EQUITY COMPLIANCE

Wesleyan is an institution devoted to learning, openness, and the life of the mind; it follows that its character can be measured in part by the kind of human relationships built and sustained within this small but complex environment. The community itself will flourish only to the degree that the virtues of mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others are maintained. It is vitally important, therefore, that harassment and discrimination in all their forms not be tolerated.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion serves students, faculty, administrators and staff concerning all issues of equity and opportunity as they relate to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. The Office develops policies and procedures; and offers programming for the campus community regarding issues of diversity and equal opportunity/affirmative action.  

Wesleyan University will not tolerate retaliation against individuals bringing a complaint or participating in an investigation. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation rests with all members of the University community.

  • Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity

    EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

    Wesleyan University is fully committed to a policy of equal opportunity throughout the University, and to this end abides by all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to non-discrimination and fair employment practices.

    Accordingly, the University recruits, hires, trains, promotes and educates individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Wesleyan University administers all personnel action such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, education, tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STATEMENT

    The Wesleyan University's affirmative action program is designed to achieve diversity among faculty, administrators and staff; to treat all appointments and promotions in a manner free from discrimination; and to correct any under-utilization of women and minorities in employment positions. Wesleyan, as an institution dedicated to excellence in liberal studies, has a responsibility to itself to seek out the most talented people and a responsibility to society to further the goal of achieving equality of opportunity.

    For that reason, along with the principle of nondiscrimination, the University is committed to a program of affirmative action with regard to members of certain groups as specified by the U.S. Department of Labor. Wesleyan, therefore, makes concerted efforts to recruit, employ, and promote qualified members of minority groups, women, handicapped individuals who are otherwise qualified, special disabled veterans, and veterans of the Vietnam era.

    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN

    The college, through its Plan of Affirmative Action (link to executive summary) will continue to make good faith efforts and undertake positive action to overcome the present effects of past practices, policies or barriers to equal employment opportunity and to achieve the full and fair participation of Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaskan Aleuts found to be underutilized in the workforce. The college, through its Plan of Affirmative Action, with conviction and effort, will also continue to undertake positive action for the full and fair participation of the above groups and any other protected group found to be adversely impacted by college policies or practices.

    Equal opportunity is defined as employment of individuals without consideration of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information (Section 46a-60(a)(11) of the Connecticut General Statutes), national origin, ancestry, mental retardation, past or present history of mental disability, physical disability (including but not limited to blindness, learning disability), veteran status, or criminal record, unless the provisions of section 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b) or 86a-81(b) exclude persons in one or more of the above protected groups.  Equal employment opportunity is the purpose and goal of Affirmative Action.

    The president of the University has ultimate responsibility for the implementation of all affirmative action laws, regulations, and guidelines. He has charged the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost with reporting and monitoring affirmative action procedures applied to faculty employment, and the Office of Human Resources for staff employment in consultation with the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

  • One Policy on Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

    adopted Summer 2015

    ONE POLICY: DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

    Wesleyan is an institution devoted to learning, openness, and the life of the mind.  It follows that its character can be measured in part by the kind of human relationships built and sustained within this small but complex environment. Wesleyan strives to be a community built upon mutual trust and respect for its constituent members: students, faculty, staff and those visiting or under temporary contract.


    A community will flourish only to the degree that the virtues of mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others are maintained. Therefore, it is vitally important that harassment and discrimination in all their forms not be tolerated. As noted in University Policy, members of the University community have the right to a safe and welcoming campus environment.

    Wesleyan University will not tolerate discriminatory harassment and/or sexual misconduct (whether it comes in the form of intimate partner violencenon-consensual sexual activity and sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking or sexual harassment) against students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of any university contractors/agents.

    In an ongoing effort to prevent sexual misconduct on the Wesleyan campus, the University provides education and prevention programs for all members of the Wesleyan community and pursues available administrative and/or criminal remedies for complaints of sexual misconduct as appropriate.

    All acts of sexual misconduct threaten personal safety and violate the standards of conduct -- mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others -- expected of all community members.

    Statement of Policy
    Wesleyan University prohibits all forms of discriminatory harassment and sexual misconduct. Wesleyan University is committed to ensuring that each member of the university community has the opportunity to participate fully in the process of education and development. Wesleyan strives to maintain a safe and welcoming environment free from acts of discriminatory harassment and sexual misconduct. However, when incidents occur, it is the University is committed to respond in a manner that provides safety, privacy and support to those affected.


