Process for Resolving Student Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment

I. The Policies relevant to discrimination and harassment can be found in the ENMU Policy Manual and in the Student Code of Conduct.

Student Code of Conduct 4-H "Harassment” and 4-G:1-a “Sexual Harassment" (pp. 34-35)

Policy 80-4 “Americans with Disabilities Act” found at www.enmu.edu/about/info/ada.shtml

Policy 80-13 “Sexual Harassment” found at www.enmu.edu/about/info/sexual-harassment.shtml

The process noted below pertains to and contains guidelines for the investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination or harassment of a student, including complaints of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veterans status.

II. Definitions. For the purposes of this process, the following definitions apply:

A. "Complaint" means complaint of discrimination or harassment reported in accordance with this process.

B. "Complainant" means:

1. A student who submits a complaint asserting that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment; or
2. A student on whose behalf a complaint has been submitted asserting that the student is being subjected to discrimination or harassment.

C. "Respondent" means a person against whom a complaint is filed.

D. "Working days" means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, unless the day is a school holiday or vacation period. If the last day of the designated time period is a school holiday or vacation period, the designated time period will run until the end of the next day which is not a school holiday or vacation period. The term "vacation period" does not include the week of final exams! .

III. Reporting Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment

A. Persons Who Should Make a Complaint Of Discrimination or Harassment

1. A student who believes that he or she is being subjected to discrimination or harassment should make a complaint.
2. A complaint should also be made by any person, including staff, faculty or another student, if that person believes that a student is being subjected to discrimination or harassment.

B. Persons to Whom Complaints Should Be Reported

Complaints of discrimination or harassment are to be reported to the University’s Affirmative Action/EEO Officer, Coordinator of Judicial Affairs, Director of Disability Services, a Department Chair, a Dean, or a Student Affairs representative.

The Coordinator of Judicial Affairs, Director of Disability Services and any Department Chair, Student Affairs representative, or Dean that receives a complaint of discrimination or harassment must report the complaint to the AA/EEO Officer as soon as possible. The AA/EEO Officer is responsible for coordinating the University’s response to complaints of discrimination or harassment.

The AA/EEO Officer is responsible for coordinating ENMU’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The current AA/EEO Officer is: Julie Gawehn at ADM 113. The mailing address for the AA/EEO Officer is: 1500 So Ave. K, Station 21, Portales, New Mexico 88130.

C. Time Frame for Reporting Complaints

In order to allow a prompt investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment, the incident complained of should be reported as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days following the latest alleged incident. This time frame may be waived by the AA/EEO Officer for good cause, such as when the delay in reporting was the result of classes not being in session.

IV. The Complaint Process

A. The AA/EEO Officer or his/her designee (“AA/EEO Officer/designee) will set up a meeting with the person submitting the complaint to discuss the complaint. If the AA/EEO Officer/designee determines that the complaint concerns a complaint of discrimination or harassment, the AA/EEO Officer/designee will request that the person making the complaint put the complaint in writing. The information requested will include:

1. The name and contact information of the person making the complaint;
2. The name and contact information of the student being subjected to discrimination or harassment, if different from the person making the complaint;
3. The name(s) of the person(s) who are alleged to have engaged in the act of discrimination or harassment;
4. A concise description of the conduct complained of.

B. If the complaint was not filed by the student being subjected to discrimination or harassment, the AA/EEO Officer/designee will contact that student and set up a meeting to discuss the complaint that was submitted. The AA/EEO Officer/designee will request that the student (“complainant”) put the complaint in writing, inform the complainant of the University’s informal and formal processes for resolution of the complaint and discuss with the complainant what process the complainant would like to use. The procedures for informal resolution of a complaint are outlined in Section V below. The procedures ! for formal resolution of a complaint are outlined in Section VI below. At any time during an attempt to informally resolve the complaint, the complainant may request that the informal process be terminated and the formal process be initiated.

C. The University, in its discretion, reserves the right to conduct an investigation into a complaint of discrimination or harassment, even when the complainant requests that the University take no action or refuses to cooperate in the investigation. Although the University's ability to deal with a complaint in these circumstances may be limited, the University may conduct an investigation that it deems appropriate under these circumstances, if any.

D. The AA/EEO Officer/designee may determine that action is necessary to prevent a possible recurrence of the conduct complained of or to correct the effects of the conduct on the complainant and may, in consultation with others in the administration and the complainant, take appropriate action.

E. Confidentiality

The University will keep its investigation into the complaint as confidential as possible. The complainant, respondent and individuals interviewed as part of any investigation will be told that they are to keep the matter confidential.

