Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination


Equal Opportunity

Medgar Evers College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. Any student who is discriminated against on the basis of any of these attributes will be afforded due process in accordance with Section 15.3 of the Student Disciplinary Procedures of the By-Laws of The City University of New York.

The City University of New York Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

I. Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

The City University of New York (“University” or “CUNY”), located in a historically diverse municipality, is committed to a policy of equal employment and equal access in its educational programs and activities. Diversity, inclusion, and an environment free from discrimination are central to the mission of the University.

It is the policy of the University—applicable to all colleges and units— to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees (including paid and unpaid interns) and to admit and provide services for students without regard to race, color, creed, and related conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws.[1]

It is also the University’s policy to provide reasonable accommodations when appropriate to individuals with disabilities, individuals observing religious practices, employees who have pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions, or employees who are victims of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses.

This Policy also prohibits retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination, or cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint.

Prohibited Conduct Defined

Discrimination is treating an individual differently or less favorably because of his or her protected characteristics—such as race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, or any of the other bases prohibited by this Policy.

Harassment is a form of discrimination that consists of unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment. Such conduct can be spoken, written, visual, and/or physical. This policy covers prohibited harassment based on all protected characteristics other than sex. Sex-based harassment and sexual violence are covered by CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

II. Discrimination and Retaliation Complaints

The City University of New York is committed to addressing discrimination and retaliation complaints promptly, consistently and fairly. There shall be a Chief Diversity Officer at every college or unit of the University, who shall be responsible for, among other things, addressing discrimination and retaliation complaints under this Policy. There shall be procedures for making and investigating such complaints, which shall be applicable at each unit of the University.

III. Academic Freedom

This policy shall not be interpreted so as to constitute interference with academic freedom.

IV. Responsibility for Compliance

The President of each college of the University, the CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and the Deans of the Law School, Graduate School of Journalism, School of Public Health and School of Professional Studies and Macaulay Honors College, have ultimate responsibility for overseeing compliance with these policies at their respective units of the University. In addition, each vice president, dean, director, or other person with managerial responsibility, including department chairpersons and executive officers, must promptly consult with the Chief Diversity Officer at his or her college or unit if he or she becomes aware of conduct or allegations of conduct that may violate this policy. All members of the University community are required to cooperate in any investigation of a discrimination or retaliation complaint.

[1] As a public university system, CUNY adheres to federal, state and city laws and regulations regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Should any federal, state or city law or regulation be adopted that prohibits discrimination based on grounds or characteristics not included in this Policy, discrimination on those additional bases will also be prohibited by this Policy.

*Part of Policies and Procedures adopted and approved effective November 27, 2012, Cal.No.4; and revised policy amended and adopted December 1, 2014, Cal. No. C., with effective date of January 1, 2015; Cal. Item C.*

Complaint Procedures Under CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

  1. Reporting Discrimination and/or Retaliation

The University is committed to addressing discrimination and/or retaliation complaints promptly, consistently and fairly.

Members of the University community, as well as visitors, may promptly report any allegations of discrimination or retaliation to the individuals set forth below:

A. Applicants, employees, visitors and students with discrimination complaints should raise their concerns with the Chief Diversity Officer at their location.

B. Applicants, employees, visitors and students with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, domestic and intimate violence, should follow the process outlined in CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

C. There are separate procedures under which applicants, employees, visitors and students may request and seek review of a decision concerning reasonable accommodations for a disability, which are set forth in CUNY’s Procedures on Reasonable Accommodation.

  1. Preliminary Review of Employee, Student, or Visitor Concerns

  2. Filing a Complaint

  3. Informal Resolution

  4. Investigation

  5. Withdrawing a Complaint

  6. Timeframe

  7. Action Following Investigation of a Complaint

  8. Immediate Prevention Action

  9. False and Malicious Accusations

  10. Anonymous Complaints

  11. Responsibilities

Some Relevant Laws Concerning Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Rights of Students with Disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which applies to employment and education, states that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall solely by reason of his (or her) handicap be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” In this context, handicap means any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits such functions as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. It also includes such limitations resulting from a history of alcohol or drug addiction and temporary disability because of pregnancy. Section 504 requires that the college make reasonable modifications to achieve the objective of accessibility for all disabled students. Regulations that have the effect of limiting the participation of students with disabilities in the educational program, such as rules prohibiting the use of tape recorders in the classroom, or dog guides in campus buildings, are prohibited. The college must ensure that no student with a disability is denied participation in a program because of the absence of necessary auxiliary educational aids.

Students who feel that they have been discriminated against may contact Mr. Anthony Phifer, Director of Services for the Differently- Abled at 718 270-5027.

Non-Attendance Because of Religious Beliefs

Title I, Article 5, Section 224-a of the New York State Education Law States:

  1. No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that she or he is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.

  2. Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.

  3. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which she or he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.

  4. If classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after 4:00 P.M. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements held on other days.

  5. In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing him/herself of provisions of this Section.

  6. Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this Section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.

    6a. A copy of this section shall be published by each institution of higher education in the catalog of such institution containing the listing of available courses.

  7. As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” shall mean schools under the control of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York or of the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York or any community College.