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CWUR 1-30-010 Student Discrimination Complaint Procedure

(1) General
 
(A) Central Washington University is committed to providing an inclusive community that is free from discrimination on the basis of gender (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating or domestic violence), disability, race (including racial harassment), color, creed, religion, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, pregnancy, marital status, veteran’s status, or age. Central Washington University complies with applicable state and federal laws addressing discrimination.

 

(B) While individuals who feel they have been discriminated against have the option to file complaints at any time with external enforcement agencies, Central Washington University has adopted these internal procedures to investigate and resolve allegations of discrimination between members of the university community.  Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against by a member of the university community due to their protected status are encouraged to utilize these procedures.  
 
(C) All individuals who formally bring forward a complaint of discrimination to the institution shall have explained to them the procedures available through the university and the existence of external agencies where complaints may be filed if appropriate.  They shall also receive copies of these Discrimination Complaint Procedures, the Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125), Equal Opportunity Policies (CWUP 2-35), and any other relevant university policies.  To facilitate resolution, individuals are urged to bring their complaints forward as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination.

 

(D) If an individual brings forward an allegation of discrimination that may involve a violation of state criminal law, the university may notify either CWU Police or Ellensburg Police so they may initiate an investigation.  In such cases, the university may choose to temporarily hold off initiating an investigation until the police investigation is complete; however, the university may provide services and support to the complaining party as appropriate during the interim.  
 
(2) Confidentiality

 

(A) Confidentiality is essential in matters involving allegations of discrimination.  Complainants (those making the complaint), respondents (those alleged to have engaged in discrimination) and participants in these processes are urged to treat all information as confidential.   University personnel will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as applicable university policies and procedures. Although the university will attempt to honor a complainant’s requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Complainants seeking confidential assistance or support may consult with professional staff in the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic or with the Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator and professional staff in the Wellness Center.
 
(B) University personnel will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual misconduct complaint.  If a sexual misconduct complainant asks that the complainant’s name not be revealed to the respondent or that the university not investigate the allegation, the university will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the university’s ability to fully respond to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited.  If the complainant still insists that the complainant’s name not be disclosed or that the university not investigate, the Title IX Coordinator or Executive Director of Student Rights, Responsibilities, & Health Promotion (or designees) will determine whether the university can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the university community, including the complainant.  Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:

 

 
1. The severity of the alleged sexual misconduct;
 
2. The age of the complainant;

 

 
3. Whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated forcibly or with a weapon;
 
4. Whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual misconduct or violence or has been the subject of other sexual misconduct complaints;

 

 
5. Whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual misconduct against the complainant or others; and
 
6. Whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).

 

If the university is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the university will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that the complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
 
If the university decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the university will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible. 

 

(C) The Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator and other professional staff in the Wellness Center are considered campus-affiliated advocates for students who have experienced sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking. Complainant communications with, and records maintained by, these staff pertaining to sexual misconduct are considered confidential under RCW 28B.112.030 and, with limited exceptions, are not subject to inspection, copying, or dissemination without the complainant’s consent.
 
(3) Retaliation and False Complaints

 

Filing a false complaint is considered to be serious misconduct and such offenses will be subject to the full range of applicable sanctions. A finding that discrimination did not occur will not in itself be the basis for a charge of false complaint. 
 
The university aims to protect all participants in these proceedings from retaliation. Retaliation means harming, threatening, intimidating, coercing, or taking adverse action of any kind against a person because such person reported an alleged violation, provided information about an alleged violation, or participated in any capacity in a university investigation. Retaliating against participants in these proceedings is serious misconduct, and is subject to the full range of applicable sanctions.

 

The procedure described in this document will be available to anyone who wishes to allege that a false complaint has been filed or that retaliation has taken place.
 
(4) Complaints

 

(A) Complaints of discrimination should include a statement of the facts alleging discriminatory behavior(s), the name of the person(s) who allegedly engaged in the discriminatory act(s), and the date/place where the incident(s) occurred. Contact information (phone number, e-mail and local address) should also be provided. The university may initiate an investigation in the absence of a written complaint.
Complaints pertaining to a student should be submitted to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities in the Office of the Dean of Student Success (509-963-1515).

