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Annual Security Policies and Report

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Annual Security Policies and Report (ASR) 2023

To get a hard copy of the following report, contact the Office of Student Affairs in Taylor Hall 301 or at 970.943.2232.

Annual Security Policies and Report (ASR)

The Clery Act and Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) impose three different types of campus safety and security disclosure requirements on institutions of higher learning that participate in federal student financial aid programs. Colleges and universities are required to formulate and disclose policies dealing with a range of law enforcement, safety and security matters. They are also required to maintain and provide access to logs and statistics of crimes reported on campus, or disclosed by local law enforcement agencies, and to maintain logs and statistics concerning fires in on-campus residences. Finally, the Act requires institutions to disseminate statistics pertaining to crimes and fires.

Campus Security Services

Mission Statement

The mission of the Western Colorado University Campus Security Services is to help provide a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.  This is accomplished through a community friendly approach, visibility of security personnel, 24-hour accessibility, roving patrols, and cooperation with all local emergency agencies.

Campus Security Department Jurisdiction

Western’s Campus Security Services is not a law enforcement agency.  The primary jurisdiction of the Western campus lies under the authority of the Gunnison Police Department.  As a public institution, Western is bound to uphold all Federal and State laws.  University security guards do not have arrest powers, law enforcement efforts are performed in conjunction with municipal, county, state and federal agencies as appropriate.

Role of Campus Security Services

  1. Assist the Gunnison Police Department in providing a safe and secure campus environment.
  2. Co-manage the Western Emergency Operations Plan and operationalize when appropriate.
  3. Interpret, provide revision, communicate, and enforce University policies.
  4. Support all departments of the Western campus community.
  5. Support all local law enforcement and emergency management.
  6. Investigate, assess, and respond to campus incident scenes.
  7. Prepare detailed reports and submit work orders after incidents and, when possible, perform minor maintenance repairs and custodial duties.
  8. Provide security for the Western infrastructure.
  9. Provide on-campus safety escorts for students, faculty and staff.

Western uses the 911 system. For all campus emergencies or to report an emergency in relation to a campus crime, immediately call 911. This service is available on a 24-hour basis. Non-emergency crimes may also be reported to the Gunnison Dispatch who will in turn provide contact to the Gunnison Police Department.

Campus Security Services Department Contact Policy

All non-emergency campus crimes, other than low-level cooperative underage alcohol pour-outs, are to be reported to Western’s Campus Security Services.  Contact the Campus Security duty cell phone at 970.209.1020 or call the Campus Security office at 970.943.3084. In the case there is no guard on duty contact the Campus Security emergency cell phone at 970.901.9857.  The Campus Security representative will contact the Gunnison Police Department if needed and document the incident.

Emergency Contacts (970 Area Code)
Agency Office/Cell Phone Number
Gunnison Dispatch




Campus Security Security Office

Security Duty Phone

Security Emergency Cell Number




Campus Facilities Facilities Office

Facilities Duty Cell



Emergency Notification System

Western utilizes the Rave Mobile Safety System as our primary emergency notification system. This system has had tremendous success across the country. All Western students, faculty and staff email addresses are automatically enrolled in the Rave Mobile Safety System and periodic reminder emails are sent out to encourage registration for emergency notification via cell phone texting messages. Western conducts tests of the Rave Mobile Safety System periodically throughout the academic year to ensure the system is working properly.

Please ensure that you check your Western email on a regular basis for any updates or news about the Rave Mobile Safety System.

The Gunnison Regional Alerts Wireless Emergency Notification System is used by Gunnison County for general alerts regarding road closures, road conditions or severe weather and is primarily for commuters, visitors and residents. A text message will be sent to a registered mobile number and/or email outlining the nature of the emergency. County residents can download the mobile app to receive notifications of emergencies based on your GPS location.

We now have a new emergency alert app that works in conjunction with RAVE, WESTERN SAFE https://western.apparmor.com/clients/western.edu/

Western Safe is the official safety app of Western Colorado University.  The app features emergency contacts, crisis alerts, location services, in-app tip reporting, and much more.  Download today from the Apple and Google app stores.

Emergency Operations Plan, Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Western maintains a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), to view the Public EOP go here.  It is the responsibility of the Dean of Students and the Director of Campus Security Services to develop, implement and maintain the plan. The Emergency Operations Group (EOG) reviews the effectiveness of the plan and makes revisions on an annual basis.

Western utilizes the National Incident Command System (ICS) developed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for all critical incidents on campus. The University partners with the Gunnison Emergency Operations Center, the Gunnison Police Department, the Gunnison Sherriff Department, the Gunnison Fire Department, and other local agencies to seamlessly integrate into the National ICS.  It is in this way that Western addresses the three aspects of emergency planning:

  1. Mitigation-The education, training and resources needed before an emergency occurs.
  2. Response-The resources and personnel needed to respond to an ongoing emergency.
  3. Recovery-The steps taken to get the University and its community back to the healthiest mode of operation possible after the emergency.

The Western administration will immediately notify the campus community in the event and confirmation of an emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus community.  Primary notification will be through the Rave Mobile Safety System.  Information will also be posted on the University website. The decision to notify the community will be based on a case-by-case basis. The initial recommendation will be made by campus security and/or law enforcement personnel at the scene and they will request notification of the campus community based on their professional judgment. This recommendation can be made to any senior administrator, but is typically made to the President or the Dean of Students.

Emergency notifications would be made jointly by the Incident Commander and the University representative present at the Incident Command Center (ICC).  The President and Cabinet have ultimate responsibility for policy decision making and would have primary responsibility in any recovery and continuity of operations in the event of a campus emergency.

The persons responsible for sending the official notification to the campus community may include, but is not limited to the: President, Provost, Dean of Students, Vice President or Marketing and Enrollment, or Director of Campus Security Services. In the event of an incident, which would require the larger community to be notified, the Gunnison County Emergency Management Department will be notified, for posting on regional emergency notification systems and information will posted on the University website as well as communication through local/regional media channels.

Campus Security and designated persons will test the emergency notification system and provide ongoing training/outreach for emergency response and evacuation procedures on a regular semester/annual basis and document the information concerning a description of the exercise, (i.e., date, time and if announced or not announced). This documentation will be kept the Office of Campus Security Services.

