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A Statement About Discrimination, Harrassment and Inappropriate Behavior

Priority: Informational


 

To Hunter College Psychology Faculty, Staff and Students

Recent news reports are full of harassing and abusive behavior in business, media, finance; and, of course, academia. The explosion of stories shows the pervasive nature of the problem but also that times are changing and society will no longer ignore such behaviors from powerful people. Sadly, academia, like other walks of life, is not immune to bullying, racism or prejudice. This is not normal, is not acceptable and should not be part of your experience.

As a department, we will not tolerate violence, bullying, or harassment. Furthermore, we will not tolerate discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. We will advocate on your behalf. In my position as Chair, I am a mandatory reporter. That means whatever I learn will be reported to Hunter's Title IX investigatory team. By CUNY regulations, all supervisors and Faculty accompanying students or staff off-site are also mandatory reporters. In all of our positions as your advisors, mentors, instructors, or collaborators, it is our responsibility to create a safe environment.

If you or a friend have been a victim of discrimination, mistreatment, or harassment, know that you are not without options. Sometimes none of those options are easy, but, more importantly you are not alone. The Chair and Personnel and Budget Committee, as the leaders of your department, are here to do whatever is in our power to support you.

If you believe that you have been a victim of harassment or mistreatment, please tell someone.If you tell the Chair or the P&B, we will make sure your report gets to the Title IX office at Hunter College, which is responsible for investigating these complaints. We will believe you and take your experiences seriously. We will also be vigilant in our efforts to protect you from retaliation. CUNY policy and Federal law prohibit retaliation against any person who reports harassment, assists someone making such a report, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a harassment complaint. Individuals who are found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

To report abusive, discriminatory or other inappropriate behavior, including retaliation:  http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/diversityandcompliance/title-ix

Confidential counseling:
Faculty or Staff:  http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/hr/publications/staff-resources/deer-oaks-employee-assistance-program-eap
Students:  http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/cws/counselingservices/welcome


Changing the system we live in will take time and with many people working together. Faculty, department chairs, staff members and students alike have a hand to play in this. Regardless of your position within our community, you have a right to speak up and an obligation to help make this a supportive community. If you see something, say something. The change we're hoping for can start from very small conversations as well as great acts of courage.

Thank you for your optimism and your drive to make the world better through science, despite the hurdles you've faced and the challenges to come. Thank you for the courage it takes to come forward with your stories of harassment or mistreatment. You are important and your drive to do science deserves our support.

It is our privilege to support you.

Your Chair,
Christopher Braun