Creating An Inclusive Community
- The UM-Flint Commitment
- Letter from Chancellor Juan E. Mestas
- The UM-Flint Policies
- What are hate crimes and bias incidents?
The UM-Flint Commitment
The University of Michigan-Flint has as one of its core values an abiding commitment to sustaining a community in which the dignity of every individual is respected. Key to this value is fostering an environment of civility and mutual respect by preventing acts of bias, discrimination and harassment on our campus. In addition to the University’s non-discrimination statement policies, members of our community should also be free from acts of hate crimes and bias incidents based on their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion. Such actions interfere with the success of our students, staff and faculty.
At the University, we live, work and learn in a culture that defines itself in terms of intellectual exchange, appreciation of individual differences and respect for each individual’s personal dignity. The University’s diverse blend of students, staff and faculty is a tremendous resource, and we all benefit from this mix of perspectives and experiences. For many students, college is the first opportunity to meet and interact with those from other races, culture and backgrounds. It is through this rich learning environment that we teach future generations the importance of understanding and valuing every individual’s opinions and experiences.
While the University is committed to a respectful and inclusive learning and work environment, it can only fulfill that commitment through the actions of individual members of the University community. We are each, as a member of this community, responsible for treating every fellow member of the community with dignity and respect. If one member of our community engages in harassment or discrimination, the person subject to that behavior will not feel respected or genuinely valued, or that s/he is an equal member of the University community. That person may stop contributing a unique perspective in the learning, research or work environment, or may lose a feeling of commitment to the community and leave. When one person engages in acts of bias, many of us suffer the effects.
Together, we can create and maintain a respectful and inclusive environment that provides the support and opportunity necessary for each member of our community to prosper and achieve.
Letter from Chancellor Juan E. Mestas
TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
The University of Michigan-Flint eagerly joins its sister campuses in Ann Arbor and Dearborn in the Expect Respect campaign. This system-wide initiative brings together faculty, students, and staff to promote understanding and appreciation of one another – of what makes us different and what makes us alike – in an environment guided by civility and mutual respect.
How do we maintain a hospitable campus climate that welcomes diversity in its many manifestations, that views our differences as a strength rather than a challenge? The answer may take us in many directions, but begins with respect, giving it and expecting it. The University should be a “safe place,” where freedom and tolerance go together, inseparable, where people can be themselves and respect is taken for granted.
Buttons that say “Expect Respect” are available throughout the campus. They are free. Get one. Wear it. Live its message.
Juan E. Mestas, Chancellor
University of Michigan-Flint
The UM-Flint Policies
U-M NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY
The University of Michigan-Flint, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex*, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.
*Includes discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
For more information, please see HRAA’s web page.
To access PDFs of the U-M STANDARD PRACTICE GUIDE non-discrimination policies, please click on the following links. PLEASE NOTE: requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the FREE Reader.
SPG 201.35 Nondiscrimination policies
SPG 201.89-0 Sexual Harassment
SPG 201.89-1 Interim Policy on Discriminatory Harassment
What are hate crimes and bias incidents?
Below are definitions of terms that are commonly used in conversations about creating a safe and respectful climate, as adopted by the University of Michigan. These definitions, however, should not be interpreted as legal definitions used to determine if a violation of law has occurred.
Assault – an intentional act, verbal or physical, that can be described as creating fear of physical harm.
Battery – an intentional and unwanted act of physical contact.
Bias – a pre-formed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons who possess common physical characteristics, such as skin color; or cultural experiences, such as religion or national origin.
Bias incident – non-criminal activity committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion.
Campus climate – the general atmosphere of the campus as a unique society; the degree to which members of the campus community feel included and respected.
Civility – courteous behavior; the act of showing regard for others.
Creed – a religious faith or belief.
Disability – a physical or mental impairment that substantially affects one or more major life activities.
Disability Bias – a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their physical or mental impairments or challenges.
Discrimination – unfair treatment of a person or a class of persons, without regard to individual merit, based on their membership in a group, personal characteristics, or perceived identity. See also the University’s policy of nondiscrimination, SPG 201.35.
Diversity – the variation of social and cultural identities among people existing together in a community.
Ethnicity – state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.
Ethnicity/National Origin Bias – a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons of the same race or national origin who share common or similar traits, languages, customs and traditions.
Gender – state of being male or female, typically with reference to social or cultural differences rather than biological.
Gender identity – the internal sense of one’s gendered self (e.g. as a woman, man, girl, boy, androgynous) or of being perceived as a woman or man, etc.
Gender expression – how a person’s gender identity is communicated to others, through behavior, clothing, hairstyle, voice, and emphasizing, de-emphasizing or changing physical characteristics.
Harassment – unwanted negative attention perceived as intimidating, demeaning or bothersome to an individual. See also the University’s Interim Policy on Discriminatory Harassment, SPG 201.89-1 Interim Policy on Discriminatory Harassment.
Hate Crime – a criminal offense committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion.
Hate Group – an organization whose primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility and malice against persons belonging to a different race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.
Inclusiveness – creating a hospitable and welcoming environment; interacting with all members of the community without regard to individual characteristics.
Indirect Discrimination – a rule, policy, practice or procedure that is the same for everyone, but has an unequal or disproportionate effect for a specific group of people.
Intimidation – to influence others through fear or threat of harm.
Intolerance – an attitude of not accepting or respecting different opinions, practices or people.
