Published: Dec. 5, 2023

I am writing to help increase awareness in our community of the support the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) provides our campus, particularly during times of conflict like we’ve seen recently with the Israel-Hamas war. OIEC employs a comprehensive and integrated approach for case resolution, education, assessment and support services to create and foster a safe, inclusive and accessible campus environment for all members of the CU Boulder community.

Llen Pomeroy

Title IX Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor Llen Pomeroy

Why OIEC’s support matters

Since the Israel-Hamas war began, we have seen an increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim harassment at CU Boulder. This reflects a broader national pattern observed across college campuses. Individual perspectives on this issue vary widely, influenced by diverse historical experiences, identities and beliefs. Emotions are charged, but resorting to harassment, intimidation and hate as forms of expressing disagreement is unacceptable and contributes to suffering and injustice. 

University policies reflect federal civil rights protections that strive to ensure nondiscrimination in education and the workplace. Recently, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued this fact sheet in response to the rise in ethnic and ancestral harassment. 

How OIEC supports our campus

OIEC is where people can report a wide range of identity-based harassment and be connected to support resources, including confidential services, offered by other offices. For anyone feeling immediately threatened or in need of support, there are various means of help for crimes or safety-related incidents, dedicated police services, crisis support and emergency preparedness. 

When identity-based discrimination and harassment is reported to OIEC, you can expect that OIEC will initiate a formal resolution process when an incident rises to the level of being severe, persistent, or pervasive, while also ensuring that all parties receive fairness and due process. Additionally, when formal resolutions are not appropriate, the OIEC may undertake informal or educational interventions to address unwelcome or offensive behaviors based on identity. The goal is to stop such behaviors, ensure safety and support for those affected, and seek to repair any harm caused.

What to report

University policies protect all students from discrimination and harassment based on identity, including race, color, national origin, sex, gender, disability and religion. This protection extends to students of all religious backgrounds, including but not limited to the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths.

Behavior directed at a person, or a group of people, based on their actual or perceived racial, ethnic or ancestral identity may be considered discriminatory when it includes things such as:

  • Slurs or stereotypes
  • Harassment for how someone looks, including skin color, hair style, or other physical features, or style of dress that reflects both ethnic and religious traditions
  • Harassment for how someone speaks, linked to ethnicity or ancestry, including names commonly associated with shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, speaking a language other than English, or speaking with a foreign accent

Some speech within an institution of higher education normally does not constitute discrimination, including peaceful protest and speech on matters of political, social or academic matters—even if the content of that speech may offend those who hear it. If you are unsure whether to report something as possible discrimination, please report it so that OIEC may respond.

Caring for each other

Policy alone will not keep these harms from occurring, nor does it automatically create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. This is a shared responsibility. Engaging in dialogue, disagreement and protest in a thoughtful and respectful manner is vital. There is much suffering in the world and in our community, and the OIEC encourages everyone to take care of themselves and each other and contribute to a community of compassion and repair.


Llen Pomeroy
Title IX Officer
Associate Vice Chancellor, OIEC