By Lizbeth Tejada
Aujenay Cianciola, a YSU junior, said she felt she experienced racism in the classroom.
Cianciola said she felt personally attacked, but she didn’t know what to do in a situation like that.
She said she didn’t feel comfortable talking to her instructor, so she didn’t have the courage to address the issue.
However, students don’t have to take this route. There are several places on campus where students can go to seek help when they feel they are being discriminated against in the classroom.
An official from Student Outreach and Support is helpful during times like this. Nicole Kent-Strollo, the director of student outreach and support, said there are ways to resolve potential discrimination situations.
“The goal is to deal with an issue at its infancy stage, so it does not get any worse,” Kent-Strollo said.
She said the CARE (Concern, Assessment, Referral, and Education) Team was created to address negative behavioral concerns. Students can visit the Youngstown State University webpage to view all of the members of the CARE team. On the webpage, students can file an online referral if they have a concern.
Kent-Strollo will speak with any student who has concerns about gender discrimination, sexual misconduct or disability services.
She said if a student needs counseling, she will refer them to Cynthia Kravitz, campus attorney and director of equal opportunity and policy development. Kravitz’s office is located in Tod Hall on the third floor in room 303.
Julia Gergits, a professor in the English department, said students need to document any issue they have and ask for help.
“Students should speak up right away. Students have a lot more power than they think they do,” Gergits said. “It takes being bold. We need to hear something in order to help. If we don’t hear anything, we can’t help.”
Gergits refers students to Jennifer Pintar, associate provost for the academic office of the provost. Gergits said Pintar will help students when there is no resolution anywhere else. Pintar’s office is located in Tod Hall in room 218 near the president’s office.
Pintar said she deals with academic-related issues.
“If a student talks to the instructor and there is no resolution, they will be sent straight to the chair or the dean. If there is no resolution again, students are sent to me,” Pintar said. “From there, I forward the issue to the Student Academic Grievance Committee. This committee consists of one student and one instructor from each of the six colleges.”
Pintar refers students to Kravitz, who deals with discrimination and harassment, which is related to Title IX.
According to the Ohio Education Association Agreement form from 2014-2017: “If a student files an academic grievance against a faculty member and the grievance has been adjudicated against the faculty member, the written statement of the Grievance Hearing Panel’s decision shall be forwarded to the faculty member’s official personnel file.”
Pintar said there will be a new form for 2018.
Students can go online to www.YSU.edu and click on the Student Life link. From there, students should click on Student Support and then Student Outreach and Support. Students will find links to the academic grievance policy and procedure, a form to file a grievance, and a form to refer a person of concern.