The Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office at UNC Chapel Hill values the individual identities and backgrounds of students, staff, and faculty who create the diverse fabric of our community. We believe strongly that diverse beliefs, experiences, and perspectives enhance the educational and professional growth of our students and employees. And we affirm the humanity, dignity, and right of each of us to education and employment free from harassment and discrimination.
The EOC is responsible for the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct (PPDHRM), which outlines the types of actions that constitute prohibited harassment and discrimination to which the University can respond with formal, disciplinary action. We recognize these definitions, which are grounded in state and federal law, may seem to some to fall short of the University’s stated commitment to diversity and sense of belonging to which we all aspire.
Policies and laws set the floor for our collective standards of respect for ourselves and others, human dignity, and equity. Where structures and systems are limited, we have an opportunity to do more for one another. We encourage our fellow Tar Heels to work towards establishing and upholding collective community values and standards–especially in this time of national anti-racism efforts, the #MeToo Movement, and collective organizing. Collectively, we can lift each other up and hold each other to a higher standard.
This means holding one another accountable for behavior that goes against values and expectations we have agreed upon as a community. For example, when harmful comments or posts are made on social media platforms, community members should feel empowered to remind one another of our shared humanity and community expectations. By recognizing harm and by calling out behavior, we promote accountability for individual and collective experiences of harm may not be reflected in a narrow policy definition. We infuse dialogue, grounded in the First Amendment, into our community that benefits from our privilege of education and commitment to one another’s humanity.
Accountability and justice look different for everyone, and we encourage uplifting those who have experienced harm at the center of these efforts.
As Carolina welcomes the class of 2024 through orientation sessions this summer, we know peers will be the most significant influences for new students in upholding the social norms and expectations articulated in University policies shared during our orientation sessions. We look to our community of students to help us do the hard work of creating an environment of respect and care for one another. We cannot change our culture and community without your help.