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Antidiscrimination Directive - in brief

On January 21, 2020, the Respectful Interaction and Protection from Discrimination and Bias Directive took effect at Philipps-Universität Marburg. On this page, you can find more information about the central aspects of this directive. You can find the wording of the directive here (in German).

For more information about the policy, and in particular the complaint procedure for students, you can at any time.

  • To whom does the directive apply?

    The directive applies to all members and affiliates of Philipps-Universität Marburg.

    Members include:
    -          Students,
    -          Professors,
    -          Academic/research, medical, technical, and administrative personnel,
    -          The president.

    Affiliates include:
    -          Guest, part-time or volunteer staff,
    -          Guest students and auditors,
    -          Participants in continuing education courses organized by the university,
    -          Graduate students (doctoral and postdoctoral students),
    -          Retired professors.

  • Where does the directive apply?

    The directive applies in the buildings and on the property of the university. In addition, it also applies off university property if there is a clear connection to the university as a place of study and work. Examples include when a unit or work group meets in a private residence. The directive also applies in online settings such as online seminars.

  • What is regulated by the directive?

    1. Values and guiding principals of Philipps-Universität Marburg for respectful interaction:
    ·       Structural biases shall be eliminated whenever possible.
    ·       The university shall be a place of learning and study characterized by mutual respect, openness and equal opportunity.
    ·       Those affected by discrimination are encouraged to exercise their rights.
    ·       All members with responsibility over personnel must act as role models within their area of responsibility through their behavior and, if possible, to take preventive measures.
    ·       Members with responsibility over personnel shall ensure that dependency relationships are not exploited.
    ·       Members with responsibility over personnel shall investigate complaints and indications of discrimination, referring them to counseling and consulting offices.
    ·       The Office for Anti-discrimination and Diversity (ADiS) provides support for preventive measures.

    2. The prohibition of discrimination and bias:

    - Those affected always determine whether discrimination has taken place.

    - Discrimination and bias on the basis of the following characteristics are prohibited:
    ·         Sex or gender
    ·         Ethnicity, national origin, and/or race
    ·         Appearance
    ·         Age
    ·         Disability
    ·         Sexual orientation or identity
    ·         Sex or gender identity
    ·         Religion or worldview

    The following forms of discrimination are prohibited:
    ·         Direct (immediate) discrimination or bias
    ·         Indirect discrimination or bias
    ·         Harassment
    ·         Violence
    ·         Bullying

    3. Preventive measures:

    Preventive measures shall be taken by Philipps-Universität Marburg, and in particular by the Office for Anti-discrimination and Diversity. These include:
    -  Informational offerings for all members and affiliates of the university,
    -  Opportunities for continuing education,
    -  Creation of various materials,
    -  Consideration of discrimination risks to planning and development projects and changes in infrastructure (e.g. in construction measures and public relations).

    4. The duties of the Office for Anti-discrimination and Diversity:

    -  Counseling and support,
    -  Mediation and moderation in case of conflict,
    -  Continuing education opportunities open to all members and affiliates of the university,
    -  Providing informational materials,
    -  Public relations work on the topic of discrimination and bias,
    -  Networking internal counseling and consulting offices,
    -  Supporting and advising university management and committees in the implementation of legal obligations to protect against discrimination,
    -  Keeping anonymous statistics on reported discrimination at the university,
    -  Reports to the senate, university conference and office of the president.

    5. Complaint procedure:

    Members and affiliates of the university who are not protected by the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), such as students, have the option of filing a discrimination complaint. The complaint procedure is handled by the Legal Department. The Office for Anti-discrimination and Diversity can support and accompany students through the complaint procedure. Please see “How does the complaint procedure work?” for the exact process.

    6. Measures and sanctions:

    Measures and sanctions can be taken to protect those affected by discrimination, even without a complaint procedure. In addition, the following sanctions may be imposed following a complaint procedure:
    -  Employment interview,
    -  Verbal or written order,
    -  Written warning,
    -  Transfer to another job within Philipps-Universität Marburg,
    -  Initiation of disciplinary proceedings,
    -  Withdrawal of a teaching contract,
    -  Exclusion from a course,
    -  Exclusion from the use of university facilities,
    -  Termination of employment,
    -  Ban from premises,
    -  Criminal charges or criminal complaint by the university,
    -  Deregistration under §59 para. 3 of the Hessian Universities Act

  • How does the complaint procedure work?

    The complaint must be filed formally and in writing with the Office of Legal Affairs. Persons filing a complaint may not be retaliated against for doing so.
    Before filing the complaint, it is advisable that you contact the Antidiscrimination Office so that they can assist, if needed.

    The following points must be addressed in the written complaint:
    -  As accurate a description of the event as possible,
    -  Witnesses,
    -  Evidence, if available,
    -  Which other persons have already been informed about the event,
    -  Which measures have already been taken.

    The Complaints Office will then inform the complainant about their rights, obligations and the further procedure.

    Then, the Complaints Office shall request that the person against whom the complaint is directed comment on the allegations within two weeks.

    After receipt of the statement and further clarification by the Complaints Office, a check is performed to see whether an amicable resolution to the conflict is possible. If this is not the case, then the Complaints Office shall make a proposal to the president on how to proceed. The president will then make a decision on the required measures and sanctions.
    The complaint procedure will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of data privacy.

    The person filing the complaint has the option of filing a request for the suspension of the complaint procedure or for withdrawal of the complaint after the procedure has been started.

    The Complaints Office will always conduct the procedure in consultation with the person filing the complaint.

    The person filing the complaint always has the option of bringing in a person to assist.

    The Office for Anti-discrimination and Diversity may assist the complainant during the complaint procedure at the request of the complainant.