The CARE Team is an administrative decision-making group that was formed to help prevent and respond to critical behavioral incidents that may occur at Western. Critical behavioral incidents are generally defined as, but not limited to, those campus situations that may involve a mental health emergency, a mental health crisis, or disruptive behavior that may threaten life, health, safety or property, or those which impact the University community.  The CARE Team’s purpose is to assist with decision-making, communication flow and operational response capability in dealing with crisis/emergency situations or incidents.  The team meets bi-monthly or as needed in an emergency situation throughout the academic year. For more information, please go here.

The Behavioral Intervention Threat Assessment Team (BITA) is a multidisciplinary, cross-functional team composed of members of the CARE Team that meets regularly and receives reports of concerning or disruptive behaviors and threats of violence. As a centralized point of contact and repository of information, the BITA Team is also able to track trends and detect patterns over time as well as coordinate and implement intentional and strategic interventions to help keep the University community safe and connect distressed students, faculty and staff to support services.

Mental Health Emergency

A mental health emergency is a life threatening situation in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function, or is otherwise distraught and out of control.

Mental Health Crisis

A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual is exhibiting extreme emotional disturbance or behavioral distress, considering harm to self or others, disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a compromised ability to function, or is otherwise agitated and unable to be calmed.

Disruptive Behavior

Disruptive behavior interferes with the instructional, administrative, and/or service functions of the University.

When to Make a Report

If someone you know is:

  • experiencing a decline in work or academic performance?
  • demonstrating disruptive or disturbing behavior?
  • showing dramatic changes in appearance, behavior or weight?
  • having problems at home, with classes or work?
  • making disturbing comments in conversation, email, letters, social media postings or papers?
  • sad, anxious or experiencing dramatic mood shifts?
  • abusing alcohol or drugs?
  • isolating themselves socially?
  • acting paranoid or suspicious?
  • frequently angry or easily frustrated?
  • struggling with health problems?

These behaviors, especially when more than one are present, may be signs that a student, faculty member or staff member is in distress. There are many resources available at Western to help. Your confidential report to Western’s CARE Team can make a difference.  As a Western community member, you have the ability to report your concern for any community member to the CARE Team. The CARE Reporting Form can be accessed here.

The Care Team includes:

  • Dean of Students
  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Residence Life
  • Registration & Advising Services
  • Campus Security Services
  • Human Resources
  • Student Health and Wellness
  • University Counseling Center
  • University Medical Clinic
  • Chief of Police (or designee), Gunnison Police Department (as needed)

The mission of Community Standards is to provide proactive programming and educational interventions in an effort to foster the development of personal and community responsibility. The goals include:

  • To provide educational programs and interventions directed at encouraging responsible, community-minded behavior.
  • To establish and enforce reasonable and clear limits designed to protect the campus community and the rights of its members.
  • To develop and support a positive living and learning environment.
  • To educate students regarding responsibility and accountability for their actions.
  • To encourage and foster self-insight and self-initiated change of behavior.
  • To protect the rights of individuals accused of violating University rules and policies.
  • To provide a fair, supportive, and timely hearing process to address instances of alleged violations of University rules and policies.
  • To offer learning experiences for students, staff, and faculty who participate in the on-going direction and implementation of the student conduct process.

Questions about the Title IX can be directed to:

Patty Hartshorn, M.S. – Interim Director of Restorative Justice and Title IX Coordinator

Questions about the Student Conduct and Community Standards can be directed to:

McKenzie Mathewson, M.S. Associate Director of Community Wellness.

Western believes that a student’s behavior in the larger community may be grounds for misconduct action, provided that the behavior could have serious adverse impact on the University community. The University believes that all students are responsible for obeying federal, state, and municipal laws; violation of these laws can lead to misconduct action by the University. Therefore, the University has established procedures with the Gunnison Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies for notification of criminal activity that happens in the surrounding community by individuals known to be Western students.

For information on Western’s Title IX Policy, go here.

For information on Western’s Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy, go to Section 5: Title IX and Sexual Misconduct–Procedures, p.65, of Western’s Student Handbook.

 Sexual Misconduct Prohibition

The official policy prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Section 3.5 of the Board of Trustees Policy Manual can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources. The below policy encompasses University obligations under the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) as detailed in the Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct which falls outside the scope of Title IX but within the jurisdiction of this policy and the definitions listed below.

Sexual Misconduct is prohibited at Western Colorado University. It is Western’s policy that all forms of Sexual Misconduct, as defined below, are prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all students and employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This policy also applies to all third parties who have access to or use of any Western facilities and/or grounds for any reason.

This policy also applies to University-sponsored programs and events, whether on or off campus. This includes, but is not limited to international travel, field trips, conferences, campus, classroom activities, residence halls and all academic and student facilities and events.


The following definitions apply to the conduct procedure and encompass both the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment.

  1. Complainant – An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment
  2. Formal Complaint – A document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that Western investigate the allegation of sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment
  • Responsible Employee – An employee who has the obligation to report alleged sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment and alleged retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator
  1. Party – Complainant or Respondent
  2. Respondent – An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct
  3. Retaliation – Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition policy and 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 misconduct.
  • Sexual Misconduct:
    1. Sexual Harassment as defined in the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Section 3.5 of the Board of Trustees Policy Manual, whether or not the misconduct falls within the scope of that policy;
    2. Conduct committed by a student that, if committed by an employee, would constitute Quid Pro Quo under the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Section 3.5 of the Board of Trustees Policy Manual, whether or not the misconduct falls within the scope of that police;
    3. Conduct that is severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive,
    4. Sexual Exploitation, defined as actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power differential, or trust, for sexual purposes, including but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another
  • Quid Pro Quo – When there are:
    1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action; or
    3. Affects the terms or conditions of education or employment or activities with the University.
  1. Sexual Assault and/or Violence – Refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual assault, including, without limitation, rape, statutory rape, sexual violence, domestic violence, incest, sexual batter and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual assault are forms of sexual misconduct covered under the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy including, without limitation:
    1. Non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual touching, groping and fondling
    2. Non-consensual sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, and/or oral penetration by a body part of by an object.
  1. 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.
  2. Dating Violence – Violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the Complainant. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type and frequency of interaction.
  • Stalking – Course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking may take the form of, but is not limited to, harassing telephone calls, electronic communications, and/or letter-writing.
  • 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.
  • Days – For the purposes of this policy, days refers to Calendar Days meaning every day of the week regardless of weekends and holidays.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Western encourages victims of Sexual Misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened – so that victims can get the support they need and the University can respond appropriately. 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 misconduct.

  1. University Reporting

Western can only respond to allegations of sexual harassment or violence if they are reported. Reporting enables Western to promptly provide support to the impacted students, employees or third parties, and to take appropriate action against the responding party 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 Western through one or more of the following resources:

Interim Director of Restorative Justice and Title IX Coordinator
Patty Hartshorn, M.S.
Taylor Hall 301
  1. 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 constitutes a report to Western and generally obligates Western to follow-up on the report to provide support and assistance while taking appropriate steps to address the situation.

A Responsible Employee is a University employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence and the duty to report. The following categories of employees are the University’s mandatory reporters:

  1. Faculty
  2. Academic Affairs Administrators
  3. Student Affairs Administrators
  4. Residence Life Staff including the Director, Associate and Assistant Directors, Resident Directors and Resident Assistants
  5. Coaches
  6. Supervisors
  7. Director of Human Resources
  8. President and Vice President of the University

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Report Form

Use this form if a Western student or employee was involved in a situation you think someone needs to know about regarding sexual harassment/misconduct. Anyone can file a report, including community members. Do not use this form to report events presenting an immediate threat to life or property. If you require emergency assistance, please contact 911 or 970.641.8200.

  • Confidential Reporting

Should a Complainant wish to speak with an individual in confidence, they should speak with someone at the University’s Counseling Center or Medical Center. Health care providers generally will only report to Western that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Involved parties are encouraged to speak with their provider about confidentiality and reporting obligations.

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

On-Campus Resources:

University Counseling Center
Crystal Hall 104

Campus Medical Center
Tomichi Hall 104

TimelyCare – telehealth support for Mountaineers

Download the TimelyCare app and register via your school email address or

Visit https://app.timelycare.com/auth/login

Log in by using your Western credentials

Off-Campus Resources:

Project Hope of the Gunnison Valley
24-Hour Helpline: 970.275.1193

Gunnison Valley Health
711 North Taylor Street

Axis Health
710 North Taylor Street

Non-Confidential Reporting

Gunnison Police Department
910 W. Bidwell Ave
Emergency 911

Gunnison Police Department Victim Advocate

Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to report to the Gunnison Valley Hospital Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner to have evidence collected and stored for future legal system actions if the victim wishes to pursue that option.

Amnesty Policy

In those cases where individuals have been involved in incidents of sexual misconduct while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Western 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 misconduct, 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 Western policy are encouraged to report the violations of this policy that they experienced or witnessed.

Clery Act Obligations Western 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.

Students who violate Western’s Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, section 3.5, will be subject to the conduct procedures detailed below. Alleged violations that fall outside the Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment but happen concurrently with violations of those stated policies shall be pursued together through the Sexual Misconduct Procedure.

Reporting of Alleged Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment

At any time, any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct and sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of sex discrimination), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail to the Title IX Coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving a verbal or written report.

Submit a report here.

Any Responsible Employee who receives a report of alleged sexual misconduct/sexual harassment must promptly report the alleged sexual misconduct/sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.

Upon receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator will:

  1. Inform the Complainant of the method for filing a Formal Complaint.
  2. Inform the Complainant of the availability of Supportive Measures with or without filing a formal complaint.
  3. Offer Supportive Measures to the Complainant, the Respondent, or both as detailed below.

Supportive Measures

The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that Supportive Measures are offered to the Complainant and/or Respondent as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent. Supportive Measures may be offered before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint, or where no Formal Complaint has been filed.

The purpose of Supportive Measures is to restore or preserve equal access to Western’s education programs or activities without unreasonably burdening the other Party. Supportive Measures include measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Western’s educational environment, as well as measures designed to deter sexual misconduct/sexual harassment.

Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Counseling
  2. Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
  3. Modifications of work or class schedules
  4. Campus escort services
  5. Mutual restrictions on contact between the Parties
  6. Changes in work or housing locations
  7. Leaves of absence
  8. Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus
  9. Other similar measures

Supportive Measures do not include disciplinary sanctions. The Formal Resolution Process must be completed before disciplinary sanctions may be imposed on a Respondent.

Western may issue an interim suspension or a PNG from campus on an emergency basis if the Title IX Coordinator in collaboration with the Behavioral Intervention Team:

  1. Undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis;
  2. Determines that an immediate threat to physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual misconduct/sexual harassment justifies removal; and
  3. Provides the Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the suspension or PNG.

Western may place a non-student employee Respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the Formal Resolution Process set forth below.

Western will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of Western to provide Supportive Measures.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.

Fair and Equitable Process

Western will insure a fair and equitable process for both Parties in a Sexual Misconduct investigation. If at any point either Party feels the process is no longer fair or equitable, that Party is encouraged to reach out to the Title IX Coordinator immediately to remedy those concerns.

Western will ensure a fair and equitable process through the following steps:

  1. No individual designated as a Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, Decision-Maker, Appeal Decision-Maker, or person designated to facilitate an informal resolution process may have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or an individual Complainant or Respondent.
  2. Western will not make credibility determinations based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
  • A Respondent is presumed not responsible for alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the Formal Resolution Process.
  1. Throughout the processes described herein, Western will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
  2. The processes described herein are subject to the State of Colorado suggested timeframes of 60-90 days to complete an investigation of a case. These timeframes may be extended for good cause upon written notice to the Parties setting forth reason for such extension. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a Party, a Party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.

Formal Complaint

A Formal Complaint may be filed by a Complainant or by the Title IX Coordinator.

A Formal Complaint may be brought to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator by contacting:

Interim Director of Restorative Justice and Title IX Coordinator

Patty Hartshorn, M.S.
Taylor Hall 301

Western will investigate the allegations in a Formal Complaint.

Written Notice

Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will issue written notice of allegations to the Respondent and Complainant, if known. Written notice will be provided to each Party within five (5) days of receiving the Formal Complaint. The notice of allegations will include:

  1. Notice of this policy and the processes within this policy, including the Informal Resolution Process described below;
  2. The identities of the Parties involved, if known;
  3. The conduct allegedly constituting sexual misconduct/sexual harassment;
  4. The date and location of the incident, if known;
  5. A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct;
  6. A statement that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of a Formal Resolution Process;
  7. A statement that Parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
  8. A statement that Parties may inspect and review evidence;
  9. A statement that retaliation is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

If, during an investigation, Western decides to investigate additional allegations about the Complainant or Respondent relating to the same facts or circumstances but not include in the earlier written notice, Western will provide notice of the additional allegations to the Parties whose identities are known.


