Title IX/Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Policies

Procedural Response to Sexual Misconduct

Procedural Response to Sexual Misconduct

Just enough testimony and information to make it more likely than not that the fact sought to be proven is true. This preponderance is based on the more convincing information and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of information.

Any person may file a complaint against a student for violations of the Standards of Conduct, including violations of the Sexual Harassment Policy. This procedure applies to any allegation of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation, and/or sexual exposure by a student, regardless of where the alleged violation occurred. For the purpose of this procedure, the Respondent must have been registered or enrolled at the University at the time of the alleged violation (including during an academic recess), and at the time that the complaint is made to the University.

  1. Where to File a Complaint
  • Complaints about Student Conduct: All complaints alleging sexual harassment or retaliation committed by students should be submitted to the Title IX Administrator at tixadministrator@western.edu, 970.943.2049.
  • Complaints about Employee or Third Party Conduct: All complaints alleging sexual harassment or retaliation committed by employees and/or third parties should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources/Deputy Title IX Administrator, Taylor Hall 321.

Whenever a complaint is received, the Title IX Administrator will be advised of the complaint and may assist in the investigation or resolution of the complaint as directed by the School. The Title IX Administrator is:

Shelby Schuppe
Title IX and Student Conduct Coordinator tixadministrator@western.edu
970.943.2616

Office of Student Affairs
970.943.2232

A. Deputy Title IX Administrators

  • Human Resources Director – Kim Gailey, 970.943.2412
  • Director of Student Health and Wellness – Scott Cantril, 970.943.2891
  • Student Affairs Designee(s) – Sara Phillips, 970.943.2176

B. Responsibilities: Compliance of sexual harassment policies for matters involving students, including training, education, communication, may assist in the investigation and administration of grievance procedure for all complaints of sexual misconduct.

Because certain acts of sexual harassment may constitute both a violation of School Standards of Conduct policy and a criminal offense, the University encourages, but does not require students to report alleged criminal acts (e.g., sexual assault and sexual violence) promptly to appropriate law enforcement authorities. The standards for findings violations of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of the University’s.

The standard of proof is the amount of information needed to establish a violation of policy has occurred. In the adjudication of student conduct issues, the University uses a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which means that the information demonstrates that it is more likely than not the alleged conduct or policy violation has occurred.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, the University reserves the right to take any and all interim steps it deems necessary to protect the Complainant, witnesses, or the Respondent.

Examples of these interim measures may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Issuing “no contact” directives;
  • Issuing temporary “PNG” or “no trespassing” directives;
  • Temporarily suspending a student’s enrollment; and
  • Obtaining restraining or similar protective orders through appropriate law enforcement and conduct mechanisms.

The Title IX Administrator or deputy will schedule an intake meeting with the Complainant in order to provide the Complainant a general understanding of the policy, and to identify forms of support available and appropriate for the Complainant. The Title IX Administrator or Deputy will also seek to determine whether the Complainant wishes to pursue adjudication through the University’s Standards of Conduct.

Title IX Administrator or Deputy will schedule an intake meeting with the Respondent following the meeting with the Complainant in order to provide the Respondent a general understanding of the policy, and identify forms of support available to the Respondent. Following these initial meetings with the Complainant and Respondent, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy may conduct additional investigation by meeting with other individuals involved and witnesses or assign an investigator(s) to conduct an investigation.

If the Complainant does not wish to pursue the formal conduct process or requests confidentiality, Title IX nevertheless requires the University to investigate and take reasonable and appropriate action in response to the complaint.

When confidentiality is requested or the Complainant does not wish to pursue adjudication, the University’s ability to respond and resolve the matter of concern may be more limited. Further, Title IX requires the University to consider the Complainant’s request for confidentiality in the context of its commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for all community members. Although full confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, the Title IX Administrator will advise the Complainant regarding the degree of confidentiality that may be possible, and the measures that will be taken to try to ensure this confidentiality.

A Complainant who wishes to file a complaint with the Title IX Administrator, but who does not wish to pursue Formal Conduct, may request a less formal proceeding known as “Informal Conduct,” as described below. Although informal, this is an official conduct process; it is not mediation.

