attend the hearing, the Chair may adjourn until a new hearing is scheduled or hear the case with the information and parties available.
The hearing panel will review the investigation report prior to the hearing. During the hearing, the panel may call on parties, witnesses, and the investigator(s) to answer questions about the case and investigation. Parties may request that the Chair ask specific questions of a party and/or witnesses during the hearing. Such questions shall be directed to the Chair, who will ask or rephrase the question to the appropriate party, or deny the question. The Chair has discretion as to decorum during the hearing and may disallow any person from participating if their conduct is disruptive. The hearing will be recorded for use by the panel. After the hearing the panel will deliberate privately and make a determination of responsibility and issue sanctions if a policy violation occurred. The Chair shall submit the panel’s written decision, which will include its finding as to responsibility and sanctions (if responsible) to the DHR or DSC within ten (10) business days of the end of the hearing.
Outcome and Sanctions
The DHR or DSC will communicate the outcome to both parties. In cases where a formal resolution was used, the DHR or DSC will forward a copy of the panel’s written decision to each party. In cases where the responding party is found responsible, the DHR or DSC will ensure all sanctions are completed.
Sanctions are intended to remedy effects of inappropriate conduct. Some sanctions have educational intent while others are punitive in nature. Factors considered when determining a sanction may include, but are not limited to:
- The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation
- The responding party’s disciplinary history
- Previous allegations or allegations involving similar conduct.
- Any other information deemed relevant by the hearing panel.
- The need for sanctions to bring an end to the discriminatory harassment, bias and/or retaliation.
- The need for sanctions to prevent the future recurrence of discriminatory harassment, bias and/or retaliation.
- The need to remedy the effects of the discriminatory harassment, bias and/or retaliation on the reporting party and the community.
- The impact on those involved.
The following sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the community found responsible for violating this policy.
A. Employee Sanctions
- Educational Experience – As a consequence of the employee’s actions, their continued employment is contingent on them submitting to and actively participating in mandatory education and/or counseling that addresses their particular behaviors; i.e. EAP counseling, education/training on topics such as sexual harassment, personal boundaries, gender respect, discrimination, racism, sexuality and gender, etc.
- Verbal Warning/Reprimand – The mildest form of disciplinary action is a verbal warning from the supervisor to alert the employee to a performance problem or issue, suggest a course of action, and set a timeframe for resolving the problem. It is recommended that the supervisor make a written note of the meeting indicating the date, time and a brief summary of the discussion.
- Written Warning/Reprimand – First level of formalized disciplinary action – can be initiated by a supervisor and/or director and/or vice president. Utilized for infractions that are a step more severe, multiple infractions, or failure to comply after a verbal reprimand. The concerns/infractions are documented in detail, as well as the circumstances of the discussion, and any corrective action plan expected going forward.
- Censure – A written condemnation by Shenandoah University administration of a negative action or behavior by an employee. It is placed in the employee’s file and sets the expectation that such an action/behavior will not happen again.
- Employee Action Plan – The appropriate supervisor/director/vice president may initiate a written disciplinary action plan by using the Performance Improvement Plan form. The completed form will outline the performance problem or issue, suggest course(s) of action, set a time frame for resolving the problem, and indicate the potential consequences that may occur if the problem is not resolved. The appropriate vice president and the director/supervisor must sign the written reprimand. Performance Improvement Plan form is available from the Office of Human Resources.
- Temporary or permanent reassignment of job responsibilities.
- Probation – Places an employee in a probationary status for a predetermined period of time as a result of their previous negative actions. The employee would be made aware that for the duration of the probationary period he or she would be under close scrutiny, and any repeat of those past prohibited actions would result in further sanctions; in all likelihood dismissal.
- Demotion – A written notification of the reason for the demotion will be provided to the employee, which may include a warning of any further disciplinary action, if the demotion was not voluntary.
- Suspension – As a result of the employee’s negative behavior they would be prevented from conducting their job and from being on campus property for a predetermined amount of time. The suspension can be paid or unpaid depending on the circumstances. The employee is still considered an employee and would have their job once the term of suspension ended. Suspension is generally recognized second only to dismissal in severity.
- Dismissal – This is the forced termination of the individual’s employee relationship with Shenandoah University. It is the most severe sanction.
B. Student Sanctions
The following are the typical sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:
- Written warning: official record that a student has been warned about behavior
- Educational task: student must complete an assignment that benefits self, campus or community
- Conflict mediation or restorative justice conference
- Training on harassment and appropriate interactions with peers and partners
- Training on cultural sensitivity
- Step UP! Bystander Intervention Training
- Safe Zone Training (Sexuality and Gender)
- Educational dialogue
- Mentoring relationship
- Attending a [Not Just] Women’s Center, Mosaic Center, or other campus awareness event
- Provide education to the community
- Referral: requires the student seek appropriate guidance or resources for their success.
- Community restitution project: work projects on or off campus.
- Restitution: reimbursement by the student to cover the cost of repair or replacement of damaged or misappropriated property.
- Relegation to final room selection: student loses the opportunity to participate in the annual room selection (lottery) process.
- Removal from university housing: required removal from university housing with final approval from the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Residential Community Services (or designee) and without the refund of room fees. Once assigned this sanction, a student must move within a designated time frame (usually 48 hours unless otherwise permitted by the director of residence life & student conduct), after which the removed student cannot enter university housing without permission from the director of residence life & student conduct (or designee).
- Removal of property: The university can require removal of property that contributes to a harmful environment, for example a hostile sexual environment.
