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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 47.40
Liaison Havina Georgieva
Submission Date April 4, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

FIE: Foundation for International Education
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.83 / 3.00 Havina Georgieva
Programmes Coordinator
Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Foundation for International Education (FIE) is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. In the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship programs and other internally administered programs and activities, FIE does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression; marital or parental status; religion, belief, or lack of religion/belief; age; disability; genetic information or veteran’s status. In its commitment to ensuring an environment that is welcoming and respectful to all, FIE proactively undertakes initiatives and actions to create an environment that welcomes diverse populations.

ZERO TOLERANCE

FIE is committed to fostering a living and learning environment which is free from harassment, discrimination, victimization and bullying. We strive to develop an atmosphere in which no member of the FIE community feels under threat or intimidated. FIE operates a zero tolerance policy to these types of behavior and, as such, any allegations of this nature will be taken very seriously. If substantiated, disciplinary action will be taken.

http://fie.org.uk/about-us/our-values/diversity-inclusivity


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Upon applying to an FIE program, each student is required to sign an agreement with the FIE London Student Code of Conduct. FIE is committed to the health, safety and well-being of its students and has policies in place to foster a safe, supportive and academic environment. Please see below FIE’s manual, which is intended as a reference for FIE staff, faculty and students as well as partner institutions, visiting faculty and site staff. (Further details on FIE’s Student Code of Conduct can also be found at: http://fie.org.uk/homepage/handbooks-policies)

Point 2.9 HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
FIE will not tolerate any form of disrespectful or abusive behaviour with or to other students, residents, staff or the public. This includes verbal and written communication as well as physical conduct. Harassment includes but is not limited to: creating a hostile environment; retaliatory harassment; sexual harassment; and hate incidents (that is, words or actions that target an individual on the basis of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression; Bullying includes any behaviours or actions by an individual or group, often repeated over time, which intentionally hurts another group or person, either physically or emotionally, including those over the internet or social media
(i.e. cyber bullying). marital or parental status; religion, belief or lack of religion/belief; age; disability; genetic information; or veteran’s status.

FIE’s Code of Student Conduct and any violations thereof are addressed jointly by the Student Life and Residence Life Offices. Depending on the severity of the incident, outcomes can range from a verbal warning through to removal from the residence or their study abroad programme.

The disciplinary measures include:
1. Behavioural notification form - This is a formal documentation that an action, behaviour or incident is unacceptable within FIE’s community expectations and policies.

2. Conduct process - Any alleged violations of FIE policies and procedures are reported to the Student Life and Residence Life Offices and the appropriate response will be determined.

2.1. Letter of warning - First time or minor violations may be addressed via a letter of warning (sent electronically); the letter will state the alleged violation and reiterate FIE’s expectations with regards to the related policies and resident’s behaviour for the duration of their programme

2.2. Conduct hearing - A conduct hearing provides an opportunity to discuss the alleged violation(s), sharing information or evidence to hand and offering the resident(s) the opportunity to share their perspective. The conduct hearing additionally provides a venue to clarify FIE’s policies and procedures and answer any questions residents may have about these expectations.

2.3. Conduct Hearing Officers - Conduct hearing officers manage conduct cases, conduct the conduct hearings, send summons and decision letters, and are the residents’ point of conduct during their case’s process. They often will be members of the Student Life and Residence Life Teams and most cases will have one hearing officer.

3. Decision and sanctions
In the event a resident is found responsible for a violation, the conduct hearing officer may apply sanctions. These include but are not limited to:

- Written warning:
- Fines/restitution
- Restrictions on housing privileges
- Administrative move:
- Residence Hall Probation
- Dismissal from FIE housing

Examples of actions taken in the last 3 years:
Violation: Anti-social behavior
Sanction: Residence probation, home institution and site staff notified

Violation: Anti-Social Behaviour; Damage to FIE Property; Illegal Substances and/or Paraphernalia; Harassment and/or intimidation
Sanction: Responsible for possession of illegal substances and paraphernalia (contested other charges); dismissal from FIE program (in collaboration with and support from home institution)

Violation: Alcohol Consumption in Common Areas; Anti-Social Behaviour; Alcohol Related Anti-Social Behaviour; Physical Abuse Towards FIE Staff or Others
Sanction: Cancellation of FIE housing (VP-Housing, Director of Student, Residence Life Manager); Cancellation of programme participation


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
No

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

To expand the access of underrepresented groups to its programs FIE has developed an extensive pool of financial aid and scholarship resources. More information on the various options on offer are available at: http://fie.org.uk/homepage/scholarships-aid

In addition, the dedicated Diversity and Inclusivity page on FIE’s website provides a comprehensive list of resources which aim to assist students from various backgrounds find the support they need before and while they study abroad. http://fie.org.uk/about-us/our-values/diversity-inclusivity

Along with a dedicated Diversity and Inclusivity Team, FIE has also developed the FIE Interest Groups (FIGs) which aims to bring together students with common interests to share ideas, resources, and organise meet-ups to get to know each other. FIGs also has one designed FIE staff member to lead the group. Staff and student members can share information via the group. Students can reach out to individual students within the group or the group as a whole if they wish to plan meet-ups or other activities.

