Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Hannah Moskowitz
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

http://www.american.edu/policies/upload/Discrimination-and-Sexual-Harassment-Policy.pdf

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in
compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The University does not discriminate on the basis
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy or parenting, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under applicable federal and local laws and regulations (collectively “Protected Bases”) in its programs and activities. The University expressly prohibits any form of discriminatory harassment including sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and stalking.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

https://www.american.edu/ocl/dos/upload/Bias-Incident-Report-Process.pdf

How will the University respond to a bias-related act?
Bias-related acts will generally be addressed through educational interventions unless the conduct is a violation of the University's Student Conduct Code or Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Guidelines. As explained above, not all acts of bias violate University policy. Students, staff and faculty who report bias-related acts can expect that their report will be acknowledged within 48 hours, and that a University official will be assigned to meet with the reporter to collect details of the bias-related act and to discuss options for addressing the behavior. In situations where the accused may be personally identified, privacy laws and confidentiality of employee records may prevent the University from disclosing specific details about the resolution of a complaint.

How will the university respond to a hate crime?
A hate crime is a violation of the law and will be investigated by University Police with the involvement of other law enforcement agencies as necessary and appropriate. To report a hate crime, contact University Police at 202-885-3636. View a flowchart of the bias incident reporting process.

https://www.american.edu/president/diversity/respondingtohate/September-2017-incident.cfm

Descrimintation based on Disability: Discrimination based on disability is prohibited by university policy and local and federal laws, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and the DC Human Rights Act (collectively “Disability Laws”). The university is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities. This statement identifies university resources for students with disabilities, provides general information about the university’s procedures for requesting accommodations, and describes informal and formal means of resolving complaints related to requested accommodations.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy or parenting age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, and individual's genetic information or an other bases under applicable federal and local laws and regulations in its programs and activities. The University expressly prohibits any form of discriminatory harassment including sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and stalking. AU community members who witness discrimination are encouraged to report the behavior to the relevant office, listed in the official policy, without fear of retaliation. The complaint will then move through an official process of evaluation and resolution. Support, medical, and counseling resources are available to students and staff.


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Actively recruiting students from historically underrepresented groups through the creation of strategic partnerships and pipelines
Utilizing the SIS Exploring Identities event series, to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion issues in the field of international affairs and to invite all members of the SIS community to collaborate creatively in pooling the community's resources to expand professional pathways of historically underrepresented students.

The ACRL Diversity Alliance program - of which American University is a founding member - unites academic libraries who share a commitment to increase the hiring pipeline of qualified, talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. By thinking bigger and broader, across all academic libraries, the Alliance will introduce and welcome to the job market underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with work experiences that advance academic/research libraries.

As a university unit, we seek to increase diversity along many dimensions, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender expression, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, language, national origin, US resident status, religious commitment, age, and (dis)ability status. We work, as a unit, to promote and extend opportunities and outcomes for members of those groups that have been historically marginalized and/or have experienced profound inequities. We also recognize that without building critical mass of these groups among our students, staff, and faculty, difference can be isolating rather than productive.

In our pursuit of equity and excellence, we commit to the following:

Institutionalizing search, admissions, and hiring practices that facilitate our ability to recruit a highly qualified and diverse community of students, faculty, and staff;
Removing barriers to and providing support and encouragement for full participation of all community members in our collective work.

Throughout our history, inclusiveness and diversity have been hallmarks of American University.

Our academic, social, and organizational strength is enhanced by our inclusiveness and respect for the unique identity of individuals reflected in their cultural traditions, beliefs, and viewpoints.

American University embraces diversity in its broadest sense, including diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, disability, socioeconomic standing, and intellectual viewpoint.

The university views diversity as an essential component of the educational experience of our students and an important indicator of our success in adapting to the dramatic demographic shifts that will occur in the decades ahead.

We will dedicate the necessary resources to recruiting, welcoming, supporting, and retaining outstanding students, faculty, staff, and leadership who will significantly improve the diversity of our community, with particular attention to the inclusion of underrepresented domestic minority students.


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Students: Number five of American University's ten strategic goals is to "reflect and value diversity." Accordingly, the university supports several programs within the student body:

- The Center for Diversity and Inclusion has a full time staff member dedicated to LGBTQA Programming and coordination. LGTBQ peer educators work to strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus community that welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities by providing support, educational resources, and advocacy. This includes a guide of LGBTQ resources on campus and in the community.
-The Safe Space Sticker Program seeks to create a safer and more inclusive campus environment for all members of the campus community by reducing heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Through the training program and the display of Safe Space stickers the program creates a visible and supportive network of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and ally members of the campus community.
- Multiethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers a broad course of study of ethnicity in the United States and the larger world. To meet the challenges and opportunities of diversity in an increasingly multicultural and multiethnic society, the program provides students with an understanding of the rich history of ethnic and racial diversity from multiple perspectives. The minor helps students prepare for an increasingly diversified workplace and a globalized economy by encouraging them to develop an awareness of and appreciation for their ethnic experiences as part of the greater human experience.
- The mission of Disability Support Services (DSS) is to ensure that students with physical, medical, or psychological disabilities have equal access to university programs and services. DSS provides or coordinates a range of services and accommodations that meet the individual needs of a student based on the impact of the specific disability.
- The Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) offers students of sovereign American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian (AI/AN/NH) nations the opportunity to build leadership skills while living, studying, and interning in Washington, DC. Developed in response to the White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives, this enriching program offers qualified students full scholarships funded by American University and sponsoring organizations. Participating students will gain professional work experience through interning at a federal agency or private firm, take courses focusing on Native American public policy concerns, and enjoy engaging social and cultural extra-curricular activities.
-The Multicultural community, through the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, helps to direct students to admissions, financial aid, scholarships, and on campus student organizations to support students of underrepresented cultures and first generation students.
- The Women's Initiative, through student government, offers support for women on campus and a space for an ongoing dialog about gender equity.

Staff/Faculty: The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is confidential and makes professional personal counseling services available to faculty and staff members and their immediate families. The cost of FSAP services is paid entirely by the university. FSAP provides assessment, short-term counseling, referral to community services, follow-up contact, and other services. These services provide assistance in coping with: physical or emotional problems, family and workplace stress and related issues, alcohol and other substance abuse, child care and elder care, other issues or problems that may affect emotional or physical health and well-being. Also, through the FSAP program, American University provides emergency loans with repayment through scheduled paycheck deductions to its full time employees. The emergency loan is intended to assist university full time employees who have urgent financial needs.


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:
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Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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