To educate the university community about bullying, to promote civility, and to take immediate corrective action when appropriate.
Bullying regardless of intent consists of abusive conduct relative to acts, omissions, or both, that a reasonable person would find hostile, based on the severity, nature, and frequency of the conduct and without regard to the method of delivery, such as verbal, written or electronic. Abusive conduct may include, but is not limited to: repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; verbal or physical conduct of a threatening, intimidating, or humiliating nature; the sabotage or undermining of an individual’s work performance; or attempts to exploit an individual’s known psychological or physical vulnerability. A single act normally will not constitute abusive conduct, but an especially severe and egregious act may meet the standard.
Worcester State University accepts and endorses the Healthy Workplace Bill “An Act Addressing Workplace Bullying, Mobbing, and Harassment, Without Regard to Protected Class Status” as proposed, and, further, accepts and endorses any and all amendments made to this bill, as well as the bill in its final form that is signed into law by the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In keeping with the Healthy Workplace Bill, and our own Code of Conduct and Guide to Academic Honesty, Worcester State University prohibits conduct which may be interpreted as bullying or harassment as described in this policy. The university wishes to promote a friendly, welcoming, and healthy environment in conjunction with the university’s Mission Statement. Every individual is entitled to be treated with respect and to be free from bullying and harassment. All members of the university community are expected to behave in a manner which demonstrates proper regard for the rights and welfare of others.
Staff are required and students are strongly encouraged to provide support to individuals who are bullied or harassed and to report incidents to the appropriate university official.
This anti-bullying policy applies to the entire university community, including full time and part time administration, faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, and vendors. It includes conduct in the workplace and conduct in connection with work-related travel and/or at university-sponsored events. It also expands harassment beyond the protected classes to include the entire university community.
This policy will be circulated each fall to all employees and students through the Human Resources/Affirmative Action Office. Additionally, the Anti-Bullying Policy will be included in all electronic and paper versions of the university’s Policy Manual. Staff will facilitate workshops during the academic year for students and employees to educate around the topic of bullying.
In resolving bullying cases it is critical that there be appropriate documentation of the problem behavior(s), including time, date, brief description of the incident and what actions were taken. This documentation should always be factual. If the situation continues and requires involvement by the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity (faculty/staff) or Judicial Affairs Coordinator (students), a factual record of the encounters will be beneficial in effectively resolving the situation.
Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with university policy, collective bargaining, and the Student Handbook.
PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING
Normal channels of reporting alleged bullying will be used in accordance with the Code of Conduct and Guide to Academic Honesty, collective bargaining agreements, and university procedures. Investigations of complaints of bullying will be done expeditiously and with the highest level of confidentiality.
Reporting Violations by Students
Complaints of bullying should be reported immediately to University Police or Residential Life staff (24 hour operations). Complaints may also be reported to the Associate Vice President/Dean of Students or Judicial Affairs.
Complaints will be investigated and forwarded to the Judicial Affairs Office for review in a timely manner. Alleged student conduct violations stemming from complaints will be processed in accordance with the student conduct procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.
Reporting Violations by Employees, Contractors, Vendors
- Complaints of bullying should be reported to the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity.
- The Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity will determine at what level the complaint will be investigated and what/if any corrective action should be administered. For example, an instance where an employee accuses a supervisor of bullying, the complaint may be referred to the area vice president.
Emergency Intervention (If you believe you or another is in immediate threat)
Call University Police – 508.929.8911
· When you believe you or another person is in immediate danger
· When you believe a student is about to harm her/himself
· When you believe that behavior is out of control and disruptive
Questions regarding reporting alleged violations of this policy may be directed to the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity.
Please be advised that the campus Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action Policy provides that retaliation in any form is prohibited.
This document will be reviewed every three years by the Directors of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity and Human Resources. Should related legislation become law, this policy will be reviewed immediately and revised in accordance with federal and state laws.