Policy on Nondiscrimination

Bluffton University is committed to a healthy campus community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to live and work in an atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment and retaliation. Therefore, Bluffton University expects that all relationships among persons in the campus community will be free of discrimination and harassment.

It is the policy of Bluffton University that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion[1], disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status protected by law, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in employment or in any educational program or activity of the University. To that end, and in compliance with federal and state laws, the University prohibits any member of the faculty, staff, administration, student body, or visitors to campus, whether they are guests, patrons, independent contractors, or clients, from discrimination, harassment and retaliation against any other person in the University community in violation of this policy.

DEFINITIONS:

  • DISCRIMINATION is defined as unequal, adverse treatment of an individual because of a protected legal status, noted in the policy statement above, that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s employment access, benefits or opportunities, or the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally made available to students at the institution, to include the administration of policies, participation in educational, social and residential programs or activities, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs and other school-administered programs.
  • HARASSMENT is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of a protected legal status, noted in the policy statement above, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that: a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive community or work environment, b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance, or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s academic, social or employment opportunities. Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on publically-visible areas on the University’s premises or circulated within the University, during class or work time or using University equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.
  • RETALIATION of any sort will not be tolerated against an administrator, faculty, staff or student who, in good faith, reports discrimination, harassment or retaliation or cooperates with investigation regarding same. Retaliation may come in the form of harassment, as described above or as adverse academic or employment actions. This policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within the University prior to seeking resolution outside the University.

More policies and procedures are in the Student and Employee Handbooks.

[1] As a religious institution, Bluffton University expressly reserves its rights to appoint faculty and staff who share a commitment to the Christian faith which is consistent with the Mennonite/Anabaptist beliefs of the University’s founding and supporting church.

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