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Complaints & Grievances

Belmont University values and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences and perspectives of our community members. By encouraging and celebrating these differences, we create an environment that promotes freedom of thought and academic excellence.

Belmont University denounces bias-related conduct as a violation of University Honor Code. Bias-related incidents, including slurs based on racial or ethnic identity, faith tradition, gender expression/identity, sexual orientation, ability and others create, a hostile educational, living and working environment and such acts are not tolerated in our academic community.

The term “bias-related” refers to language, symbols, behaviors and acts that demonstrate discrimination or hate against persons or groups because of any of the following identity categories (perceived or otherwise): race, ethnicity, faith tradition, national origin, gender, gender expression/identity, sexual orientation, age/generation, socio-economic status and disability. These categories are examples and are not an exhaustive list of attributes or characteristics protected under this policy.

Complaints and Bias Grievances

Complaints in this context refer to the formal reporting of a general issues or concerns related to the processes, situations or events related to institutional policies and procedures.

Bias Grievances in this context refer to the formal reporting of speech/rhetoric, violence, symbols or actions that have a discriminatory or bias connotation. Students, faculty or staff that have witnessed or have experienced behavior that falls within this definition and wish to report it to the Belmont University administration are asked to complete this form.

Please click here to submit the form!

If you have a general inquiry or need to make a referral please contact the Dean of Students Office at: Deanofstudents@Belmont.edu 

 

 

Belmont University’s Diversity Statement

We are all created in the image of God, living as Christ’s body on earth with respect to differences that include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, gender identity, race and sexual orientation. The institutional definition of diversity at Belmont is consistent with our mission to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, courage and faith. Our words and actions toward everyone must be embodied with respect, dignity and compassion.

 

Definitions & Terms Related to Bias Response

Bias:  An inclination or preference either for or against an individual or group that interferes with impartial judgment. Bias can give rise to incidents, including slurs based on racial or ethnic identity, faith tradition, gender expression/identity, sexual orientation, ability and others create, a hostile educational, living and working environment and such acts are not tolerated in our community.

Bias-related incident:  Conduct, speech, or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by bias or prejudice. It differs from a hate crime in that no criminal activity is involved. While hate crimes, if charged and prosecuted, will be dealt with in the court system as well as through our Belmont policies, Belmont will handle bias incidents through grievance procedures and educational programs.

Hate crime:  In Tennessee a hate crime is defined as any act prohibited by law that is motivated because of the victim’s race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin.

Harassment:  Acts that unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work or academic performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or offensive working, living or learning environment, based on their protected categories. This includes verbal, written, visual or physical harassment.

Protected categories: The following are considered “protected identity categories” with respect to discrimination, harassment and bias: age, (dis)ability, ethnic origin, faith tradition, gender expression, gender identity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, race and veteran’s status.

Harm transformation: systems change(s) that involve the understanding of the perspective of the harmed parties, but does not always involve the person(s) harming and/ or the person(s) harmed.

Restorative practices: processes that involve harmed and harming parties aimed at repairing, healing, and creating healthier relationships, communities, and systems
(Harm transformation and restorative practices are community processes aimed to promote equities and reduce social disparities.)
Bias impact:  Harm caused by negative bias, prejudice, hate, and/ or bigotry. Bias impact can include but is not limited to:

  • Interference with ability to work, learn, and maintain healthy relationships.
  • Marginalization from the community and barriers to participation.
  • Rendering groups more vulnerable, powerless, and feeling unwelcome.
  • Increased distrust and the erosion of a healthy sense of community.

Affected individual/ group(s): those directly or indirectly impacted by bias, prejudice, hate, and/ or bigotry, whether intentional or unintentional.
* Affected individuals can also include those intentionally and unintentionally involved in the harm.

Prejudice:  Attitudes, beliefs, and/ or decisions held without facts, experience, or adequate knowledge. In this context, most often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people because of assumptions about their identity or identities.

 

Anti-Discrimination

Belmont University values the dignity and worth of every individual, recognizing that each person is unique with certain rights and responsibilities; therefore, any form of discrimination/harassment is contrary to our Community Commitments and to the Christian standards of conduct expected of all members of the University community. Employees and students have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment. Employees and students are prohibited from engaging in harassing conduct toward any other person. Belmont University is committed to providing an environment in which all persons are safe from discrimination and harassment based on their race, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, and sexual violence), national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service.

The University’s prohibition of harassment applies to members of the University community, visitors to the campus and contractors and others who do business with the University or who use University facilities. Discriminatory harassment can include, but is not limited to, verbal, visual, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group of individuals because of his/her, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, threatening or actual abuse or harm, hostile or offensive environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or job performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s educational or employment opportunities.

In determining whether an alleged behavior constitutes harassment, the full context in which the incident occurred will be considered. Any retaliatory action or behavior taken toward an alleged victim as a consequence of his or her decision to report a violation, pursue conduct action or criminal prosecution, is prohibited. Retaliation by either party may result in immediate disciplinary action.