  • Purpose and Timing: Informal Conduct provides an opportunity for the Complainant to provide the Title IX Administrator or Deputy with information about the subject incident, the impact of the incident, his/her wishes and expectations regarding future interactions with theRespondent, and needed support and protective measures. If approved by the complainant, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy will communicate this information to the Respondent and allow the Respondent an opportunity to respond. The Informal Conduct Process is expected to be completed in a reasonably brief period of time of the date the complaint is received by the Title IX Administrator or Deputy. If additional time is needed for this informal process, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy will communicate this to the Complainant and Respondent in writing, citing the reasons for the additional time and providing an estimated date of completion.
  • Outcome of Informal Conduct: Informal Conduct cannot result in a formal sanction involving suspension or expulsion of the Respondent. Informal Conduct resolution may, however, result in the imposition by the Office of Student Affairs protective measures and other appropriate actions based on the information derived from the proceedings, and any other relevant information known to the School at the time of the Informal Adjudication.
  • Election of Formal Conduct Process: The University, the Complainant, or the Respondent may, at any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Conduct Process, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Conduct instead.

The Formal Conduct Process is utilized when a Complainant wishes to file a formal complaint with the University regarding the conduct of a student. The Formal Adjudication process, including the issuance of a written decision, should normally be completed within 60 calendar days of the Title IX Administrator or Deputies receipt of the formal complaint. If additional time is needed for this process, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy will communicate this to the Complainant and Respondent in writing, citing the reasons for the additional time and providing an estimated date of completion.

  1. Investigation and Conduct Meeting: If the Complainant notifies the University that he/she wishes to pursue Formal Adjudication during the Intake meeting, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy will conduct an investigation to determine if the complaints have merit. If the complaints have merit, the Title IX Administrator will assign the case to an investigator.
    1. The assigned investigator(s) will conduct a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation. This investigation will include interviews with the Complainant, Respondent and any identified witnesses. The investigators will also examine any evidence that might be available during the investigation. The Title IX Administrator or Deputy will notify the Respondent in writing that an official investigation will take place. The notification will provide the Respondent with the charge(s) against him/her. Notice will also be given to the Complainant.
      1. When appropriate, the Respondent, whether living on or off campus, may be temporarily suspended by the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designated member of the administrative staff, pending disposition of the case by the Title IX Administrator or Deputy.
      2. With the approval of the Title IX Administrator or Deputy, an advisor or support person of his/her choosing may accompany the Respondent and/or the Complainant during any interview or conduct meeting. Such advisor may be an attorney. Since direct interaction with the Respondent and the Complainant involved is essential to this student’s educational relationship with the School, the advisor’s roles is limited to an advising role only. The advisor may not act as a representative of the Respondent or Complainant, speak on the Respondent’s or Complainants behalf, or participate directly in any meeting. Additionally, the advisor may not serve in a dual role in the meeting. For example, the advisor may not also serve as a witness. The Title IX Administrator, Deputy, or investigator holding the meeting may consult with or choose to have the University’s Legal Counsel present at the meeting in a similar advisory capacity.
      3. The Complainant and Respondent may each submit a list of relevant witnesses to the Title IX Administrator, Deputy, or investigator. The investigator, or Title IX Administrator or Deputy will make a determination as to whether a particular witness will be permitted to provide information related to the matter. If permitted, the investigator, Title IX Administrator or Deputy will arrange for witnesses to meet with them independently.
      4. Adjudication meetings associated with a complaint of sexual harassment are considered private, educational interactions between the Respondent and the University. All meetings are considered closed to anyone not directly involved in the proceedings. Admission of any other persons to the meeting shall be at the sole discretion of the conduct meeting educator.
      5. Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration. The Respondent will be allowed to review and respond to any such records the conduct meeting educator (s) considers as the basis for the complaints.
      6. The Respondent will be afforded the opportunity to present his/her own version of the incident or events by personal statement, as well as through written statements of witnesses to the incident.
      7. At the Conduct Educators sole discretion, any interview, conduct meeting or hearing may be recorded. This recording is the property of the University. If such a recording exists and the Respondent or Complainant wishes to obtain a copy of the recording, a request must be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Once such request has been received, the Vice President of Student Affairs will follow the applicable provisions of the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. §§ 24-72-200.1, et seq., to respond to the request.
      8. If information presented in the investigation or any conduct meeting creates the need for clarification or additional investigation, or to accommodate scheduling conflicts with witnesses, the investigator, Title IX Administrator or Deputy may schedule additional meetings and/or continue the meeting at a later time and date.
      9. If the investigation involves more than one student offender or multiple Respondents, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy may permit the meeting concerning each student to be conducted either jointly or separately.
      10. The Title IX Administrator or Deputy may make special accommodations to address concerns regarding the personal safety, well-being, or fears of confrontation or retaliation on the part of the Respondent(s), Complainant(s), and/or other witnesses during any meetings.
      11. Formal rules of process, procedure, or information as established and applied in the civil or criminal justice system do not apply to the Conduct Meeting.
      12. If the Respondent does not appear for any scheduled Conduct Meeting, a decision may be reached taking into consideration the totality of the information related to the complaints available at the time of the meeting.
      13. Unless otherwise directed in this policy and procedure, all materials and documents prepared or compiled by the investigator, Title IX Administrator or Deputy during the course of investigation and conduct process of a sexual harassment complaint hereunder shall be kept confidential to the fullest extent of the law in order to protect participants and promote candor.
      14. After meeting with the Respondent, Complainant, witnesses and having thoroughly looked at the evidence available, considered all pertinent information, the investigator, will issue a written finding of the facts to the Title IX Administrator or Deputy. The Title IX Administrator or Deputy will determine if the case should be heard by a Conduct Panel. If a recommendation for a conduct panel is determined, the Title IX Administrator or Deputy will assign trained members to the Conduct Panel and set a date for the Panel to hear the case. The Conduct Panel will deliberate the investigation and make a determination of responsible or not responsible. If a determination of responsible is mad, the hearing panel will then deliberate on the appropriate sanction(s). Findings, including conduct sanctions, if any, for the Respondent, will be provided concurrently to the Respondent and Complainant. If additional time is needed, the investigator, Title IX Administrator or Deputy will notify the Respondent and Complainant in writing, citing the reasons for the additional time and providing an estimated date of completion.
      15. Both the Respondent and the Complainant have the right to appeal the Conduct Panels decision. All requests for an appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Student Affairs within three (3) class days of the date of the hearing, Title IX Administrator or Deputy’s written decision. The Student Appeal Process will govern any appeals (SECTION FIVE. III).

Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment

In October 2020, the Western Colorado University Board of Trustees issued an updated policy regarding sexual harassment. Expand the drop down menu below to read the policy updates:

Section 3.5 Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment

I. Sexual Harassment is Prohibited

The Board of Trustees and Western Colorado University (“WCU” or the “University) intend to maintain a campus community free from all forms of sexual harassment, which includes hostile environment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined below. It is the University’s policy that all forms of sexual harassment are prohibited and will not be tolerated. This policy is promulgated pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-88 et.seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. part 106; Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000c).

  1. Addressing Sexual Harassment: The University will take all necessary measures to deter sexual harassment, including but not limited to preventive educational programs, prompt and thorough investigation of sexual harassment complaints and the imposition of appropriate disciplinary sanctions against policy violators.
  2. Training and Education: The University shall continue to provide training and education programs to promote awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault/violence. These may include, but are not limited to, required online education programs for students and employees, dissemination of educational materials to incoming students and new employees, and periodic training programs for students and staff.
  3. Retaliation: Retaliation means intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its implementing regulation, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy. Such retaliation shall be dealt with as a separate instance of sexual harassment.

II. Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all students and employees, regardless of their sex. This policy also applies to all third parties who have access to or use of any University facilities and/or grounds for any reason.
This policy applies to the University’s educational program or activity within the United States, including University–sponsored programs and events, whether on or off campus. This may include, but is not limited to, field trips, conferences, camps, classroom activities, residence halls and all academic and student facilities and events.
Incidents that fall outside the scope of this policy and Title IX will be addressed utilizing the Western Student Handbook Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and subsequent conduct procedures.

