March 14, 2017
By Nayah James
Few students on campus have heard or don’t know much about “One Process,” what it is or how it works. According to the buzz around campus, understanding of what it is and how it functions is it’s where one goes to report and complain about on-campus discrimination and sexual misconduct of any kind.
Chief Diversity Officer Sheila Radford-Hill states that, “One Process is the University’s system of resolving complaints of discrimination and sexual misconduct.” She further explained that universities and colleges are required to protect the rights of their people regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
Although some students complain that One Process isn’t as effective, Radford-Hill said, “Since its first full year of operation in the 2014-2015 academic year, the One Process system has received and addressed over 100 complaints.”
One Process has received many reports from students, faculty and staff including their comments and concerns about what priorities should be from now on regarding keeping campus discrimination and sexual misconduct free.
Radford-Hill said: “The system has referred situations or other grievance processes including student conduct, academic concerns and or faculty grievance procedures. One Process is effective in resolving complaints, notifying faculty, students and staff of concerns and in using data we receive to improve our campus climate.”
Conversely, some students feel One Process is too slow and takes too long to handle reported incidents. Some students have reported case after case, feeling as if their cases aren’t being taken seriously.
“I had two cases and I feel cases should be their first priority,” Senior Shantal Cole said. “I still have a case with them and in my opinion it’s ridiculous having to wait on them. I understand things happen, but serious cases like being sexually assaulted should be looked into more.”
Junior Ashlynn Hill stated that One Process needs to respond faster to cases. “One Process shouldn’t take so long. If there is a microaggression incident, it should be reported and there should be some type of consequences or hearing, safety should be the main priority.”
Frustrations with wait times have been expressed and Radford-Hill stated that One Process uses a Civil Rights investigation model and that investigations begin based on the volume of cases, the availability of investigators, complexity of allegations and the severity of the case.
The wait often comes from the volume of cases reported exceeding investigative capacity according to Radford-Hill. Furthermore, Radford-Hill revealed that: “Title IX requires a university to complete an investigation within 60 working days. The majority of cases are resolved within that time frame.” She also stated that they are working to improve the system because people need to regain confidence in it to report cases or concerns.
When asked about students feeling the system is for the investigation of bias-related violations, Radford-Hill said: “Dominican University established a community-based process for investigating alleged violations of university policy. This means that over 50 individuals are committed to safeguarding the rights of members of our community…in this way, the system is an affirmation of Dominican’s values. The process involves clarifying expectations for how we live together in community. I think we need to address this concern.”
When it comes to improving the system, Radford-Hill feels we need to work together to reduce the number of complaints and that it is significant that we educate our community on discrimination and sexual misconduct and supporting grievance processes to ensure that everyone feels heard and that their concerns are addressed.
It is important that those who see or hear something to say something because without reports, concerns can’t be given their needed attention.
Radford-Hill wants people to know that policies and procedures are being updated, the process is dedicated to protecting the rights of the Dominican community and that they stand to enforce policies prohibiting discrimination and sexual misconduct.