Overview

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) affirms its commitment to a safe and healthy educational environment and to the principle that its students have a right to be free from acts of bias, hate, discrimination, and harassment. OWU is committed to creating an inclusive environment that respects multiple views and perspectives and the fundamental dignity of all human beings.

OWU’s Campus Climate Support Policy is dedicated to addressing any acts of bias, hate, discrimination, and harassment on the basis of perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual-orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, socio-economic status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or genetic information in matters of administration, employment, housing, or services.

The Campus Climate Support Team (CCST) coordinates the University’s response to reported incidents of bias involving students outside of an academic setting. The CCST, based in the Division of Student Engagement & Success, works to provide an opportunity for individuals to be heard and supported. CCST works to ensure that appropriate University resources and expertise are made available to anyone who feels they have been harmed or negatively impacted. Anyone who feels they have been affected by a campus climate concern is encouraged to make a report to CCST so the University can offer assistance. Utilizing best practices in our field, the team provides services to individuals who are affected by campus climate concerns. Through educational services and initiatives, we hope to enrich the climate of inclusion within our community.

CCST is not a disciplinary body, cannot impose discipline, and does not require participation in any aspect of CCST’s work. CCST's purpose is to support students and connect them to resources. If disciplinary action is warranted in a given incident, the matter will be referred to the appropriate disciplinary body for consideration.

Reporting

Ohio Wesleyan University is dedicated to creating a welcoming and accepting campus environment for all students. We urge all members of the campus community to actively participate in creating a safe community free of bias and hate. The University encourages individuals who have been the subject of or a witness to concerning incidents, to report the concern to CCST using the online reporting form. In the case of an emergency, please call 911 or the OWU Public Safety Office at (740) 368-2222 or dial ext. 2222 from any campus phone.

Individuals should report incidents of concern through the Campus Climate Concern Form.  Reporters will be asked to provide an email or phone number as a form of contact in case more information is needed surrounding the report.

We value and respect a person’s privacy when reporting concerns. However, in cases that threaten safety or involve criminal activity, complete anonymity may not be guaranteed. Reported cases will be handled according to university policy, and information relating to the case will only be shared with involved individuals on a need-to-know basis. Individuals involved in the reporting and investigation of a case will be protected from retaliation under university policy.

Students may contact the health center at (740) 368-3160 or the Counseling Services at (740) 368-3145 directly for appropriate services.

Response Options

Response options will be tailored appropriately for the incident being addressed. When determining appropriate response efforts, the CCST will take into account the egregiousness of the act, the number of individuals impacted, the degree of impact on others, the degree of public awareness of or concern about the speech/act, the wishes of the individuals impacted, and an analysis of whether the speech/act is protected by the University’s Statement on Academic Freedom and Free Expression.

Response options could include the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • Facilitated dialogue between the individuals involved
  • Removal of the speech or material from public view
  • Referral for further investigation and/or adjudication through established student, staff, or employee conduct resolution processes
  • Referral to law enforcement authorities
  • Issuance of a campus safety alert
  • Campus educational opportunities aimed at reducing bias, promoting civility, and/or affirming the institution’s values
  • Additional support services or accommodations provided to those significantly impacted
  • Official university communications describing the act and the university’s response efforts, and affirming the institution’s values

Membership

The CCST is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, who serves as Chair
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Associate Dean for Student Success
  • Trained Faculty and/or Staff volunteers
  • Other individuals appointed by the President or who may be needed for additional expertise in a given occurrence, including but not limited to:
    • Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards
    • University Chaplain
    • Associate Provost for Academic Performance
    • Director of Public Safety
    • Director of Counseling Services
    • VP for Student Engagement and Success/Dean of Students

Reports filed will be reviewed by CCST and appropriate measures will be taken in addressing the incident. These may include:

  • Administrative review of the incident (meeting with individuals involved, reviewing documentation such as photos, social media posts, etc.)
  • Providing assistance in the form of resources and support to those affected by the incident
  • Taking appropriate action to address the situation

Record of Incidents

A record of campus climate incidents will be maintained within secure university record systems, along with the responses taken by the University.

Annual Review

The CCST will conduct an annual review of campus climate incidents within the past year and prepare a summary report (minus any student’s personally-identifiable information protected by FERPA), which will be shared with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the Student Inclusion and Advocacy Committee (SIAC), the senior administration team, and other bodies or constituents as may be appropriate.