The Title IX Coordinator will dismiss a Formal Complaint from a Title IX investigation, but may pursue the allegations under the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy, if:

  1. The conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint would not constitute Sexual Harassment under Title IX regulations described in the Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment; or
  2. The conduct alleged in the Formal Complaint did not occur within the jurisdiction/applicability of the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment.

While part of a Formal Complaint may be dismissed under Title IX Regulation, student safety is a priority and sexual misconduct which falls outside the Title IX definition of sexual harassment may be addressed through the processes identified below.

Informal Resolution Process

A complainant who wishes to file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, but who does not wish to pursue a Formal Conduct process may request a less formal proceeding know as an Informal Resolution Process. Although informal, this is an official conduct process. The Informal Resolution Process could include, but is not limited to, restorative justice, mediation, dialogue facilitation, and/or any process that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication.

In order to pursue an Informal Resolution Process, the Complainant must choose to utilize this process and the Respondent must agree to engage in the Informal Resolution Process.

A.    Availability of Informal Resolution Process

The Informal Resolution Process will not be available to parties who do not agree to pursue such a process.


The Title IX Coordinator may offer the Informal Resolution Process to the parties with the following conditions:

  1. The Informal Resolution Process is only available after a Formal Complaint is filed and only if all Parties voluntarily consent, in writing, to the Informal Resolution Process.
  2. Any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any Party has the right to withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process and resume the Formal Process described below.
  3. The Informal Resolution Process may be implemented any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility if the above conditions are met.

B.     Notice of Availability of Informal Resolution Process

If the Informal Resolution Process is available, the Title IX Coordinator will issue written notice to the parties disclosing:

  1. The allegations;
  2. The requirements of the informal resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the Parties from resuming a Formal Complaint arising from the same allegations;
  3. Any consequences resulting from participating in the Informal Resolution Process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared;
  4. That either Party may withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process and resume the formal grievance process prior to agreeing to a resolution.

C.     Timeframe

Western will make a good faith effort to complete the Informal Resolution Process within an average of sixty to ninety days, without jeopardizing the rights of a Party. After the parties have agreed to a resolution that is accepted by the Title IX Coordinator, neither Party may appeal the resolution.

Formal Resolution Process

A Complainant or Title IX Coordinator may choose to pursue a Formal Resolution Process if an Informal Resolution Process is deemed inappropriate for the specific case details or the level of the violation warrants a formal intervention.

      i.         Consolidation

The Title IX Coordinator may consolidate Formal Complaints as to allegations of sexual misconduct/sexual harassment where the allegations of sexual misconduct/sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

     ii.         Advisor

Each party has the right to have an advisor of their choice but Parties are not required to have an advisor. The advisor may be, but need not be, an attorney. The advisor may be present at any proceedings that are part of the formal resolution process. If a Party wishes to have an advisor present at a proceeding, Western will work within reason to schedule the proceeding so the advisor may attend without unreasonably delaying the progress of the formal resolution process.

Except as described below in the section on “Hearing”, a Party’s advisor may not speak on behalf of the Party and will be expected to follow Western’s Rules of Decorum for the Hearing.

    iii.         Investigation

  1. Western will investigate the allegations in a Formal Complaint.
  2. Western, and not the Complainant or the Respondent, has the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination
  • Western cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a Party’s records that are made or maintained by a health care professional acting in his or her professional capacity, and which are made or maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the Party, unless Western obtains that Party’s voluntary written consent to do so for the resolution process.
  1. Investigative Process:
    1. During the investigation, each Party has an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to the investigator.
    2. The investigator will provide written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the investigative interview or other meeting to any Party whose participation is invited or expected.
    3. Prior to conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will send to each Party and to each Party’s advisor, if any, all evidence obtained as party of the investigation, whether or not Western intends to rely on such evidence in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint.
    4. Each Party may submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to conclusion of the investigation and completion of the investigative report.
    5. The written response, if any, must be submitted to the investigator by the deadline designated by the investigator, which will be at least ten days after the investigator send the evidence to the Party.
    6. The investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.
    7. The investigator must conduct an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
    8. At least ten days prior to the scheduled hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will send to each Party and to each Party’s advisor, if any, the investigative report.
    9. Each Party may submit a written response, which the Title IX Coordinator will submit to the Decision-Maker for consideration at the hearing.
    10. The written response, if any, must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator by the deadline designated by the Title IX Coordinator.

    iv.         Hearing

After the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the case to a panel of up to three faculty and staff members from around campus, herein referred to as the Decision-Maker. The Decision-Maker will conduct a live, virtual hearing.

  1. Prior to the hearing, the Decision-Maker will review the investigative report and the written responses provided by the Parties, if any.
  2. The hearing will occur live and virtual via Zoom to allow participants to simultaneously see and hear the Party or witness answering questions.
  • Hearings will be recorded. Audio recordings and/or transcripts will be available to the Parties for inspection and review.
  1. Standard of Evidence
    1. The determination of responsibility will be made by the Decision-Maker using the preponderance of the evidence standard.
    2. The preponderance of the evidence is defined as 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.
  2. Relevant Evidence

In making a determination of responsibility or sanctions, the Decision-Maker may only consider relevant evidence. Relevant evidence is evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determinations to be made more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence. The Decision-Maker will not consider:

  1. Evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, except when offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant or evidence concerning specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent when offered to prove consent.
  2. Information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

The Decision-Maker must conduct an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. Credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.

  1. Witness Examination

The Decision-Maker will allow each Party’s advisor to examine witnesses. Cross examination may not be conducted by either Party. Cross examination may only be conducted by an advisor acting on a Party’s behalf.

  1. Western will provide an advisor to support each Party through the hearing and cross examination, free of charge, for the limited purpose of conducting cross examination.
  2. Only relevant cross-examination questions may be asked of a Party or witness. Before a Party or witness answers a question, the Decision-Maker will determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.


