The Community Colleges have historically been a major contributing element to the emergence of our nation as one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies of the world. The important role that the Community Colleges can play is profoundly dependent upon the extent to which they may draw from the full collective of intellectual resources within each College’s community of scholars, students and administrators. Any condition or force that impedes the fullest utilization of the human and intellectual resources available represents a force of destructive consequence for the development of our Commonwealth and, ultimately, our nation. Community College students, faculty, staff and visitors must be free from conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance and creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment. Therefore, the Community Colleges establish a policy of unequivocal condemnation of all forms of ethnic, religious, cultural or racial intolerance within the fifteen College communities.
This policy condemns all conditions and all actions or omissions, including all acts of verbal harassment or abuse, which deny or have the effect of denying to an individual his/her rights to equality, dignity and security in violation of his/her rights guaranteed under the law. The policy reaffirms the doctrine of civility, appreciation for pluralism and the pre-eminence of individual human dignity as preconditions to the achievement of an academic community that recognizes and utilizes the resources of all persons while recognizing and reaffirming the tenets of academic freedom. The Community Colleges recognize their obligation to protect the rights of free inquiry and expression, and nothing herein shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights under the Constitution of the United States and other federal and state laws. The Community Colleges will vigorously strive to achieve diversity sufficiently reflective of our society. However, diversity alone will not suffice. There must be a unity and cohesion in the diversity which we seek to achieve, thereby creating an environment of pluralism. The Community Colleges bear a responsibility by edict and an obligation by social morality to promote understanding and acceptance of ethnic, cultural, religious and racial diversity as we strive to create an atmosphere of dignity for all individuals and groups within our system of public higher education. The President will take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage harassment and will act positively to investigate alleged harassment and to effect a remedy or resolution when an allegation is determined to be valid.