Statement on Bias and Discrimination

Approved by the Board of Trustees of Rockland Community College, State University of New York on March 18, 1993.

Since its inception in September 1959, Rockland Community College has served as a comprehensive center of higher education that identifies and responds to the needs of the community and is instrumental in shaping its future. Its mission is threefold:

  1. To encourage all those who wish to learn, without regard to ethnic or racial background, color, religion, gender, physical ability, nationality, age, marital status, sexual preference, economic status, developmental stage or prior educational achievement;
  2. To provide opportunities for continual development to enhance a student’s life, career, and educational goals;
  3. To provide leadership in Rockland County for training and economic development and serve as a resource for community service and cultural affairs.

Rockland Community College is a broadly diversified institution, committed to recognizing the diversity of values and beliefs on campus. The College condemns bias and all other acts of hatred and violence. Furthermore, the College condemns all forms of bigotry, discrimination, harassment, physical and verbal abuse.

Rockland Community College (a unit of the State University of New York) adheres to federal and state laws and regulations and University policies which prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, disability and sexual orientation. Various procedures are in place for the expeditious review and effective resolution of allegations of prohibited behavior.

In a college, ideas are constantly introduced, examined, and evaluated. The expression of ideas constitutes the daily environment of a learning community. Some of them are contradictory and some are repugnant, but, it is hoped, all are intellectually stimulating and respected. It is appropriate, therefore, to reaffirm the College’s dedication to both freedom of discourse and freedom from unlawful discrimination and to declare that these are not contradictory values but complementary rights. Ideas, values and lifestyles should be freely and openly discussed, allowing an opportunity for all sides to be heard and considered. At the same time, the safety of persons and property must be upheld, since there can be no free discourse in an atmosphere of intimidation.

Rockland Community College gives recognition to Constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, including the right to express views, opinions, and beliefs that some may find offensive. While not tolerating hostile, intimidating or abusive language, the College will make every effort to promote free speech in accord with appropriate statutes and judicial precedents. Clearly, the College will not condone language which incites individuals to illegal and/or violent acts or causes physical or verbal abuse towards any member of the College community. More importantly, this institution expects members of the College community to contribute to creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance for individual differences.