The Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office exists to promote a feeling of safety at the University by monitoring identity-based discrimination and harassment, Elizabeth Hall, the office's associate vice chancellor and Title IX coordinator, said.
The office has been fulfilling this role since 2014, when the University enacted policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and related misconduct.
“Big picture, the EOC handles everything related to federal laws addressing protected statuses like age, race, religion, disability, sex, gender — we have 13 protected statuses,” she said.
The office has three internal teams: report and response, investigations and accommodations.
The accommodations team helps ensure that needs are met for those with disabilities, those pregnant and those practicing religion, Hall said. She said the other two teams address sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment based on protective statuses.
“Sometimes folks are just looking for support, and if they want support only, they don't want an investigation, they work only with the report and response team,” she said. “If they're looking for an investigation, and that's the right way to go, then the report and response team will connect them directly to that investigations team.”
When the EOC receives a report of discrimination, harassment or misconduct, they send an outreach email to the individual involved. Depending on the situation, the email may include reporting options, confidential resources and medical aid.
In situations involving gender-based harassment and discrimination, the EOC may connect the affected individual with Gender Violence Service Coordinators. These coordinators offer assistance with identifying reporting options and accompaniment through related processes.
Every outreach email includes the link to safe.unc.edu — a website with a comprehensive list of resources for community members.