- University housing relocation: requires the student to move to another room, hall or quad with approval from the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Residential Community Services(or designee) Student must relocate within 24 hours, after which they cannot enter the building from which they were removed throughout the term of the sanction without permission from the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Residential Community Services (or designee).
- No-contact order: student is prohibited from having any direct or indirect contact or contact via a third-party with a particular person. Violating a no-contact order may result in suspension.
- Restriction of activities or privileges: participation in any and/or all organized university activities other than required academic endeavors are restricted for a designated period of time.
- Conduct probation: a period of self reflection during which a student is on official warning that subsequent violations of university rules, regulations or policies are likely to result in more severe sanctions, including suspension or dismissal from the university.
- Conduct suspension: a temporary cancellation of a student’s enrollment at Shenandoah University with approval from the Dean of Students (or designee). Once assigned this sanction, a student is immediately removed from classes and banned from university property. A student cannot enter university property during their term of suspension without prior permission from the Dean of Students (or designee) nor graduate. Any classes taken at another institution while suspended typically cannot be transferred to Shenandoah University unless given special permission by the Dean of Students and the Academic Dean or Provost. If a student lives in campus housing, they have 24 hours to vacate their campus residence.
- Campus ban: student is banned from being present on either the entire campus or specified areas of the campus.
- Dismissal from the university: a permanent cancellation of a student’s enrollment at Shenandoah University with approval from the vice president for student success (or designee). Once assigned this sanction, students are immediately removed from classes and banned from university property. A student cannot enter university property once dismissed without prior permission from the vice president for student success (or designee) nor re-enroll or graduate from Shenandoah University.
- Additional stipulations: additional sanctions a student must complete and/or follow.
C. Volunteer, Visitor, Guest or Independent Contractor/Vendor Sanctions
- Termination of Agreement (with a volunteer or independent contractor/vendor).
- Campus ban.
Either party may appeal a decision made in a formal resolution. Appellate officers for discrimination and bias cases are the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee), Provost (or designee), and Vice President of Administration and General Counsel (or designee).
Requesting an Appeal
A party wishing to make an appeal must submit a written request for appeal to the DHR or DSC including the reason for the appeal request, within 72 hours of receiving the original written decision. The DHR or DSC will forward the appeal request to the appropriate appellate officer. For cases involving a student as a responding party, the appellate officer will be the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee). For cases involving a faculty member as a responding party, the appellate officer will be the Provost (or designee) and for cases involving a staff member as a responding party, the appellate officer will be the Vice President for Administration (or designee).
Grounds for Appeal
The grounds for appeal are:
- A serious procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
- There is new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the request for appeal; or
- The sanctions imposed are inappropriate for the violation.
The appellate officer may take one of four possible actions during the appeal:
- Deny the request as untimely or ineligible;
- Affirm the findings and the sanction imposed;
- Grant the appeal and remand the finding for further investigation or reconsideration at the hearing level; or
- Modify a sanction.
The decision of the appellate officer is considered final. In cases where the appellate officer remands the finding for further investigation or rehearing, either party may appeal the determination made by the decision maker during the re-hearing.
Reporting actual or suspected discriminatory harassment or bias is a protected activity at Shenandoah University. Adverse action taken against a person for reporting such misconduct or participating in an investigation, hearing, or decision making process is considered retaliation. Retaliation is a separate violation of policy and may be charged, heard, and sanctioned under the procedures in the student code of conduct (for alleged retaliation by a student) or the procedures in the faculty and/or staff handbook (for alleged retaliation by an employee); or the alleged retaliation
complaint may be heard by the single administrator or hearing panel that heard the underlying case, at the discretion of the case manager.
The case manager will retain records of cases of discrimination and bias in the same or similar manner of other employee and/or student cases. Files will be kept for ten (10) years. Recordings of hearings will be retained through the appeals process.
The DHR or DSC may arrange supportive services for the reporting party and/or responding party at any time during the process. These supportive services are designed to be non-punitive and to restore access to Shenandoah’s programs and activities. These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Visa and immigration assistance
- Student financial aid counseling
- Education to the community
- Altering the housing arrangement of a residential victim/reporting party, if desired
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Safety planning
- Providing campus escorts
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties
- Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
- Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.) or otherwise implementing academic assistance;
- Taking an incomplete in a class;
- Assistance with transferring class sections;
- Temporary withdrawal; and/or
- Assistance with alternative course completion options
Approved by University Cabinet – 8/4/20
Revisions Approved by University Cabinet – 1/8/21
Revisions Approved by University Cabinet – 10/5/22
Sex discrimination that violates Title IX is also prohibited in a separate policy. Allegations of sex discrimination constituting sexual harassment that violate Title IX will be handled in accordance with Shenandoah’s procedures found at the following link: https://www.su.edu/campus-life/shenandoah-universitys-stance-on-sexual-misconduct/ . Allegations of sexual harassment that do not meet a definition of prohibited conduct under the Title IX policy may be resolved using this Nondiscrimination and Bias Policy
The policy does not apply to discriminatory symbols, epithets, slurs, or derogatory comments used, on a non-repeated basis, by faculty or staff in a university learning environment to deliver academic content, or in university approved performances.
According to Virginia law, “hate crime” means (i) a criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin or that is committed for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States, (ii) any illegal act directed against any persons or their property because of those persons’ race, religion or national origin, and (iii) all other incidents, as determined by law-enforcement authorities, intended to intimidate or harass any individual or group because of race, religion or national origin.