Any form of discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to course requirements is contrary to the principles and policies of Harvard University. The College has developed procedures for responding to incidents of discrimination that undergraduates may experience. These procedures are described below.
Complaints of Discrimination
An undergraduate who feels that he or she has been subjected to discrimination as described above should first seek a resolution of the problem through the Resident Dean. These officers may consult with others in the College and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including, for example the Office of the Dean of Harvard College, or the Director of the Accessible Education Office, depending on the nature of the concern.
If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily by informal methods, more formal routes are available. The student may lodge a complaint with the Office of the Dean of Harvard College or with the designated Assistant Dean. Depending on the circumstances, and in consultation with the student making the complaint, that officer may request that the Dean of Harvard College appoint a special committee to resolve the problem or may refer it to the appropriate agency or office of Harvard College or of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for resolution. Such agencies include, among others, the Administrative Board, the Faculty Council, and the Dean of the Faculty.
If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily through ordinary channels, either the student or the Dean of Harvard College may refer it to the Dean of the Faculty for final resolution. The Dean of the Faculty holds authority over all departments, committees, commissions, and councils within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The disposition of the Dean of the Faculty will be final.
A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to illegal discrimination ordinarily should exhaust institutional routes for complaints before seeking legal redress under public law.
So that inquiries and complaints may be addressed to the appropriate office, the College maintains a list of individuals to whom questions and complaints may be addressed. The list is available in House Offices, the Freshman Dean’s Office, and the Office of the Dean of Harvard College. Ordinarily, students will want to direct their initial inquiries to their Resident Dean.