Below you will find helpful definitions and frequently asked questions related to the Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy. If you have questions that are not answered below, please contact the Civil Rights & Title IX Office.

Helpful Definitions

General FAQs

There are several Confidential Resources on campus, including at the Emmons Student Wellness Center (for students), the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (for students, faculty, and staff), and the Employee Assistance Program (for faculty and staff).

No, you may use the Anonymous Reporting Form. However, the College’s ability to respond to anonymous reports may be limited.

Yes, although such requests cannot always be approved. It depends on several factors, including the nature and scope of the reported incident, ongoing risk to you or the community, and fairness considerations for both parties.

Information related in a report of Prohibited Conduct will only be shared with individuals who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, or resolution of the report. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process. Though there are certain limitations on privacy, the College generally will not release the names of the Complainant or Respondent to the general public without express written consent or absent another exception consistent with the law. The release of names will be guided by applicable law, including FERPA and the Clery Act.

Process FAQs

The Civil Rights & Title IX Office will begin an initial assessment to gather information, respond to any immediate health or safety concerns, and provide the complainant with information about resources and different procedural options. The Civil Rights Coordinator will determine whether the allegations describe Prohibited Conduct and discuss the appropriate method of resolution with the Complainant, which may be investigation, non-disciplinary resolution, or referring or closing the matter.

If the matter proceeds to Disciplinary Resolution, a trained, neutral investigator (typically an external professional) will be appointed to gather facts and draft a report.

The Civil Rights Coordinator will take all reasonable steps to accommodate such requests, but may determine it is necessary to pursue an investigation. The Civil Rights Coordinator will consider several factors in response to a complainant’s request not to pursue investigation/discipline, including the nature and scope of the conduct, risk posed to the complainant or community, whether others were involved, and the College’s legal obligations.

In December 2021, the College’s faculty voted to delegate authority to the Civil Rights & Title IX Office to handle intake, assessment, and resolution procedures for DHR complaints involving faculty. The procedures in the DHR Policy, instead of the Faculty Handbook, thus apply to discrimination complaints by or against faculty. But under the DHR Policy, faculty retain responsibility for imposing any sanctions against a tenured faculty member. If a T3 faculty member is found responsible for a Policy violation, the matter is referred to a Faculty Hearing Committee.

Yes. The DHR Policy does not impact your rights under any applicable collective bargaining agreement. If you have experienced discrimination, you may still bring a grievance through any contractual procedures that may apply. And if another person alleges you have engaged in discrimination, any related disciplinary action must be undertaken consistent with your contract. However, if you elect to bring a grievance subject to your collective bargaining agreement, the Civil Rights Coordinator may suspend any procedures under the DHR Policy covering the same incident(s), to avoid conflicting processes and findings.

Free Speech FAQs

How does the DHR Policy interact with freedom of expression?

In an academic community that is created and strengthened by the diversity of its constituents, free speech is fundamental to ensuring the exchange of ideas across social, political, and other boundaries. The DHR Policy maintains balance between the College’s strong commitments to both protecting individuals and groups from identity-based harassment and preserving freedom of thought and expression. It provides that allegations of discrimination and harassment involving speech must be carefully considered in light of students’ free speech rights under California law and the College’s commitment to academic freedom and free speech.

As a protected right under California’s Leonard Law, a student may not be subject to discipline on the basis of speech, unless it rises to the legal standard of being unprotected. Speech may be unprotected, for example, if it contains a genuine physical threat toward an individual, constitutes unlawful harassment or defamation, disrupts College operations, or incites imminent unlawful action. In many cases, a person’s statements may be offensive, hateful, harmful, or otherwise inconsistent with the College’s inclusive mission, and yet be subject to legal protection.

What happens if an incident is found to involve protected speech and is not subject to the DHR Policy?

Even if a speech-related incident involves protected speech and is not subject to discipline, offensive or hateful speech can have a deeply negative impact on individuals or the community. In such cases, the College is committed to providing support and resources for impacted individuals or groups. The Civil Rights & Title IX Office, Intercultural Community Center, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Project Safe, Emmons Wellness Center, Campus Safety, and Residential Education & Housing are available to provide support services and coordinate resources, whether or not a speech-related incident falls within a disciplinary process. When appropriate, College staff may seek to facilitate a discussion among the parties involved and/or offer educational opportunities to the person about whom a report is made, a student organization, or the broader community.

Contact the Civil Rights & Title IX Office
AGC Administrative Center

 First Floor, Room 111