Currently, the groups available to students include:
- Speakers of English as a Second Language
- Religion & Spirituality
- Non-traditional Students
- Students of Colour
- Fraternity & Sorority
- First Generation College Students
- LGBTQ & Allies
- Limited Finances
- Gender & Gender Identity
- Latino/a Students
- Disability & Accessibility
- Veterans and Military Connected Students

Further support to students with accessibility needs is provided by our Accessibility Manager who along with the Residence Life Manager and Academic Team coordinates housing and academic accommodations, as well as any other adjustments to the environment in FIE to create a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for each student on the program.

FIE, in accordance with its mission, is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities and as such, our programs are tailored to give access to the widest possible student representation. We recognize that the environment, services and facilities may be “enabling” or “disabling” and support the social model of disability. Applications from students with various physical, sensory, cognitive and behavioral/emotional disabilities are welcomed. They are encouraged to declare disabilities on their application form to allow for discussion on access requirements and to provide time for reasonable accommodations to be made.

http://fie.org.uk/about-us/our-values/diversity-inclusivity

FIE also encourages applicants from all ethnic and minority groups to apply for staff and faculty vacancies. On its current panel of sessional lecturers faculty and staff members there is a wide representation of diverse social, educational, cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds.


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Safe Spaces

FIE regards its housing and classroom facilities as safe spaces to live, study and work with students, faculty and staff who are understanding, supportive, and trustworthy. It is the hope of the organisation that everyone in the FIE community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – knows they can come to anyone for help, advice or just to talk and they can expect consideration and support. Inappropriate and derogatory comments and actions are not tolerated and any such behavior is addressed in an educational and informative manner. Everyone at FIE has a right to their opinion; however, if someone is stating myths or misinformation, FIE faculty and staff will provide more accurate information in a respectful manner. FIE's approach is based on the Western Michigan State University “Safe on Campus” program.

FIE endeavors to provide appropriate housing for all of its students. Students who would like to discuss any specific housing needs or concerns can do so on an individual basis - email diversity@fie.org.uk.

Mentoring - students
Students who have been awarded an FIE scholarship are assigned a mentor to support them throughout their study-abroad experience and assist them in developing and implementing their scholarship project. Depending on the scholarship route which the students is on, they are also supported by the relevant staff committee. For example students who have applied for the Diversity and Inclusivity scholarship route will be given the full support of FIE’s Diversity and Inclusivity Team to create resource guide to address the needs of students from an under-represented group which can be used by future students and help raise awareness about the group. More information could be found on the scholarship brochure at https://www.studyabroad.fie.org.uk/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10142

The newly developed FIE Global Ambassadors program is another opportunity for students to be mentored by an FIE staff member and receive the support they need to fully understand their study-abroad experience and be fully equipped to advise their peers upon return on their home campus.

Mentoring - staff
A mentoring program is also in place for staff and faculty members. Mentoring is an opportunity to spend ‘quality time’ with someone that you do not report to/does not report to you. The mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street, a learning relationship in which both parties have something to offer. Team members can elect to participate as a mentor or mentee. The main aims of FIE's mentoring scheme are to:

-Strengthen cross-departmental ties and collegiality
-Offer career guidance and general professional development
-Enhance the induction process for new employees
-Give the opportunity for the transfer of knowledge
-Support and give advice with a fresh perspective

Pairs meet 6 – 8 times per year for 60 – 90 minutes each session at a mutual convenient time. Anything discussed in the meetings is deemed entirely confidential. Mutual understanding and trust are key to the experience.

For an FIE staff to start the scheme, there is an introductory orientation that provides suggestions and written guidelines on how to set goals for the sessions and how to make the most of the experience for both parties. An annual social mentor-mentee event also takes place at the end of the cycle.

Counselling
Students, staff and faculty have access to an outsourced psychotherapist, Dr. Deborah Hill. First two appointment are free of charge and covered by the company. More information available in FIE's Mental Health Guide at http://fie.org.uk/homepage/handbooks-policies

Other Support Opportunities
TALKology - Meetings organised and lead by a student, which encourage a safe, respectful and judgement-free space, where everyone can voice their concerns, based on the topic for that week

Student Focus Groups - every semester, four weeks after arrival, a staff member leads a group discussion where students are encouraged to share their honest opinion and reflection on the program, evaluate they experience so far and suggest ideas for improvement

Student Life Team - Provides pastoral care and support to students at all times


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:
---

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
No

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

As part of their application questionnaires, students are prompted to identify their housing, as well as health and wellbeing requirements. FIE team members responsible for accessibility and accommodation process review the information and strive to accommodate the each student's needs to give access to the widest possible student representation.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.