Student Rights and Responsibilities

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We have designed this section of the handbook to acquaint students with Whitman’s policies, regulations, and procedures. It does not, however, include all procedures, particularly those designed by and for special interest groups such as the fraternities, sororities, and athletics. All interested persons should make every effort to acquaint themselves with regulations that affect their campus lives, living groups, and activities.

All procedures and regulations are subject to change or revision from time to time. This handbook reflects the policies that were in place at the time that this handbook was produced. Students are responsible for knowing and following all regulations and procedures contained in this publication, as well as changes that occur and are published during the year.

Shared Aspirations

Whitman College, as written in its Mission Statement, “ … offers an ideal setting for rigorous learning and scholarship and encourages creativity, character, and responsibility.” The policies and procedures related to student conduct exist to support this mission.

Policies listed in this section of the Student Handbook set the foundation for expectations of behavior; however, as members of the Whitman College community, students are expected to adhere to a higher standard of conduct than citizens at large. The college assumes that students will demonstrate honesty and integrity in both academic and personal endeavors, and will act responsibly in ways that reflect consideration and respect for the rights of others.

Conduct hearings take place to determine if an accused student is responsible for violating a college policy; they are regarded as private matters between the college and the student, and do not involve friends, relatives or outside authorities.

Statement of Rights

Every student has a right to conditions that are conducive to learning and favorable to the pursuit of higher education. These rights include freedom of speech, expression, and association; the right to study; the right to a safe and healthy environment; the right to redress for grievances; reasonable and fair processes in cases of student discipline; and the right to privacy.

Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records according to certain prescribed procedures. Except in special cases prescribed by law, the college will not permit access to, or release of educational records containing personally identifiable information, without the student’s written consent as stipulated by the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974” (FERPA or Buckley Amendment).

The college publishes an online directory, with students’ names, addresses, email addresses, pictures, and phone numbers. A student has the right to withhold his or her name from these directories and can do so by notifying the Dean of Students Office.

Student Right To Know

Whitman College has included information that you need to know concerning the campus and its policies at whitman.edu/righttoknow. This information includes institutional information, alcohol policies, graduation dates, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), services available to students with disabilities, institutional security policies and crime statistics, and other information that you might find helpful. A printed copy of this information is available upon request from Donna Cummins in the Dean of Students Office, Memorial Building 328.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

Whitman College has a strong commitment to the principle of nondiscrimination. In its admission and employment practices, administration of educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs, Whitman College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

Title IX – a short and simple law

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Any person who believes that a student has been subjected to discrimination or harassment based on gender should discuss his or her concerns with the Title IX Administrator. For further information contact Julia Dunn, Associate Dean of Students, Title IX Administrator, Memorial Building 330. carsonc@whitman.edu; see also Grievance Policy page 52 and Sexual Misconduct Policy page 67.

Disability Policy

Whitman College will not exclude otherwise qualified applicants or students with disabilities from participation in, or access to, its academics, housing or extracurricular programs. “Otherwise qualified” refers to students who without consideration of disability are admissible to the college. Program participation will not be denied to a student with a disability where that person, with or without accommodation, can perform the essential functions required of that program.

Students who need an accommodation because of a disability must provide documentation of their disability from a physician, learning specialist or other qualified professional. Students seeking accommodations for a disability, or who are denied program access, must contact Julia Dunn, Director of Academic Resources (509) 527-5213, Memorial Building 327. She will work with the student, faculty member, and the appropriate department to arrive at a reasonable accommodation. Accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Academic standards and expectations will not be lowered in the process of accommodation.

AIDS

No student, faculty or staff member of Whitman College who has been diagnosed as having AIDS, or who has tested positive for the HIV antibody, will be denied any rights normally enjoyed by members of the college community. The college will make all of its counseling and health services available to a student diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, and will encourage such a student to receive ongoing medical attention. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the Director of the Health Center or the Director of the Counseling Center, with the consent of the Dean of Students on a case-by-case basis, and in full consultation with the patient.

