New policy in making

James Ayre

A revision to the City College policy for handling complaints of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment may be given the green light soon.

“The new policy will be organized in a much better way,” said Susan Ehrlich, vice president of Human Resources at City College. She added that the revised policy will evaluate circumstances in more depth than the current procedure and will be a consistent process for students, faculty and staff, if approved by the Board of Trustees.

City College student Bethany Bea believes such policies should be as straight forward as possible.

“It’s important that people know where to turn for help and what to do if they are a victim of discrimination,” Bea said.

People who experience discrimination or sexual harassment will be able to file informal or formal complaints, according to the City Colleges’ draft policy.

The draft states that the informal procedure will consist of an internal evaluation at City College with no outside authorities involved. The process will be invoked when there is a simple misunderstanding or the complainant does not wish to file a formal complaint. However, allegations may still be investigated further even if the complaining party considers the matter resolved.

Formal complaints will go through a written process prescribed by the State Chancellor. These complaints will go directly to the State Chancellor’s Office of California Community Colleges.

Ehrlich said brochures would be distributed around City College with information to alert students, faculty and staff of the changes. The information will also be available on the Internet through Pipeline, Ehrlich said.

“Having the policy available on campus in the form of brochures and through Pipeline allows for safe accessibility, which is important when someone is feeling threatened,” Psychology Professor Susan Mantyla said.

Mantyla added that City College must nurture a culture of honest, open and authentic communication, which is committed to encourage safe and appropriate academic and personal exploration in a community setting.

The policy has already gone through the Student and Academic Senate, and has been classified by the California School Employee Association (CSEA), a union for classified staff.

Ehrlich said the Board of Trustees will look over the proposed policy within the next month.