Remedies/sanctions are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Western’s education programs or activities. Remedies/sanctions may be disciplinary or punitive and need to avoid burdening the Respondent. The Decision-Maker is responsible for identifying and recommending appropriate sanctions. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for accepting the remedies/sanctions recommendations and the effective implementation of remedies/sanctions.

The Decision-Maker will base the recommended remedies/sanctions on Western’s core values of student development and education. If a Respondent is found responsible for sexual misconduct/sexual harassment under this procedure, potential sanctions include:

  1. Educational/Service Projects – Students found responsible for misconduct must perform educational programs for Residence Halls, sports teams, classes, etc. and/or campus or community service projects aimed at establishing an understanding of the harm caused to the community.
  2. Conduct Fines – Students may be assessed fines for incidents involving damage to property or communal spaces. Relevant fines may be assessed to groups of students as well in cases which warrant generally assigned responsibility. An example of such would be charging an entire floor for vandalism committed by an unidentified person. Fines collected for conduct violations are used by the Office of Student Affairs to provide ongoing prevention education, wellness, and training opportunities.
  3. Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) – SBIRT is an evidence based approach to screening for substance abuse. When risky substance use is identified, students receive a brief intervention —a conversation designed to move an individual to change and reduce substance use. SBIRT is a typical sanction for substance violations. There may be a fee associated with this sanction to provide the assessment and follow up materials and will be the student’s responsibility to cover.
  4. Substance Abuse Treatment Recommendations and Referrals – Conduct Administrators may recommend substance abuse treatment, classes and awareness programs to students who are found responsible for substance use violations. There may be a fee associated with this sanction and will be the student’s responsibility to cover.
  5. Parental Notification – In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Western Colorado University utilizes and encourages a partnership with parents whose students experience difficulties related to substance use. Notifications may be made by written letter or telephone conversation. Students are encouraged to notify parents prior to or in conjunction with the Conduct Administrators’ notification.

Strengths Probation – Western administers evidence based Strengths processes in a variety of ways and situations. Strengths use in conduct is used two fold. First to assist students in discovering and using their identified strengths towards personal growth and identifying conduct that may interfere with the students future goals. Secondly strengths discussion groups are used with a group of student to encourage social growth, civil discourse, citizenship and future planning as a student. A conduct violation during  the Strengths Probation will result in being placed in a Tier 3 violation level and a mandatory fine equivalent to the highest possible fine for the violation. There is a mandatory $10.00 administration fee associated with this sanction and will be the student’s responsibility to cover.

  • Restitution – The Conduct Administrators may assign restitution as a condition for continued good standing. Such action is appropriate in any case in which the misconduct or violation has caused loss of or damage to property or injury to a person, or in which reparation for a particular act of misconduct may reasonably be made by payment of money or the performance of services. A student will be notified in writing of any restitution penalty assessed. Restitution applies to University owned property, and may apply to restitution for damages and loss of private personal property.
  • Residence Life Probation – The Conduct Administrators may place a student on Residence Life Probation after having a conduct meeting in which procedural due process is afforded. Students on probation who violate policies may be subject to eviction from the residence halls/apartments. Residence Life Probation shall be for such a designated period and subject to such terms and conditions as the conduct authority imposing it shall designate. A student will be notified in writing of the probation issued.
  • Eviction from the Residence Halls or Apartments – Western reserves the right to move a student to another residence hall, apartment complex or room; or suspend, or evict or ban a student from the residence halls/apartments if a student is involved in a serious violation of University rules/policies or repeatedly violates University rules/policies (this eviction may or may not follow a time of housing probation). Once a student is evicted from a residence hall or apartment complex, they will be considered Persona Non-Grata (see below), that is unwelcome, in any on-campus residence hall or apartment complex. Failure to comply with this status will be considered trespassing and treated as such.
  • Persona Non-Grata (PNG) – Western reserves the right to deny access, or treat as unwelcome, to the University campus and/or its facilities to anyone, including non-students, who do not comply with campus policy or if there is a perceived threat to campus safety and security. Failure to comply with this status will be considered trespassing and may result in Law Enforcement being notified.
  • Avoidance of Contact Directive – The Avoidance of Contact Directive may be set in place to clearly define behavioral expectations between individuals and to provide a sense of safety and security for all involved. Restrictions may include, but are not limited to, walking path restrictions, classroom seating restrictions, specific times to use campus facilities, reassignment of Residential Life living arrangements, etc. Avoidance of Contact Directives are given to all parties involved in any type misconduct, including sexual harassment. The directive is not meant to assign blame or responsibility, but to keep all parties safe and provide an equitable resolution process.
  • Conduct Probation – The Conduct Administrators may place a student on conduct probation after having a conduct meeting in which procedural due process is afforded. Conduct probation shall be a final period of trial. Students on probation who violate policies may be subject to suspension or expulsion. Conduct probation shall be for such period and subject to such terms and conditions as the conduct authority imposing it shall designate. A student will be notified in writing of the probation issued. Conduct probation is generally the final conduct action prior to conduct suspension or expulsion. Students on Conduct Probation are required to complete all additional sanctions assigned and meet with their Conduct Officer at least monthly while on Conduct Probation.
  • Conduct Suspension – The Conduct Administrator or such member(s) of the University staff as appointed by the Office of Student Affairs, in consultation with the Dean of Students, may suspend a student from the University after having a conduct meeting in which procedural due process is afforded. Conduct suspension is normally for a stated period of time at the end of which a student may apply for readmission. Suspension for an indefinite period may be stipulated, usually with the implication that a student must fulfill certain requirements before re-admission will be considered. While under suspension, the student is not entitled to attend classes regardless of how they are conducted, use University facilities, participate in University activities, or be employed by the University. A student will be notified in writing of any suspension penalty assessed. A conduct suspension penalty may become a part of the student’s academic, personal and/or conduct record.
  • Expulsion – Conduct administrators or such member(s) of the University staff, as appointed by the Office of Student Affairs, in consultation with the Dean of Students, may expel a student from the University after having a conduct meeting in which procedural due process is afforded. Expulsion is permanent dismissal from the University without access to re-apply for admission. A student will be notified in writing of any expulsion sanction assessed. An expulsion penalty may become a part of the student’s academic, personal and/or conduct record.

Written Determination

After considering the investigative report, including any Party’s written response to the investigative report, and all relevant evidence presented at the hearing, the Decision will issue a written determination within ten (10) days of the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will provide the written determination simultaneously to the Parties.

The written determination will include:

  1. Identification of the allegations constituting sexual misconduct/sexual harassment;
  2. A description of the procedural steps from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the Parties, interviews, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence and hearings held;
  3. Findings of fact supporting the determination;
  4. Conclusions regarding the application of the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment;
  5. A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegations, including;
    1. A determination regarding responsibility;
    2. Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent;
    3. Remedies provided to the Complainant;
    4. Procedures and permissible bases for the Parties to appeal.
  1. The written determination becomes final five (5) days after it is sent to the Parties, unless an appeal is filed.


Either Party may appeal:

  1. Dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein; or
  2. A determination regarding responsibility.

No other issue may be appealed.

A.    Bases for appeal:

A Party may only appeal on one or more of the following bases:

  1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  2. New evidence that was not reasonable available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter

This basis for appeal is not satisfied simply because evidence was not presented during the proceedings, if the evidence was reasonable available at the time the determination was made.

  • The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally, or the individual Complainant or Respondent, that affected the outcome of the matter.

B.     Filing an Appeal

If a Party wishes to file an appeal, the Party must complete the Student Conduct Appeal Form found on the Community Standards and Student Conduct webpage or by contacting the Title IX Coordinator to request the form. The Student Conduct Appeal Form must be submitted no later than five (5) days after the notice of dismissal or written determination is sent to the Party.

The written appeal must state with specificity:

  1. The issues being appealed; and
  2. The bases for the appeal.

Incomplete Student Conduct Appeal Forms will not be accepted.

C.     Timeframe

Western will make a good faith effort to complete the appeal within five (5) days. The timeframe for completion may be extended for good cause. If the timeframe for completion of appeal is extended, the Title IX Coordinator will notify both Parties in writing of the delay or extension and the reasons for the delay or extension.

D.    Appeal Procedure

  1. After receiving a timely written appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Parties in writing:
    1. That the appeal was filed;
    2. The process for submitting a written statement in support of, or challenging, the issues being appeals.
  2. The appeal, including any written statements submitted by the Parties, will be considered by the Appeal Decision-Maker. The Appeal Decision-Maker may also consider the investigative report, including any Party’s written response to the investigative report, all relevant evidence presented at the hearing, and the audio recording and/or transcript of the hearing.
  • The Appeal Decision-Maker may consist of one to three faculty and staff members.
  1. The Appeal Decision-Maker will issue a written determination of appeal, which will describe the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator will provide the written determination of appeal simultaneously to the parties.

The result of the appeal is final.


Retaliation is prohibited.

  1. A report of alleged Retaliation may be made to the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail.
  2. Any Responsible Employee who receives a report of alleged Retaliation must promptly report the alleged Retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator.
  • Alleges of Retaliation may be investigated and adjudicated under the Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and/or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment.

Sexual Misconduct Involving Employees of Third Parties

This procedure is promulgated under the Western Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment.

General Complaint Information

A.    Who May File a Complaint

Any member of the campus community, who believes he or she has been the recipient of sexually harassing conduct, including retaliation, may file a complaint. Complaints may be filed against employees, students, or third parties not affiliated with Western who are present on campus or who have interactions with students and employees through university sponsored activities.

B.     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 harassment claim under the University’s Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy and Board of Trustees Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment and this associated Complaint Procedure against the same individual arising out of an identical set of facts.

C.     Promptness in Filing Complaint

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

D.    Timing

The University will address and resolve sexual harassment matters promptly and effectively. It is the University’s intent that the entire process for investigating and resolving complaints be concluded within sixty (60) calendar days following receipt of a formal complaint. However, the length of time with vary depending on the complexity of the investigation, the severity and extent of the harassment, 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 sixty (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.

E.     Where to File a Complaint

Complaints about Employee of Third-Party Conducts: all Complaints alleging sexual misconduct/sexual harassment or retaliation committed by employees and/or third parties, whether informal or formal should be submitted to:

Kim Gailey
Director of Human Resources

Complaints about Student Conduct: all Complaints alleging sexual misconduct/sexual harassment or retaliation committed by students should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator:

Interim Director of Restorative Justice and Title IX Coordinator

Patty Hartshorn, M.S.
Taylor Hall 301

F.     Employee Obligation to Report

Any employee, including any faculty member, who is aware of sexually harassing or retaliatory conduct, must promptly report the sexually harassing conduct or retaliatory action to the Human Resources Director.

G.    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.

H.    Confidentiality

The University treats all complaints of sexual harassment as confidential matters and will make reasonable efforts to protect the confidentiality of the complaint process, any investigation or resolution, and all individuals involved with the complaint process. If a Complainant requests confidentiality, the University will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality to the extent possible. The University’s ability to comply with a Complainant’s request for confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Informal Complaint Procedure

A.    Purpose and Timing

Under certain circumstances, an informal sexual harassment 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 alleged harasser 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 ten (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.

B.     Process

If the Complainant desires to informally resolve the complaint, the Human Resources Office will try to resolve the complaint expeditiously to the satisfaction of all concerned. 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:

  1. Providing advice to the Complainant regarding how to handle a situation;
  2. Working with faculty, department heads or other employees in whom Complainant has trust and with whom the complainant is comfortable to address the concerns;
  3. Providing assistance to supervisory personnel to address the matter with the alleged harasser;
  4. Engaging an external investigator; and
  5. Intervening directly with the alleged harasser.

There is no requirement that once the informal resolution process is started it must be completed prior to filing a formal complaint. The Complainant can choose at any time to stop the informal resolution process and file a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Procedure

A.    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 harassment. The steps outlined below are the exclusive forum for the internal resolution of sexual harassment 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.

B.     Contents of Formal Complaint

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

  1. A description of the conduct s or actions upon which the complaint is based;
  2. Identification of the alleged harasser or harassers (Respondent);
  • A statement of the Complainant’s desired outcome and resolution; and
  1. The signature(s) of the Complainant(s).

C.     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:

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

D.    Notification of Legal Counsel, Title IX Coordinator 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.

E.     Acknowledgement 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 e-mail prior to the delivery of the complaint to the Respondent.

F.     Investigation Authorization Form

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

G.    Investigation of Complaint

  1. Timing

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

  1. 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.

