Princeton University’s Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity is encouraging students to report identity discrimination incidents. Flyers were distributed throughout the grounds of the campus providing information about how to report such incidents, and about resources that are available for those who experience them.
They read that while “not every experience can or should be addressed through a disciplinary process…there are always resources available to help you manage your experience.” They encourage students to “consider reporting your experience.”
“Even if you do not want to pursue disciplinary action, or your experience is not appropriate for disciplinary action,” the posters proclaim that reporting negative identity-related incidents “helps Princeton monitor behavior on campus and identify opportunities to improve it.”
The flyer lists several reporting options, such as the opportunity to “talk to someone informally” at the Carl A. Fields Center for Diversity and Cultural Understanding, the Women’s Center, the LGBT Center, the International Center, the Office of Religious Life, or the Office of Disability Services.
“These offices are not confidential resources,” the poster cautions, though it states that students may “consult a confidential resource” such as the Ombuds Office, the chaplains in the Office of Religious Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, or the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, & Education (SHARE) Office.
There is also “coaching on conflict resolution or mediation” available from the Ombuds Office, “if desired.” Another option is to “report the experience to Institutional Equity and Diversity,” which “monitors information about interactions that may not meet the definition of discrimination or harassment but suggest a pattern or a larger hostile environment.”
Depending on the information collected while investigating such reports, “Princeton may initiate a climate review of a department or unit,” potentially resulting in “training or other resources” being provided to that unit.
Students who endure problematic identity-related experiences may also “request adjustments to your living, working, or academic experience,” including “changes in housing, student life–focused activities, or…a No Contact Order;” “academic adjustments or extensions;” and “adjustments to your working environment.”
For more serious offenses, students are encouraged to “file a formal complaint,” after which Princeton will conduct a review and an “appropriate office may then conduct interviews, gather evidence, and make a determination of responsibility.”
Students are also offered the option to file complaints anonymously, though the flyers caution that this approach “may limit Princeton’s ability to respond.”
Finally, students are reminded they may file complaints with a law enforcement agency or “external regulatory agency” such as the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.