Student Mistreatment Policy and Sexual Harassment Policy

Purpose
The purposes of this policy are to outline expectations of behaviors that promote a positive learning environment for CNUCOM medical students and other learners and to identify grievance procedures to address alleged violations. This policy offers a definition of these expectations through its Learning Environment Statement, provides examples of unacceptable treatment of medical students, and describes the procedures available to report incidents of mistreatment in a safe and effective manner.

Policy
CNUCOM is committed to assuring a safe and supportive learning environment that reflects the institution’s values: professionalism, respect for individual rights, appreciation of diversity and differences, altruism, compassion, and integrity. Mistreatment of medical students is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Expectations of teachers and learners are described more fully in the Faculty Handbook references in 32.a.

Procedures
  • Distribution by the Student and Faculty Handbooks as outlined by this policy are to be shared with all students (new and continuing), all new residents and faculty teachers, and on an annual basis with all current instructors (e.g. residents, faculty, nurses, administrators).
  • Examples of Mistreatment—Students should use this Mistreatment Policy to address discriminatory, unfair, arbitrary or capricious treatment by faculty or staff. CNUCOM defines mistreatment as behavior that is inconsistent with the values of the university’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Statement noted below and which unreasonably interferes with the learning process. When assessing behavior that might represent mistreatment, students are expected to consider the conditions, circumstances, and environment surrounding such behavior. Examples of discriminatory, unfair, arbitrary or capricious treatment include, but are not limited to:
    • Verbally abusing, belittling, or humiliating a student.
    • Intentionally singling out a student for arbitrary treatment that could be perceived as punitive.
    • Unwarranted exclusion from reasonable learning opportunities.
    • Assignment of duties as punishment rather than education.
    • Pressuring students to exceed established restrictions on work hours.
    • Exploitation of students in any manner, e.g. performing personal errands.
    • Directing students to perform an unreasonable number of “routine hospital procedures”, i.e. “scut” on patients not assigned to them or where performing them interferes with a student’s attendance at educational activities, e.g. rounds, classes.
    • Pressuring a student to perform medical procedures for which the student is insufficiently trained (i.e. putting a student in a role that compromises the care of patients).
    • Threatening a lower or failing grade/evaluation to a student for inappropriate reasons.
    • Committing an act of physical abuse or violence of any kind, e.g. throwing objects, aggressive violation of personal space.
    • Making unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or taunting remarks about a person’s protected status as defined in the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Statement.

Reporting Concerns of Possible Mistreatment

Medical students who themselves experience or observe other students experiencing possible mistreatment are encouraged to discuss it with someone in a position to understand the context and address necessary action. The individual considering making a report of mistreatment should first, if possible, attempt to resolve the matter directly with the alleged offender. Suggested options for medical students include:
  • DISCUSS it with their College Master, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach, or the clerkship/course/sequence director.
  • REPORT it (utilizing one of three options below and hopefully prevent such behavior in the future):
    • File a formal report with the Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions.
    • File an anonymous report via the Student Portal contained on the CNUCOM website. This mechanism includes options for prompt attention OR withholding the report until a future date.
    • File an identified or anonymous report on campus using the College’s official Student Complaint /Grievance Form located outside the Office of the Student Affairs and Admissions Assistant Registrar.
  • Medical Students requesting complete anonymity should be made aware that doing so may interfere with the university’s ability to investigate the concern and their ability to receive information about the follow-up investigation. Medical Students may also choose to pursue claims of unlawful discrimination or harassment in compliance with the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Statement: “California Northstate University College of Medicine (CNUCOM) is committed to cultivating a diverse community that recognizes and values inherent worth in individuals, fosters mutual respect, and encourages individual growth. The College believes that diversity enhances and enriches the quality of our academic program. CNUCOM provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, or disability.”

Responding to Concerns of Mistreatment

Every effort is made to respond to concerns of mistreatment in a professional manner to minimize the risk of retaliation. The Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions and the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs will be provided with written notice of reported concerns of mistreatment of Medical Students (corresponding with the date indicated on the report), and conduct an initial inquiry into the circumstances. Consistent with Faculty Handbook guidelines on Disruptive or Inappropriate Behavior, and depending on the identity of the alleged offending party, the Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions will engage the appropriate process channels for implementing notice to the offending party, and for investigation and implementation of potential corrective action. Aggregate and de-identified data on reports of mistreatment of Medical Students will be shared with the Curriculum Committee and the President’s Executive Council at least quarterly.

No Retaliation
Retaliation is strictly prohibited against persons who in good faith report, complain of, or provide information in a mistreatment investigation or proceeding. Individuals who believe they are experiencing retaliation are strongly encouraged to contact the Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions. Alleged retaliation will be subject to investigation and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The CNUCOM is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment. In pursuit of these goals, the college does not tolerate acts of sexual harassment or related retaliation against or by any employee or student.

Sexual harassment: consists of interaction between individuals of the same or opposite sex that is characterized by unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, living conditions and/or educational evaluation; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for tangible employment or educational decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment.

Hostile environment sexual harassment: (described in subpart (3) above) is unwelcome sexual conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity and whether it is threatening or humiliating.

