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Seton Hall University

Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

I. Purpose

Seton Hall University ("Seton Hall" or the "University") is committed to providing a working, learning and living environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and strives to afford fair and equitable treatment to all members of the University community, regardless of their membership in any legally protected class.  The purpose of this policy is to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on a person's protected class and to prohibit retaliation for bringing a claim alleging a violation of this policy or participating in a review of any such claim.  This policy will be administered in accordance with our Catholic mission and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all University students, Trustees, Regents, non-Trustee and non-Regent members of all committees of the Board of Regents or the Board of Trustees, officers, priests, faculty, administrators, staff members, employees, volunteers, visitors, vendors, guests,  persons residing in University housing, and persons occupying an office or other space on the University premises.  This policy does not abridge or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law. 

III. Definitions

A.  Discrimination.  Discrimination.  Discrimination is unwelcome conduct or action based on a person’s protected class status that may adversely and unreasonably interfere with someone’s education or work. It is determined based on the perspective of a reasonable person of the same protected class as the person experiencing the discrimination.  Examples of discrimination may include, but are not limited to:

i. Adverse actions, based on a person’s protected class status, affecting the terms or conditions of the educational program, activity or employment.
ii. Unwelcome remarks, comments or innuendos about a person’s protected class. whether oral, written, or digital.
iii. Insults or threats based on protected class. 

B.  Protected Class.  A group of people with a common characteristic who are protected by federal, state and local laws from discrimination and harassment based on that characteristic.   Protected classes include, but are not limited to: age, sex, creed, disability and/or handicap, race, color, religion, national origin, nationality or ancestry, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, veteran status or military service, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, status as a domestic violence victim, arrest status, AIDS and/or HIV status, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, or membership in any other class protected by state or federal laws, now or in the future.

For any complaint alleging sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the University's prohibitions against sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and retaliation are detailed in another University policy, the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Retaliation.

C. Discriminatory Harassment. Discriminatory harassment is unwelcome conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of that individual’s membership in a protected class.  Hostile environment discrimination is a type of discriminatory harassment that is based on a person’s protected class and is conduct that a reasonable person would consider so offensive, severe, persistent, or pervasive as to interfere with a person’s ability to participate in educational or work activities or programs. Harassment can be verbal, written, graphic, physical or through digital, online, or social media communications.  Discriminatory harassment on the basis of protected class status may also occur when conduct is directed at a group because of their protected class. 

D.  Retaliation.  Retaliation is an act of intimidation, harassment, or reprisal against an individual for initiating a good faith complaint, participating in any proceeding under this policy, or for otherwise exercising his/her rights under this policy or the law.  

E.  Preponderance of the Evidence.  Preponderance of the evidence is defined to mean more likely than not.  It is the standard of proof applied in determining responsibility under this policy.

IV. Policy 

A.  Zero-Tolerance. As a Catholic institution of higher education, the University embraces Judeo-Christian values that proclaim the dignity and rights of all people. The University abides by all applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination and is committed to providing an environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Under this policy, unlawful discrimination and harassment based on protected class status in all forms and retaliation are strictly prohibited. 

B.  Procedure and Standard of Proof Applied to Determine Violation. Once a report is made, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation under this policy, pursue effective and reliable procedures and remedies, and seek to protect the rights of those involved.  A finding that a violation of University policy occurred is made by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard.  

C.  Claims of Retaliation. Retaliation is a separate, serious offense under this policy and will be considered independently from the merits of the underlying allegation. Upon a finding that retaliation has occurred, the actor will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including, termination of employment or expulsion from the University as applicable.

D.  Cooperation. All members of the University community have an obligation to cooperate in achieving the University's goal of an environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  

E.  False Accusations. Anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation will be subject to appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including, termination of employment or expulsion from the University as applicable.

F.  Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation. While the prevention of harassment, discrimination and retaliation is the responsibility of all members of the University community, managers and supervisors must set the example in treating all people with mutual respect and dignity, fostering a positive climate, and taking appropriate action when conduct is disruptive, provoking, discriminatory or otherwise unprofessional. Any manager or supervisor who receives a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, or otherwise becomes aware of possible harassment, discrimination or retaliation, must report such information promptly, even if the complainant or potential victim does not report to that particular manager/supervisor and even if the complainant or potential victim requests that the complaint not be escalated or investigated. Managers and supervisors who knowingly allow or tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such actions in accordance with this policy, are in violation of this policy and subject to discipline.

V. Reporting, Confidentiality and Privacy

In an emergency, go to a safe place and call 911.

The Department of Public Safety can also provide assistance and contact the police.  Public Safety can be reached at: 

  • South Orange Campus (400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange), (973) 761-9300 
  • Law School (One Newark Center, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark), (973) 462-8725
  • Nursing Program at Georgian Court (900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood), (973) 761-9300 or (732) 987-2616 (GCU)
  • Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus (340 Kingsland Street, Nutley), (973) 542-6600

A. Reporting

1. Community Reporting Obligations.  All members of the University community, who have knowledge of a violation of this policy or who learn of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation in violation of this policy (except those granted confidentiality in their role by law or policy) are required to report all such instances to the applicable office or individual set forth below.

2. Individuals. Anyone subjected to discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation is strongly encouraged to contact the applicable office or individual that can provide information about the variety of available reporting options and support services, (including counseling and medical help), and can assist in contacting law enforcement. The best person to contact depends on whether the individual wishes to make a confidential report or is a student or employee, but any individual listed below can assist in accessing resources.

