The University seeks input for the proposed Sex Discrimination Policy. This draft version is currently under review. Members of the Heidelberg Community are encouraged to comment on the draft and can do so electronically, on the Sex Discrimination Policy comment page.
Notice of prohibition of Sex discrimination
Heidelberg University does not discriminate on the basis of, race, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disability in its education programs or activities.
The Sexual Discrimination policy addresses all forms of sexual discrimination, including sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. Heidelberg University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender or gender identity in its educational, extracurricular, athletic, or other programs or in the context of admissions or employment in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Title IX is a federal law that provides that, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Heidelberg University, as an educational community, will promptly and equitably respond to all reports of sexual discrimination in order to eliminate the misconduct and/or harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects on any individual or the community.
This policy applies to all members of the University community, including students, employees, volunteers, independent contractors, visitors, and any individuals regularly or temporarily employed, studying, living, visiting, conducting business, or having any official capacity at the University.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions are present:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of an individual's employment, evaluation of academic work, or any aspect of a University program or activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard.
Sexual harassment also includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
A single, isolated incident of sexual harassment alone may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to create a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.
Sexual harassment can take many forms. Sexual harassment:
- may be blatant and intentional and involve an overt action, a threat of reprisal, or may be subtle and indirect, with a coercive aspect that is unstated.
- does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
- may be committed by anyone, regardless of gender, age, position, or authority. While there is often a power differential between two persons, perhaps due to differences in age, social, educational, or employment relationships, harassment can occur in any context.
- may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the complainant has an intimate or sexual relationship.
- may be committed by or against an individual or may be a result of the actions of an organization or group.
- may occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
- may occur in the classroom, in the workplace, in residential settings, over electronic media (including the internet, telephone, and text), or in any other setting on or off campus. may be a one-time event or part of a pattern of behavior.
- may be committed in the presence of others or when the parties are alone.
- may affect the complainant and/or third parties who witness or observe harassment type and severity. Key determining factors are that the behavior is unwelcome, is gender or sex based, and is reasonably perceived as offensive and objectionable under both a subjective and objective assessment of the conduct.
Sexual misconduct, in a university setting, is "non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature," such as acts using force, threat, intimidation, or advantage gained by the offended person's mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the offending person was aware or should have been aware. Sexual Misconduct may include, but is not limited to Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Physical Assault, Bullying and Intimidation, Stalking, Indecent Exposure and Intimate Partner Violence.
Sexual Assault - Sexual assault is defined as having sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent, including:
- by the use or threat of force or coercion;
- without effective consent;
- or where that individual is incapacitated.
Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part (e.g., penis, tongue, finger, hand, etc.) or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.
Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the intimate parts of another, causing another to touch one's intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, groin, mouth, or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes attempted sexual intercourse.
Sexual Exploitation - Sexual exploitation is an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. The act or acts of sexual exploitation are prohibited even though the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.
Examples of sexual exploitation include:
- observing another individual's nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- non-consensual streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- prostituting another individual;
- exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
- knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without that individual's knowledge; and
- inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
Physical Assault - Physical assault is a purposeful action meant to hurt another person. Examples include, but are not limited to, kicking, punching, hitting with or throwing an object, or biting, when these acts occur in the context of intimate-partner violence or when the behavior is perpetrated on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.
Bullying and Intimidation - Bullying includes any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or a series of acts directed at another person or persons that is severe, persistent, or pervasive and that has the intended effect of doing any of the following:
- substantially interfering with a person's education or work;
- creating a threatening environment;
- or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the University.
Intimidation is any verbal, written, or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the person(s) in the group to fear for her/his physical well-being.
Stalking - Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances that demonstrate either of the following:
- place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury; or
- reasonably cause substantial emotional distress to the person.
Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.
Examples of stalking include:
- unwelcome and repeated visual or physical proximity to a person;
- repeated oral or written threats;
- extortion of money or valuables;
- unwelcome/unsolicited written communication, including letters, cards, emails, instant messages, and messages on online bulletin boards;
- unwelcome/unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers; or
- sending/posting unwelcome/ unsolicited messages with an assumed identity; or
- implicitly threatening physical contact;
- or any combination of these behaviors directed toward an individual person.
Indecent Exposure - A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes her/his genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which one knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront, or alarm.
Intimate Partner Violence - Intimate-partner violence, also referred to as dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence, includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Intimate-partner violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse. Intimate-partner violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one's self, one's sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner.
Consent means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity.
