Discrimination Complaint Procedure
The State University of New York, in its continuing effort to seek equity in education and employment and in support of federal and state anti-discrimination legislation, has adopted a new complaint procedure (April, 2015) for the prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of allegations of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status or marital status. Harassment is one form of unlawful discrimination on the basis of the above protected categories. Conduct that may constitute harassment is described under Definitions. This complaint procedure may be used by any student or employee of a state-operated campus of the University.
Employee grievance procedures established through negotiated contracts, academic grievance review committees, student disciplinary grievance boards and any other procedures defined by contract will continue to operate as before. Furthermore, this procedure does not in any way deprive a complainant of the right to file with outside enforcement agencies, such as the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance of the United States Department of Labor. However, after filing with one of these outside enforcement agencies, or upon the initiation of litigation, the complaint will be referred to the Office of University Counsel for review.
This procedure provides a mechanism through which the University may identify, respond to, and prevent incidents of illegal discrimination. The University recognizes and accepts its responsibility in this regard and believes that the establishment of this internal, non-adversarial grievance process will benefit student, faculty, staff, and administration, permitting investigation and resolution of problems without resorting to the frequently expensive and time-consuming procedures of state and federal enforcement agencies or courts.
The University Police also has a Silent Witness Program, which lets an individual electronically report a crime or incident that has been witnessed. Reports regarding racist, homophobic, other discriminatory comments/actions, or harassment, will be sent to the Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator as well as University Police. If the event witnessed is a crime, University Police will investigate and follow up as much as possible. If it is a bias incident, the report will be forwarded to Judicial Affairs, and the Office of Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator. If the individual submitting the report leaves his/her contact information, the Police Department or other involved parties will be able to provide an update on the case. The form may be submitted anonymously, however.