Policy Making at Csu, Monterey Bay California Term Paper

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Policy Making at Csu, Monterey Bay

California State University, Monterey Bay is situated on the Monterey Peninsula, in Seaside, California. It is a part of the CSU system. At CSUMB, the stress and focus is towards multi-cultural diversity and learning, in contrast to the approach of the more traditional higher education centers in the U.S. It was founded on September 25, 1994. CSUMB boasts a rich and diverse mix of ethnicities and cultures. A characteristic which makes CSUMB different from many other educational institutions is their focus on the post-studies phase of a student's life. It is called an outcome-based approach, where students are prepared for the rigors of professional life, by making them go through a comprehensive curriculum. The students are required to contribute to community work, do internships, service learning and action research. The culmination of their learning comes in the form of completion of a Capstone project. The major programs at CSUMB are very varied and diverse. They range from Business Administration and Global Studies, to Tele-dramatic arts and world languages. Dianne F. Harrison is the current president of CSUMB. Harrison was elected in 2006. CSUMB impact on the regional economy is also considered to be significant; about $180 million, and leading to a $10 million annual generation of tax revenue. More than 4,000 students are being served at CSUMB and around 600 students enter the workforce every year. Out of the 23 universities in the CSU system, CSUMB has the distinction of being the only one with a service-learning requirement for graduation. The university has a comprehensive arrangement for the residence of the students in the form of dorms and residence halls. The CSUMB sports and athletic teams are known as the Otters. There is also a separate security force for the campus, known as the Campus Police Department1.

According to Merriam Webster, a policy is defined as ' a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government or other institution'.

POLICY OUTLINE for CSUMB:

The fact that CSUMB has a complete and independent portal completely outlining the CSUMB policy, and designed by the Policy facilitation team at CSUMB, bears testimony to the fact that policy is a serious matter at CSUMB, and is comprehensively dealt with. According to the policy facilitation team, the Policy is a "specific statement of principal or guiding interest that imply a clear commitment by the university." Also, that this set of statements guides the resource allocations and decision making at CSUMB. Along with that, they also outline the various steps involved with taking a particular course of action. At CSUMB, well-defined policies exist for the granting of rights of students with disabilities and for the protection of their interests, sexual harassment, and violence and zero tolerance. The Policy facilitation team that exists at CSUMB was formed in 1998 to guide the policy development.

The ethical responsibilities of the faculty and the teachers are also clearly laid out in the CSUMB policy guidelines. They relate to a multitude of issues, e.g. The provision of appropriate accommodation to students with disabilities, treating the students without any pre-conceived notions and biases, and as much as possible, take a neutral and unbiased view on curriculum-related topics of relevance.1

At CSUMB, students with disabilities are made to feel welcome and are encouraged to be a part of the campus. This is not only to comply with state and federal laws, but also to enrich the cultural diversity at the campus. The faculty and teaching assistants are issued specific orders to make special announcements in order to facilitate the students with disabilities, who seek accommodation. In addition to that, students with non-visible disabilities (learning disabilities, ADD etc.) are also recognized. The typical accommodations include auditory aids, special books, facilitating discussions, additional explanations, alternate examination, etc. Various handbooks and brochures are also available at the university to facilitate the dissemination of information regarding students with disabilities.

As far as the issue of sexual harassment is concerned, it is treated as a very serious matter, and a comprehensive part of the CSUMB policy deals with this issue. This policy deals with issues ranging from sexual innuendoes to forced sexual relations. All the forms of sexual harassment are identified in the policy statement, and any violation is considered to be completely intolerable. CSUMB has adopted California's definition of sexual assault with all its ramifications.

In the CSUMB policy document, violence is defined as 'the use of force so as to injure or damage; roughness in action'. Various courses of action are recommended in the policy statement, generally advising the concerned person to stay calm, stay safe and not to threaten or provoke the violent person. It is also recognized that such a situation is rare and only arises when the student goes through frustrating situations which put their emotions beyond their control. Various actions are outlined, and have been classified as helpful or unhelpful in these situations.

BENEFITS for STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:

The department of SDR (Student Disability Resources) at CSUMB deals with most of the disability-related problems of students. The requirement of special accommodations for such students is recognized and a procedure has been put in place for the disabled students to avail these accommodations. These students are required to submit a copy of a special petition letter to the Residential Life as well as the SDR. The application process involves the description of the required facilities, by the student, and how it relates to his disability. In some cases, where existing facilities are not appropriate, facility modifications have also been proposed. As mentioned earlier, CSUMB welcomes students with disabilities as part of its admission program. The learners at CSUMB with non-visual disabilities are also recognized, and those falling under this banner are the following: students with learning disabilities, having psychological diagnoses, having hearing disorders, or some other defined chronic medical conditions.

In all cases of faculty-student discussions, confidentiality is of utmost importance and the following need to be taken care of: the meetings should be held in office hours or other private time, the focus should be on functional requirements of the student, rather than medical diagnoses, disclosure of disability-related information should only be done to those necessary (e.g. For accommodation), no disability-related information should be a part of the student's academic records.

It is binding on the faculty members to respond to the request by the student within five working days, and the same level of academic competitiveness should be expected of these students as normal students and the evaluation standards should not be changed.

The typical accommodations or benefits that the disabled students may be awarded are as follows: Auditory aids (like taped lectures and reading materials), audio or digital books, facilitation of student-disability related discussion, provision of note-takers for the student in case of such disability, additional availability for explanation needs of the student, and through comprehensive co-ordination between the faculty and SDR, provision of an Alternative Testing for the disabled student.2

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY at CSUMB:

The issue of sexual harassment at CSUMB will be dealt with in very strict terms, and no such violation will be tolerated. CSUMB strives to keep its campus free from all sorts of sexual harassment. The types of sexual harassment here are defined as sexual innuendo, in humor or otherwise, to forced sexual relations. Another form of sexual harassment is where a person in a position who has control over the other person's salary, grades, or promotion, and used sexual coercion to further those ends and to threaten punishment in case of non-compliance. All the following behaviors are considered to be discriminatory: verbal abuse, subtle pressure for sex, persistent remarks qualifying as innuendo, requesting sexual favors for an official compensation, derogatory remarks about a sex, being biased towards a particular gender during work, or to be more critical of a certain gender group, using sexist humor, and providing students with views that tend to be marked with pre-conceived notions about a particular gender group.

CSUMB adopts California's definition of sexual assault, which means that any involuntary sexual act in which the other person is forced or threatened to abide. This also includes all sorts of rape and sexual battery. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 1964 includes sexual assault within the definition of Sex discrimination and prohibits it. This definition is also included in the Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments. This harassment is also governed by the California Penal Code (Sections 243.4 and 261) ACR no.46.

Sexual harassment can occur between people (employees) of the same sex. It is against the law for males to indulge in sexual harassment towards females or other males, and at the same time, it is unlawful for females to indulge in sexual harassment towards males or other females. These policies are designed to discourage the existence of a hostile, intimidating and insecure work environment. In case someone has been subject to sexual harassment, he/she has the option of contacting the Director of Equity and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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