Col­lege fears ‘un­due bur­den’

The Buffalo News - - CONTINUED FROM THE COVER -

Na­wo­jski mostly fits the pro­file of a Tro­caire stu­dent. The av­er­age age of a stu­dent is slightly above 27, mak­ing most of its stu­dents “non­tra­di­tional,” ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port from the col­lege.

Na­wo­jski was 38 in Au­gust 2013 when she en­rolled in the nurs­ing pro­gram, the col­lege’s most pop­u­lar ma­jor.

Tro­caire, in court pa­pers, said the case should be dis­missed be­cause, as a col­lege, it is ex­cluded from pro­vid­ing rea­son­able ac­com­mo­da­tions for dis­abil­i­ties and that the Di­vi­sion of Hu­man Rights has no ju­ris­dic­tion in the mat­ter.

Tro­caire also points to the stu­dent’s psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment as proof it pro­vided ev­ery­thing re­quired. Tu­tor­ing is not ex­plic­itly men­tioned, and the col­lege had pro­vided it, not be­cause it had to, but be­cause it does so with ev­ery dis­abled stu­dent.

The col­lege also said the “al­le­ga­tion that Ms. Mur­ray re­fused to tu­tor her dur­ing the 2016 Spring Se­mes­ter is un­true.”

Tro­caire ac­knowl­edged its tu­tor “ap­par­ently for­got to fol­low up” with Na­wo­jski, but that was be­cause she had been work­ing with 186 re­fer­rals. Tro­caire said Mur­ray’s “over­sight” was not the rea­son why Na­wo­jski went without a tu­tor that spring se­mes­ter.

“The rea­son was com­plainant’s fail­ure to make any fur­ther ef­fort to ob­tain the tu­tor­ing that was avail­able,” Tro­caire said in court pa­pers.

Na­wo­jski knew the names of other nurs­ing tu­tors and how to con­tact them, the col­lege said. The col­lege called Na­wo­jski’s en­list­ing of a math tu­tor that se­mes­ter fur­ther ev­i­dence she sim­ply chose not to find tu­tor­ing.

“Whether a stu­dent re­ceiv­ing tu­tor­ing is clas­si­fied as dis­abled or not, it is the stu­dent’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to ar­range for the tu­tor­ing,” the col­lege said.

In jus­ti­fy­ing its de­ci­sion not to re­con­sider Na­wo­jski’s dis­missal, Tro­caire said she asked for the ex­emp­tion af­ter the fact. And, she had not yet been di­ag­nosed with her dis­abil­ity when she failed the class, the col­lege said.

Tro­caire also said in court pa­pers that ex­empt­ing Na­wo­jski “would be an un­due bur­den on Tro­caire un­der the (state Hu­man Rights Law) be­cause it would re­quire Tro­caire to fun­da­men­tally al­ter its aca­demic re­quire­ments.”

The col­lege points to Na­wo­jski’s de­ci­sion not to re­quest the sec­ond fail­ure be ex­cused, too.

“(Her) will­ing­ness to ‘ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for fail­ing NU222’ is an im­plicit ac­knowl­edge­ment that her fail­ure in NU222 was due to her ac­tions and in­ac­tions and not any­thing Tro­caire did or failed to do,” the school said.

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