Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure
If a member of the George Mason University community believes they are the victim of discrimination, or has information about discrimination in the university community, they may promptly submit the facts of the incident and the names of those involved to Compliance, Diversity and Ethics (CDE).
CDE ensures and monitors Mason’s compliance with Federal and Commonwealth of Virginia non-discrimination laws. We will review your complaint and determine the appropriate next steps.
All complaints of discrimination will be treated in the strictest confidence possible under the particular circumstances.
To Voice a Complaint
Fill out an intake form, email CDE, or call the office at (703) 993-8730. Once submitted, you will meet with a member of the CDE team to discuss your concerns. Upon filing an intake form and meeting with CDE, we will make a threshold determination as to whether the allegation(s) contained in the complaint may constitute a violation of university policy. This threshold determination will be made within five (5) business days of the intake meeting.
For the complete grievance procedure, including time frames and the CDE appeal process, please read the EO/AA Grievance Procedure document (PDF). This procedure applies to all Mason faculty, staff, students, university contractors, vendors and visitors.
If You Have Been Accused
As the Responding party (the individual accused of discrimination), you will be notified of a complaint against you within five (5) business days after CDE determines an investigation will ensue. A CDE team member will meet with you to present the allegation(s) made against you. At that time, you may also provide any additional information you would like to have considered regarding the matter.
As the Respondent, you have the right to bring an advisor to an investigative meeting. CDE asks that you submit the name and relationship of the advisor (e.g., legal counsel), in writing, at least 72 business hours prior to the meeting.
If You Face Retaliation
Retaliation is a negative action taken against an individual as a result of a complaint of discrimination being filed, or after an individual has participated in or cooperated with CDE's investigative process in some manner. It is against federal law and the university’s Non-Discrimination Policy for any agent, employee or student of the university to intimidate, harass, coerce, or discriminate against an individual for taking steps to stop discrimination or discriminatory harassment—even where the underlying complaint is not found to violate university policy. Charges of retaliation will be treated as separate and distinct from original charges and allegations, and may be investigated and resolved by CDE accordingly. Those in a supervisory position must monitor the academic or work environment to ensure that it is free from retaliation.
If You Are Dissatisfied with the Results of the Investigation
A finding from a formal investigation may be appealed to the Vice President of CDE, in writing, within ten (10) business days from receipt of a determination letter. An appeal must be based on the discovery of new information that was not previously available, or a significant irregularity in the procedural process that could affect the outcome. Appellants should be as specific as possible in setting out a basis for appeal; general dissatisfaction with the outcome will not be sufficient. Determinations following an appeal to the Vice President of CDE are final.
For Outside Resources
Mason students, faculty and staff have resources available on the local, state and federal level: