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Student Rights and Responsibilities

All procedures and regulations are subject to change or revision from time to time. All updates to this policy will be posted in the online version with the change highlighted for three months and the date of modification noted. The online version is the most up to date one and will supersede all published versions with differing language. 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 and Expectations

As written in its mission statement, “Whitman provides a rigorous liberal arts education of the highest quality to passionate and engaged students from diverse backgrounds.” The policies and procedures related to student conduct exist to support this mission.

Policies listed in this section of the planner set the foundation of expectations of behavior for all students; however, consistent with the values of the college, and 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.

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 pursue grievances; reasonable and fair processes in cases of student discipline; and the right to privacy.

Students have the right to inspect and review their education records according to certain prescribed procedures set forth by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Except in special cases proscribed by law, the college will not permit access to, or release of, education 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 have their preferred name reflected in the directory (see Name Change policy below for further information). A student has the right to withhold their information from these directories and can do so by notifying Bridget Jacobson in the Dean of Students Office, Memorial Building 325, 509-527-5158.

Student Right To Know

Whitman College has included information that you need to know concerning the campus and its policies on its website. 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, crime statistics and other information that you might find helpful. A printed copy of this information is available upon request from Bridget Jacobson in the Dean of Students Office, Memorial Building 325.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Whitman College has a strong commitment to the principle of nondiscrimination in all its forms. In its admission, educational and employment practices, programs and activities, Whitman College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applicable federal, state or local laws.

Inquiries regarding sex- or gender-based discrimination and disability discrimination may be directed to the Title IX Administrator (509-524-2049; titleix@whitman.edu). Inquiries regarding disability discrimination may be directed to the 504 Coordinator (509-522-4314, beccaic@whitman.edu). Inquiries regarding sex, gender or disability discrimination may also be directed to the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (951 Second Avenue, Room 3310, Seattle, WA 98174; 206-607-1600).

All other inquiries can be directed to the Director of Human Resources (509-527-5172; hrdirector@whitman.edu).

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 member of the Whitman College community has been subjected to discrimination or harassment based on one’s sex or gender or is engaging in behaviors that would constitute sex- or gender-based discrimination or harassment should discuss their concerns with the Title IX coordinator. For further information contact Cassandre Beccai, Title IX coordinator, Memorial Building 301, 509-522-4314, beccaic@whitman.edu, or go to the Title IX website. See also the Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Name Change Policy

Whitman College recognizes that some members of its community use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the college allows students, faculty and staff to use a first name different than their legal name on certain college records. Students can submit a name change request in MyWhitman under the My Profile tab. Additional information about this policy is available online.

Restroom and Gendered-Facility Usage Policy

All individuals are welcome to use the gender-neutral restrooms on campus. The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) specifically protects against discrimination in employment and places of public accommodation, based on one’s gender expression or identity. The Washington State Human Rights Commission (HRC)—the state agency responsible for enforcing the WLAD—issued regulations in 2015 clarifying that the WLAD protects the right of trans* and gender non-conforming individuals to use restrooms and other gender-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity. The college is in full support of all persons using gendered facilities such as locker rooms, showers and toilet facilities consistent with their gender identity. Further, persons needing additional support, such as private changing areas, etc., should contact the Dean of Students Office, Memorial Building 325, 509-527-5158 or the Human Resources Office, Memorial Building 104, 509-527-5172. Additional information about the Rights of Transgender Persons in the State of Washington can be found online. For additional information, see the Inclusion of Trans* Persons Policy.

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 must contact Disability Support Services at DSS@whitman.edu. Disability Support Services 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 and behavioral standards and expectations will not be lowered in the process of accommodation.

Students who believe they have been denied program access or services must contact Cassandre Beccai, Director of Equity and Compliance, Title IX Coordinator, Memorial Building 301, 509-522-4314, beccaic@whitman.edu.

Statement of Responsibility

All members of the campus community share the responsibility for maintaining a campus atmosphere that is conducive to teaching, studying, learning and working. Furthermore, all guests of the college must also comply with all rules and regulations. Each student shall be held individually responsible for conduct that adversely and seriously affects their suitability as a member of the Whitman community. Guests, like enrolled students, are responsible for their behavior within the expectations described within this handbook. Students who are hosting guests on campus are expected to ensure that their guests follow the college’s rules and policies. 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 conduct that occurs away from campus if the conduct adversely and seriously affects the student’s suitability as a member of the Whitman College community. Additionally, all students have the responsibility to obey federal, state, and local laws.

When an incident occurs away from campus, the Dean of Students, after consultation with the appropriate college officials, will  determine whether the student will be subject to the discipline process outlined in this handbook. When a student is charged with a violation of federal, state, or local law, and college disciplinary action is also 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 College campus in pursuance of their duties. The college does not shield 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.

In making determinations regarding application of this policy to the conduct of a student, the college will apply a reasonable person standard, that is, a reasonable person, is a neutral, rational individual without significant eccentricities who adheres to societal norms. Generally when applying a reasonable person standard the person is considered to be roughly the same age, sex and gender identity in the same or similar circumstances as the individual alleged to have engaged in conduct that may violate this policy.

All assessments of violation of this policy will be based on a Preponderance of the Evidence standard. That is, assessing all the available, reliable, relevant evidence and making a determination if it is more likely than not the evidence supports a violation of the policy. Other descriptors of preponderance of the evidence include “greater weight of the evidence” and “50+%.”

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