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POLICY ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, NON-DISCRIMINATION AND DIVERSITY
As part of the Massachusetts Public Higher Education System, Bridgewater State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and affirmative action in its educational programs, activities, and employment practices. It is the policy of the university not to discriminate on basis of gender, race, color, disability, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, and marital or veteran status., in fulfillment of the requirements of Federal Executive Orders 11246 and 11375 as amended; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended; the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988; the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 as amended; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and pertinent Laws, Regulations and Executive Orders; directives of the Board of Higher Education, the Boards of Trustees of the State University and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other applicable local, state and federal statues. Inquiries concerning the university's compliance with affirmative action programs may be addressed to the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance in Boyden Hall, Room 206.
POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Bridgewater State University prohibits any member of the university community, male or female, from sexually harassing another employee, student or other person having dealings with this institution. The university is committed to providing a working, living and learning environment that is free from all forms of sexually abusive, harassing or coercive conduct. This policy seeks to protect the rights of all members of the university community and other persons having dealings with the institution, and to assure that all are treated with respect and dignity.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted attention or behavior of a sexual nature from someone in the workplace or classroom that causes discomfort or interferes with work or academic performance. Unwelcome sexual advances, sexual remarks, touching and requests for sexual favors are examples of behaviors that may be considered sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of behavior which fundamentally undermines the integrity of academic and employment relationships. It is of particular concern within educational institutions where all members of the university community are connected by strong bonds of intellectual interdependence and trust. Both the federal courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have ruled that sexual harassment constitutes sex discrimination as defined under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual Harassment has also been judged to be prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 as amended, and under Chapters 151B and 151C of the Massachusetts General Laws.
Individuals at the university who are determined to practice sexual harassment shall be officially reprimanded, censured, or punished more severely, as warranted by the circumstance. Moreover, the university will not tolerate reprisals against victims of sexual harassment, and any reprisal by the accused and/or others shall result in disciplinary action being taken.
Students, faculty, administration, and staff, are entitled by law to a workplace and learning environment that is free from unwelcome sexual behaviors. Confronting an offender is often difficult. While deciding how to best deal with the situation, individuals are encouraged to seek information and guidance at any time from the university Counseling Center, the Human Resources Department, or the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance.
If it is felt that an incident of sexual harassment has occurred, a member of the university community has the following options:
§ If possible, resolve the issue with the individual whose action is being questioned. In many cases, the "harasser" may not even realize that his or her actions are offensive. Be assertive and firm about your own rights. It is advisable to take a friend along as an advocate or for support. This person can be asked later to serve as a witness, if needed. Keep a careful written record of the meeting.
§ If the offensive behavior is not corrected, the incident(s) should be reported. It is recommended that you contact the university's Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance for guidelines and policy information for processing a complaint.
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POLICY ON RACIAL HARASSMENT
Bridgewater State University is dedicated not only to learning, but to the development of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. Because this university prepares individuals for participation in an increasingly diverse world, the climate of university life must be one in which academic freedom prevails along with respect for and tolerance of cultural, ethnic, racial, and religious differences.
The university seeks to achieve these goals through sound educational programs and conduct policies which encourage independence and maturity. Racial harassment, clearly in conflict with the general mission of this university, is strictly prohibited. In addition, racial harassment in many instances violates Massachusetts criminal statutes, and, when civil rights are denied, may violate other state and federal laws as well.
Racial harassment includes--but is not limited to--verbal, physical, or written abuse directed towards an individual or group on the basis of race or racial affiliation. While some examples of racial harassment such as physical and verbal assaults are easily identified, more frequent and generalized instances such as blatant and subtle graffiti and insensitive use of language--including epithets and "humor"--often go unacknowledged. Both types, however, can be equally damaging.
This university is a public institution, and as such, its policies must be consistent with existing state and federal constitutions and civil rights laws. In keeping with Bridgewater's special role as an educational institution, however, university policy regarding racial harassment in several respects is more stringent in defining unacceptable behavior than state/federal law.
Beyond state law and university regulations, Bridgewater State University sees as part of its educational mission the responsibility for creating an open environment which develops and nurtures respect for cultural and linguistic differences, and seeks to educate its members of the need for all types of diversity within its community.
Persons who feel that they have been victims of racial harassment are encouraged to use the university's administrative and/or legal processes. Whether an individual decides to pursue a complaint through the university procedures or through the civil courts, or both, it is important that all cases of racial harassment be thoroughly documented.
If you feel that you have been a victim of racial, religious or any other type of harassment, it is recommended that you contact the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance for guidelines and policy information for processing a complaint.
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POLICY ON AGE DISCRIMINATION
In recognition of the current problems which exist in society today with respect to discrimination against persons over 40, and in accordance with federal and state law, Bridgewater State University has adopted a policy prohibiting discrimination based on age in the working, living and learning environment of our university campus.
This policy specifically prohibits the use of age as a factor where prohibited by law, in decisions affecting the employment or educational status of a member of the university community or of an applicant for admission or employment.
Any individual who feels he/she has been a victim of age discrimination or harassment should contact the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance for guidelines and policy information for processing a complaint.
POLICY ON CAMPUS ACCESSIBILITY
is the policy of Bridgewater State University to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and
other applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability. The
University is committed to providing equal and integrated access for individuals
with disabilities to all the academic, social, cultural, and recreational
programs it offers.
Although the achievement of architectural and physical access is a work-in-progress, the University has accessible travel ways throughout most of the campus and offers accessible campus bus service. Most buildings are accessible with the use of ramps, lifts and elevators: Pope and Scott Halls are accessible on the main floor and elevators or lifts are available in Boyden Hall, Harrington Hall, the Campus Center, the Maxwell Library, the Conant Science Building, Kelly Gymnasium, the Moakley Center, the Tinsley Center, East Commons, East Hall, Hart Hall, Miles and DiNardo Halls, Woodward Hall and Shea and Durgin Halls. Each campus parking lot has accessible parking.
The University continually works to improve campus accessibility. It has recently begun to undertake a number of construction projects and renovations that will affect the campus. These current and future projects, as well as any periodic work by the Town of Bridgewater, may temporarily impact or disrupt accessible travel routes, building accessibility and/or parking. In an effort to provide the community with as much information as possible regarding such disruptions, the University will promptly issue a campus-wide email to all students, faculty and staff concerning the disruptions and provide information regarding alternative modes of access.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to plan their schedules to permit adequate travel time between classes. While most of the University’s classrooms are physically accessible, students with disabilities should contact the Disability Resources Office to assist with making arrangements to move a class to an accessible location, if needed. The Disability Resources Office is located in the Academic Achievement Center on the ground floor of the Maxwell Library, phone 508-531-2194, TTY 508-531-6113.
Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance is the
designated office to provide information and coordinate all other services
regarding physical access to the campus. Students, faculty, staff, and guests
with concerns or questions regarding campus accessibility may contact the Office
Dr. Alan V. Comedy
Section 504/ADA Coordinator
Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disability Compliance
Boyden Hall, Room 206
131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA 02325
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POLICY ON NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Bridgewater State University recognizes the multitude of barriers which confront persons with disabilities in access to both employment and education. Consistent with state and federal statutes which affirm and protect the equal opportunity rights of otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, the university adopted a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. In all matters of employment and education such persons will receive full and fair treatment.
Employment of Persons with Disabilities
The university will examine all existing employment policies, practices and facilities to assure that they do no disparately treat or impact otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. Where such disparity is found, it will be corrected as quickly and completely as is reasonable under existing financial constraints.
The university will make every effort to employ and advance in employment otherwise qualified persons and will take measures to advocate for equal opportunity in all areas of employment, including recruitment, selection, upgrading, training, compensation, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to, vigorous identification of competitive persons with disabilities for selection, promotion and training.
In accordance with law, the university will afford reasonable accommodations to any otherwise qualified employee with a disability to enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations will also be afforded to applicants for employment who have a disability to enable them to adequately pursue a candidacy for any available position.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST LAW
The Conflict of Interest Law (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 268A) is designed to prevent situations in which an individual's private interests conflict with his or her responsibilities as a public employee.
The law has provisions which prohibit the acceptance of gifts, which prohibit the involvement of public employees in state contracts and related matters in which they may have a financial interest, and which restrict the types of secondary state employment certain types of employees may accept. The law has numerous other provisions of a similar nature.
Compliance with the law is the individual responsibility of the employee. Violation of the law can result in fines as well as criminal penalties. New employees are given a copy of this law and related materials when they receive benefits information and should review that material.
Employees who have specific questions about the Conflict of Interest Law should contact the Ethics Commission at 617.727.0060 or visit their website at www.state.ma.us/ethics.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW
Campaign Finance Law (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 55) regulates
political activity by public employees and the use of public buildings and
resources in campaigns. Appointed, compensated employees may not directly or
indirectly solicit contributions, or anything else of value, for campaigns or
other political purposes. Compliance with the law is the individual
responsibility of the employee.
Employees who have specific questions about the Campaign Finance Law should contact the Office of Campaign and Political Finance at 617-727-8352 or visit their web site at www.state.ma.us/ocpf.
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