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Civil Rights Compliance

The Office for Equity and Accessibility guides the university’s efforts to maintain working and learning environments free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In addition to responding to reports, OEA’s civil rights compliance and conflict resolution team offers a range of services, resources, and programs to students, employees, and departments.

How to Report

OEA encourages anyone who experiences discrimination or harassment to report to us via one of the following methods:

The compliance team provides a prompt response to all reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Typically within two business days of receiving a report, a trained civil rights expert will respond to any individual who was reported to be impacted by an incident of discrimination or harassment with an offer to meet and discuss resources and options for pursuing a resolution to the presented concerns.

The university’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Assault (Policy 1025) states that the university does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status. 

OEA’s civil rights compliance team coordinates the university’s response to all reports or complaints under Policy 1025, including reports that a student, faculty, or staff member experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the context of a university program or activity.

The process OEA follows in responding to reports depends on whether the individual accused of violating a university civil rights policy is a student or an employee and whether Title IX policies and procedures are applicable to the complaint.

Equity Services in the Washington, D.C., Region

In the Washington, D.C., region, OEA’s equity manager serves as in-person point of contact for questions and concerns related to the university’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. The equity manager works with OEA’s partners, such as the Cook Counseling Center, Human Resources, and the university ombuds and graduate ombuds offices, to create a robust network of support for students, faculty, and staff in the capital region.

Contact: Gennelle Chatman, Equity Manager

Compliance Training

The team also engages in outreach and education, including mandatory biannual compliance training for all university employees. The interactive compliance workshop covers the university's anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, the requirements of federal civil rights laws; and procedures for filing and investigating discrimination and harassment complaints. 

Conflict Resolution Services

OEA believes that a great civil rights process must, when possible, empower parties and stakeholders to make the choices that are best for them. The compliance team offers a range of opportunities to help employees resolve conflicts and concerns informally — without filing a complaint and participating in a formal process. Participation in a conflict resolution process is voluntary, and services range from individual conflict coaching sessions to department- or office-wide climate reviews. The goal of these services is to explore ways to strengthen communication and increase collaboration and inclusion.

Office for Equity and Accessibility
220 Gilbert Street, Suite 5200 (0150)
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone: 540-231-2010