    Individuals and Entities Affected by this Policy
    This policy shall apply to all individuals affiliated with Wesleyan University, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of contractors/agents.  It is intended to protect the rights and privacy of the complainant, respondent and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation or reprisal. Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action.

    This policy applies to anyone on the property of Wesleyan University and anyone present at Wesleyan-sponsored programs or events. This policy extends to off-campus violations by both students and employees in limited circumstances.


    Romantic Relationships
    Wesleyan University is committed to maintaining learning and work environments as free as possible from conflicts of interest, exploitation, and favoritism. Where a party uses a position of authority to induce another person to enter into a relationship, the harm both to that person and to the institution is clear. Even where the relationship is consensual, there is significant potential for harm when there is an institutional power difference between the parties involved, as is the case, for example, between supervisor and employee, faculty and student, or academic advisor and advisee.

    All members of the university community must be aware that romantic relationships with students are likely to lead to difficulties and have the potential to place faculty and staff at great personal and professional risk.  Any member of the university community who participates in decisions concerning the person with whom they have or have had a romantic relationship creates the potential for conflicts of interest, exploitation, and favoritism in those situations. In the event of a charge of sexual harassment arising from such circumstances, the University will in general be unsympathetic to a defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a power differential existed within the relationship.


    Rights of Those Who Report Policy Violations
    Those who report any type of discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct, to a University employee will be referred to the Office of Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Office and informed of all their rights and options, including the necessary steps and potential outcomes of each option.

    The University will provide assistance to those involved in a report of sexual misconduct or discriminatory harassment, including but not limited to reasonably available accommodations and modifications for academic, transportation, housing or working situations as well as honoring lawful protective or temporary restraining orders.


    Sexual Misconduct Support Services
    Whenever the Title IX Coordinator or another employee receives a report that students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of contractors/agents has been subjected to sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or other employee shall immediately provide the student, faculty or staff member with contact information for and assistance in accessing and using campus, local advocacy, counseling, health, and mental health services.

    Those who report being subjected to sexual misconduct shall be provided information about their right to notify law enforcement and receive assistance from campus authorities in making the notification.


    Procedures
    Procedures for the investigation and resolution of complaints are specific for studentsfaculty and staff and are outlined in respective handbooks. Each process provides an equal, fair, and timely process for both complainants and respondents.  Click here for an overview of Current Faculty Complaint Procedures / Flowchart.


    Accountability, Investigation and Resolution
    In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct, the University looks at the totality of circumstances including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred.

    The determination that the conduct violates University policy will be made on a case-by-case basis using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including academic dismissal or termination of employment. The University will take immediate and appropriate corrective action based on the findings in each case as outlined in the respective handbooks:  

    Retaliation
    Any individual subject to this policy who intentionally engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action as appropriate.


    Policy Oversight
    The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published clear guidance that instructs and directs the Office of Equity & Inclusion and the Title IX Officer to ensure campus-wide protocol is implemented and serve as the central person to whom all complaints or notice related to discriminatory harassment, sex/gender bias, sexual misconduct and disability discrimination is directed.

    The Vice President for Equity & Inclusion serves as Wesleyan’s Title IX Officer and has the following responsibilities:
    • Ensure prompt response to stop the harassment/discrimination
    • Implement immediate remedial support for the victim
    • Initiate the preliminary investigation
    • Oversee action to reasonably prevent the recurrence
    • Conduct ongoing educational campaigns and climate monitoring of sexual misconduct allegations.


    Wesleyan Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Staff
    Antonio Farias
    Vice President for Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Officer
    317 North College
    860-685-4771
    afarias@wesleyan.edu

    Debbie Colucci
    Equity Compliance Director / Deputy Title IX Coordinator
    121 North College
    860-685-2456
    dcolucci@wesleyan.edu
  • Non-Disciminatory Harassment

    The University also prohibits harassment not specifically based on a person’s or persons’ membership in a protected category. Attempts to resolve concerns or complaints involving NON-DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT informally are encouraged.  If, however, the complaint is not resolved informally, different bodies, depending on the nature of the complaint and the position of the individual against whom a complaint has been made, may adjudicate it.

