Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
The Board of Trustees of Mohawk Valley Community College has adopted the following policy statements:
A. Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action as Related to Admissions. Educational Programs and Activities, and Equal Employment Opportunity.
B. Sexual Harassment: Mohawk Valley Community College does not condone and will not knowingly permit sexual harassment. The Board of Trustees expects that all judgments about, and actions toward students and employees will be based on their qualifications, abilities, and performance. This position is in keeping with the spirit and intent of various federal laws and guidelines which address the issue of fair employment practices, ethical standards, and enforcement procedures.
Mohawk Valley Community College strongly subscribes to the philosophy of equality of opportunity for all persons regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, criminal record, or veteran status, with respect to admissions, educational programs, employment, and campus life.
A. Discrimination occurs whenever a person is denied equality of opportunity because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, criminal record or veteran status.
B. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination which destroys the working environment for employees and prevents the development of that trust between faculty members and students which is essential to effective learning. Sexual harassment is: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, or
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, or
4. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student, including, but not limited to, the individual’s academic evaluation, or
5. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment.
This procedure is provided for investigating complaints alleging any unlawful discrimination in the programs, policies, or practices of Mohawk Valley Community College. The procedure may not be used for complaints involving matters over which the College has no control, such as Civil Service rules and regulations. The procedure may be used by any person (student, employee, or visitor) who receives College programs and services.
This procedure is intended to comply with and serves as the grievance procedure required under regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments (prohibiting discrimination based on sex); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (prohibiting discrimination based on disability); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (prohibiting discrimination based on race or national origin). This procedure also provides a mechanism for the internal investigation of all claims of discrimination
or harassment under any applicable statute or College policy, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Veterans Re-employment Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The College’s Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator is the Director of Human Resources. The College’s Section 504 Coordinator and ADA Coordinator is the Coordinator for Disability Services.
A. Complaints of sexual harassment may be made to either the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Assistant Dean of Student Life. Either may disqualify herself or himself from serving, in which case the two administrators will appoint another member of the staff as an alternate.
B. All other complaints of discrimination are to be made to the Director of Human Resources, except that a complaint alleging discrimination by the Director of Human Resources shall be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
C. Retaliation for filing a complaint or for answering questions during the investigation of a complaint will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary action. The College will make every possible attempt to insure confidentiality and to limit access to information about the complaint to those with a need to know. All complaints will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken if an individual has violated these policies. The complaint should be made within thirty calendar days following the alleged discrimination or within thirty calendar days following the date on which the complainant first knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged discrimination.
This timetable, like all timetables in this procedure, is intended as a guideline. Complaints will be investigated and resolved expeditiously, but since each case is different each will require its own unique timetable. Complainants should consider that delay in filing a complaint may lead to questions of the credibility of the complaint.
The administrator to whom the complaint is made will listen to the complaint as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. The administrator will discuss complaint procedures, the complaint itself, informal remedies such as mediation, and formal investigation. Serious allegations will be investigated even if the complaint is oral and the complainant does not want them to be. The complainant may have an advisor from within the College community (a person who is currently or has been within the past twelve months, a student or employee of the College, or a representative of one of the College bargaining units to which the complainant belongs). Such advisor shall not ask questions, speak on the individual’s behalf, or otherwise participate in the meeting beyond providing advice to the individual.
If the complainant chooses an informal resolution, the administrator will meet with the respondent to attempt to work out an informal resolution acceptable to both parties. The respondent will be provided with a copy of these procedures, an oral statement of the complaint, and may have an advisor from within the College community as defined above. If a solution is reached, the administrator will recommend to the President that it be adopted. The case will be considered resolved if the recommendation is accepted by the President.
Written records of the case will be maintained in the Human Resources Office. Such records normally will not be included in personnel files unless disciplinary action occurs.
If the administrator is unable to reach an informal resolution or if the complainant wants a formal investigation, the administrator will conduct a formal investigation to the complaint. At this point the complaint will be put in writing. The complaint shall indicate the nature of the discrimination (e.g. race, sex, sexual harassment), names of people involved, an explanation of what took place, why the complainant believes the event was discriminatory, and shall be signed by the complainant. The administrator and the complainant shall decide if the complaint will be written by the complainant or will be written by the administrator from notes of meetings with the complainant.
If necessary, the administrator may re-interview the complainant and respondent, who may have an advisor, as defined above, present. The administrator may interview any other members of the college community and shall have access to any files and documents necessary for investigating the complaint. The complainant, respondent, witnesses, supervisors, and others are expected to cooperate with the investigation. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action or adverse inferences.
Within 10 working days of the conclusion of the investigation, the administrator shall send a written report of the formal investigation to the President of the College which shall include, as a minimum, a statement of the complaint, the administrator’s determination, and a recommendation for further action. The President shall issue a decision within 10 working days of receipt of the report. The administrator will meet with the complainant and the respondent to communicate the President’s decision.
Either complainant or respondent may file a written request with the President for reconsideration within 10 working days of the meeting with the administrator. Such request shall include, as a minimum, the reasons why the President should re-consider the decision, and a proposed resolution. There shall be no appeal from re-consideration by the President.
If disciplinary action is necessary, it will be taken according to Board of Trustees Policies, collective bargaining agreements, Civil Service regulations, or the Student Disciplinary procedure as appropriate.
BIAS CRIME PREVENTION
It is a goal of Mohawk Valley Community College to protect all members of the campus community. The College provides educational programs that aim to prevent bias or hate crimes from occurring within the campus’ jurisdiction. Those who are found to be involved in bias-related activity will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as outlined by the Student Code of Conduct and potentially by state and national law.
Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias or attitude against an individual victim or group, based on perceived or actual personal characteristics, such as their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
MVCC will also investigate hate/bias incidents that do not rise to the level of a crime but may include acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, or marital status.
If you are a victim of, or a witness to, a hate/bias crime on campus, report it to Campus Safety and Security, (Utica Campus) 792-5566 or on the Rome Campus at the Associate Vice President and Dean’s Office, Plumley Complex 334-7701.