III. Reporting Sexual Harassment

The University encourages victims of sexual harassment to talk to somebody about what happened – so that victims can get the support they need and the University can respond appropriately, including coordinating supportive measures. This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them so that they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual harassment.

  • University Reporting: The University can only respond to allegations of sexual harassment or violence if they are reported. Reporting enables the University to promptly provide support to the impacted students, employees or third parties, and to take appropriate action to prevent a recurrence and protect the campus community. Any student, employee, or third party who believes they may be the victim of sexual harassment or violence is encouraged to report to the University through one or more of the following resources:
    • Title IX Coordinator:Shelby Schuppe
      Taylor Hall 301
      970.943.2616
      tixadministrator@western.edu
    • Responsible Employees
      Certain employees are required to report the details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and the alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX Coordinator. A report to these employees (called “Responsible Employees”) constitutes a report to the University – and generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.A “Responsible Employee” is a University employee who has the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University. The following categories of employees are the University’s Responsible Employees: Faculty, Academic Affairs Administrators, Student Affairs Administrators, and certain Residence Life Staff including the Director and Assistant Director of Residence Life and Resident Advisors, Coaches, supervisors, the Director of Human Resources, the President and Vice Presidents of the University. These Responsible Employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the Complainant and the alleged Respondent) to the Title IX Coordinator. A report to these Responsible Employees constitutes a report to the University – and generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.
    • On Campus Confidential Reporting of Sexual Harassment
      If the Complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation consistent with its obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. If a Complainant insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University will inform the Complainant that its ability to respond may be limited.
  • On-Campus Confidential Resources
    Should a Complainant wish to speak with an individual in confidence, they are encouraged to speak with the University’s Counseling Center. Prior to making a report, the individual is encouraged to speak with a counselor about their reporting obligations. Counselors generally will only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these individuals will not trigger a University investigation into an incident against the victim’s wishes.Individuals may report confidentially to the following campus resources that provide support and guidance:

    • Campus Counseling Center
      Tomichi Hall 104
      970.943.2484After Hours: 970.252.6220
    • Campus Health Clinic
      Tomichi Hall 104
      970.943.2707
  • Gunnison Community Confidential Resources:
    • Center for Mental Health
      710 N. Taylor Street
      970.641.0229
    • Gunnison Valley Hospital
      711 N. Taylor Stree
      970.641.1456
    • Project Hope of the Gunnison Valley
      24/7 Helpline: 970.275.1193
      Office: 970.641.2712
      www.hope4gv.org
  • Non-Confidential Reporting
    • Gunnison Police Department
      Emergency 911
      970.641.8299
    • Gunnison Victim Advocate
      970.641.8200

IV. Amnesty for Alcohol, Drug & Other Conduct Associated with Sexual Harassment

In those cases where individuals have been involved in incidents of sexual harassment while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the University will not pursue disciplinary actions against those involved (or against a witness) for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g. underage drinking). Amnesty is intended to support the practice of individuals reporting incidents of prohibited discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and other violations of this policy, and to protect an individual’s safety. Individuals experiencing or witnessing violations of this policy while themselves violating another University policy (for example, the University policy concerning alcohol and other drug use), are encouraged to report the violations of this policy that they experienced or witnessed.

V. Definitions

  • A. Sexual Harassment
    • An employee of Western conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
    • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to Western’s education program or activity; or
    • Sexual assault as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), dating violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(1), domestic violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(8), or stalking as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
  • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual assault means:
  • Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without consent of the victim.
  • Fondling, which is the touching of the private body part of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity;
  • Incest, which is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; OR
  • Statutory Rape, which is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
  • Dating violence means violence committed by a person –
    • Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
    • Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Colorado, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
  • Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to
    • Fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
    • Suffer substantial emotional distress.
  • B. Consent: Affirmative, knowing, and voluntary words or actions that create a mutually understandable and clear agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that they have affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Silence, lack of protest, or resistance, by themselves cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, by itself cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent is not effectively given if force, threats, intimidation or coercion were involved, or if a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs or alcohol, or due to intellectual or other disability.
  • C. Incapacitation: With incapacitation, an individual lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments and cannot consent to sexual activity. Incapacitation is defined as the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is occurring.Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs that a person may be approaching incapacitation may include slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, odor of alcohol, combativeness, or emotional volatility.
  • D. Complainant: Complainant is a person who has been subjected to the alleged sexual harassment or related retaliation. For purposes of this policy, a Complainant can be a University employee, student, authorized volunteer, contractor, guest, or visitor.
  • E. Respondent: A Respondent is a person whose alleged sexual harassment is the subject of a complaint. For purposes of this policy, a Respondent can be a University employee, student, authorized volunteer, contractor, guest, or visitor.
  • F. Preponderance of Evidence: The standard of proof is the amount of evidence needed to establish a violation of policy has occurred. The Sexual Harassment policy uses a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which means that the evidence demonstrates that it is more likely than not the alleged conduct or policy violation has occurred. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence.Clery Act ObligationsWestern Colorado University participates in federal student financial aid programs and is subject to the requirements of the Clery Act. The Clery Act requires institutions of higher education to provide current and prospective students, employees, the public and the Department of Education with crime statistics and information about campus crime prevention programs and policies annually. (See the Annual Security Policies Report on Western’s Security Services web page.)

Sexual Misconduct Complaint, Investigation and Resolution Procedure for Complaints Involving Employees or Third Parties

This procedure is promulgated under the Western Colorado University Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct and is intended as the means for implementing the policy.

1.1     Who May File a Complaint

Any employee, student, or third party not affiliated with Western who is present on campus or who has interactions with students and employees through University-sponsored activities (“Third Party”) who believes he or she has been the recipient of sexually harassing behavior, including retaliation, may file a complaint.  Complaints may be filed against employees, students, or Third Parties.

1.2     Choice of Remedies

Complainants are not permitted to simultaneously file an unlawful discrimination claim under the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy or the State of Colorado Personnel Board Rules, and a sexual misconduct claim under the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and this associated Complaint Procedure against the same individual arising out of an identical set of facts.

1.3     Promptness in Filing Complaint

A complaint may be filed at any time, but individuals who feel they have been victims of sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to come forward as soon as possible after the occurrence of the incident, event, or other action alleged to constitute sexual misconduct or retaliation.

1.4     Timing

The University will address and resolve sexual misconduct matters promptly and effectively.  It is the University’s intent that the entire process for investigating and resolving complaints be concluded within 60 calendar days following receipt of a formal complaint.  However, the length of time will vary depending on the complexity of the investigation, the severity and extent of the misconduct, the quantity and availability of witnesses, and other factors of significance that may affect the length of the investigation.  If the formal complaint process cannot be completed within 60 calendar days from the receipt of the formal complaint by the University, the Complainant and the Respondent will be informed in writing of the reasons for the delay and provided an estimated date of completion.

1.5     Where to File a Complaint

1.5.1     Complaints about Employee or Third Party Behaviors.

All Complaints alleging sexual misconduct or retaliation committed by employees and/or Third Parties, whether informal or formal, should be submitted to the Deputy Title IX Administrator/Director of Human Resources, Human Resources Office (970.943.3142).

1.5.2     Complaints about Student Misconduct.

All Complaints alleging sexual misconduct or retaliation committed by students against Employees or Third Parties should be submitted to the Title IX Administrator/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of Student Affairs, Taylor Hall 301, (970.943.2616).

1.6     Employee Obligation to Report

Any employee, including any faculty member, who is aware of sexually harassing or retaliatory behavior, must promptly report the sexually harassing behavior or retaliatory action to the Title IX Administrator or to the Deputy Title IX Administrator/Director of Human Resources.

1.7     Types of Complaints

Complaints may be made informally or formally.  Informal complaints may be made orally or in written form; formal complaints must be in writing.

1.8      Confidentiality

1.8.1     Confidential Reporting

a)     On-Campus Confidential Resources

Should a complainant wish to speak with an individual in confidence, they should speak with someone at the University’s Counseling Center. Counselors generally will only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these individuals will not trigger a University investigation into an incident against the victim’s wishes.

