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Bullying Prevention and Response
Standards of Conduct
|EWU Policy 901-04||Authority: EWU Board of Trustees|
|Effective: November 16, 2010||Proponent: Division of Human Resources, Rights and Risk|
Purpose: This policy describes university standards for managing incidents of bullying. It also establishes procedures for handling related complaints or incidents of policy violations.
History: This publication is new. It was adopted by the EWU Board of Trustees on November 20, 2009 and is effective as of that date. It includes housekeeping changes of November 16, 2010.
Applicability: This policy applies to all university personnel, students, vendors, contractors, consultants, guests and others who do business with the University. It applies on University property and at off-campus locations where University business is conducted.
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Eastern Washington University is committed to providing a community where students, faculty, staff and guests are safe from bullying behaviors. This policy establishes university standards for prevention of workplace bullying and prescribes standard measures and procedures for responding to behaviors or complaints of bullying. Through a combination of emphasis, accountability, training, and systematic response, EWU intends to deter bullying acts and behavior and to provide timely response when incidents of bullying occur.
Eastern Washington University will not tolerate bullying behavior directed toward any member of the university community or to any person on university property.
This policy applies to all EWU programs, events and facilities, including, but not limited to, student services, educational programs and employment. All members, visitors and guests of the campus community are required to comply with this policy. EWU employees and students conducting university business at a location off-campus, i.e. business trips, internships, etc, are also subject to the provisions of this policy.
1-4. Reprisal or Retaliation
It is a violation of this policy for any person to engage in reprisal or retaliation against an individual because that individual has, in good faith, filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any process under this policy, or has attempted to do so.
To protect the privacy of those involved, all information will be maintained in a confidential manner. During any process under this policy, complaint information will be disseminated on a need-to-know basis. Files subject to public disclosure will be released to the extent required by law.
- University Guideline 401-01, Investigations
- WAC 172-120, Student Conduct Code
- Collective Bargaining Agreements with employee groups of EWU
Chapter 2 – Bullying
2-1. Bullying Definition
Bullying: Bullying is behavior that is:
- targeted at an individual or group;
- hostile or offensive; and,
- creates an intimidating and/or threatening environment which produces a risk of psychological and/or physical harm.
Bullying behavior may take many forms, including, but not limited to, physical, verbal, or written acts or behaviors. It may also manifest as excluding behavior such as ignoring or dismissing individuals or groups.
Hostile behaviors include, but are not limited to, behaviors that are harmful or damaging to an individual and/or property. Behaviors that are intimidating, threatening, disruptive, humiliating, sarcastic, or vicious may also constitute hostile behavior.
Offensive behaviors may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate behaviors such as abusive language, derogatory remarks, insults, or epithets. Other offensive behaviors may include the use of condescending, humiliating, or vulgar language, swearing, shouting or use of unsuitable language, use of obscene gestures, or mocking.
2-2. Complaint Process
Complaints and reports of bullying shall be handled according to the procedures in Chapter 4.
2-3. Sanctions or Disciplinary Action
If an investigation determines that an act of bullying, as defined in this policy, did occur, the supervisor or other appropriate official will take action to prevent future violations and to administer appropriate sanctions.
2-4. Timeliness of Actions
Complaints must be filed within 60 days following the latest incident of bullying. The procedures described in this policy shall be carried out as expeditiously as possible.
Chapter 3 – Responsibilities
3-1. Employees, Students, and Guests
University employees, students, and guests have a responsibility to behave in a respectful manner. Instances of bullying should be reported.
3-2. University President
The University President is responsible for overall compliance with pertinent federal and state laws. The president will ensure development and implementation of university policies and programs designed to prevent and respond to bullying behavior. The President will promote those programs and policies and monitor university compliance.
3-3. University Officials and Employees with Supervisory Responsibilities
University employees with supervisory responsibilities must take reasonable steps to ensure that the work or learning environment for which they are responsible is free from bullying behaviors.
- Supervisors and other university officials shall:
- Attend training on this policy and related procedures
- Treat all complaints and incidents of bullying seriously
- Manage all complaints of bullying in a timely and confidential manner
- Handle reports of bullying in accordance with the procedures described in this policy
- During any of the procedures under this policy, university officials involved shall:
- Listen impartially to the concerns and perceptions of each party involved
- Ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly and that assistance is available to all parties
- Ensure that all reported incidents of bullying are responded to promptly
- Ensure that the environment is safe for all parties
Persons designated to investigate a complaint or observed incident of bullying behavior shall conduct their investigation in accordance with University Guideline 401-01, Investigations. When an investigation is done, it is expected that the supervisor of the alleged bully will conduct the investigation unless there are concerns as identified in the Investigations guideline.
3-5. Vice President for Student Affairs
Provides students annual training on this policy.
Chapter 4 – Complaint Process
4-1. Where to Report Bullying
Any person who wishes to report an incident of bullying should contact an appropriate university official as shown in Table 4-1 below. If a complainant has concerns about discussing the issue with the Preferred Official, they should contact an Alternate Official. A Bullying Complaint form is at Appendix A.
|Table 4-1. Officials for Complaints of Possible Bullying|
|Preferred Official||Alternate Officials|
Employees are encouraged to seek resolution for bullying complaints by going to their immediate supervisor first
|Human Resources; other official
If an employee has concerns about going to the supervisor, they may contact Human Resources or another university official for assistance.
|Students||Dean of Students||Other University Official
(i.e. Department Chair, Office of Student Affairs, Academic Advisor)
|Others||Human Resources||President’s Office|
4-2. Informal Complaint Process
The goal of the informal process is to resolve bullying complaints at the lowest level and as quickly as possible.
- Methods: The following methods of informal resolution are available:
- Ask your supervisor or a co-worker to intervene on your behalf.
- Engage in an informal meeting with the alleged offender and his/her supervisor or manager.
- Request Mediation with the alleged offender. Mediation will be performed through the use of a neutral third party. The office of Human Resources, Rights and Risk may be contacted for assistance in identifying a mediator.
- Mediation: To conduct a mediation, the designated mediator will:
- Notify all parties named that there has been a request for mediation.
- Conduct, if appropriate, a meeting with all parties. While this stage is not required, in many cases a meeting with the independent mediator can assist the parties in understanding their differing points of view and can lead to constructive resolution of the issues.
- Convene a mediation conference.
- The calling of a mediation conference does not imply there is a case to answer or that any conduct complained of has occurred. It is not the mediator’s role to make a formal finding but to assist the parties to reach a mutually agreed resolution to the problem.
- Each party is encouraged to have a support person of their choosing present during the mediation process. This precludes legally trained representative at this stage.
- Document the outcome of the process.
Use of the informal process does not restrict the complainant from the formal complaint process. If the informal process is unsuccessful or no longer an option, the formal process is available to resolve the complaint.
4-3. Formal Complaint Process
Any party directly involved may initiate an investigation by completing a complaint form (Appendix A). Once completed, the complaint should be forwarded to an appropriate official (Table 4-1). The official will initiate an investigation pursuant to University Guideline 401-01.