Former admin claims discrimination

first_imgDr. G. David Moss, former assistant vice president of academic affairs, filed a lawsuit in federal court in South Bend against the University and Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann-Harding, in response to alleged discrimination he faced from the administration.  Moss, who now works as an administrator with the South Bend Community School Corp., sued because he was demoted following his condemnation of two incidents of racial discrimination at the University in the spring 2012 term.  The complaint alleges Moss pursued a promotion from his position as assistant vice president of student affairs to associate vice president of student affairs. Subsequently, the complaint asserts Hoffmann-Harding demoted Moss to the post of senior consultant while attempting to arrange his further demotion or termination. Hoffmann-Harding indicated to Moss that she was considering terminating his employment from summer 2012 until August 2013, the complaint claims. Moss supervised the Call to Action movement, an African-American student group, in the spring of 2012 as part of his job duties, the complaint alleges. During this time, the complaint asserts someone or a group of people targeted the group, leaving pieces of fried chicken in the organization’s mailbox on two separate occasions. Moss responded comprehensively and vocally to these racial stereotyping actions on campus, the complaint asserts, and his actions earned significant publicity both on and off campus. His response included supporting the Call to Action movement, calling for investigation of the incidents and planning ways to “address the underlying racism on campus that caused them,” the complaint alleges. Moss sought promotion after his public involvement with the movement, and the complaint alleges Hoffmann-Harding’s subsequent actions in demoting and threatening Moss with termination were motivated by race and in retaliation for Moss’s contributions to the Call to Action student group.  Moss is seeking monetary damages and a judgment that proves the University’s actions were unconstitutional and violated federal employment statutes.  University spokesman Dennis Brown said the University is investigating the complaint. “We are examining the complaint, which we just received, but we’re confident that Mr. Moss was treated fairly during his employment, and we reject the claim that we discriminate,” Brown said. “We also want to make it clear that the incidents that occurred in February 2012 were unacceptable. We have taken them very seriously and – as evidenced by the committee on diversity appointed by [University President] Fr. Jenkins earlier this year – we continue to make every effort to ensure that our campus is welcoming to all.” Brown said the town hall meeting called by the University in response to the discriminatory incidents has been employed as a way to train staff. “The town hall meeting sponsored after the event in 2012 was videotaped, and has been used extensively in training of student affairs staff, including hundreds of residence hall staff and each department within student affairs,” Brown said. “In addition, in collaboration with student leaders and at the suggestion of students, diversity training has been added to freshman orientation and with campus safety officers.” Moss also filed a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After investigation of his claim, the commission reported that it is “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.” Thomas Dixon, Moss’ attorney, did not respond to requests for comment.  Contact Nicole Michels at nmichels@nd.edulast_img read more

SMC Pride Week hosts panel on LGBTQ issues

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s group Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) hosted a panel of professors to address LGBTQ current event policies and social justice issues as part of Pride Week on Tuesday in the College’s Student Center.Professor of history Patrick Pierce, professor of religious studies Stacy Davis and professor of psychology Catherine Pittman, discussed the difficulties the LGBTQ community may face and how there may be a variety of interpretations of issues and policies.Davis began the panel by presenting how some areas of the Bible are viewed based on the way individuals view the LGBTQ community.“There is no concept in the ancient world of sexual orientation,” Davis said.Davis interpreted different areas of biblical texts which are used to shape an opinion on sexual orientation, stating that the culmination of views is often “more based on tradition, not scripture.”Pierce then addressed how geographic religious views and generational gap differences can have an impact on policies of the LGBTQ community.Pierce noted how states have a variety of religious make-ups, including Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, and because of this, there are restrictive policies that are shaped around strict moral beliefs.“Legislatures at the state level are disproportionally white and … much more likely to be [composed of] males, which means that it is difficult to make the [LGBTQ] policies push forward,” Pierce said.Pierce finished by presenting how different tools, such as emotional responses, frame the LGBTQ issues by using symbols the community identifies with.“That matter of framing is really crucial, because if you can get control over the frame by which the issue is discussed, you can control the outcome,” Pierce said.Pittman concluded the presentation by pointing out the difficulties and circumstances of coming out for members of the LGBTQ community.Pittman explained how family could be a major influence on one’s decision to reveal their sexuality, as some families may struggle accepting transgender issues.Tags: LGBTQ, Pride, pride panel, saga, Smc pride week, straight and gay alliancelast_img read more