Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 19, 1999

Racial, ethnic harassment policy draft presented to P&S Council

by Anne Dolan

At its March 4 meeting, the Professional and Scientific Council discussed its response to a draft of Iowa State's racial and ethnic harassment policy. The council's policies and procedures committee received the draft last month to begin work on a response; council president Rob Bowers will send a formal response to President Martin Jischke, who has requested input to the draft from university groups by March 15.

Committee members suggested that the policy more closely mirror Iowa State's sexual harassment policy in procedural structure (initiating a complaint, informal resolution vs. formal complaint, use of assistors, etc.)

As they did last month with the Faculty Senate, director of legal services Paul Tanaka and Derrick Rollins, the president's diversity adviser, attended the council meeting to answer questions and solicit ideas. Tanaka noted that the enforcement portion of the policy isn't complete yet. All parts of the policy are open to revision, he said.

Rollins said people often don't know what to do when, for example, someone in their company makes a racist comment. "With this policy, we're trying to give all people knowledge -- not just administrators -- so people don't have to wait. Issues can be dealt with at the lowest level possible," he said.

Assistant vice president for human resource services Carla Espinoza, who also attended the meeting, said that not many universities have racial harassment policies yet. Policies that have been written resemble discrimination policies more than sexual harassment policies, she said.

"If the goal is to educate and prevent, we're going in the opposite direction if we make the rules too tight," she said.

In other business:

The next regular council meeting begins at 2 p.m. that day in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room.

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