    Complaints regarding non-discriminatory harassment by faculty, students, administrators, staff, vendors, or visitors should be directed to the Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (FCRR), the Dean of Students/Student Judicial Board, the Graduate Office/Judicial Board, the Office of Human Resources, or the Office of Equity & Inclusion as appropriate.

  • November 2015 Message to the Campus Community Regarding Next Steps

    November 24, 2015

    Members of the Wesleyan community,

    In these troubling times, when campuses across the nation are grappling with institutional racism, I continually ask myself what more we can do to ensure that the lives of all of our students, and in particular our students of color, are free from discrimination that harms their experience at Wesleyan.

    Two years ago, I was hired as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Officer, stepping into a position that President Roth created in 2008 when he recruited Sonia Mañjon to Wesleyan.  My first task was to reorganize our operations into a new Office of Equity & Inclusion, whose efforts extend to the entire campus community. Our intention from the start was to expand our focus from sexual violence to encompass all discriminatory behaviors that affect members of the Wesleyan community.  We hired a full-time senior Director for Equity Compliance and a part-time Dean was made full-time. Both Dean and Director serve as equity advocates and have done a great deal to support students of color and marginalized communities. My hope is that students, faculty and staff will become more aware of this work and actively join us in these efforts.

    All our staffing and reorganization efforts have resulted in a strong foundation for advancing equity and inclusion goals. Following President Roth’s recent message to the campus community on next steps, I briefed the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and student organizers on how the Title IX Core Team will be expanding its purview to include oversight over all discriminatory behavior and the creation of a positive social climate that enables all students, faculty, and staff to thrive in our community.  We will be scheduling recurring community town halls, forums, and focus groups in order to take a robust accounting of current needs as well as to tap the vast community expertise we possess in the service of creating sustainable and significant changes designed to enhance our individual and collective ability to thrive. This Equity Next Steps webpage will be updated on a recurring basis in order to keep the campus community informed as to progress and will serve as a historical record of change efforts.

    We cannot fix what we cannot see, and it is apparent from the heartrending stories I’ve heard from marginalized students that our system of documenting and investigating instances of discrimination is not sufficiently understood and used across the campus. Reporting is an essential first step to get at the root causes of discriminatory behaviors that are caustic to the learning process. We currently have a draft bias protocol designed to educate the community about keywords, definitions, and expectation of process and outcomes pertinent to our anti-discrimination policies. We also have developed an incident reporting database we call Maxient. Our Equity Compliance Office has investigated all reports of bias incidents and allegations of discriminatory behavior, and will continue to do so. 

    To make these efforts more visible, I have discussed with members of the OEI Student Advisory the desirability of creating an annual report to the campus community similar to the Annual Report on Sexual Violence, beginning in April 2016.  The report will detail our efforts regarding policy, education, investigations, and initiatives. This document will be available via our public website.

    We anticipate filling the open position of Dean for Equity & Inclusion in February. The Dean will continue to engage with students from historically marginalized communities, with a particular mandate of increasing underrepresented and gender equity in STEM fields.

    I look forward to working with the entire Wesleyan community to address the damage caused by prejudice, discrimination and marginalization and to build on achievements characterized by openness, courage and perseverance. As many of you know, my staff and I have an open door policy, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of it even as we proactively reach out to our broad and diverse community.

    Sincerely,

    Antonio Farias

    V.P. for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX Officer

  • Report An Incident

    Wesleyan is an institution devoted to learning, openness, and the life of the mind; it follows that its character can be measured in part by the kind of human relationships built and sustained within this small but complex environment.

    The community itself will flourish only to the degree that the virtues of mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others are maintained. It is vitally important, therefore, that harassment and discrimination in all their forms not be tolerated.

    The INCIDENT REPORTING FORM is one of several ways for members of the University community to report any type of incident that is concerning, harmful, and/or contrary to the Wesleyan's Community Standards.

    In addition to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, incidents can also be reported directly to Public SafetyHuman Resources, or the Office of Dean of Students.

    Please note that submissions using this form may not be reviewed outside of normal business hours. If there is an immediate risk to health or safety, please contact Wesleyan Public Safety at 860-685-3333 or dial 911

    Click here for additional sexual assault response and reporting information.