All college offices and personnel who have information that might lead to the identity of an AIDS patient are required to maintain the confidentiality of that patient. Specific or detailed information concerning diagnosis will not be provided to anyone without the expressed written permission of the patient in each case.

Statement of Responsibility

Each member of the Whitman community is responsible for respecting these rights; all members of the community share the responsibility for maintaining a campus atmosphere, which is conducive to teaching, studying, and learning.

Each student shall be held individually responsible for conduct which adversely and seriously affects the his or her suitability as a member of the Whitman community. Social regulations, of whatever origin, should ensure adequate consideration for the rights of individual students to privacy and the preservation of their individual dignity and comfort and should promote an atmosphere consistent with and in furtherance of the basic educational purpose of the college.

Scope of the College’s Discipline Process

Application of the college’s disciplinary process extends to conduct that occurs on Whitman College premises or at any college-sponsored activities, and to conduct that occurs off campus, if the off-campus conduct adversely and seriously affects the student’s suitability as a member of the Whitman College community. All students have the responsibility to obey federal, state, and local laws.

When an incident occurs off campus, it is the responsibility of the Dean of Students, after consultation with the appropriate college officials, to determine whether the student will be subject to the discipline process outlined in the current Student Handbook. When a student is charged with a violation of federal, state, or local law, and college disciplinary action also is taken, campus proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.

Although many people regard the college as a “sanctuary” because it is a private institution, police officers and other representatives of law enforcement agencies may come onto the Whitman campus in pursuance of their duties. The college does not protect students from the customary enforcement of the law, nor does it prohibit law enforcement officers from conducting investigations and making arrests on campus. When possible, the college will rely on its internal resources to maintain order on campus and deal with campus problems.

Shared Expectations

The Grievance Policy and the Sexual Misconduct Policy

The Grievance Policy is an umbrella policy that covers all members of the Whitman College community and provides a way for community members to bring forward problems, complaints or grievances. The student Sexual Misconduct Policy outlines policies and procedures to investigate and adjudicate gender based complaints, including complaints of harassment or sexual misconduct between students. The adjudication procedures are the same for both policies.

A good resource for information concerning these policies is the Dean of Students Office or others listed below.

Whitman College Grievance Policy

1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THIS POLICY

1.1 Introduction

Whitman College is committed to providing a learning and working environment characterized by mutual respect and fair treatment among all its constituents. An essential component of this environment is a strong ethic and practice of equality, acceptance and nondiscriminatory interactions. Harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, national origin, and disability, veteran’s status, or any other basis prohibited by College policy or by state or federal laws is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

• Whitman College recognizes that problems, complaints, or grievances might arise in the daily relationships between faculty, staff, and students.

• Individuals at odds with one another are encouraged to first attempt to resolve their differences. The grievance procedure outlined in this policy is primarily for cases where this approach has not been successful or is not appropriate.

1.2 Purpose

• To establish procedures for filing complaints from students and employees (Faculty is defined in Chapter 1, Article I of the Faculty Code. Faculty and staff are referred to as “employees.” Students are defined as those who are enrolled in at least one credit.) both formally and informally.

• To outline procedures for addressing and resolving grievances involving conduct prohibited by Whitman College policy as well as federal and state laws pertaining to higher education and employment.

• To affirm the College’s commitment to investigate all allegations of harassment and/or discrimination, act to end the violation, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effect on individuals and the community.

1.3 Scope

• A grievance is a complaint alleging conduct or actions by a member of the Whitman College community, which harms another employee or student’s ability to take full advantage of the College’s educational or employment opportunities, or impedes the complainant’s ability to study, learn or work.

• The Grievance Policy applies principally to students, faculty, and staff, but also applies to those who interact with the Whitman community or Whitman affiliated programs.

• Any member of the College community, including but not limited to students, employees and alumni, has a right to express a grievance.

1.4 Education and Prevention

Whitman College provides education and training to students and employees on a periodic basis addressing its policies regarding harassment and discrimination.

• All employees must complete an on-line training on harassment and other prohibited conduct.

• All new students are required to attend sexual misconduct prevention programs. In addition to “Green Dot,” a nationally recognized program effective in preventing sexual misconduct, students must attend a program designed to educate them regarding their obligation to obtain consent prior to engaging in sexual activity and the detrimental role alcohol plays in sexual misconduct.

1.5 Title IX  

Title IX is a federal law that states: “No Person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

1.6 Reporting Obligations under Title IX

Whitman College employees, other than licensed counselors and health professionals working with clients, are expected to promptly notify the Dean of Students Office, the Human Resources Office, or the Title IX Administrator if they are aware of instances of sexual harassment or misconduct. The College has an affirmative obligation to investigate and to act to resolve such complaints.

Whitman College has a Title IX Administrator who will oversee an investigation of any allegations of sex or gender-based discrimination. For more information, contact Julia Dunn, Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Administrator, Memorial Building 330, Whitman College, (509) 527-5158, carsonc@whitman.edu

1.7 Academic Freedom and Free Speech

Whitman College recognizes that the educational process can be disturbing and unsettling, particularly when one’s ideas or values are being challenged. The learning, working, and living environments might not always be comfortable for all members of the College community. The College does not censure speech simply because it is offensive. In determining whether an act constitutes discrimination or harassment, the context must be carefully reviewed and full consideration must be given to protection of individual rights, freedom of speech and academic freedom.

2. DEFINITIONS

The following are definitions of terms relating to this policy and the grievance process. They reference conduct prohibited by federal and state laws, conduct prohibited by Whitman College policies, and conduct that may place the learning and working environment at risk. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.

2.1 Discrimination

Discrimination is any distinction, preference, advantage for or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based upon an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or other basis prohibited by state and federal laws. Actions or policies that result in unequal opportunity in education or employment or adversely affect the terms and conditions of a person’s employment or education at the College, which are motivated or based, in whole or part, on the protected categories can be considered discrimination.

2.2 Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory Harassment is a detrimental action based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other basis prohibited by state or federal laws that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with or limits a person’s ability to work, participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program or activities.

2.3 Retaliatory Harassment

Retaliatory Harassment is any intentional action taken by an accused individual or allied third party to seek revenge, reprisal, or injury to an individual or group who has exercised the right to file a grievance or make an oral or written report of prohibited harassment or discrimination, or participate in a related grievance proceeding.

2.4 Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive such that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs or employment opportunities. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation. Examples (For definitions or clarifications, see Sexual Misconduct Policy on page 67.) include:

  • Unwelcome statements, jokes, gestures, pictures, intentional non-consensual touching of an intimate body area, gender-based bullying, stereotyping, or other conduct that demeans, harasses, or intimidates
  • An attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship repeatedly subjecting a person to egregious, unwanted, sexual attention
  • Conditioning a benefit on submitting to sexual advances (quid pro quo).
    Examples include:
    • Seeking sexual favors or relationships in return for the promise of a favorable grade or other academic opportunity
    • Basing an employment-related action (hiring, salary increase, performance appraisal rating, promotion, etc.) on a sexual favor or relationship
  • Punishing a refusal to comply with sexual advances
  • Sexual violence, intimate partner violence
  • Non-consensual, intentional sexual contact, penetration, or intercourse
  • Stalking, repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment

Sexual harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in faculty/staff relationships with students is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution. (NCHERM: The 2011 NCHERM Campus Title IX Coordinator and Certification and Training Course Materials. Used with permission.)

2.5 Consensual Relationships

A Consensual Relationship, for the purpose of this policy, is defined as a relationship developed between two individuals within the Whitman community that is consensual, romantic and/or sexual in nature. Such relationships can prove particularly problematic when there is an unequal power relationship, that is, one of the individuals has actual or perceived power, authority, and advantage over the other. For example, a staff member who has authority to control salary decisions, conduct performance appraisals, and promote employment opportunities, enters into a relationship with a subordinate.

It should be noted that negative consequences, including claims of conflict of interest, coercion and exploitation, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation, could arise from a less than amicable ending of a consensual relationship where there is a power difference between individuals. Moreover, under the law, co-workers may assert claims of harassment when a fellow worker is perceived to be receiving favorable treatment, due to a consensual relationship with a supervisor.

Faculty Code states in part, “It is therefore unacceptable for faculty to have romantic or sexual relationships with students, except when the relationship pre-dates either the student’s initial enrollment in courses at Whitman College or the faculty member’s initial appointment and the faculty member holds no supervisory or evaluative role over the student.” And also, “Similar power differentials may also render it inappropriate for faculty to have romantic or sexual relationships with staff over whom they have supervisory authority.” (For the complete faculty statement on consensual relationships, see Faculty Code, Chapter 2, Article III)

3. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Faculty, staff, and students should feel free to bring unresolved problems and complaints to the attention of the appropriate College officials outlined below. Some harassment complaints and incidents of interpersonal conflict can be resolved informally, whereas others may need to undergo a formal resolution process.

3.1 Where to Start with a Complaint

Members of the Whitman Community who know about an incident or believe they have been subjected to a civil rights violation such as harassment or discrimination, or who have a grievance concerning a serious interpersonal conflict should meet with individuals in the following offices:

  • Students who have a complaint or who would like information about the grievance process should come to Dean of Students Office (Memorial 325) or the Title IX Administrator
  • Employees who have a complaint or would like information about the grievance process should come to the Human Resources Office (Memorial 104), the Title IX Administrator, or the Provost and Dean of the Faculty.

3.2 Protection from Retaliation

This policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports or is believed to have reported harassment, discrimination, or other prohibited behavior, or who is a witness or otherwise involved in a related investigatory proceeding. Such retaliation will be considered a serious violation of this policy, regardless of whether an informal or formal complaint is upheld. Encouraging others to retaliate is also prohibited and will be subject to disciplinary action.

3.3 Prompt Reporting

Prompt reporting of a complaint is strongly encouraged, as it allows rapid response to and resolution of prohibited or objectionable behavior. The passage of significant time between an incident and an investigation can result in memory lapses, the departure of key witnesses or other time-sensitive factors that can impair the investigation.

3.4 Privacy

College officials who are involved in informal or formal complaint resolution procedures or investigation, as a result of being consulted by the complainant, the accused, and/or College officials conducting investigations, are obliged to respect the privacy of the individuals involved. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students’ privacy. College officials may not disclose information from a student grievance complaint to anyone other than those involved in the hearing process or those who have a legitimate education interest.

3.5 Dishonest Reports

Persons who submit intentionally dishonest reports could be subject disciplinary action.

3.6 Complaint Withdrawal

At any time during the informal or formal resolution processes (see below), the complainant may withdraw the complaint. However, even if the complainant decides to withdraw the complaint, the College reserves the right to investigate and take appropriate measures, if necessary, to protect the interests and safety of the community. If the complainant withdraws the complaint and refuses to cooperate, the likelihood of a meaningful conclusion is severely diminished.

3.7 Uncooperative Respondent

If the respondent leaves the college or refuses to cooperate with the investigation, the investigation may proceed in his/her absence and may result in an appropriate finding based on the evidence available.

4. COMPLAINT AND RESOLUTION

4.1 Informal Dispute Resolution

To resolve a dispute informally, a student or employee may first seek advice from the supervisor, department head, or the budget officer. For employees, the Director of Human Resources and for students, the Dean of Students are other good sources for advice. An informal resolution can involve a directed conversation, mediation and/or advice about how to resolve the problem.

  • Mediation is clearly inappropriate for certain serious behaviors and incidents, such as sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination. The College must take decisive action, including a thorough investigation, immediately when it becomes aware of such complaints.
  • If a complainant chooses to forgo the informal process or if the informal resolution process proves unsuccessful or if the complainant is dissatisfied with the informal process, he or she may file a formal complaint with the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students or the Title IX Administrator as appropriate.

4.2 Formal Complaints

Complaints can be submitted in oral or written form. This grievance statement should describe the alleged incident, where and when it occurred, and include any supporting materials. Unless this is a case where an informal resolution was not appropriate, the grievant will be asked about the details of the informal efforts they have made to resolve the issue(s). Please note that when the College has received notice of an incident of sexual harassment, misconduct or discrimination, the Title IX Administrator may initiate an investigation without a formal complaint.

• If the formal complaint involves a member of the faculty, the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students or the Title IX Administrator shall inform the Provost of the complaint.

4.3 Investigation Procedure

  • The Title IX Administrator will receive all sex or gender-based grievances and will oversee the investigation process and assign investigators as appropriate.
  • The Director of Human Resources or the Dean of Students Office will oversee an investigation and resolve all other complaints. Ordinarily, complaints against an employee will be overseen by the Director of Human Resources and complaints against students will be overseen by the Dean of Students.
  • A complaint against the President or a member of the Governing Boards will be referred to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for investigation and resolution.

For sex or gender-based allegations, the Title IX Administrator in consultation with members from the Title IX team (The Title IX Team consists of individuals who have attended Title IX certification or investigation training.) will:

  • Conduct a prompt and effective response, not to exceed 60 days from notice to resolution.
  • Determine the identities and contact information of the complainant and accused person (respondent).
  • Review the information related to the grievance allegation in order to initiate appropriate response.
  • Identify alleged policy violations, key issues, and the scope of investigation.
  • Develop the investigation strategy and outline a proposed timeline.
  • Recommend necessary remedial short-term actions and accommodations for the complainant (Examples of remedial short-term actions and accommodations might include no contact orders, a change in housing, work shifts, or academic adjustments.).
  • Conduct an immediate preliminary investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to charge the respondent, and what policy violations should be alleged as part of the complaint.
  • If there is not enough evidence to charge the respondent, proceed no further and both parties will be notified.
  • If there is evidence to support the allegation, meet with the complainant to gather relevant information.
  • Notify the respondent of the charge.
  • Commence a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation.
  • Prepare a report summarizing the information. The Title IX Administrator will make a recommendation for a finding using a preponderance of evidence standard.

All other grievances based on a protected class such as race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal laws against an employee will mirror the investigation protocol outlined above for sex or gender-based grievances.

4.4 Post-Investigation Procedures

  • The respondent will meet with the Title IX Administrator and/or the appropriate budget officer to receive the report and recommended finding(s).
  • The respondent will have an opportunity to read a copy of the report and a second meeting will be scheduled within a timely manner agreeable to both parties, ideally within two working days.
  • If the respondent chooses to accept the recommended findings, then the case will be referred to the appropriate budget officer for the sanctioning phase.
  • If the respondent chooses not to accept the recommended findings, the case will be referred to an appropriate grievance council as outlined below.
  • The complainant will meet with the Title IX Administrator and/o investigator(s) and will have an opportunity to read a copy of the report immediately following the meeting with the respondent.
  • Although individuals may consult an attorney, the College’s investigations, hearings and appeal processes are not legal proceedings and attorneys may not be present or participate.

In some cases, including but not limited to those when the respondent takes responsibility for the violation, the appropriate resolution may be achieved without a grievance council. This decision will be made in consultation with the appropriate Budget Officer and the Title IX Administrator.

4.5 Councils, Panels, Sanctions, and Appeal

The grievance panels will review a statement from the respondent explaining why he or she is contesting the finding(s) and review the investigation report to confirm that it was conducted in a thorough and impartial manner.

