STEP 1: All charges of discrimination should be referred to the Title VI Coordinator at the Office of Multicultural Relations.
In order to ensure the effective handling of all incidents of discrimination, this policy requires that all such reports be directed to the same office on campus, namely the Office of Multicultural Relations. In the statement, the complainant is encouraged to request any relief sought from the Seminary. Prompt submission of formal grievances is encouraged. Complaints should be addressed to: The Reverend Dr. Victor Aloyo, Jr., Title VI Coordinator, Princeton Theological Seminary, 204 Templeton Hall, email: TitleVI.Coordinator@ptsem.edu, phone: 609.688.1943 A written complaint shall be submitted promptly, but no later than 12 months from the last date of the alleged discriminatory act.
- At this first stage of the procedure, the individual or individuals who alert(s) the Office of Multicultural Relations of a possible discrimination incident might not be the actual aggrieved party.
- Both the complainant and the respondent may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice (including an attorney if they desire), who may or may not be a member of the campus community, when meeting with the Title VI Coordinator.
- A potentially aggrieved party may bring a complaint of discrimination to a supervisor, department chair or dean, who, in turn, shall refer the complainant to the Office of Multicultural Relations.
- In the event there are two or more complainants and/or two or more persons (respondents) charged with discrimination in the same set of circumstances, the Title VI Coordinator or his/her designee, will decide whether the complaint will be handled jointly or separately. For purposes of this document, the phrases “the complainant” and/or “the respondent” may be plural.
- The role of the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, in this procedure is to serve as a mediator and/or fact finder. The Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, must act in such a manner as to ensure that all parties to a discrimination complaint are protected by appropriate due process and confidentiality. Should the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, be accused of discrimination, the Senior Vice President will act in his/her place.
STEP 2: The complainant meets with the Title VI Coordinator at the Office of Multicultural Relations.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the complaint and to gather information. At this initial meeting, the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, clarifies for the complainant whether or not the allegations may constitute discrimination. The Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, then reviews the appropriate complaint procedure for the benefit of the complainant. At this step the Complainants are not required to file a written discrimination complaint.
STEP 3: The complainant will receive additional clarification regarding Seminary procedures.
Regarding the alleged discrimination and general information regarding counseling. If requested by the complainant, the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, will provide general guidance for the complainant in order to:
- Clarify the nature of the alleged discrimination.
- Review the Seminary’s complaint procedure.
- Review the complainant’s responsibilities of filing a written complaint.
- Give guidelines for what a written complaint should contain, in the event the complainant chooses to file his/her complaint in writing.
- Apprise the complainant of counseling services offered through the Seminary’s counseling network; Office of Student Counseling for a student complainant or the State Employee’s Assistance Program for an employee complainant.
- Based on the complainant’s written account of alleged discrimination, the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, determines there is insufficient reason to proceed with a complaint and counsels the complainant regarding this decision. In this case, the investigation would stop at this point and the complainant would be notified of the decision of the Office of Multicultural Relations.
- Based on the complainant’s account of alleged discrimination and a finding of sufficient reason to proceed, the Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, will promptly initiate an impartial fact-finding investigation of the reported discrimination. The Options for Resolution will then be discussed with the Complainant.
- Options for Resolution. Individuals making reports of discrimination shall be informed about options for resolving potential violations of these policies which prohibit discrimination. After a complaint is filed, the choice as to the manner in which to proceed under this Title VI Non-Discrimination Policy is at the discretion of the Complainant. The options how to proceed contained herein offer different remedies and pathways to relief. Because the circumstances of every claim are unique, the Seminary believes that the Complainant is in the best position to decide what procedure works best for her or him. Prior to proceeding under any given policy, the Complainant may consult with the Title VI Coordinator and/or a Mediation Advocate who will be available to assist the Complainant in making this decision. The options include informal dispute resolution, formal investigation and/or hearing process.
- The Seminary Procedures (informal, formal and/or hearing) will then be initiated with the proviso that the Seminary reserves the absolute right to take whatever interim measures it deems necessary to protect the rights and personal safety of its community members.
- Assurance of Fair Treatment. The complainant, the respondent, and any other parties to proceedings under this policy are to be treated fairly. This may involve the making of special arrangements, two examples of which are described below;
- Where the complainant at the time of making a complaint is either a student or instructor of the respondent, the Seminary may, in appropriate circumstances, after the respondent has been informed that a complaint has been made, and after receiving recommendations from the Title VI Coordinator, make arrangements with the appropriate administrator for certain work and examinations of the student to be supervised and evaluated by a disinterested party.
- Where the complainant is a staff member whose performance is normally evaluated by the respondent, the complainant is to receive fair employment treatment and protection from adverse employment-related consequences during the procedures of this policy.
- The Seminary will take every precaution to protect the complainant and any witnesses from retaliatory action by the respondent. In fact, the respondent will be informed he/she is not to retaliate against the complainant in any way nor against any other person connected to the complaint as that action may result in a separate disciplinary action. Further, the respondent will be informed he/she is not to communicate directly with the complainant regarding the claim of discrimination as this may be perceived as an attempt to discourage the complainant from pursuing the complaint. The Title VI Coordinator, or his/her designee, will attempt to resolve the complaint informally. If the complaint is not resolved informally, a formal investigative process will follow.