Individuals may report confidentially to the following campus resources that provide support and guidance:

Campus Counseling Center
Crystal Hall 104
970.642.4615
After Hours Emergency: 970.252.6220

OR

Campus Health Clinic
Tomichi Hall 104
970.943.2707

b)     Gunnison Community Confidential Resources

Individuals may report confidentially to the following off-campus resources that provide support and guidance:

Center for Mental Health
710 N. Taylor Street
970.641.0229

Project Hope-Victims Support Services
24/7 Helpline: 970.275.1193
www.hope4gv.org

1.9      Local Law Enforcement Reporting

Individuals may report any complaint of sexual assault, violence, stalking or other sexual misconduct to the Police.

Gunnison Police Department
Emergency 911
970.641.8200

1.10    Title IX Administrator

Whenever a complaint is received, the Title IX Administrator will be advised of the complaint and may assist in the investigation or resolution of the complaint.  The University Title IX Administrator may be contacted as follows:

Shelby Schuppe
Title IX and Student Conduct Coordinator
Taylor Hall 301
Gunnison, CO 81231 Telephone: 970.943.2616
email: tixadministrator@western.edu

2.1      Purpose and Timing

Under certain circumstances, an informal sexual misconduct complaint and resolution process may be appropriate, effective and desirable for a variety of reasons.  Further, it may provide a more expedient path to resolution than the formal process entails. The informal resolution efforts will be focused on bringing the Complainant’s concerns to the attention of the Respondent and, if the concerns are valid, obtaining the voluntary cooperation of the parties to address and resolve the matter.

If a complaint is filed informally, the process is expected to be completed in a relatively brief period of time, usually within 10 calendar days of the date the complaint is received by Human Resources. If additional time is needed for the informal process, Human Resources will communicate this to the Complainant and Respondent in writing, citing the reasons for the additional time and providing an estimated date of completion.

2.2     Process

As a general matter, the Human Resources Office will try to resolve informal complaints expeditiously and to the satisfaction of all concerned. If the Complainant desires to informally resolve the complaint, a variety of possible means to resolve the complaint may be used at the discretion of the Human Resources Office. Examples of the method and means used to try and achieve resolution may include, but are not limited to:

  • Negotiating an agreement whereby the Respondent agrees to cease the behavior;
  • Assisting the Respondent to better understand the effects of his or her conduct and ways in which this behavior might be changed;
  • Participation in educational programs about equal opportunity, discrimination and/or harassment;
  • Verbal or written reprimands;
  • Withdrawal of University-conferred privileges;
  • Providing advice to the Complainant regarding how to handle a situation;
  • Working with faculty, department heads or other employees in whom Complainant has trust and with whom the Complainant is comfortable to address the concerns;
  • Providing assistance to supervisory personnel to address the matter with the Respondent; and
  • Engaging an external investigator; or
  • Termination of employment.

The resolution sought depends upon the circumstances of the complaint as well as the wishes of the parties involved. There is no requirement that, once the informal resolution process is started, it must be completed prior to filing a formal complaint. The Complainant or Respondent may choose, at any time before the informal resolution process is completed, to stop the informal resolution process and ask for a formal resolution process to begin.

3.1     Purpose and Timing

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a formal, structured mechanism for the prompt and fair internal resolution of complaints alleging sexual misconduct. The steps outlined below are the exclusive forum for the internal resolution of sexual misconduct complaints regarding the actions of an employee or non-student Third Party at Western. The investigation and issuance of a final decision related to a formal complaint should be completed within 60 calendar days of the University’s receipt of the formal complaint, except in circumstances out of the ordinary.

3.2     Contents of Formal Complaints

A formal complaint must be in writing and contain at least these four elements:

  • A description of the behaviors or actions upon which the complaint is based;
  • Identification of the alleged perpetrator(s) of Sexual Misconduct (Respondent(s));
  • A statement of the Complainant’s desired outcome and resolution; and
  • The signature of the Complainant.

