SUNY’S Equity in Education

“The State University of New York (University), in its continuing effort to seek equity in education and employment, and in support of federal and state anti-discrimination legislation, has adopted a complaint procedure for the prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of allegations of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction. Harassment is one form of unlawful discrimination on the basis of the above protected categories. The University will take steps to prevent discrimination and harassment, to prevent the recurrence of discrimination and harassment, and to remedy its discriminatory effects on the victim(s) and others, if appropriate.  Conduct that may constitute harassment is described in the Definitions section.  Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence.  Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or assists or participates in any manner in this procedure is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action” (Discrimination complaint procedure, 2015).

discrimination complaint procedure

Artwork by Lisa Tinneny and clipart from

In an attempt to seek equity in education, SUNY schools have created a Discrimination Complaint Procedure that is supported by federal and state anti-discrimination legislation. For example, the same terminology listed within the Discrimination Complaint Procedure can be found in the New York State Human Rights Law. The state law “makes it illegal for non-sectarian educational institutions to deny their services to students on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age or marital status, and for such institutions to allow students to be harassed on the basis of any of those characteristics” (Equal Educational Opportunity, 2015). To further support the anti-discrimination legislation backing the SUNY schools policy, The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) “prohibits (1) harassment by employees or students on school property or at school functions and (2) discrimination against a student based on his/her actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability [sic] sexual orientation, gender or sex by school employees or students” (Equal Educational Opportunity, 2015). Furthermore, all of the terminology stated in the Discrimination Complaint Procedure can also be found in the federal law, The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974. “The EEOA states that no U.S. state can deny equal educational opportunity to any person on the basis of gender, race, color, or nationality through intentional segregation by an educational institution; neglecting to resolve intentional segregation; by forced assignment of a student to a school, other than the one closest to his or her place of residence, that promotes further segregation; by discrimination in determining faculty and staff; by purposely transferring a student to another school to increase segregation; or by failing to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers preventing students from being able to equally participating in English classes” (Equal Educational Opportunity, 2015). Additional federal legislation supporting mandates for anti-discrimination are the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and The Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) (Equal Education Opportunity, 2015). All of these Acts have given rise to how SUNY schools has written their Discrimination Complaint Procedures to make sure they are in compliance with the State and Federal laws prohibiting discrimination.

References Scales of Justice 3 Clip Art. Retrieved from

Discrimination Complaint Procedure. 29 April, 2015. Retrieved from

Equal Education Opportunity, 2015. Retrieved from




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