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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: To come...

File: Ethical & Responsible Conduct Policies > Anti-Discrimination Policies

Discriminatory Harassment

Policy Summary

As all Fort Lewis College community members should expect that they should be able to work and learn in an environment free from discriminatory harassment, the Discriminatory Harassment Policy defines discriminatory harassment and sets forth the process for handling reports of discriminatory harassment from students and employees of Fort Lewis College.

Policy Owner

Vice President for Student Affairs 

Approval Date

October 2, 2015  

Effective Date

October 2, 2015

Search Terms

vpsa, d, h, discriminatory, harassment 

Scheduled for Review

 Fall 2020

I. Statement of Policy

    1.  It is the policy of Fort Lewis College that all employees and students should be able to work and learn in an environment free from discriminatory harassment.  Harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political beliefs, or veteran status is a form of discrimination specifically prohibited in the Fort Lewis College community.  Any faculty, staff, or student at Fort Lewis College who is found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
    2. Discriminatory harassment includes conduct (verbal, written, graphic, or physical) directed against any person or a small group of persons because of race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political beliefs, or veteran status that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, threatening, or hostile environment for that person or a small group of persons. 
    3. In any grievance proceeding, a finding of discriminatory harassment must be based upon consideration of all the relevant facts and circumstances.  The conduct generally must be of sustained and pervasive nature such that it substantially disrupts the educational and work environment of the College; however, a single incident could amount to discriminatory harassment if found to be sufficiently serious.
    4. Retaliation against any person who reports discriminatory harassment, files a complaint, or participates in the Grievance process, is prohibited.  Any such action shall be grounds for a separate complaint and disciplinary action under this policy.

II. Reporting Discriminatory Harassment

    1.  Any member of the College community who has observed or been a victim of discriminatory harassment is encouraged to discuss the matter with the appropriate supervisor, administrator, department chair, dean, the Title IX Coordinator, or the Equal Opportunity Coordinator.
    2. Inquiries relating to procedure can be made at any time to the Title IX or Equal Opportunity Coordinator; however, an inquiry alone does not constitute notification to the College of possible discriminatory harassment.  The initial discussion regarding the complaint will be kept confidential to the full extent permitted by law.  Complainants are advised that there are some instances in which the College has a responsibility to act even if the complainant requests that no action be taken, such as when other members of the College community may be at risk or when it has reason to believe a crime has been committed.  In those cases, the College may be required to report information to law enforcement, and/or investigate and take action on the basis of the facts it discovers.
    3. Individuals who wish to anonymously report incidents may use the College’s Silent Witness Report form.  Those who want confidential support after an incident may use the College’s Counseling Center and/or Health Center, as well as Sexual Assault Services Organization in Durango, or for cases involving domestic violence, Alternative Horizons.
    4. If an individual wishes to notify the College of possible discriminatory harassment and requires resolution, he or she must complete the College’s complaint form.  All complaints alleging discriminatory harassment will be resolved under the Fort Lewis College Discrimination Grievance Procedures .  


For following policy:  All students and employees regardless of their employment classification

For enforcement of policy:  Equal Opportunity Coordinator

For oversight of policy:  Vice President for Student Affairs

For notification:  Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing policy:  Equal Opportunity Coordinator

Reason for Policy 

To inform the Fort Lewis College community of conduct expectations regarding discriminatory harassment and how to report discriminatory harassment. 

Cross-Referenced Policies

Fort Lewis College Grievance Procedure

Revision History

This policy was initially approved February 11, 2009. It was revised on December 6, 2013 to add that a single incident may be sufficient for a finding of discriminatory harassment, that retaliation against a person who reports discriminatory harassment is prohibited, that the Title IX Coordinator is a College official with whom discriminatory harassment inquiries and discussions may be held, and that the College has a responsibility to act even if the complainant requests no action be taken if the College has reason to believe a crime has been committed. The revision also specified how to report anonymously through the Silent Witness Report form, specified the availability of support services, and renamed the "Grievance Procedure for the Resolution of Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Harassment" as "Fort Lewis College Discrimination Grievance Procedure." The revision also omitted the requirement to consider whether an act of discriminatory harassment was protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Vice President for Student Affairs authorized on March 11, 2015 the inclusion of "gender identity" and "gender expression" in the policy statement in alignment with the Board of Trustees' revision on October 17, 2014 of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy, as well as minor editorial changes needed to format the policy in the official policy template. On October 2, 2015, the Board of Trustees approved deletion of the following sentence from the end of Policy Statement I.B.: Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, slurs, epithets, pranks, teasing, taunting, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm