Non-Discrimination Policy

Goshen College does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or any legally protected status. As a religious institution, Goshen College reserves the legal right to hire and employ individuals who support the values of the college. The college respects individual religious beliefs and expressions in the context of a hospitable campus community and learning environment.

Addressing discrimination and harassment

Goshen College is committed to protecting the welfare and safety of all community members. Toward this commitment, GC strives to provide an environment free of inappropriate treatment of individuals where students, staff, and faculty can study and work without having to overcome the barriers of discrimination and harassment.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment, please consider reporting your experience in order to get help addressing the situation and finding the support you need. You can report your experience to any Goshen College employee, Student Life staff, the Discrimination Response Coordinators or the Director of Human Resources. You may also complete the Discrimination or Harassment Reporting Form. If you are experiencing an emergency, please seek immediate assistance by calling 911 or Campus Safety (574-535-7599).

The full Discrimination and Harassment Policy can be found here.

Responding to Reports

Goshen College takes all reports of discrimination and harassment seriously, and investigates each complaint promptly and equitably. The Discrimination response coordinators will respond to the report in a timely way with an invitation to meet. In the meeting, the Discrimination response coordinators will give information about referral to appropriate resources, providing appropriate accommodations, and, when a formal complaint is filed, overseeing an informal resolution process or a formal grievance process as the defined in the policy.

Any student or employee who believes they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment is encouraged to report the incident(s) to the College. Interim measures and accommodations can be provided to survivors prior to and during the investigation process.

Discrimination response coordinators

Goshen College ensures that our learning and working environment are safe from harassment, discrimination, and violence in many forms. Reports of discrimination and harassment are received by Aja Ellinghton, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the interim Title IX Deputy Coordinator. Within three to five business days of receiving a report, the Discrimination response coordinators will email the reporting party with an invitation to meet to receive support and learn about options for addressing and remedying the situation and preventing it from happening again. The Discrimination response coordinators will also provide resources and accommodations to support student safety, mental health, and academic learning.

Aja Ellington

Director of Diversity
and Inclusion

When reports of discrimination and/or harassment  involve Goshen College employees, the Discrimination response coordinators will collaborate with the Director of Human Resources, Marlene Penner, who will provide resources and assist the employee with work-related accommodations.

Marlene Penner

Director of Human Resources

Prohibited Conduct

Prohibited conduct includes discrimination, conduct that rises to the level of harassment, or actions which create a hostile environment. A hostile environment is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or effectively denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. This discriminatory harassment can be verbal, written, graphic, and/or physical conduct. To fit the scope of this policy, the policy violation must be:

1) Objectively offensive and

2) Severe or pervasive.

Prohibited conduct may occur through:

  • Direct oral expression and/or physical gestures or actions;
  • Notes, letters and other forms of written communication distributed via U.S. mail, campus mail, or otherwise made visible to the public;
  • Phone calls, phone messages, or other forms of electronic verbal communication;
  • Email, text messages, pictures, instant messaging, social networks, or other means of electronic communication.

The College prohibits use of College networks, College websites, or College email accounts for online harassment or discrimination, which includes, but is not limited to, sharing objectively offensive content, bullying, harassment, unwelcome texting, breaches of privacy, and any other use of the Internet or other technology to harm another member of the College community and prevent their equal participation in the College’s education programs and activities.

In determining whether reported conduct violates this policy, the College will consider the totality of the facts and circumstances involved in the incident, including the nature of the reported conduct and the context in which it occurred. Lack of familiarity with College policy is not a defense to a violation of this policy. Unless specifically noted, intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation.

Response to a report

However you choose to report, you have the right to share as much as you are comfortable sharing or what you believe would be helpful to achieve the outcome you desire. The Discrimination response coordinators will work with you to determine the best steps to take, depending on your situation and the nature of the policy violation.

Next steps may include:

  • Receiving support, such as counseling or medical assistance
  • Developing a safety plan for your security and the security of those around you
  • Filing a formal complaint to remedy the situation through an informal resolution or formal grievance process

The online reporting form allows you to submit an anonymous report, which gives the Discrimination response coordinators information about a general problem or potential threat. Please remember that, with an anonymous report, the Discrimination response coordinators are unable to contact you to offer support, accommodations, or options.

Even if you have already submitted an anonymous report, you always have the option to file another report and identify yourself to receive support. You can also directly contact any GC employee, Student Life staff, the Discrimination response coordinators for additional information.