  • Confidentiality of Investigative Materials

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

H.    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.

I.      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 harassment was found to have occurred, the remedies to be provided to the Complainant, if any, and the conduct sanctions to be imposed upon the Respondent, if any. The decision, including any conduct 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 twenty (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.

J.      Appeal of Final Decision

There shall be no internal appeal of a decision that sexual harassment has occurred 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.

Complainant and Victim Support

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 to the circumstances. Such support may take many forms, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Providing counseling and victim support services.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Providing an escort to the Complainant so that he/she can move safely between classes and activities.
  3. Moving the Complainant or Respondent to a different residence hall/apartment.
  • 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 harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the Complainant being disciplined.
  1. Additional campus-wide office or department specific training or access to assistance.
  2. Any other steps the University determines are appropriate given the nature and circumstances of the harassment.

For support and/or more information regarding this area please contact The Office of Human Resources at 970.943.3140 or visit Taylor Hall 321.

In compliance with reporting the crime categories of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, Western Colorado reports that during the 2021 calendar year, the Title IX Coordinator received two (2) report of dating violence and two (2) reports of stalking.

For information on Sex Offender Registration information, please visit the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Convicted Sex Offender site.

If a reported crime is investigated by law enforcement authorities and found to be false or baseless, and no offense occurred, the crime is “unfounded” and is not included in our statistics.

Missing Student Policy and Procedure

Western takes student safety very seriously. To this end, the following policy and procedure has been established to assist in locating Western students living in Western owned on-campus housing who, based on the facts and circumstances known to Western, Western has determined to be missing.

At the beginning of each academic year, Western will inform students residing in on-campus housing that Western will notify either a parent or an individual selected by the student no later than 24-hours after the time the student is determined to be missing. This information will include the following:

  • Students have the option of identifying an individual to be contacted by Western no later than 24- hours after the time the student has been determined to be missing. Students can register this confidential contact information through the Office of Residence Life.
  • If the student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, Western is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian no later 24-hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
  • Western will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency no later than 24-hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
  • If Western’s Campus Security Services or law enforcement personnel have been notified and makes a determination that a student who is the subject of a missing person report has been missing for more than 24-hours and has not returned to campus, Western will initiate the emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation.

Western will adhere to the following notification procedure for a missing student who resides in on-campus housing.  Once Western receives a missing student report via the Office of Student Affairs, Campus Security Services, Office of Residence Life or other source, the following offices will be notified:

  1. Campus Security Services
  2. Office of Student Affairs
  3. Office of Residence Life

Any official missing person report relating to this student shall be referred immediately to Western’s Campus Security Services.  If Campus Security Services, after investigating the official report, determines the student has been missing for more than 24-hours, Western will contact the individual identified by the student, the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 and not emancipated, or local law enforcement if these do not apply.

Upon notification from any entity that any student may be missing, Western may use any of the following resources to assist in locating the student. These resources may be used in any order and combination.

  1. Through the Department of Residence Life, the RD/RA may be asked to assist in physically locating the student by keying into the student’s assigned room and talking with known associates.
  2. Campus Security Services may search on campus public locations to find the student (i.e., library, University Center, dining hall, etc.).
  3. Campus Security Services may issue a student ID picture to assist in identifying the missing student.
  4. The Office of Student Affairs may try to contact known friends, family, or faculty/staff members for the confirmation of a last sighting or additional contact information.
  5. The campus or academic departments may be contacted to seek information on last sighting or other contact information. Every effort will be made to verify with University faculty and staff on the last sighting of the missing student in question.
  6. Campus Security Services or the Office of Student Affairs may access card access logs to determine last use of the card and track the card for future uses.
  7. Information Technology (IT) Services may be asked to look up email logs for last login and use of the Western email system and last use of the Mountaineer Student ID Card.
  8. Campus Security Services may access vehicle registration information for vehicle location and distribution to authorities.
  9. If there is any indication of foul play, the Gunnison Police Department will immediately be contacted for assistance.

Campus drug and alcohol policies are outlined in the Western Colorado University Student Handbook. In summary, the University is subject to the laws of the federal government and the State of Colorado and will act in accordance with those laws and University policies in the event of violations.

In student housing, if students are 21 or over, they can possess and use alcohol in the privacy of their rooms, with the door closed and no minors present.  The use of alcohol in any other campus buildings or on campus grounds must be granted approval by the Office of Student Affairs.  In accordance with Federal law, the use of marijuana is strictly prohibited on the Western campus.

Western routinely offers drug and alcohol awareness programs. In addition, some special programs and organizations include: Peer Health Educators, NCAA Choices, and BACCHUS (a national student organization to promote responsible drinking). Professional and student staff are trained to intervene and refer any instances in which drug or alcohol is an issue to the proper authorities.

Prevention Education:

Programs and Interventions for Western Students

The Office of Student Health and Wellness serves the Western community by coordinating educational and support efforts on campus in order to assist students facing challenges, stressors, and barriers that impede academic and personal success. Office of Student Health and Wellness, University Center 103.

Programs and services offered through the Office of Student Health and Wellness include, but are not limited to:

  • National Campus Health Assessment (NCHA) – The American College Health Association (ACHA) helps facilitate the NCHA which is a nationally recognized research survey that helps college campuses collect precise data about their students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions. Topics include, but are not limited to, alcohol and other drugs (AOD), sexual health, weight, nutrition, exercise, mental health, and personal safety and violence.  The data will be used by various offices on Western’s campus to identify the most common health and behavior risks affecting students’ academic performance and personal success, allow for evidence-based health programs to be implemented, and create social norm marketing campaigns.
  • New Student Orientation: Get Inclusive prepares new college students for the unique challenges and responsibilities of college life. Focusing on minimizing the risks associated with alcohol, drugs and sexual violence, Get Inclusive takes a harm-reduction approach that resonates with students and results in a healthy campus culture that fosters learning and growing intellectually.  This program is required for all new freshmen students as part of new student orientation.
  • National Campus Safety Awareness Month: During the month of September, Office of Student Health and Wellness and Campus Security Services, in association with the Clery Center, present several campus-wide safe and secure campus campaigns on reporting and resources for sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault situations & See Something, Say Something. See Something, Say Something is a campaign from the Department of Homeland Security about reporting behaviors or out of the ordinary situations.
  • Peer Health Educators: Western utilizes a best practice in higher education in utilizing Peer Health Educators (PHEs). PHEs work to reduce stigmas, increase the culture of health-seeking behaviors, reduce substance abuse and support the physical, social and emotional well-being of their peers.  The PHEs are sophomore students and above, maintaining a 2.5 cumulative GPA.  They provide effective health promotion and harm reduction programs, education and awareness building regarding multiple health and wellness topics while promoting campus and community resources to Western students.
  • Welcome to the Party: Western Peer Health Educators (PHEs) host an interactive training for all first-year students to discuss consent, healthy relationships and bystander intervention. This required training serves as a follow-up to the Get Inclusive training that students receive prior to their arrival to campus.
  • Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): SBIRT is a public health approach to delivering early intervention to anyone who uses alcohol and/or drugs in unhealthy ways. Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) can help health care and other professionals determine whether someone uses alcohol and/or drugs in unhealthy ways. Its components are:

