We participate in many national diversity recruitment efforts, but we do not intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ students.
Next year we plan to add a LGBTQ+ Self Identify section to the application. The section will include the following questions:
1. Do you self-identify as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual?
2. Do you self-identify as transgender or any other gender identity?
During full-time faculty and staff searches, the Law School works with the University EEO office to ensure proper recruitment efforts. The Law School follows the Search Committee Guide issued by the University’s Department of Human Resources (HR) and the Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance Office, which can be found here: https://eorc.olemiss.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/99/2015/11/HR-and-EORC-Search-Committee-Guide.pdf. Among other things, this policy requires that:
• Committee members be diverse in both race and gender;
• The position be advertised broadly, including in “minority-targeted publications;”
• The Ad must state: “The University of Mississippi is an EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.”
The appointment of new faculty and staff at the University cannot move forward until the Office of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance has verified that the recruitment and selection process is in compliance with all relevant policies.
All University jobs are posted to (https://www.diversityjobs.com/) and its full network of niche diversity sites. Diversity Jobs (https://www.diversityjobs.com/) is an extensive network of job boards that gives job seekers free access to thousands of jobs. This network includes ALLLGBTJobs.com (https://alllgbtjobs.com/).
We sent out an anonymous survey to all faculty and staff using SurveyMonkey. The survey explained that it was a Self-ID program and that it allows members of our community to self-identify as LGBTQ+ on a voluntary and confidential basis. Out of all of our faculty and staff, we received 15 responses.
With respect to 13, 13a, 13b, and 13c: The University offers health insurance coverage to faculty/staff through the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan. A legally married spouse, same-sex or different-sex, is deemed a qualifying dependent and eligible for enrollment. Information about the State Health Plan is available in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) which can be accessed at http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/.
A legally married spouse, same-sex or different-sex, is deemed a qualifying dependent and eligible for enrollment. Employees who are legally married, same-sex or different-sex, are also entitled to the same FMLA and paternal benefits. The State Health Plan Summary Plan Description provides information about benefits offered with the Plan, in addition to excluded services. http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/
Employees who are legally married, same-sex or different-sex, are also entitled to the same FMLA and paternal benefits. Policies can be accessed via the following links.
• Leave Guidelines (HRO.BE.600.010) – https://policies.olemiss.edu/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=10659144
• Personal Leave for Twelve-Month Employee (HRO.BE.600.020) – https://policies.olemiss.edu/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=10659146
• Major Medical Leave-12-Month Employees (HRO.BE.600.030) – https://policies.olemiss.edu/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=10659147
• Major Medical Leave-9-Month Employees (HRO.BE.600.040) – https://policies.olemiss.edu/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=10659157
• Family and Medical Leave Guidelines (HRO.BE.600.050) – https://policies.olemiss.edu/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=10659158
Information is also available on the Types of Leave website. http://hr.olemiss.edu/benefits/leave/
The State Health Plan Summary Plan Description provides information about benefits offered with the Plan, in addition to excluded services. http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/
The Office of Insurance has asked employer units to not address questions about how benefits are paid, if a specific service may be covered, etc. since we are not involved in the claims process. If you have specific questions about transition-related benefits, please direct them to the Office of Insurance at 866-586-2781.
The State Health Plan Summary Plan Description provides information about benefits offered with the Plan, in addition to excluded services. http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/ The Office of Insurance has asked employer units to not address questions about how benefits are paid, if a specific service may be covered, etc. since we are not involved in the claims process. If you have specific questions about transition-related benefits, please direct them to the Office of Insurance at 866-586-2781.
Law students are not covered by health insurance plan.
Our counseling center espouses a philosophy of acceptance and respect, compassion and support for students. Also, there is a UNITAS (LGBT) Counseling Group.
The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Affairs identified restroom 1118 as the most private restroom, and it is considered to be a all-gender restroom. The identified procedure is for a person to check out a key for the room from office 2065. The signage includes a “male” body, a “female” body, and a wheelchair. It is accessible for people with disabilities.
In addition, we have identified two other restrooms in the law school building that could be classified as all-gender. We are in the process of seeking approval for such through the necessary university channels. Link to All Gender Restrooms: https://lgbtq.olemiss.edu/all-gender-restrooms-at-um/ Go to the Campus Map and select Services. Then, select Health & Safety. Finally, select Restrooms. At this point, you will be able to see private restrooms in any building on campus that has one.
Gender and the Law is currently being offered for the 2020-2021 school year.
We provided funding for 2 students to attend Lavender Law the past few years. Also, OUTLaw is funded by our Student Bar Association for events and programs.
Yes, mandatory for all students
Regarding Questions 23 – 25, our university has implemented a Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) that is an educational, non-judicial team that provides members of the University of Mississippi community an opportunity to receive education, support, and appropriate resolution in response to bias-related incidents.
Bias-related incidents are defined as threats or acts of harassment or intimidation, whether verbal, written or physical, which are directed against a person because of that person’s age, color, ability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), socioeconomic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, family medical or genetic makeup or information, intellectual perspective, criminal background, and potentially other identities or identifiers.
Participation by all parties in the BERT process is voluntary. If a member of BERT identifies a situation in which there is a possible violation of the University of Mississippi’s policies or the law, the information will be transferred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, University Police Department, and/or Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance (EORC) for investigation and possible adjudication. BERT is not a disciplinary process and does not function in lieu of any disciplinary or complaint processes within or outside of the University.
To bring a bias-related incident to our attention, one must complete a reporting form. Reports may be submitted anonymously but may limit BERT’s ability to offer support. Anonymity cannot be guaranteed in circumstances that threaten safety and/or involve potentially criminal acts. Any questions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at 662-915-2933. For immediate assistance or emergencies, we encourage individuals to contact the University of Mississippi’s Department of Police and Campus Safety at 662-915-7234.
Training is required at the time of employment and required for Search Committee Members. We encourage Faculty, Staff and Students to participate in the Allies Training workshop facilitated by the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. Allies training is a 2.5 to 3-hour workshop that aims to:
1) encourage foundational understanding of LGBTQ+ definitions, concepts and terms relating to sexual orientation and gender identities,
2) introduce campus and state-level issues and concerns that impact individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and/or questioning/queer, and
3) model how to be an effective and informed ally to those communities.
For Black History Month in February 20021, we implemented a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. Each day of the challenge, an email was distributed to our law school community with links to articles/videos on the topic as well as a personal message about the material from a student member of one of our affinity groups. Our chapter of OUTLaw co-sponsored the challenge and had some members share messages on material covering such topics as intersectionality, better language allies can use, and privilege.
Our chapter of OUTLaw hosted Virtual Happy Hours every other Friday during the Fall semester, continuing through the Spring, in order to foster a safe, yet relatively unstructured environment for LGBTQ identified individuals as well as any allies to get together for community development. OUTLaw also held Virtual Brown Bag Events on opposite weeks as the Happy Hours These events are more structured times when guest speakers present their areas of interest. Fall speakers included attorneys Alysson Mills and Kristen Amond, Judge Arenda Allen, and ACLU Michigan Attorney Jay Kaplan.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, we mandated the following annual trainings for our students: 1) During Orientation, all first-year law students are required to attend a session called Creating True Community and Equity at UM Law. Two of our professors lead this discussion which revolves around the importance of valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion both within the law school community and as a soon-to-be practicing attorney. Such topics include systemic racism, privilege, and implicit bias. 2) All members of student boards, law reviews, and organizations that require a selection process for membership must receive implicit bias and professionalism training. This training is conducted by the university’s Office for Diversity and Community Engagement and will be required annually.