Issues and Grievances
I feel discriminated against and/or have been harassed at the School and/or the University. What do I do?
You should immediately reach out to your advisor to discuss any incident of discrimination, harassment or gender-based misconduct. The School and University consider allegations of discrimination and harassment and/or gender-based misconduct to be extremely serious matters. In addition, you should report the issue to appropriate officers at the School and at the University. If you’ve experienced discrimination and harassment by:
- A fellow student: contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (212-854-5511; or go to their online complaint form) and our Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Services.
- An instructor or administrator: contact Melissa Rooker, Executive Director and Deputy Title IX Officer (212-854-5511), and our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- A person at your field placement: contact Melissa Rooker (212-854-5511) and our Assistant Dean of Field Education.
Incidents of gender-based and sexual misconduct should be reported to Melissa Tihinen, Senior Manager, Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct (firstname.lastname@example.org; 212-854-1717).
For more information, go to Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students on Columbia’s Student Services site; and Student Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment on Columbia’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) site.
What should I do if I have a problem with an instructor/colleague/administrator that can’t be successfully resolved?
Please reach out to the appropriate officers at the School.
If you have a grievance with:
- An instructor: Contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- A colleague/fellow student: Contact the Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Services.
- A field instructor or supervisor: Contact the Assistant Dean of Field Education.
- An administrator: Contact the individual’s immediate supervisor.
In all instances, you may also consult the University’s Ombuds Officer.
For more details about reporting a grievance, download CUSSW’s grievance policy and procedures.
What does the Ombuds Office do?
The University’s Ombuds Office serves as an informal, confidential resource for assisting you with conflict resolution. You can speak freely to Ombuds Office staff as they promise to keep your discussions confidential and operate independently of the Columbia administration. They do not take sides but will listen to your concerns, give you information about the University’s policies, help you evaluate your situation, and assist you in making plans to resolve the conflict. The Ombuds Office will also mediate conflicts if both parties are agreeable. To sample the information the Ombuds Office provides, go to its Resources page.