ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WROCŁAW
Former Rector of the University of Wrocław, Professor Adam Jezierski, together with Rector-elect, Professor Przemysław Wiszewski, undersigned a document that regulates equal treatment rights and anti-discriminatory measures at the University. Regulation no. 106/2020 from 18 August 2020 gives effect to anti-discrimination procedures, determines the operational rules of the Equal Treatment Committee and the Ombudsman for Equal Treatment and Anti-discrimination.
Dr Łukasz Prus, a lawyer and recently-appointed Ombudsman for Equal Treatment and Anti-discrimination at the University of Wrocław, has worked on this document for a few months. All the procedures were consulted with trade unions, among others. Dr Prus based them on solutions that have been successfully implemented at many foreign universities. They were tailored to the reality present in Poland and in our institution. With help also came his long experience in the courtroom as an agent for victims of violence and mobbing.
In the regulation, it reads that UWr “is engaged in creating social, educational, professional and scientific environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and that is based on integrational culture that promotes equality and values diversity and dignity of everyone. UWr does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or victimisation and it expects that all members of the community will be treated with mutual respect, courtesy and equality. The procedure of counteracting discrimination at the University of Wrocław does not intend to limit one’s freedom of speech. Rather, the academic discourse should be conducted in respect and without breaching anybody’s dignity. We appreciate freedom of speech but we also value mutual respect and deplore hatred directed at anyone.”
Thus, at the University of Wrocław, it is forbidden to discriminate against people due to their “sex, race, skin colour, ethnic and social background, genetic features, language, religion, faith or belief, political or any other views, affiliation to minority groups or trade unions, wealth, handicap, age or sexual orientation.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In case of any violation of equal treatment right, every member of the academic community may file a motion to solve the issue informally. The Ombudsman will meet with both parties and then conduct an informal proceeding within 21 days. He or she might also recommend solving the problem by Rector. If the procedure does not end as expected or if the applicant does not want to take up this procedure, he or she can bring a formal complaint. Such application needs to be submitted to the Committee for Equal Treatment at the University of Wrocław. The Committee is a new construct and it will consist of seven academic teachers, three non-academic employees, one student representative and one PhD student representative.
WHERE TO SEARCH FOR HELP?
Members of our community who are the victims of discrimination or sexual harassment, or those who witnessed it, should contact the Ombudsman for Equal Treatment and Anti-discrimination at the University of Wrocław:
Dr Łukasz Prus
Phone: 603 703 586, 71 375 24 84