Campus Climate Intervention Team
A Message from the President
Intolerance and bigotry on college and university campuses continues to be a matter of great concern. As President, I reject and condemn these acts and call upon our entire University to do the same. We are a community of scholars dedicated to the exploration of knowledge and the pursuit of truth. There is no place here for destructive forces such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism. I ask all of you to join me in our effort to make West Chester University a community that embraces diversity. To be less is unacceptable.
Dr. Greg Weisenstein
President, West Chester University
About The Campus Climate Intervention Team
The Campus Climate Intervention Team (CCIT) was established in the fall of 1991 to foster an institution-wide climate free from acts of intolerance and to establish protocol for responding to and monitoring acts of intolerance should they occur.
Acts of intolerance are behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or offensive and are motivated by bias toward a person or group of people based on their gender, race, color, religion, national origin, and/or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, we do have some reported incidents each year. It's also likely that a few more are not reported. While we don't have many, we are determined to eliminate every act of intolerance that we can. To do that, we need the help of every person on this campus, including students, faculty, and staff.
The University provides support, including counseling, if necessary, and help in coping with any problems that result. Members of the CCIT can also eliminate the red tape that often frustrates victims.
Alleged perpetrators involved in the act of intolerance or intimidation may be adjudicated according to the University's Student Code of Conduct and may be subject to disciplinary action, if found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct, ranging from a disciplinary reprimand to suspension and expulsion from the University.
Moreover, Pennsylvania has an Ethnic Intimidation Act and an Institutional Vandalism Act. The Ethnic Intimidation Act provides for criminal liability when certain crimes are committed with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion, or national origin of an individual or group, a charge can be added to that of the original crime. This means the person found guilty of a violation of the Ethnic Intimidation Act can also face criminal penalties that can include fines or even possibly a term of incarceration.
What do I do if I think an act of intolerance has been committed?
- Do not confront the person you think committed the act.
- If you have reason to be concerned for your personal safety or the safety of others, call Public Safety immediately at extension 3311.
- Tell someone you trust - a professor, a staff member, a resident assistant. Anyone who works for the University can find out how to reach the CCIT.
- If the act occurred in a residence hall, contact your resident assistant (RA). If an RA cannot be located, ask the person at the resident hall's front desk to contact the hall director or resident director on call to inform one of them of the situation. When speaking with the desk assistant, you must specify that an act of intolerance or intimidation has occurred and provide that person with details of the situation.
- If there is physical evidence of an act of intolerance, such as graffiti, photographs, or other materials, do not disturb the scene or remove/destroy such physical evidence. Evidence may include electronic communications to a phone, computer or other electronic device which should be saved and/or printed. Public Safety officers may have a chance of finding whoever committed the act only if they can gather evidence.
How will the Office of Residence Life and Housing Services respond to an on-campus housing INCIDENT?
- After speaking with you, the resident assistant informs his/her supervisor that an act of intolerance or intimidation has occurred.
- After an initial telephone call to the Department of Public Safety, officers are dispatched to the scene to gather evidence and begin an investigation. A special police investigator in the Department of Public Safety, who investigates threats and acts of intolerance even in the absence of a crime, will follow up with victims to ensure they understand the services available to them and to update them on the investigation when appropriate.
- The officers may ask you to provide the message board or other physical objects for evidence purposes. When this item is no longer needed, the officers will tell you when you may erase or remove the contents.
- The hall director meets with you to learn the specifics of the incident and gain a better understanding of your personal feelings, reactions, and wishes. Per your request, University staff such as the Counseling Center and/or other relevant University personnel are contacted to provide additional assistance.
- After gathering all pertinent information from you, the hall director and resident assistant provide a detailed summary to the central Office of Residence Life and Housing Services and to the CCIT.
- After the University police conclude their investigation, the Residence Life and Housing Services staff contacts the Facilities Division, if necessary, to make repairs, paint, or remove unwanted graffiti.
- Taking into account your personal feelings, reactions, and wishes, the Residence Life and Housing Services staff may implement activities in response to the act of intolerance or intimidation. These activities may include, but are not limited to, a floor or hall meeting, educational programming, a letter from the hall director to the floor/hall addressing the situation, or a similar communication.
Other University personnel who also can assist you:
What can I do to help prevent these kinds of things from happening?
Join or support groups such as Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the Black Student Union (BSU), or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally Services (LGBTQA), whose members work to educate, dispel myths, and sensitize the University community to the value of our differences. Become involved with offices such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs. You can help to create a better community for all of us.
What does the CCIT do?
- Prevention: recommend initiatives that support a positive University climate.
- Communication: communicate to the campus the University's commitment to diversity, tolerance, and civility.
- Anticipation: identify issues and indicators that may give rise to intolerance.
- Response: immediate implementation of specific procedures to ease tension and assist those subjected to intolerance.
- Management: recommended steps to be taken after each incident to restore and maintain an amicable environment.
Who is on the CCIT?
- Academic Affairs Council Representative, Dr. Hyoejin Yoon
- Counseling Center Representative, Dr. Julie Perone
- Executive Deputy to the President, Mr. John Villella (Chairperson)
- Faculty Representative, Dr. Eli DeHope, Dr. Tammy James
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally Services Coordinator, Ms. Aneesah Smith
- Multicultural Affairs Director, Mr. Jerome (Skip) Hutson
- Public Relations Director, Ms. Pam Sheridan
- Public Safety Director, Mr. Michael Bicking
- Public Safety Special Investigator, Mr. James Kalavik
- Residence Life Director, Ms. Marion C. McKinney
- Student Government Association Senator for Multicultural Affairs Student Representative, Ms. Angelica Rivera-Ortiz
- AFSCME Representative, TBA
- Social Equity Director, Ms. Lynn Klingensmith
- Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Matthew Bricketto
- Women's Center Director, Ms. Alicia Hahn-Murphy
Do you have any suggestions?
The CCIT welcomes your suggestions. Please contact the Office of the Executive Deputy to the President at ext. 3111 or the Office of Social Equity at ext. 2433.
Published by West Chester University, Office of Social Equity. Revised Spring 2015.