Screening – Short, well-tested questionnaire identifies risk (such as the ASSIST, the CRAFFT, the AUDIT, the DAST, etc.).

Brief Intervention – Short, structured conversations that feature feedback and options for change.

Referral – For in-depth assessment and/or diagnosis and/or treatment, if needed.

Treatment – Between 1% and 10% may need some level of treatment – depending on the health care setting. Research shows that health care providers can engage patients in non-judgmental conversations (brief interventions) about their substance use and can help them decide whether they should reduce their use to improve their long-term health. Risky use can lead to serious harm. Beyond injuries and illnesses like HIV, it can complicate existing chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases or depression. It can also cause ulcers, sleep and memory problems, and anxiety. Alcohol affects most organ systems, and many drugs affect the nervous system, and heart rates. Screening can also indicate when health care providers should recommend assessment and treatment services for those whose screening scores indicate a problem.

  • Suicide Prevention Education: The Office of Student Health and Wellness provides suicide prevention and education programming to Western faculty, staff, and students. Trainings and educational workshops provide participants with the skills necessary to recognize suicidal warning signs and seek appropriate intervention. The Office of Student Health and Wellness collaborates with community partners to offer evidence-based suicide prevention trainings, such as SafeTalk, ASIST, and QPR, to educate campus and the surrounding community about the importance of early intervention, the power of questioning, persuading, and referring (QPR), and the invaluable role we can all play in the lives of others.

Training Programs for Faculty and Staff

Preventing Sexual Harassment, Title IX Training, and Mental Health/Crisis Intervention Training

Mutual respect and trust are the cornerstones to good professional working and learning relationships.  To that end, the University is committed to fostering a work and learning environment free of harassment and sexual misconduct.  Every employee plays an important role in this commitment.  All employees are required to complete Western’s online training in support of the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Prohibition Policy.  The online course takes about an hour.

Western also provides a variety of additional mental health/crisis management training programs and resources for faculty and staff.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Crisis Intervention Training is a valuable tool in recognizing signs of mental health crisis in and out of the classroom and how to respond appropriately. This training is provided on a bi-annual basis.
  • A certified Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Instructor facilitates all-campus QPR Trainings throughout the academic year.

University Counseling Center and Support Services

The University Counseling Center, located in Crystal Hall 104, 970.648.7128 provides counseling services for Western students.  Students are regularly referred to the Counseling Center regarding transition/adjustment issues, personal well-being, stress management, and alcohol/drug use. Western faculty and staff can also access counseling services at the University Counseling Center.  There is a dedicated emergency services team available to respond to emergency calls, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

In addition, Western utilizes TimelyCare for 24/7 virtual health and well-being support. Services through TimelyCare includes scheduled counseling sessions, health coaching, psychiatry, and TalkNow, on-demand access to a licensed mental health clinician or counselor 24/7.

Additional state and national resources for mental health emergencies are also widely share with the campus community, including The Colorado Crisis Services and National Lifeline.

Programs on Security Information and Crime Prevention

The Office of Residence Life and other campus organizations engage in a variety of informational and preventative programming.  The Gunnison Police Department also makes presentations in the residence halls and campus apartments.  Western works closely with the Gunnison Police Department in an effort to deliver additional security and crime prevention programs. Such efforts include, but are not limited to: Victim’s Advocate Services, “Coffee with a Cop” (Officer Access Program), bicycle registration, the Good Neighbor Program and party management brochures, assistance with events management training, and regular campus/public safety meetings with local law enforcement agencies and campus administrators.

Western will notify students, faculty and staff through the RAVE Mobile Safety System and other means of communication as deemed appropriate to warn students about crimes that have been perpetrated in order to prevent similar crimes from happening in the future.


All residence hall and campus apartment exit doors are locked on a 24-hour basis. Outside keys/card access are issued to all hall/apartment residents. Resident Assistants are on duty 5:00pm to 8:00am. The Library is open from 7:30am to 12:00am Monday through Thursday, and until 6:00pm on Friday. On the weekends, the hours are 12:00pm to 6:00pm on Saturdays and 12:00pm to 12:00am Sundays. All classroom buildings are open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. These buildings are routinely patrolled during evening hours.

Campus Security routinely engages in bike and foot patrols during their working hours. In conducting patrols of campus, security personnel check to see that locks and other door hardware are functional and report any needed repair to Facility Services.

All residence hall and campus apartment building exit doors are locked on a 24-hour basis. Students are responsible to carry room keys/ key cards at all times. Propping doors during these closed hours is dangerous to the student population and property and, therefore, prohibited. Students found responsible for propping doors can expect judicial sanctions, and even potential legal action.

Western’s Campus Security maintains a daily security log that records all campus crimes and security related issues.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (ASFSR)

In support of and pursuant to the Clery Act, the University publishes an Annual Crime Report that is available October 1 of each calendar year.  These crime statistics are gathered by the Gunnison Police Department, Western’s Campus Security Services, Western’s Department of Residence Life, and Western’s Office of Student Affairs. This report is distributed to current students and employees by a direct email message stating where the report is posted on the University’s website: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (ASFSR) 2022.  Individuals may also request a paper copy of this report.

To access the annual fire safety policies and report, please go to:  Annual Fire Safety Policies and Report 2023.

If you have any further questions regarding this report, please call or write the Dean of Students, Office of Student Affairs, Taylor Hall 301, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO 81231, 970.943.2232.

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