You choose the steps to take

Remember, reporting discrimination or harassment does not require you to file a formal complaint and involve the other party. You can choose what kind of steps you want to take for support or to resolve the issue. At any point in the process, you may contact a variety of people for support, advice on options, or additional resources. You may also contact confidential resources for advice and support before you decide to report.

You may also contact off-campus resources, especially if you have experienced a crime or have medical concerns. Survivors may also contact the Goshen Police Department at any time after experiencing a crime. GC employees can assist you with contacting law enforcement or getting immediate medical help at the Goshen Hospital emergency room.  Please note that reporting a crime close to the time of the incident increases your chances of preserving valuable evidence for a criminal investigation and prosecution.

All Parties are treated fairly

The goal of the policy for addressing discrimination and harassment is to ensure equitable access to education programs and activities. When Goshen College addresses reports of harassment or discrimination, all parties involved can be assured of a fair, timely, and private process to address difficult situations, remedy the situation as much as possible, and prevent the incident from happening again. Both Complainants (victims, survivors) and Respondents (alleged offenders) will be treated with dignity and professionalism.

Please ask for help

We want you to be safe and we want to help. A report is the beginning of a process to help you address a challenging situation, remedy the effects of policy violations on you and your educational experience, and prevent the situation from occurring in the future.

Fill out Online Report

If you have questions about completing this form, please reach out directly to the Discrimination response coordinator, Aja Ellington (574-535-7485 or Wyse 119), a Student Life staff member, or any GC employee.

Overview of Procedures

The following procedures shall apply according to the status of the person accused of discrimination or harassment. More detail about procedures are provided when meeting with the Discrimination response coordinators:

  • Student: The Discrimination response coordinators will be informed when receiving information about an incident involving students. In cases where safety is involved, the Director of Campus Safety will be informed and may collaborate on developing a safety plan. In cases related to campus housing, the Director of Residence Life and Housing will be notified for any associated conduct issues.
  • Employee: The Director of Human Resources will also be informed if an incident involves a Goshen College employee. The Director of Human Resources will collaborate with the Discrimination response coordinators to provide resources, consider options, and, when requested, to coordinate an informal resolution or formal grievance process as outlined in the policy.
  • Campus visitor or outside contractor: When an incident involves an non-GC contractor, volunteer, or temporary worker, the Vice President for Finance will be informed and will collaborate with the Discrimination response coordinators to address the situation and prevent it from happening again.

Disciplinary Actions

Sanctions for incidents of discrimination or harassment  may take different forms depending on the severity of the offense. In those situations where it is determined, following a thorough investigation, that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate action will be taken. Consequences may include the following:

  • verbal reprimands
  • written reprimands and warnings
  • monitoring or restriction of campus access, benefits, or services
  • mandatory education
  • suspension
  • separation from the college

In those instances where a violation is found, documentation of the violation and the disciplinary action will be placed in the respondent’s official Goshen College file.


At the conclusion of a formal resolution process, any party (either the complainant or respondent) may appeal a final determination or a sanction or disciplinary action, according to Goshen College’s Appeal policy.  An appeal must be based on one of the following reasons: a procedural error, new evidence,  or conflict of interest (see the Appeal policy for more detail). A request for appeal (“Request for Appeal”) must be submitted in writing to the conduct process coordinator (“coordinator”) within five (5) business days from the delivery of the notice of outcome.

The coordinator will then forward the request for appeal to the appellate panel chair (“chair”), which is the vice president for the area in which the complaint originated: Academic Affairs, Student Life, or Human Resources. The chair will convene the appellate panel (“panel”), which is made up of the three area vice presidents or their designees, to determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal and is either denied or approved.

If the grounds for appeal are not met, the panel will deny the appeal. The chair will notify the parties and their advisors in writing of the denial and the rationale. All appeal decisions are final.


Threats, other forms of intimidation, and retaliation against a complainant or any other party involved in implementing the discrimination and harassment policy are violations of the policy and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

False Reports and Evidence

A deliberately false, malicious, and/or reckless accusation of discrimination or harassment under this policy is a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Allegations that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith are not considered false reports. Individuals should not be discouraged from reporting simply because there appears to be a lack of corroborating evidence.

Prevention and Education around Discrimination and Harassment

The College is committed to the prevention of prohibited conduct through regular and ongoing education and awareness programs. The Committee on DEI is charged with providing education and awareness programs. Incoming students and new employees receive primary prevention and awareness programming, and returning students and current employees receive ongoing training and related programs.

Other resources for support include: