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Policy identification number: To Come

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

Grievance Procedure

Policy Summary

These Procedures are used to handle complaints filed under the following five Fort Lewis College policies:
1. Sexual Misconduct Policy
2. Student Conduct Policy
3. Discriminatory Harassment Policy
4. Disability Anti-Discrimination Policy
5. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy

Policy Owner

Vice President for Student Affairs

Approval Date

Approved by President's Cabinet, August 24, 2016
Approved by the Board of Trustees, October 7, 2016

Effective Date

August 29, 2016

Search Terms

vpsa, grievance, procedure

Scheduled for Review

Fall of 2020

I. Policy Statement - General

    1. These Procedures are used to handle complaints filed under the Fort Lewis College Student Conduct Policy, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy, Sexual Misconduct Policy, Discriminatory Harassment Policy, and Disability AntiDiscrimination Policy.

    2. Respondent may not opt for an alternative grievance procedure from Faculty Handbook or Exempt Staff Handbook. No complainant will be permitted to simultaneously file a complaint under these procedures and a grievance under the State of Colorado Personnel Board Rules or the Faculty Handbook against the same individual arising out of an identical set of facts.

II. Definitions

    1. Disciplinary Authority. The disciplinary authority is the individual who has the authority or delegated authority to impose discipline upon a particular employee, faculty member, or student.
    2. Working Days. Working days are those days when the administrative offices of the College are open.

    3. Complaint. Complaint means a report of discrimination, misconduct, or retaliation submitted as described below, in Section III.

    4. Complainant. Complainant is an individual or organization, including the College, filing a complaint.
    5. Respondent. Respondent is the individual against whom a Complaint has been filed.
    6. Parties. Parties are the complainant and the respondent. The victim may be treated as a party for notice purposes, if the victim is not the complainant.

III. Filing a Complaint

    1. If an individual wishes to notify the College of possible discrimination or misconduct and pursue formal or informal resolution under these Grievance Procedures, he or she must submit a complaint as follows:

      1. Sexual Misconduct Complaints: Information or complaints of sexual misconduct should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, 230 Miller Student Services, (970) 247-7241, or TellSomeone@fortlewis.eduComplaints concerning sexual misconduct may also be filed online at www.fortlewis.edu/TellSomeone. Complainants may also file a report with campus police or local law enforcement at any time, in addition to filing a complaint with the College. Individuals who would like help can request it from the Title IX Coordinator, counselors, or health center employees. If Fort Lewis College knows about possible sexual misconduct or discrimination through the filing of a complaint or other reliable information sources, it will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and resolution. Fort Lewis College will act to end discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on victims and the Fort Lewis College community. No one is required to notify law enforcement about sexual assault or sexual harassment if they do not wish to do so. Similarly, individuals may report an incident to law enforcement without reporting to the College. Individuals reporting that they were a victim of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking will receive a resource sheet explaining their reporting options and available services.

      2. Discrimination Complaints: Information or complaints involving Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, disability discrimination or discriminatory harassment should be directed in writing to Equal Opportunity Coordinator, 230 Miller Student Services, (970) 382-6977, kim_h@fortlewis.edu or filed online at www.fortlewis.edu/TellSomeone.
      3. Student Conduct Policy Complaints: Individuals wishing to report a Student Conduct Policy violation may file online at www.fortlewis.edu/TellSomeone. Residential students may inform residential housing staff.
    2. Contents of Complaint: Generally, all complaints alleging misconduct, discrimination, or retaliation should be made as soon after the event as possible so that the matter may be investigated in a timely manner. Complaints of alleged misconduct, discrimination, or retaliation should state the “who, when, where, and what" of the situation. 
    3. The complainant may or may not be the victim. A third party may make a report of misconduct, discrimination, or retaliation, or the appropriate Vice President may, on behalf of Fort Lewis College, initiate a complaint, serve as complainant, and initiate proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.

IV. Confidentiality 

    1. Fort Lewis College will honor requests for confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. While all efforts will be made to protect employee and student privacy, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed when other members of the College community may be at risk, or when the College 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. In addition, many Fort Lewis College employees are required to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.
    2. The College maintains public records of a variety of incidents, such as those required to be reported in the Annual Security Report. These reports are created without the use of personally identifying information of parties.
    3. Measures taken to protect the complainant or victim are confidential to the complainant or victim, except to the extent that confidentiality would inhibit the College from providing the protective measure.
    4. Students who wish discuss an incident a confidential manner can contact: 
      1. A counselor at the Fort Lewis College Counseling Center, 970-247-7212, 230 Noble Hall.
      2. A medical professional at the Student Health Center, 970-247-7355, 170 Miller Student Services Building.
    5. Any individual may access these confidential services: 
      1. Sex Assault Services Organization of Durango (SASO) 24-Hour Hotline, 970-247-5400.
      2. Alternative Horizons Domestic Violence Hotline at 970-247-9619.

V. Retaliation

The College will work to prevent retaliation and respond strongly if retaliation occurs. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination (including harassment), against any individual who has participated in the investigation or disciplinary process as a witness, complainant, or respondent. Any complaints of retaliation are grounds for a separate complaint and disciplinary action. Complainants or other participants in the investigation or disciplinary proceedings who experience retaliation should file a report at www.Fortlewis.edu/Tellsomeone or report it in writing to the Coordinator.

VI. Interim Measures and Remedies

    1. Victims need not report incidents to law enforcement in order to receive interim measures and remedies. Victims will receive written notice of the availability of interim measures and remedies at the time that their complaint is made to the relevant Coordinator. Victims may request interim measures and remedies by responding to that communication, or at any time by contacting the relevant Coordinator.
    2. Beginning at the time that a complaint is made, safety measures and remedies for victims may include, but are not limited to:
      1. “No contact” directives from the College;
      2. Assistance with civil or criminal protection orders;
      3. Ensuring that the victim and respondent do not attend the same classes or work in the same office;

      4. Moving the victim or respondent to a different residence hall;
      5. Providing counseling services;
      6. Providing medical services;
      7. Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
      8. Arranging for the victim to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without academic or financial penalty;

      9. Reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the victim to see if there is a causal connection between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the victim being disciplined.

Revision History

For following the policy:

For enforcement of the policy:

For oversight of the policy:

For notification of policy:

For procedures implementing the policy:

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