College Regulations

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment & Retaliation

No Discrimination: CCA is an equal opportunity institution of higher education and employer and is firmly committed to nondiscrimination in its delivery of educational services and employment practices.

In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, such decisions will be made irrespective of the individual's race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression/presentation, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability, and/or any other status protected by law. Gender identity or expression/presentation includes having, or being perceived as having a gender-related identity or expression whether or not stereotypically associated with a person’s actual or perceived gender. Discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from these conditions is considered a form of sex discrimination, as is applying any rule related to parental status that treats students differently due to gender.

Applicable statutes under the purview of the Department of Education include: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, or shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (sexual harassment and sexual violence are examples of such discrimination) and gender (conforming to or not conforming to stereotypical notions of femininity or masculinity); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504); and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II). Section 504 and Title II prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

When requested, the college will reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities if the individual is otherwise qualified to meet the fundamental requirements and aspects of the program and safely perform all essential functions without undue hardship to the college and without altering fundamental aspects of its educational program.

Pregnant students are eligible for accommodations and to the same services as students with temporary medical conditions. For information about accommodations due to disability, pregnancy, or temporary medical condition, students should contact Director of Access and Wellness Suzanne Raffeld (sraffeld@cca.edu, 510.594.3775).

No Harassment or Retaliation

California College of the Arts is committed to maintaining its community as a place of study and work that is free of sexual and other unlawful harassment and retaliation. The college does not tolerate behavior by or towards any member(s) of the college community that constitutes sexual or other unlawful harassment because of race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability, and/or any other status protected by law.

Harassment is unlawful even if it does not include intent to harm, is not directed at a specific target, or does not involve repeated incidents. Harassing behavior creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by CCA. A single incident, if sufficiently severe, can create a hostile environment.

This policy against unlawful harassment must be adhered to by all college administrators, staff, faculty, students, contractors, and other individuals involved in any employment, educational, or other relationship with the college.

The college will take prompt and effective corrective action in response to occurrences of harassing behavior, including, where appropriate, disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal. When harassment creates a hostile environment, CCA has a responsibility not just to end the harassment, but to the extent reasonable, to eliminate the hostile environment and its effects, and to take steps to prevent the harassment from recurring.

It is important to note that controversial or offensive images or language in and of themselves do not necessarily constitute harassment. Not all workplace or educational conduct that some may be label “harassment” will fall under the purview of this policy if it does not affect the terms, conditions or privileges of employment or education.

The policy below provides complaint procedures to assist the college in its efforts to implement this policy. All individuals who know of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation or believe that they have experienced such conduct are encouraged to use these procedures. For further information specifically about sexual or gender-based harassment, please see the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct.

Prohibited Harassing Conduct

Prohibited harassment is

  • unwelcome, verbal, visual or physical conduct that is
  • engaged in on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability and/or any other status protected by law
  • and it is reasonable for the person(s) experiencing the conduct (e.g., the recipient or observer of the conduct) to be offended.

“Unwelcome” conduct is that which is not desired and is offensive to the person(s) experiencing the conduct.

Harassing or retaliatory conduct can be comprised of a variety of behaviors and can take a variety of forms. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal conduct -- words stated in person, online, in e-mails, on the phone etc., such as epithets and name-calling, derogatory comments, slurs, bullying, or cyberbullying;
  • Visual conduct -- such as computer graphics, posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or human gestures;
  • Physical conduct -- conduct affecting the body -- such as unwelcome touching, blocking normal movement, or interfering with work;
  • Threats and demands -- such as those which insist upon actions or seek submission to requests that are dangerous, harmful, or humiliating;
  • Retaliation -- includes acts of harassment or adverse employment or educational actions taken against a person because of the person’s good faith opposing, reporting, or threatening to report harassment or for participating in good faith in investigations, proceedings, hearings, or remediation related to this policy.

Note that intent is not necessary for harassment to occur; behaviors and their impact are key. A person can violate the unlawful harassment policy even if s/he does not intend to; for example, behavior that is intended to be mere “joking,” “teasing,” or “self-expression” may in fact constitute harassing conduct if it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit a student’s (or students’) ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by CCA.

Knowingly furnishing false information to the college is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Since false allegations of unlawful harassment can have wide-ranging consequences, those who knowingly file false reports, pursue a false complaint under this policy, or otherwise knowingly report, complain, or assist with a false complaint of unlawful harassment violate this policy as well as the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary action. Note: failure to substantiate a good-faith claim of harassment is not the same as knowingly making a false accusation out of malicious intent.

Examples of Unlawful Harassment

  • Classmates insult a student with a known or apparent learning disability by calling her “stupid” and “slow.” They do not speak to her during critiques, ignore her comments, and refuse to include her in group assignments to the point that the student seeks to withdraw from the class, even though her grades are strong, out of fear that she will fail it due to the participation component of the course.

  • A student accuses a cluster of international students of “dumbing down the class” because they seem to speak more hesitantly than their peers. She tells classmates that she questions the “merit” of the merit scholarships they are suspected of receiving, and that they “should go back where they came from” because they are taking the place of those who were denied admission to CCA. Ultimately, the international students skip a class field trip out of fears of prolonged contact with the bullying student.

  • A student who targets women of a specific ethnic group because he says they are “hot and always asking for sex” has walked up to a group of them from behind and grabbed their buttocks.

  • A student steals food from other residents in her hall, targeting students of a predominately middle-eastern religion, who she says, “Are just a bunch of rich, America-hating, oil princesses who would never know it was missing.” Having been the target of similar remarks from this student on other occasions, the offended students begin staying with friends who live off campus.

For additional information, see the college’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct.

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation

For grievance procedures, please see Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.