 

Complaints pertaining to employees of the institution, including faculty and staff, should be submitted to the Office of Equal Opportunity in the Office of Human Resources (509-963-2206).
 
Complaints may also be submitted electronically through the university’s Behaviors of Concern reporting mechanism found online through the university’s MyCWU portal.

 

(B) The professional staff in the applicable office will review the complaint to determine whether the behavior alleged falls within the scope of these procedures and notify the complainant if they do not within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint.
 
During the investigation and until resolution of the incident, interim protective measures or restrictions may be issued as deemed appropriate by applicable university personnel. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of university no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and interim suspension of the respondent consistent with the Student Conduct Code or employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.

 

(C) The appropriate office’s executive director (or designee) will select the investigator(s) for the complaint and may discuss the complaint with the Student Consultation Team or Title IX Team if appropriate. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The university may choose to have complaints investigated by an outside investigator.
 
(D) The investigator will meet separately with the complainant and respondent and solicit their statements, documents, and the name of all witnesses they wish the investigator to consider interviewing. 

 

Each party involved may have an advisor of their choice accompany them to interviews or hearings (assuming no conflict of interest will arise and interfere in any way with the investigation process). Complaints involving students will have professional staff present serving as student support advisors for both the complainant and respondent during interviews.
 
(E) The investigator will then have 20 working days to examine the documentation, interview witnesses, consult with the Student Consultation Team, Title IX team, and Assistant Attorney General as needed, and prepare a written report.   The written report will describe the complainant’s allegation(s) and draw conclusions as to whether the behaviors alleged are more likely than not to have occurred based upon the preponderance of evidence standard utilized in these proceedings. Timelines may be extended by the investigator provided the complainant and respondent are notified in writing.

 

The investigator will meet separately with the complainant and respondent to share the findings. Both parties will receive a written and electronic summary of the investigator’s findings and any applicable sanctions.
 
(F) If the evidence supports the allegation(s), disciplinary action against the respondent will be taken. Remedies for the complainant may also be provided as appropriate.  

 

(G) The report will remain on file within the appropriate university office for six years.
 
(5) Appeals

 

(A) Either party may appeal the decision in accordance with the rules and regulations contained within the Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125-045) and Equal Opportunity Policies (CWUP 2-35). 
 
In cases where the respondent is a student, a student conduct appeals form (located in the Office of the Dean of Student Success) must be submitted in writing to the office of the dean of student success. The appeals form must be submitted within 10 days of service of the disciplinary decision where the disciplinary action dismissed the proceedings or imposed a conduct reprimand, conduct probation, or conduct suspension not in excess of ten days. The appeals form must be submitted within 20 days of service of the disciplinary decision where the disciplinary action imposed is a conduct suspension in excess of ten days or a conduct dismissal. Appeal proceedings will follow the procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125-045).
 

 

In cases where the respondent is a university employee, an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of Equal Opportunity. The written appeal must be submitted within the timelines and in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Discrimination Complaint and Resolution Procedure - Employees (CWUR 1-30-050).
 
(6) Informal Dispute Resolution

 

Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time.
 
(7) Campus Resources

 

CWU Police Services
1211 D Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926
509-963-2959 or 9-1-1
 
Office of the Dean of Student Success
Bouillon Hall 204
509-963-1515

 

Office of Equal Opportunity/Human Resources
Mitchell Hall
509-963-2206
 
Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities
Bouillon Hall 205
509-963-1515

 

Student Medical and Counseling Clinic
Corner of 11th and Poplar
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Medical: 509-963-1881
Counseling: 509-963-1391
 
Title IX Coordinator
Staci Sleigh-Layman, Executive Director
Human Resources/Equal Opportunity
509-963-1256

 

Violence Prevention & Response Coordinator/Wellness Center
SURC 139
509-963-3213
 
(8) External Avenue for Complaints

 

(A) Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against because of their protected group status may choose to file a discrimination grievance with any of the agencies below:
 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
http://www.eeoc.gov/
1-800-669-4000

 

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) - US Department of Education
 
Washington State Human Rights Commission
http://www.hum.wa.gov/
1-800-233-3247
1-800-300-7525 (TTY)

 

 
[2006; Responsibility: President’s Office; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/PAC; Review/Effective Date: 10/05/2011; 06/13/2018; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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