Guidance for Consent:
- Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- When consent is requested verbally, absence of any explicit verbal response constitutes lack of consent. A verbal "no" constitutes lack of consent, even if it sounds insincere or indecisive.
- By definition, there is not consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological.
- Either person may withdraw consent at any time. Withdrawal of consent should be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity. Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.
- A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct.
- Intoxication is not an excuse for failure to obtain consent.
- A person incapacitated by alcohol or drug consumption, or who is unconscious or asleep or otherwise physically impaired, is incapable of giving consent.
Title lX Coordinator and Team
The Title IX Coordinator is the designated university official with primary responsibility for coordinating the university's compliance with Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the implementation of grievance procedures, which includes notification, investigation and disposition of complaints of sex discrimination. The Title IX coordinator will coordinate the provision of educational materials and training for the campus community. Finally, The Title IX coordinator will ensure a fair and neutral process for all parties and monitor all other aspects of the University's Title IX compliance.
The president of the University has appointed Dustin Brentlinger, Dean of Student Affairs, as the Title IX coordinator. Additionally the president has appointed Title IX Deputy Coordinators that make up the Title IX Team.
The Title IX coordinator can be contacted by telephone, email, or in person during regular office hours at:
Dustin Brentlinger, Dean of Student Affairs
Campus Center Room 328, 310 East Market St, Tiffin OH 44883
(419) 448-2062 or email@example.com
Trained Deputy Title IX Coordinators who can also offer assistance are available in the following offices:
David Weininger, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
University Hall Room 118, 310 East Market St, Tiffin OH 44883
(419)-448-2216 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Rudolph. Director of Human Resources
University Hall Room 216, 310 East Market St, Tiffin OH 44883
(419)-448-2111 or email@example.com
Heidelberg University strongly supports and encourages prompt reporting of sex discrimination. Reporting provides resources to victims and contributes to keeping the campus safe. All Heidelberg community members (students, staff, and faculty) should help ensure that violations of Title IX are promptly reported. Normally, this means reporting any witnessed violations, or violations learned about through the disclosure of others. Reporting is not the same as filing a formal complaint (although for some purposes a formal complaint may also serve as a report).
If a person believes they or someone they know has been the victim of sex discrimination, it should promptly be reported to the University's Title IX coordinator or a deputy coordinator. Instances of sex discrimination may violate both the University's sex discrimination policy and the law. As a result, the University encourages victims to pursue their complaints through both the University's process for sex discrimination and through the criminal justice system. The Tiffin Police Department, which can be reached at (419) 448-2323, can explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation of sex discrimination. The Tiffin Police Department will investigate every incident reported to police to determine if a crime has been committed.
Additionally, If a person believes they or someone they know has been the victim of sex discrimination a report may be made to the Heidelberg University Security and Safety Department at (419) 448-2211 or through any member of the Residence Life staff.
Finally, The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is the entity that is charged with enforcing Title IX compliance. Inquiries about these issues may also be referred to the Office for Civil Rights/Cleveland at U.S. Department of Education, 600 Superior Avenue East, Suite 750, Cleveland, OH 44114 or by calling (216) 522-4970.
An investigation into a complaint shall be conducted by the Title IX team or its designee. The preliminary investigation shall be concluded as quickly as possible within a reasonable amount of time, normally, no longer than sixty (60) days, unless extenuating circumstances necessitate a longer time frame. The investigation will be conducted in a manner that is adequate, reliable, and impartial and may include interviews of the parties involved, including witnesses, and the gathering of other relevant information.
In cases in which the complainant chooses to keep their name, the name of the accused person, or other information confidential or decides not to file a formal complaint of sex discrimination the University will gather as much information as possible about the sex discrimination complaint. The University will respond to this information in pursuit of protecting the campus community and in some cases it may not be possible to ensure confidentiality.
Declining to identify the accused individual may limit the University's ability to thoroughly investigate the sex discrimination complaint.
A person who wants the details of an incident of sex discrimination to be kept strictly confidential, can speak with counselors at the Stoner Health and Counseling Center, health providers, or off-campus rape crisis resources. These individuals will honor confidentiality unless there is an imminent danger to the person or to others.
To the extent possible, the University will protect the privacy of all parties to a report of sex discrimination. That said, under federal law, when a complaint is received, whether from the person involved or a third party, the University must investigate and follow-up. The University is obligated under the law to investigate the complaint, to take action to eliminate sex discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
Upon receipt of a report, the University will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to prevent further acts of misconduct, and to provide a safe educational and work environment. The University will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. Even when a Complainant or Respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the University may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader University community or the integrity of the review process.
