The University of Southern California (USC) is committed to complying with all applicable laws and governmental regulations at every level of government which prohibit discrimination against, or which mandate that special consideration be given to, students and applicants for admission, or faculty, staff and applicants for employment, on the basis of any protected category, including race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic which may be specified in such laws and regulations. Accordingly, USC expects all who engage with our students to abide by all applicable laws, as well as comply with the spirit of such laws, follow ethical procedures, and model good behavior.
Although students may be offsite during their internship experience, mentorship activities, or other events, the requirement to maintain a discrimination-free environment is still applicable. As such, we expect that all employers who hire USC students, mentors who work with the USC community, offsite hosts, and those who engage with our students via virtual media can ensure that all students are treated professionally and respectfully.
Examples of unprofessional behaviors include:
- Using sexual innuendos, making jokes of a sexual nature, making comments about physical appearance or asking inappropriately personal questions.
- Physical touching without expressed verbal consent, including repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person.
- Assigning work duties based on gender, age, or disability, and not based on merit.
It is also important to ensure that the real or perceived authority of your employees or mentees is not used in a way that would make a student feel the need to engage in unwanted activity to receive future academic or employment benefits. Examples include:
- Asking a student (who may be counting on you for work, a special project, a recommendation, a reference, etc.) for a date, a personal phone number, or to engage in off-duty activities one-on-one.
- Emailing, texting, posting on social media messages of a personal affection, requesting to socialize and/or date, or sending inappropriate pictures.
It is important that all individuals comply with USC’s expectation that the environment remain focused on respect and provide a space that is free of discrimination and sexual harassment. If you see or hear of behavior that violates this expectation, you are encouraged to intervene, speak up, or contact USC’s Office of Equity and Diversity at (213) 740 – 5086 or the Title IX Coordinator, Gretchen Dahlinger Means, at GDahlingerMeans@hr.usc.edu. We encourage employers, mentors, and those who engage with USC students in any capacity to read and become familiar with our University Policies, including the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination Policies.
Thank you for joining us in supporting our students’ academic and employment endeavors by building and maintaining respectful relationships.
The University of Southern California is an equal opportunity employer and educator, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding men and women of every race, creed and background.
The university seeks compliance with all statutes prohibiting discrimination in education, including Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which respectively prohibit discrimination. This good faith effort to comply is made even when such laws and regulations conflict with each other.