Perceived Bias – biased behavior directed at another person based on characteristics that the perpetrator perceives the victim possesses.
Prejudice – preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience; dislike, hostility or unjust behavior formed on such a bias.
Race – a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; a group or set of people with a common physical feature or features.
Racial Bias – a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons who possess common physical characteristics, such as color of skin, eyes and/or hair, facial features, etc.
Religious Bias – a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons who share the same religious beliefs regarding the origin and purpose of the universe and the existence or nonexistence of a supreme being.
Respect – a due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others.
Sexual Orientation Bias – a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their sexual attraction toward, and responsiveness to, members of their own sex or members of the opposite sex.
Sexuality – a person’s sexual orientation or preference.
Tolerance – respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human; harmony in difference.
Transgender – a term describing persons whose gender identities, expressions or behaviors are not those traditionally associated with their birth sex.
Vandalism – the destruction or alteration of property (individual, public or communal).
We anticipate three broad categories of incidents to be tracked and reported. These categories include the following violations of law and/or U-M policies:
- HATE CRIMES (BIAS CRIMES)
The category of hate crimes includes malicious threats, damage or defacement of property, or physical contact specifically intended to intimidate or harass another person because of the person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. See Michigan Statute on Ethnic Intimidation 750.147(b)
Incidents that meet these criteria are subject to state or federal prosecution, and/or disciplinary proceedings conducted by the Office of Institutional Equity, Office of Student Conflict Resolution and/or University Housing.
- VIOLATIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN’S STANDARD PRACTICE GUIDE
Violations of the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guide that include the following type of conduct:
- Verbal or physical conduct by a member of the faculty or staff that is based upon race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, marital status, handicap or Vietnam-era veteran status that adversely affects or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for academic pursuits, employment, housing or participation in University activities (SPG 201.89-1).
- Intentional sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by an University employee that adversely affects or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for academic pursuits, employment, housing or participation in University activities (SPG 201.89-0)
- Discrimination in employment and human resource policies and practices against any individual because of race, sex (including gender identity and gender expression), color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientations, disability, special disabled veteran and Vietnam-era veteran status, and height or weight, except as allowed by the need for bona fide occupational qualifications (SPG 201.35).
See University of Michigan Standard Practice Guide 201.35, 201.89-0, and 201.89-1.
The Office of Institutional Equity will handle incidents that meet these criteria.
- VIOLATIONS OF THE STATEMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBLITIES
The following behaviors contradict the values of the University community and are subject to action under the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Such behavior may be subject to additional penalties if motivated because of the person’s age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin or ancestry, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status:
- Physically harming another person including acts such as killing, assaulting or battering
- Sexually assaulting another person
- Sexually harassing another person
- Stalking, or harassing another person
- Stealing, vandalizing, damaging, destroying or defacing University property or the property of others
- Obstructing or disrupting classes, research projects, or other activities or programs of the University; or obstructing access to University facilities, property, or programs (except for behavior that is protected by the University’s policy on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression)
- Violating University computer policies
Incidents that meet these criteria will be submitted to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution and University Housing for further action.
Even if a reported incident is not one that constitutes a hate crime or an incident that violates a University policy, we will learn from the reports and obtain feedback on how we can improve some aspect of the campus climate. Reports may result in individual education or new efforts to improve some aspect of campus life. In all instances, individuals who experience acts of hate, bias, harassment or discrimination should feel they have a safe space in which to report the behavior and receive support. The University is committed to provide such safe spaces and to support a comprehensive reporting mechanism for incidents of bias so that we may better understand our campus climate and work continuously to improve it.
The University of Michigan is committed to the success of all our students, staff and faculty. By working to create an environment that values and celebrates our diverse community and fosters respect for every individual, you can help ensure that all persons can perform up to their full potential.
Acts of bias and intolerance can have a profoundly negative effect both on the person toward whom the discriminatory behavior is directed and on the University community as a whole. Making yourself aware of, and sensitive to, issues of bias is essential to creating and sustaining the best possible environment for learning, scholarship, creative activity, and working together.
The “Expect Respect” initiative was created for all community members to use and learn from. We encourage you to share these materials with fellow students and colleagues. Please contact Jessie Hurse, Office of Student Life, if you would like assistance in organizing an educational program for your campus unit or student organization.
Report a bias-related incident:
- By Phone: Call the Office of Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs at 810-762-3434 to report an incident.
- In Person: Following is a list of offices and resources that exist to support students, staff and faculty. You may contact any of these units confidentially to report an incident of bias, intolerance or discrimination.
- On-line: Click here to report a bias-related incident on-line.
If you witness or experience conduct that discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, harasses or harms anyone in our community based on their identity (such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or religion) please report it to the University.
If you believe you have experienced a hate crime, you may report it directly to the Department of Public Safety at 810-762-3335.
If you are not sure you have experienced a hate crime or bias-related incident, and would like to discuss the encounter, please call the Office of Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs at 810-762-3434. Click here to report a bias-related incident on-line.
The following units are available for consultation concerning hate crimes and bias-related incidents on the Flint campus.
Office of Housing and Residential Life
Campus Counselor-Student Development Center
Department of Public Safety
102 Hubbard Building
Diversity Education Services (EDS)
Ellen Bommarito (LGBT) Center
International Student Center (ISC)
Office of the Ombuds
Office of Student Life
Urban Health and Wellness Center
Women's Educational Center (WEC)