Persons seeking such assistance should speak with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator who will coordinate such requests on the behalf of the person. The University will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all safety and emotional and physical well-being concerns are being addressed.
All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The University will take immediate and responsive action to enforce measures previously ordered or implemented by the University.
The University may impose any remedy that can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures may include:
- No Contact Order: A Complainant or Respondent may request, or the University may impose, communication and contact restrictions to prevent further potentially harmful interaction. These communication and contact restrictions generally preclude in person, telephone, electronic or third party communications. In some cases, an individual may also wish to consider a Civil Protection Order from the local courts. This is a civil proceeding independent of the University. If a court order is issued the University will, to the extent possible, assist the protected person in benefiting from the restrictions imposed by the court and will also facilitate on campus compliance with the order. The University may also limit an individual or organization's access to certain University facilities or activities as part of the no contact order.
- Academic, Employment or Residence Modifications: A Complainant or Respondent may request an academic or employment accommodation or a change in residence after a report of sex discrimination. An individual who requests assistance in changing their academic, employment or living situation after an incident of sex discrimination will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. These may include:
- Academic accommodations, including a change in class schedule, taking an incomplete, dropping a course without penalty, attending a class via electronic or other alternative means, providing an academic tutor, or extending deadlines for assignments;
- Change of residential living assignment;
- Change in work assignment or schedule;
- Providing an escort to ensure safe movement around campus.
- Emotional Support: The University will provide counseling services through Stoner Health and Counseling Center or will assist in providing a referral to off campus agencies.
- Interim Separation: Where the report of sex discrimination poses an ongoing risk of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual or members of the campus community, the University may place an individual or organization on interim suspension or impose leave for an employee. Pending resolution of the complaint, the individual or organization may be denied access to campus. When interim suspension or leave is imposed, the University will make reasonable efforts to complete the investigation and resolution within an expedited time frame.
Some alleged violations of the sex discrimination policy that are non-violent in nature, may be resolved using an informal resolution process (mediation) overseen by one or more members of the Title IX team or its designee if (i) the University determines, in its discretion, that such a process would be appropriate; and (ii) all parties agree to participate.
Allegations of sex discrimination that are violent in nature including sexual assault, physical assault, and intimate partner violence may not be resolved using an informal resolution procedure.
The parties to any such informal process will not be required to deal directly with one another. Instead, after an initial investigation of the complaint carried out by Title IX team, the complainant and the assigned Title IX Coordinator or other official selected by the Title IX team may agree to attempt to resolve the complaint informally. The Title IX Coordinator and the complainant may agree to seek an informal resolution of the complaint by meeting with the respondent, maintaining anonymity if appropriate or possible. If either the complainant or the accused is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution process, the party may institute the formal resolution process described below within seven (7) business days of receiving written notice of the outcome of the informal resolution process.
Any party may request that the informal resolution process be terminated at any time, in which case the formal resolution procedure (described below) would commence. In addition, any party can pursue formal resolution if he or she is dissatisfied with a proposed informal resolution. Finally, as described above, the Title IX team may elect to pursue a formal resolution procedure even if the complainant does not wish a formal resolution.
For allegations of sexual discrimination that can not be resolved informally a Conduct Board Conferences shall be conducted by a Conduct Board.
For the purpose of a formal hearing the following definitions will be used.
The term "Conduct Board" means any person or persons trained to determine formal sex discrimination violations. The Conduct Board will be a broad representation of the campus community, including Faculty, Staff and Students, appointed by the Title IX team.
The term "Conduct Administrator" means any person who is authorized by the Title IX Team to oversee the formal resolution process and to select members of a Conduct Board. A member of the Title IX Team can serve as Conduct Administrator.
The term "Complainant" means any person who submits a charge alleging a violation of the sex discrimination policy.
The term "Respondent" means any person accused of violating the sex discrimination policy.
The term "Conference" means the meeting between a Conduct Board and the Respondent(s). The purposes of this Conference with the Respondent are to review the complaint, to discuss the process, and to determine options for resolving the complaint.
The following guidelines will be used for Conduct Board Conferences:
- Conduct Board Conferences normally shall be conducted in private.
- The Complainant, Respondent and their advisors, if any, shall be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Conduct Board Conference at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the Conduct Board Conference shall be at the discretion of the Conduct Board and/or its Conduct Administrator.
- In Conduct Board Conferences involving more than one Respondent, the Conduct Administrator, in his or her discretion, may permit the Conduct Board Conferences concerning each person to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- The Complainant and the Respondent have the right to be assisted by an advisor they choose. The advisor should be a member of the University community. The Complainant and/or the Respondent is responsible for presenting his or her own information and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any Conduct Board Conference. A person should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the Conduct Board Conference. Delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.