3. Reporting Options.

a. Confidential Reporting for Students. Communications made in confidence to a person with a legal privilege in the course of their professional work means that person cannot disclose the matter to anyone unless there is a risk of harm or permission is granted.  Confidential and legally privileged resources can be found at:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, (973) 761-9500 or (973) 761-9300 after hours
  • Health Services, (973) 761-9175
  • Campus Ministry - South Orange and Interprofessional Health Sciences campuses (priests and other pastoral ministers acting as confidential, spiritual counsellors), (973) 761-9545
  • Law School Chaplain (as confidential, spiritual counsellor), (973) 642-8859

b. Confidential Reporting for Employees. 

c. Private Reporting for Students and Employees. While the privilege of     confidentiality is limited to persons with a recognized legal privilege, the following     individuals can provide information about reporting options and procedures and assist in     facilitating support.

(1) If the report involves actions by a student at the South Orange Campus, please contact any one of the following:

Karen Van Norman
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
University Center, Room 237
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 761-9076
Email: karen.vannorman@shu.edu

Tatum Colitz
Senior Associate Director of Athletics/ Senior Woman Administrator
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Recreation Center, Room 4001B
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ  07079
Phone: (973) 761-9494
Email:  tatum.colitz@shu.edu

Delica M. Reduque, M.S. Ed, PHR
Manager, Employee & Labor Relations
Deputy Title IX Coordinator - Immaculate Conception Seminary and 
School of Theology and Saint Andrew’s College Seminary
Martin House
Seton Hall University, 366 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 761-9284
Email: delica.reduque@shu.edu

(2) If the report involves actions by a student in the Nursing Program at Georgian Court, please contact:

Karen Van Norman
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
University Center, Room 237
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 761-9076
Email: karen.vannorman@shu.edu

(3)  If the report involves actions by a student at the Law School, please contact:

Cara H. Foerst, J.D.
Associate Dean for Academics 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
3rd Floor, Room 305
Seton Hall University School of Law, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 642-8726
Email: cara.foerst@shu.edu

4. If the report involves actions by a student in the School of Health & Medical Sciences or the College of Nursing at the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus, please contact:

Kelly Freeman
Director of Student Life
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Room 1525
Seton Hall University, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley, NJ 07110
Phone: (973) 542-6983
Email: kelly.freeman@shu.edu

5.  If the report involves actions by any other member of the University community to which this Policy applies, including a Trustee, Regent, non-Trustee or non-Regent member of any committee of the Board of Regents or the Board of Trustees, officer, priest, faculty member, administrator, staff member, employee, volunteer, visitor, vendor, guest, or any non-student residing in University housing, or non-employee occupying an office or other space on the University premises,  please contact:

Lori A. Brown, J.D.
Chief Equity, Diversity & Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance
Bayley Hall, Room 108
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 313-6132
Email:  lori.brown@shu.edu

d.  Reporting to Law Enforcement.
The University strongly encourages individuals to make a report to law enforcement of all criminal acts of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, in addition to and/or separate from a report made to the University.  Contact information for local law enforcement can be found below.

  • South Orange Police Department – (973) 763-3000
  • Newark Police Department – (973) 733-6000
  • Nutley Police Department – (973) 284-4940
  • Clifton Police Department – (973) 470-5900
  • Lakewood Police Department – (732) 363-0200
  • Essex County Rape Care Center - 1(877) 733-2273 (Hot Line); (973) 746-0800 ext. 301 (staff)

Physical evidence, including documents, emails, texts, photos, and videos should be preserved, and law enforcement can always help in doing so.

VI. Responsive Action

A.  The University’s procedures for responding to allegations of violations vary depending on whether the alleged actor is a student, Trustee, Regent, non-Trustee or non-Regent member of any committee of the Board of Regents or the Board of Trustees, officer, priest, faculty member, administrator, staff member, employee, volunteer, visitor, vendor, guest, non-student residing in University housing, non-employee occupying an office or other space on the University premises, or non-member of the community. 

B.  Review of complaints against a Trustee, Regent, non-Trustee or non-Regent member of any committee of the Board of Regents or the Board of Trustees, officer, priest, faculty, administrator, staff member, employee, volunteer, visitor, vendor, guest, non-student residing in University housing, or non-employee occupying an office or other space on the University premises, will be guided by: 

C.  Review of complaints against students will be guided by: The Code of Student Conduct (Seton Hall University Student Code of Conduct) or the Law School Honor Code (Seton Hall University School of Law Honor Code). 

D.  The University reserves the right to take appropriate responsive action for violation of this policy.  Responsive action may include discipline, up to and including the following: the termination of employment or engagement; expulsion from the University, University housing, University offices or other University space; or the prohibition of service as a University volunteer.  The University may also impose interim and/or protective measures prior to any finding or determination.  Sanctions are disclosed as required by law.  

E.  The University may refer non-members of the University community to law enforcement, or ban or limit their entrance, or participation, in University activities.

VII. Resources and Support

Students can find assistance by contacting Counseling and Psychological Services at: (973) 761-9500 (973) 761-9300 after hours).

Employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program to obtain confidential counseling. More information is available online at https://www.shu.edu/human-resources/upload/Seton-Hall-University-Employee-Assistance-Programs.pdf or by calling (877) 622-4327.

VIII. Responsible Offices

  • Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance

X. Approved 

Revised and approved by Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., Interim President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on August 23, 2018.

First amended by Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet, on June 30, 2020.

XI. Effective Date

Initial:  August 23, 2018
First amended:  June 30, 2020

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