Retaliatory acts: It is a violation of this policy to engage in retaliatory acts against any employee or student who reports an incident of alleged sexual harassment or any employee or student who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such allegation of sexual harassment.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

If you need to report sexual harassment, have any questions regarding sexual harassment, or the policy above please contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach at 916-503-1850. If the situation is an emergency please call the Elk Grove police by dialing 911. If at all possible try to report the incident immediately. Students may also report non-emergency incidents using the College’s official Student Complaint /Grievance Form located outside the Office of the Student Affairs and Admissions Assistant Registrar. Once the Student Complaint /Grievance Form is completed contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach to review the complaint. Additional resources and assistance will be given.

Who to Call When You Need Help

Student Affairs and Admissions, or any Administrative Office on Campus Contact: Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach Office: Student Affairs and Admissions Telephone: 916-686-7300

Elk Grove Police Department
Office: 8380 Laguna Palms Way,
Elk Grove, CA 95758-8090
Telephone: 916-478-8000
Emergency: 911

Contact the Elk Grove Police Department to report on-campus criminal conduct, including sexual assault or other serious allegations of sexual harassment in which the complainant believes that his or her safety is threatened. Allegations of serious sexual harassment should be reported to the Elk Grove Police Department if they occur after hours or on weekends.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transsexual (LGBT) Non- Discrimination Policy

The University/College has a no tolerance policy for any type of sexual harassment including harassment or discrimination of LGBT students. The policies and protection acts that focus on this non-discrimination stance include:
  • Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment: All students have a federal constitutional right to equal protection under the law. This means that schools have a duty to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students from harassment on an equal basis with all other students.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Although Title IX does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sexual harassment directed at an LGBT student is prohibited by Title IX if it is sufficiently severe and pervasive. Title IX also prohibits gender-based harassment, including harassment on the basis of a student’s failure to conform to stereotyped notions of masculinity and femininity. CNUCOM does not currently receive federal financial assistance but takes a proactive stance in the protection of all students. The Dean of Student Affairs is the Title IX Coordinator for the University. Any violations of the Title IX Education Amendment Act should be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs in a timely manner.
  • 1st Amendment, Equal Protection & Due Process Clauses: A transgender student’s right to dress in accordance with his or her gender identity may be protected under the First Amendment and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment limits the right of school officials to censor a student’s speech or expression. Students also have a protected liberty interest (under the Due Process Clause) in their personal appearance. In addition, a transgender student also has a right under the Equal Protection Clause to be treated similarly to other students of the same gender identity.

Conduct Disruptive to the University Community Policy (SaVE Act)

Students should immediately report any acts of violence, threatening behaviors or violations of the Honor Code to the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, campus security or another school official.

This policy defines disruptive conduct as:

Violent Behavior
Violent behavior encompasses a broad range of behaviors that may affect the campus or the workplace, may generate reasonable concerns for personal safety, or may result in physical injury. Violent behavior includes, but is not limited to, aggressive or frightening acts, intimidation, threats, harassing behavior, stalking/unwanted pursuit, physical attacks, domestic violence or property damage.

Intimidation
Intimidation is engaging in actions intended to frighten, coerce, or induce duress. These actions include, but are not limited to, stalking/unwanted pursuit.

Threats
A threat is an expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. A threat may be direct, indirect, conditional or veiled. Any threat is presumed to constitute a statement of intent to complete the behavior consistent with the threat.

Physical Attack
Physical attack is unwanted physical contact such as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, biting, fighting or throwing objects or use of unauthorized weapon against another person. Domestic violence is the use of abusive or violent behavior, including threats and intimidation, between people who have on ongoing or prior intimate or familial relationship, including individuals who are or have been married, living together, or dating.

Reporting Sexual Harassment or Disruptive Conduct
If you need to report sexual harassment or conduct that is disruptive or have questions please contact the Office of Student Affairs, or other campus administrator. If the situation is an emergency please call the Elk Grove Police by dialing 911. If at all possible try to report the incident immediately.

Students may also report non-emergency incidents using the University/College’s official Student Complaint/Grievance Form located in the Office of Student Affairs or on the University/College’s web site. Once the Student Complaint /Grievance Form is completed contact The Office of Student Affairs to review the complaint. Additional resources and assistance will be given.

To report off-campus criminal conduct, including sexual assault or other serious allegations of sexual harassment in which the complainant believes that his or her safety is threatened contact The Elk Grove Police Department. Allegations of serious sexual harassment should also be reported to the local police department if they occur after hours or on weekends.

Who to Call When You Need Help

The Office of Student Affairs and Admissions or any Administrative Office on Campus Contact: Dr. Peter Eveland – Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach
Telephone: 916-686-7300
Elk Grove Police Department
Office: 8380 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758
Telephone: 916-714-5111
Emergency: 911

Contact The Elk Grove Police Department to report on-campus criminal conduct, including sexual assault or other serious allegations of sexual harassment in which the complainant believes that his or her safety is threatened. Allegations of serious sexual harassment should be reported to The Elk Grove Police Department if they occur after hours or on weekends.
     

California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300