3.3     Immediate Institutional Response

The University reserves the right to take any and all interim steps it deems necessary to protect the Complainant, witnesses, or the Respondent.  Examples of these interim steps may include, but are not limited to:

  • Issuing “no contact” directives;
  • Issuing temporary “no trespassing” directives;
  • Placing an employee on administrative leave with pay; and
  • Obtaining restraining or similar protective orders through appropriate law enforcement and judicial mechanisms.

3.4     Notification of Legal Counsel, Title IX Administrator and Management

Promptly after receipt of the complaint, Human Resources will provide the complaint to the University’s legal counsel, the Western Title IX Administrator, and appropriate University management personnel. For the purpose of this procedure, the University management personnel to be notified typically include the President, the Vice President in whose area the Respondent is employed or enrolled, the Respondent’s supervisor and the next level supervisor, if appropriate.

3.5     Acknowledgment of Complaint and Notification of Respondent

Western will send the Complainant written acknowledgement of the complaint, notify the Respondent of the complaint in writing, and provide the Respondent with a copy of the complaint. The acknowledgement and notification process from the point of accepting the complaint through the issuance of letters to the Complainant and the Respondent will normally not exceed five (5) calendar days. Western will make best efforts to notify the Complainant by phone or email prior to the delivery of the complaint to the Respondent.

3.6     Investigation Authorization Form

Unless the complaint is initiated by the President, the Complainant will be required to execute a Sexual Misconduct Complaint Investigation Authorization Form prior to any investigation of the complaint.

3.7     Investigation of Complaint

3.7.1     Timing

The investigation phase will normally be concluded within 30 calendar days of its initiation.

3.7.2     Process

The complaint will be investigated as discreetly and expeditiously as possible with due regard to thoroughness and fairness to all parties. The investigator(s) will examine relevant documents and interview witnesses, and may interview other individuals with material information who are identified by the parties. The investigator(s) reserve the right to assess the relevance and evaluate the credibility of witnesses to be interviewed who are offered by the Complainant and the Respondent. The University, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to assign any part or all of the investigation to an external investigator in lieu of having the complaint internally investigated.

3.7.3     Confidentiality of Investigative Materials

All materials and documents prepared or compiled by the investigators during the course of investigating a sexual misconduct complaint hereunder will be kept confidential to the fullest extent of the law.

3.8     Report of Investigation Findings

After the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare and submit a joint written report of findings to the President. The report of findings will be provided to the Complainant and Respondent within a reasonable time following the issuance of the University’s decision.

3.9     Decision and Resolution of the Complaint

The President will issue a final written decision regarding the complaint to both the Complainant and the Respondent. The decision will be addressed to the Complainant and will contain a statement of whether or not sexual misconduct was found to have occurred, the remedies to be provided to the Complainant, if any, and the sanctions to be imposed upon the Respondent, if any. The decision, including any sanctions, will also be communicated to the Responded in writing. The completion of the written report of findings and the issuance of the University’s decision will normally be completed within 20 calendar days from the end of the investigation.

*If the President is the Respondent, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees will be the decision-maker.

3.10   Appeal of Final Decision

There shall be no internal appeal of a decision that sexual misconduct has occurred that is issued pursuant to subsection 3.9 above. However, certified classified staff and tenured faculty members who receive corrective or disciplinary action as a result of such a determination under this procedure may avail themselves of appeal processes provided through the State Personnel Rules or the Handbook for Professional Personnel, as appropriate.

The University will provide support to the Complainant, any other victims it identifies during the course of its investigation, and the Western campus community as reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. Such support may take many forms, including, but not limited to the following:

Providing counseling and victim’s support services;

  • Providing medical services;
  • Arranging for the Complainant to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without penalty, including ensuring that any changes do not adversely affect the Complainant’s academic record;
  • Ensuring that the Complainant and the Respondent do not attend the same classes or that the Complainant is not enrolled in a class taught by the Respondent;
  • Providing an escort to the Complainant so that he/she can move safely between classes and activities;
  • Moving the Complainant or Respondent to a different residence hall;
  • Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • Reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the Complainant to see if there is a causal connection between the misconduct and the misconduct that may have resulted in the Complainant being disciplined;
  • Additional campus-wide office or department specific training or access to assistance; and
  • Any other steps the University determines are appropriate given the nature and circumstances of the misconduct.