Office of Compliance and Risk Management

Policy against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination



As a Catholic institution of higher education, Seton Hall University abides by values that proclaim the dignity and rights of all people. In keeping with this fundamental principle, we affirm the value of racial and ethnic diversity and welcome persons of all groups, cultures and religious traditions to Seton Hall.

Every person associated with Seton Hall brings the richness of a tradition that binds one to the past and points with hope to the future. We welcome the enriching experience of the growing diversity on campus. Diversity presents challenges and opportunities to the entire community. In order to achieve the goals of our University community, it is essential that we provide equal educational opportunities to assure a healthy environment for all students. We pledge to meet these challenges.

We categorically reject all forms of racial and/or ethnic discrimination. We acknowledge our obligation to safeguard and enhance the dignity of every member of our University community. We seek to foster an understanding of cultural differences and encourage and support the ethical and moral values that are the basis of a humane social order.

To fulfill these aspirations, we commit ourselves to create and to maintain an environment free of racial and/or ethnic intimidation, humiliation and harassment. We urge all members of the Seton Hall community to adhere to the following values:
  • Respect for the dignity of each person;
  • Openness to opinions and points of view different from one’s own;
  • Understanding and respect for persons whose background may be different from one’s own;
  • Respect for persons and groups in the search for and affirmation of differences and commonalities of human experience and endeavors;
  • Maintenance and enhancement of our University as a setting in which differences may be debated and defended with civility, respect and reason as the standards of humane discourse;
  • Use of education as a humanizing force for all members of the community; and Courage to face conflicts with integrity and maturity so that negotiation may be genuine and accommodation attainable.

A commitment to the principles of free speech and academic freedom is of vital importance to the Seton Hall University community. This commitment is at the heart of the educational mission and informs our work in teaching, learning and research, as well as in educational activities beyond the classroom. We are dedicated to allowing vigorous and open academic discourse and intellectual inquiry, including speech that espouses controversial ideas.

Because our University respects individual freedom and dignity, free speech is necessary in order to arrive at truth and to promote clearer reasoning through the debate of opposing views. Free speech must be maintained to reinforce our society’s commitment to the equality and dignity of all persons. Without compromising our stated Catholic mission, a commitment to support free speech may in some instances lead to permitting speech that some may find repugnant or offensive. One purpose of this policy, then, is to distinguish between permitted speech which may be objectionable, and speech and/or other communications which are intended to create a hostile environment, or to threaten abuse or harm.

This policy is based on the expectation that all members of the Seton Hall community will actively work to bring these values to full, living and genuine realization. Racial or ethnic discrimination is a violation of University policy and may be the basis for disciplinary action. No member of our University community may engage in racial and/or ethnic discrimination.


This Policy Against Racial and/or Ethnic Discrimination applies to all University students, faculty, administrators, staff members and employees, as well as vendors and guests on or off campus. This includes those members of the University community who are involved in the University’ extension and off-campus programs, such as Cooperative Education, internships, clinical practice, student teaching, etc. This policy does not replace or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law.


Racial and/or ethnic discrimination is conduct that serves to limit the social, political, economic, employment or educational opportunities of particular groups or individuals solely on the basis of their race and/or ethnicity.

Racial and/or ethnic discrimination is oral, written and/or physical conduct directed against any person or group of persons because or race, ethnicity, color or national origin that harms or creates an offensive, demeaning, intimidating or hostile environment for that person or group of persons. Such conduct includes but is not
limited to objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm.

Racial and/or ethnic discrimination is further defined as conduct that:
  1. Is directed at an identifiable person or persons, and insults or demeans the person or persons to whom the conduct is directed, or abuses a power or authority relationship with that person on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, or national origin by the use of slurs, epithets, hate words, demeaning jokes, derogatory stereotypes and similar action; and/or
  2. Is intended to inflict direct injury on that person or persons to whom the conduct is directed; and/or
  3. Is sufficiently abusive or demeaning that a reasonable person would find it so severe or pervasive as to create a hostile environment; and/or
  4. Occurs in any context or location such that an intent to inflict direct injury may reasonably be inferred; and/or
  5. Is intended to affect negatively the work or educational environment in a way that makes the treatment of the affected party unequal with respect to his or her proper functioning, opportunities for promotion and development because of his or her race, color, ethnicity, or national origin; and/or
  6. Is intended to damage or destroy, or damages or destroys private property of any member of the University community or guest because of that person’s race or ethnicity with the purpose of making the educational, work or living environment hostile for the person whose property was damaged or destroyed.

The following examples illustrate but do not exhaust the types of conduct referred to:
  1. A person would be in violation if causing bodily harm to an individual because of that person’s race and/or ethnicity.
  2. A person would be in violation by making a demeaning remark based on a person’s race or ethnicity, or by using racial slurs or “jokes”, and those remarks created a hostile work, educational or living environment for a person or persons hearing the remark, or for a person to whom the demeaning remark may have been specifically addressed.
  3. A person would be in violation if intentionally placing visual or written material demeaning the race and/or ethnicity of an individual in that person’s work, study or living area; and such material made the work, educational, or living environment hostile for the person in whose work or study area the material was placed.
  4. A person would be in violation when that person’s conduct resulted in making hostile the work, educational or living environment for a person subject to such conduct.
  5. A person would be in violation if misusing grades, evaluations or promotion procedures to adversely affect a person on the basis of race or ethnicity.
  6. A person would be in violation if intentionally not hiring a person on the basis of race or ethnicity.


Any individual who becomes aware of an incident of racial and/or ethnic discrimination has a duty to report it to the Director of Compliance and Risk Management immediately. Investigation of alleged incidents is carried out in accordance with the Investigation and Mediation Guidelines for Complaints of Discrimination, Retaliation and Whistleblowing. The goal of the investigation process is to assist in achieving resolution in a timely and appropriate manner.

The guidelines are available on-line at the University web site, Compliance Risk Management Program home page.

During interviews or other proceedings that may occur in the course of investigation and resolution of an instance of alleged racial and/or ethnic discrimination, either the complainant or the respondent (the individual(s) about whom the complaint has been made) may be accompanied by another individual from the University for support purposes. This support individual is not permitted to participate in the process.


Misconduct will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include training, referral to counseling, and disciplinary action such as warnings, reprimands, withholding of a promotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or discharge for cause. False charges may result in corrective action or sanctions against the accuser, countercharges, or any other appropriate response.


Retaliation against an individual who has made a claim of discrimination is prohibited. Retaliation will subject an individual to disciplinary action.

By Dr. Gabriel Esteban, President on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on January 27, 2011

Effective Date

January 1, 2000

Contact Us

Office of Compliance and Risk Management
(973) 313-6132
Presidents Hall

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