- The Complainant, the Respondent, and the Conduct Board may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Conduct Board. The University will try to arrange the attendance of witnesses, if reasonably possible, and who are identified by the Complainant and/or Respondent at least two business days prior to the Conduct Board Conference. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Conduct Board. Questions may be suggested by the Respondent and/or Complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses. In some circumstances, the Conduct Administrator may consider it inappropriate to allow the Respondent to directly question the Complainant. This would be conducted by the Conduct Board with such questions directed to the Conduct Administrator, rather than to the witness directly. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the Conference and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the Conduct Administrator.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements (including absent witness reports) may be accepted as information for consideration by a Conduct Board at the discretion of the Conduct Administrator.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Conduct Administrator.
- After the portion of the Conduct Board Conference concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the Conduct Board shall determine (by majority vote if the Conduct Board consists of more than one person) whether the Respondent has violated the sex discrimination policy.
- The Conduct Board's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not (a preponderance of evidence) that the Respondent violated the sex discrimination policy.
- Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Conduct Board Conferences proceedings.
- There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording of all Conduct Board Conferences before a Conduct Board. Deliberations shall not be recorded. Minutes of Conduct Board Conferences may be taken by a University administrative assistant. The record shall be the property of the University.
- If a Respondent, with notice, does not appear before a Conduct Board Conference, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered even if the Respondent is not present.
- The Conduct Board may accommodate concerns for the availability, personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the Complainant, Respondent, and/or other witness during the Conference by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Conduct Administrator to be appropriate.
Sanctioning can vary according to the relationship the respondent has with the University. The conduct Board will make sanctioning recommendations based on sanctions described in the Student Code of Conduct, the Employee Handbook or the Faculty Handbook based on the relationship the respondent has to the University.
Amnesty for those Who Report Sex Discrimination
The University encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. The University recognizes that an individual who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs at the time of an act of sex discrimination may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for his/her/their own conduct. An individual who reports sex discrimination, either as a Complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the University for his/her/their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The University may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.
The University will not tolerate retaliation against any person making a complaint of sex discrimination or against any person cooperating in the investigation of alleged acts of sex discrimination. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats or harassment against any complainant or third party. Individuals who are alleged to engage in retaliatory tactics may face disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sex discrimination. Any acts of retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX coordinator.
The University expects all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sex discrimination. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. University members who choose to exercise this positive moral obligation will be supported by the university and protected from retaliation.
Education, Programs, Support
The University provides education to members of the community. All full-time students and employees complete an online training module which addresses the issues surrounding sex discrimination and behaviors that may be associated with violations of University policy such as alcohol and drug use. Students are required to prove they have completed the online training module prior to attending classes. Employees must complete the module prior to their initial employment start date. Additional programming is offered to the University community including passive and active programs. Programs are offered through the Office of Campus Life, the Office of Student Engagement and Saurwein Health and Wellness.
Because sex discrimination can constitute both a violation of University policy and criminal activity, the University encourages people to report alleged acts promptly to local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence.
University proceedings will be instituted against a person charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and the sex discrimination policy without regard to the pendency of a civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. Determinations made or sanctions imposed shall not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of University rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.
Additional Contact information
A victim of sex discrimination may also choose to contact resources outside the University for additional support. The following is a list of support services in the Seneca County area:
- Tiffin City Prosecutor's Victim Assistance Program- (419) 448-5413
- Seneca County Prosecutor's Victim Assistance Program – (419) 448-5070
- First Step - (419) 435-7300
- Firelands Mental Health Services - (419) 448-9440
- Seneca County Job and Family Services - (419) 447-5011
- Mercy Hospital - (419) 447-3130
- Clerk of Courts - Seneca Co. Common Pleas Court - (419) 447-0671
- Seneca Community Chaplain Corps – (419) 455-9320
Title IX focuses on the adverse consequences faced by victims of sex and gender discrimination and sexual harassment. It creates obligations for the University to investigate and to provide a "prompt and effective remedy." If the victim is a student, Title IX means among other things that the University must provide a safe environment that does not interfere with the victim's right to pursue an education. The University incurs this obligation when a victim has given notice to a "responsible employee," or when the University, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about the assault or harassment.
The University policy defines all employees as mandatory reporters. If you learn about sex discrimination employees are obligated to promptly contact a member of the Title IX team.
The University has the authority to institute an administrative complaint against any student, faculty, administrator, or staff if a violation occurs of the sex discrimination policy.