A complainant may request that his or her name not be disclosed to the respondent. A request of this type may limit the University’s ability to respond to the complaint. However, the University will do its best to honor the request, to the extent possible.

F. Retaliation Prohibited

The law prohibits, and it is the policy of the University to prohibit, retaliation against any person who makes a complaint of discrimination or harassment. The complainant, respondent and individuals interviewed as part of the investigation will be informed that University policy and the law prohibit retaliation against persons who make complaints of discrimination or harassment and against individuals who participate in an investigation of such complaints. Complaints of retaliation should be reported in the same manner as complaints of discrimination and harassment.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any person found to have retaliated against an individual for reporting or participating in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment.

V. Informal Resolution Process

If the complainant chooses to pursue informal resolution of the complaint, the AA/EEO Officer/designee will interview the complainant, respondent and any individuals determined by the AA/EEO Officer/designee to have relevant information, as necessary, and obtain relevant documentation, if any. The AA/EEO Officer/designee will bring together the complainant and respondent, if appropriate and if agreed to by both the complainant and the respondent. If a mutually acceptable resolution is achieved through the efforts of the AA/EEO Officer/designee, the complaint will be considered resolved. The AA/EEO Officer/designee will document the agreement reached, and request that the complainant and respondent sign the agreement.

If informal resolution of the complaint does not occur, the AA/EEO Officer/designee will so notify both the complainant and respondent in writing and will advise the complainant of his or her right to proceed to formal resolution pursuant to the procedures in Section VI. The complainant will have ten (10) working days to advise the AA/EEO Officer/designee, in writing, of his or her desire to pursue formal resolution.

VI. Formal Resolution Process

A. Notice to Respondent. The AA/EEO Officer/designee will give the respondent written notice that a complaint has been submitted and a description of the allegations therein within five (5) working days of receiving a request for formal resolution of the complaint. The written notice will request that the respondent respond in writing to the allegations within ten (10) working days.

B. Investigation. An investigation will be conducted into the Complaint by the AA/EEO Officer, his or her designee.

C. Conduct of the Investigation.

1. To the extent possible, the AA/EEO Officer/designee will establish a timeline for the investigation, a proposed date for the final report and keep the complainant informed about the status of his or her complaint.

2. Within timelines established by the AA/EEO Officer/designee, the complainant and respondent will have the right to provide written statements regarding the alleged harassment, be interviewed, propose witnesses and submit any other information or documentation the complainant or respondent believes is relevant to the complaint. The AA/EEO Officer/designee may request that the complainant, respondent or witnesses provide additional documentation as part of the investigation. Witnesses who appear to have relevant information may be interviewed or asked to provide written statements.! Interviews may be tape-recorded, at the discretion of the AA/EEO Officer/designee.

3. The investigation may also include, but is not limited to, review of relevant files and records, such as personnel files, departmental files and student files, and review of applicable University policies and practices.

D. Findings and Recommendations. Upon completion of the investigation, a report will be prepared by the AA/EEO Officer/designee that should contain of a summary of the information and documents considered during the investigation, findings and recommended actions, if any. The report will be prepared as quickly as possible, preferably within thirty to sixty (30 - 60) working days after notice is given to the respondent that a complaint has been filed.

E. Final Decision. The report will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President or his/her designee for a final decision.

1. When the respondent is a student, the report will be forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee;
2. When the respondent is a staff member, the report will be forwarded to the Vice President in charge of the area or his/her designee; and
3. When the respondent is a faculty member, the report will be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee.

The Vice President or designee to whom the report is sent may review any information or documentation received by the AA/EEO Officer/designee as part of the investigation. The Vice President]/designee may accept, modify or reject any findings or recommendations in the report.

If the Vice President/designee decides that disciplinary action against the respondent may be appropriate, the Vice President/designee will first meet with the respondent to discuss the findings against the respondent and give the respondent an opportunity to respond to the findings prior to imposing disciplinary action. Disciplinary action that may be taken may include a reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion (for students) or reprimand, probation, suspension or termination of employment (for employees).

After meeting with the respondent and making a decision with respect to the disciplinary action, the Vice President/designee will provide written notification of the action taken to the AA/EEO Officer.

The complainant and the respondent will be advised, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation into the complaint after the decision is made by the Vice President/designee.

F. The timelines in this process may be extended by the Affirmative Action Officer/designee, as deemed appropriate.

G. The AA/EEO Officer will maintain the records of the investigation. Other than as required by law, no records, documents or other materials gathered or created during the investigatory process will be released to anyone, including the complainant or respondent.

VII. Appeal

A respondent may appeal disciplinary action taken against the respondent only as provided for in grievance procedures applicable to the respondent.