Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.60
Liaison Jane Stewart
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Washington and Lee University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 3.00 Kimberly Hodge
Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
Student Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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


In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Washington and Lee University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran's status, or genetic information in its educational programs and activities, admissions, and with regard to employment.

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

Statement on Response to Bias Incidents
Washington and Lee University strives to be a diverse and inclusive community. It draws intellectual and social strength from the range of knowledge, opinion, belief, and background of its members, whether of age, ancestry or ethnicity, color, creed, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, religious practice, sexual orientation, or veteran's status.

Bias incidents - - incidents that one could reasonably conclude may intimidate, mock, degrade, or threaten individuals or groups because of actual or perceived inclusion in any of the categories or statuses listed above - - can adversely affect the members of our University community and undermine the climate of civility and respect necessary to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive community. The University is therefore committed to responding promptly and effectively, as appropriate, to bias incidents reported by members of the University community.


In 2017, W&L created a new diversity statement and put it forth to the President and Board of Trustees. In Feb. 2018, this new statement was approved by the Board of Trustees:

Recognizing that diverse perspectives enhance the educational experience for all, we foster a welcoming and inclusive community of mutual respect and understanding. We are committed to recruitment, enrichment, and retention of faculty, staff and students who celebrate myriad experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and expressions of identity. As engaged citizens in a global society, we seek opportunities to build community and empower our individual abilities through open, substantive dialogue.

We have two policies that guide procedures regarding support for those who have who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime:

University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Other Than Sex (https://my.wlu.edu/general-counsel/code-of-policies/discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation/university-policy-on-prohibited-discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation-other-than-sex)

Under the Washington and Lee University's nondiscrimination statement, students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation within the University community. Specifically, the University prohibits and this policy addresses discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran's status, and genetic information in its educational programs and activities and with regard to employment. Additionally, the University prohibits retaliation against any individual who brings a good faith complaint under this policy or is involved in the complaint process. Such conduct violates not only University policy and expectations of personal integrity and respect for others, but may also violate state and federal law.

Students, faculty, and staff found to have violated this policy will be disciplined appropriately, up to and including termination from employment or dismissal from the University.

The University also prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of sex and gender, including gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. The policy and procedures for complaints involving sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence, and retaliation are described in the separate Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy (go.wlu.edu/OGC/SexualMisconductPolicy).

And the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy (https://my.wlu.edu/general-counsel/code-of-policies/discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation/sexual-discrimination-and-misconduct-policy)

All forms of sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and retaliation of any form are an affront to human dignity and fundamentally at odds with the values of Washington and Lee University. The University community has a responsibility to maintain an environment free from all forms of sexual discrimination and misconduct. It is committed to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

The University is committed to fostering a climate free from sexual discrimination and misconduct through clear and effective policies, a coordinated education and prevention program, and prompt and equitable procedures for resolution of complaints that are accessible to all. The University encourages all members of its community to participate in creating a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment on campus. Ultimately, all members of the community are expected to assume responsibility for their conduct, to report behaviors that may violate this policy, and to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent acts of sexual misconduct.

This policy prohibits a broad continuum of behaviors, all of which constitute a form of sexual or gender-based harassment or discrimination, sexual assault, or dating or domestic violence. Prohibited conduct that may violate this policy includes sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. This document may use the term "sexual misconduct" to refer to any or all of those prohibited behaviors.

The University will respond according to the severity or pervasiveness of the offense and the threat it poses to an individual and the community. Individuals who are found responsible for violating this policy may face disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal and/or termination of employment.

The University will not tolerate retaliation against any individual who makes a report, participates in a resolution process, or assists as a bystander to prevent sexual misconduct. Retaliation destroys the sense of community and trust that is central to a respectful environment. Community members engaging in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, whether such acts are implicit or explicit, or committed directly or indirectly.
This policy provides community members with the structure, tools, and guidance to assist those who have experienced or been affected by sexual misconduct, whether as a complainant, a respondent, or a third party.

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

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

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

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

Washington and Lee partners with QuestBridge, a national non-profit organization, to assist low-income, high-achieving students with college applications. QuestBridge connects students with admission and scholarships to W&L and 39 other partner colleges and universities. Almost 10 percent of each entering class at W&L is made up of QuestBridge students. (https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/scholarships-and-aid/types-of-aid/questbridge/)

Additionally, we host Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experiences (https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/visit/dive/). DIVE offers an immersive campus visit experience to curious, committed, high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds. While on campus, prospective students learn about the transformative opportunities at W&L and the ways to make an impact on our community as a conscious, civic-minded scholar. The Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experience (DIVE) is a selective, two-day all-expense paid program for rising high school seniors with a focus on personal engagement with faculty members and current students, life in a residential campus community (including an overnight stay in a first-year residence hall), and a primer on W&L's admission and financial aid process.

The Max and Sylvia Weinstein Scholarship was established to recognize an entering first-year student with an exemplary academic and extracurricular record. It is a unique opportunity for students of the Jewish faith who hope to become involved in Washington and Lee's vibrant Jewish community. The scholarship is for full tuition and is renewable for four years of work at Washington and Lee, provided the recipient maintains a 3.3 grade point average. (https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/scholarships-and-aid/types-of-aid/scholarships/additional-scholarships/)

As for faculty/staff... we perform targeted outreach through publications and professional contacts. We also have Recruitment Ambassadors: In addition to the one on one support provided by the Office of Human Resources there are individuals in the W&L community who have agreed to serve as confidential and informative resources for new hires and their spouses and partners. These Recruitment Ambassadors support the recruitment process by serving as points of contact related to a variety of areas including race, ethnicity, religion, children, dual career couples, outdoor/athletics/special interests, and alumni.

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

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

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

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

AIM Program
(Advanced Immersion and Mentoring)
The mission of the Advanced Immersion and Mentoring (AIM) initiative is to instill within incoming first-year students an increased sense of confidence and belonging. As Washington and Lee furthers its ongoing commitment to a diverse and inclusive community, the development of AIM as our Quality Enhancement Plan will provide meaningful support and foster connections for talented students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

The AIM initiative will engage students, faculty and staff on the undergraduate campus in a three-tiered approach. One objective is the AIM Scholars Summer Program, being modeled after the former Advanced Research Cohort (ARC) Program for STEM fields with the goal of providing immersive academic opportunities across the liberal arts to empower a broad group of incoming first years (AIM Scholars) from varied backgrounds. (https://my.wlu.edu/provosts-office/for-students/aim-program)

Support groups for students on campus include:
Finding Our Truth: A weekly confidential support group held off-campus for those questioning or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Group is held at 4:00 p.m. on Fridays and is for undergraduates and graduate students alike who are searching for a confidential safe space to gain support and insight from peers seeking their own truths. https://www.wlu.edu/lgbtq-resource-center/resources/confidential-support-group

LGBTQ Peer Counselors: Our trained, friendly peer counselors all identify as members of the LGBTQ community. They are willing to share their experiences on campus and invite you to contact them any time with questions, concerns, or if you just want an ear to bend. https://www.wlu.edu/lgbtq-resource-center/resources/lgbtq-peer-counselors

Multicultural Student Association: The mission of the Multicultural Student Association (MSA) is to assist members of the Washington and Lee student body in developing an appreciation for and interaction with students of different social, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. MSA promotes and encourages diversity through social, recreational, and educational programming designed to bridge the gap between diverse groups on campus. We strive to support the recruitment and retention of qualified students and to provide opportunities to foster their success and happiness. https://www.wlu.edu/executive-committee/student-organization-resources/ec-recognized-student-organizations/msa

Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange: PAACE provides an environment where students can come together to appreciate the different Asian cultures of the world. And in turn, we hope to be able to spread our love and appreciation for Asian culture to the Lexington community. Our primary goal is to reach out to those who are unfamiliar with the Asian culture and allow them to experience a taste of it here in Lexington.

Knowledge Empowering Women Leaders: To complement and enhance the presence of women at Washington and Lee, through leadership training, service, programming and participation in Women’s Studies courses. https://www.wlu.edu/womens-gender-and-sexuality-studies-program/related-organizations

Student Association for International Learning: Student Association for International Learning, widely known as "SAIL," is an organization dedicated to addressing international issues within the Washington and Lee (W&L) community and sharing with the W&L campus new and different answers to social, cultural and political questions. Most importantly, SAIL promotes exchange between the diverse cultures represented at W&L. Simply put, "bringing the world to our campus" describes what SAIL does. https://www.wlu.edu/executive-committee/student-organization-resources/ec-recognized-student-organizations/sail

African-American / Black Alumni Mentoring Program
The African-American / Black Alumni Mentoring Program at Washington and Lee seeks to connect our current students with Washington and Lee alumni across the country. Mentors would provide a wide array of support and guidance as well as strategies for obtaining internships, graduate school admissions and post-graduation career opportunities. This program would not replace the resources available through existing programs and services at the University, but rather create additional ones to ensure student success.

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?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.