Policies and Disclaimers

Statement of Anti-Discrimination and Inclusion

The Piper Center for Vocation and Career opposes discrimination and harassment based upon an individual’s legally protected status including race, color, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, or status with regard to public assistance.

St. Olaf College is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff and other members of our community. Engagement with the St. Olaf community by employer representatives must be conducted in a manner consistent with the College’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. This includes refraining from making statements, distributing literature or engaging in any other conduct disparaging toward individuals based upon their race, color, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, or status with regard to public assistance or their membership in any other legally protected group.

Controversial Employers Policy

A recruiting event and/or job or internship posted on the St. Olaf Handshake account does not represent an endorsement of or an alignment with the views of the sponsoring employer or organization by the Piper Center or St. Olaf College.

The Piper Center, through the Handshake platform, accepts postings and events from employers whose desired qualifications match those of students at the college. Occasionally, an employer or organization that seeks to post job or internship opportunities or offer an event may represent political or social viewpoints that some in our community find controversial, troubling, or even offensive. Because we aim to ensure fair and unbiased access to opportunities for all of our students, we do not discriminate based on the ideology or political orientation of employers or organizations. We believe that it is essential to allow all students to explore career opportunities for themselves and to make decisions based on their own interests and values. The Piper Center’s coaches are available to support students in this exploration and to reflect on information about employers or their postings.

From time to time, employers may request to hold in-person and/or virtual events on our campus such as information sessions, workshops, or recruiting sessions. Employers and organizations that seek to engage with our campus community have a diverse variety of missions, affiliations, values and cultures. Events can serve an important purpose to help students evaluate and determine which organizations align with their own interests and values. The Piper Center strives to make opportunities available to all students without regard to ideology or political affiliation.

The Piper Center may promote opportunities through our regular marketing channels, including targeted emails to students based on the career interests that students have indicated in Handshake. Other channels may include email digests and printed or digital media. Students always have the right to remove themselves from the Piper Center’s Handshake emails.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) tracks the activities of “hate groups,” which it defines as organizations “that — based on [their] official statements or principles, the statements of [their] leaders, or [their] activities — [have] beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. . . . The organizations on the SPLC list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity . . . The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime: ‘[A] criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.’” The SPLC defines a “group” as “an entity that has a process through which followers identify themselves as being part of the group, such as donating, paying membership dues or participating in activities like meetings and rallies.”

If an employer or organization wishes to engage with the Piper Center or the college in the area of career, and if that employer or organization appears on the SPLC’s hate list or meets the definition of “hate group” given above, the Director of the Piper Center, in consultation with the college’s administration, has the discretion to decline or reject any such employer, organization, event or other posted opportunity.

Handshake & Other Third-Party Opportunity Databases Disclaimer

The Piper Center advises students to treat Handshake, a third-party platform, with the same level of caution that they would give to any database offering opportunities. Because of the vast volume of job and internship postings on Handshake, the College neither endorses nor makes any claims about the accuracy of descriptions of employers or their postings. 

The College is not responsible for the working conditions, safety, compensation, or any other aspect of opportunities resulting from postings on Handshake (or any other source). It is the responsibility of the student/applicant, when applying for or accepting an offer, to perform due diligence in researching employers. Furthermore, neither the college nor the Piper Center is responsible for any employer’s hiring decisions or practices, including rescinded offers.

We strongly encourage students to use their best judgement when reviewing Handshake postings, employers, and job/internship work sites. We encourage students to contact the Piper Center with any questions about any information posted in Handshake or to report potential fraud, misinformation or inaccuracies in the system.

Identifying Fraudulent Job and Internship Postings

Unfortunately, not every job posting is a genuine opportunity. Scammers know that job offers are a powerful tool for harvesting personal information, and so you need to know how to distinguish legitimate job postings from scam attempts. If you experience anything unusual about a job posting in Handshake, please contact the Piper Center as soon as possible.

Basic Tips:

  • When in doubt, look for the job posting on the company’s official website. Much like phishing emails, scam job postings often capitalize on well-known companies’ names and images. Type the company’s name into Google (don’t follow links from the suspicious posting, which could take you to a cosmetically similar page) and check the employment page to be sure that the opening is genuine. Calling the company in question (again, using publicly available contact information) is another good strategy.
  • Don’t provide financial information or your Social Security number! Legitimate employers won’t ask for your bank account details or your SSN, and scammers will use this information for nefarious purposes.
  • Do not send money!  Legitimate employers will not ask you to wire money or pay for services. The one exception to this general rule would be a request from a search firm/headhunter, but even then the rule of thumb is to avoid any search firm that asks you, the candidate, for money.
  • If you’re posting your resume online where it can be accessed by anyone, leave out personal information like specific details about past employers and your date of birth.
  • If a job sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

The “red flags” below are examples of strong warning signs that indicate probable fraudulent or unscrupulous employers. If you see any of these signs, you should cease communication and engagement immediately, and report the interaction to the Piper Center.

  • The same warning signs that signal fraudulent emails and websites: bad grammar and spelling, requests for personal information, and difficulty contacting or identifying the employer or organization posting are all clear signs of trouble
  • You are contacted by phone, and the number is not available
  • Vague descriptions that focus on money rather than the job
  • Email domain (that’s the @xyzcorp.com part of the address) that doesn’t match the company’s official website’s domain
  • Email domain of a free provider is used, such as: live.com, gmail.com, hotmail.com, etc.  (With the possible exception of very new ventures such as start-ups, legitimate companies almost always have their own email systems.)
  • Websites that have information only on the job you’re applying for rather than about the company in general
  • Requests for an initial investment
  • Requests for bank account access
  • Requests for payment or transfer of money.

What if I’m already involved in a scam?

  • Immediately contact the local police and the Piper Center for Vocation and Career.
  • If necessary, get in touch with your bank or credit card company and dispute any fraudulent activity immediately.
  • If the scam happened online, file a report with the FTC’s cybercrime division

Additional resources

Related Policies:

On-Campus Recruiting and Employer Event Participation Policies for Students