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Bias-policy task force makes progress toward completion of work in fall semester

June 02, 2014

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Since mid-February, the bias-policy task force formed by President Barry Glassner has worked steadily to develop recommendations to improve the College’s policy on hate/bias-motivated conduct.

Made up of students, faculty, and staff from all three schools, and drawing from the legal expertise of committee chair and Law Professor Janet Steverson, the committee recently produced a first draft of the new policy—which is now undergoing further review.

In her role as committee chair, Steverson has worked to align the policy draft with Lewis & Clark’s Mission Statement, and she is taking steps to ensure the work of the task force will ultimately foster a more inclusive community in which all members take an active role in identifying and confronting acts of bias.

“One question with which we are presented is ‘how can everybody learn to work together and understand each other?’ Our mission statement says we want people at Lewis & Clark to feel free to speak, but at the same time to recognize that conduct and speech impacts others,” Steverson says. “You have the right as an adult to engage in conduct and to speak your mind, but with these rights come responsibilities. This policy is designed to make clear what those responsibilities are.”

Steverson emphasizes that one outcome of the task force’s work will be the coordination of the three schools’ procedures with regard to non-gender based harassment and discrimination—each different now—into a seamless whole that applies across the institution.

President Glassner praised the work of the task force for the progress made to date. “Under Professor Steverson’s leadership, the task force is making substantial progress toward a more comprehensive procedure and policy and, ultimately, toward our being a more diverse and inclusive community,” President Glassner said. “All my thanks to Janet and the task force members for their smart and dedicated work.”

The bias-policy task force will continue meeting through the summer, with the goal of completing the work by fall term.

 

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