  • Grievance Panel for Students. The College convenes either the Council on Sexual Misconduct or the Council on Student Affairs as appropriate to address complaints against students. See the Student Handbook, available as a booklet or online, for complete description of the council and the hearing process for students.
  • Grievance Panel for Non-Faculty Employees. The grievance panel for non-faculty employees consists of three members (at least 2 staff) chosen from the Employee Relations Council (The entire Employee Relations council (ERC) consists of the Director of Human Resources, two staff members with supervisory authority, two non-supervisory staff members, two tenured faculty members, and two non-tenured faculty members. The hearing panel consists of the Director of Human Resources (Chair) and three council members (at least two from the faculty if the respondent is a faculty member and at least two from the staff if the respondent is a staff member). The hearing panel shall be gender balanced and receive training in Title IX and other college policies.  The Employee Relations Council replaces the CCIR.) trained to review cases involving sex or gender based allegations.
  • Grievance Panel for Faculty. (The Faculty shall consist of the President of the College and the members of the instructional staff who hold the title of Dean, Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Professor, or Non-tenured Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor of Forensics, Senior Lecturer, and Senior Adjunct Assistant Professor. Any administrative officers shall also be deemed members of the Faculty. [See Faculty Code, Article 1, Section 1, and 1-A0] )The grievance panel for faculty consists of three members (at least 2 faculty) of the Employee Relations Council trained to review cases involving sex or gender based allegations.
    • Process for Faculty Dismissal. If the Grievance Panel for Faculty upholds the recommended finding, and the range of potential sanctions includes dismissal for adequate cause, the procedures specified in the Faculty Code (Chapter 1, Article III, Section 5), shall be followed.
  • Sanctions.
    • Students: Sanctions may include, conduct probation, suspended conduct probation or other actions including verbal warnings, written warnings, prohibition of participation in commencement activities, dismissal, suspension, restitution or other actions appropriate to the offense. (See current Student Handbook.)
    • Employees: Sanctions may include: oral or written reprimand, transfer to a different area or other work restrictions, required training, probation, suspension, demotion, reduction in pay, dismissal, restitution or other actions appropriate to the offense.
    • Sanctions related to behavior that violate Title IX must act to end the behavior, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effect the community.
  • Appeal Process.
    • In the event that an accused individual accepts the findings of the investigation, those finding cannot be appealed.
    • The grounds for appeal may only be:
      1. New evidence not available at the time of the investigation that may substantially alter the outcome, or;
      2. Substantial procedural error(s) that may alter the outcome.
    • All sanctions imposed will be in effect during the appeal process.
    • Either the complainant or the respondent may appeal the decision of the appropriate grievance panel to the Chair of the Faculty. All appeals must be made in writing within three weekdays after being informed of the outcome.
    • The Chair of the Faculty, to whom the appeal is made, will act on the petition in one of three ways: he/she may decide to hear the appeal and then rule; may form a panel to hear the appeal; may reject the appeal.

5. RIGHTS OF THE COMPLAINANT AND RESPONDENT

Whitman College supports the following rights of complainants and respondents:

  • Persons involved in a grievance process have the right to a prompt investigation and resolution of the complaint
  • Individuals involved in a hearing have the right to an adviser to help prepare for the hearing The adviser must be a member of the Whitman community (current students, or employees of the College only)
  • Individuals have a right to file a complaint with the police or other agencies-the College will help a complainant find appropriate resources if they wish to take legal action off campus.
  • Individuals have a right to a safe environment – the College will take whatever measures it deems reasonable and feasible to protect the safety of the campus community
  • Persons involved in a grievance process will be treated with dignity, respect and fairness
  • The College will treat all complaints seriously and will investigate allegations of misconduct or policy violation
  • Employees and students involved in a complaint will have full access to campus services designed to assist in such cases
  • The College respects the privacy of complainants and respondents. Information gathered in an investigation will not be disclosed to others who do not have a legitimate need to know
  • Individuals may consult an attorney; however, the College’s investigations, hearings and appeal processes are not legal proceedings and attorneys may not be present or participate
  • The College will not tolerate any form of harassment, retaliation, and/or intimidation of the complainant or the respondent, or of those supporting either party.

Students or Employees who believe their complaint of harassment or discrimination has not been adequately addressed through the College’s grievance process may submit a grievance to either the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Office for Civil Rights.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44000
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
(866) 219-7321

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Office Building
909 First Avenue
Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104-1061
(800) 669-4000

The Office for Civil Rights
Seattle Office
915 Second Avenue Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
(206) 607-1600
OCR.Seattle@ed.gov

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