Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

College-wide Policies

Anti-discrimination Policies and Procedures

Responsible office
Title IX
Responsible party
Title IX Coordinator
Last revision
June 2014
Approved by
Board of Trustees
Approval date
June 2014
Effective date
June 2014
Additional references
None

Scope

All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus are within the scope of this policy. If there is variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy.

Policy

The Colorado College does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, religion, veteran status, age or any protected status in its educational programs and activities or employment practices. Discrimination includes harassment, which includes a wide range of abusive and humiliating verbal or physical behaviors that are directed against a particular person or persons because of one of the above named qualities. This includes creating a “hostile environment” where the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the person’s employment or educational experience at the College. Members of the College community have a responsibility to report discrimination and those in supervisory roles have a special responsibility to take action to correct it. Any person found to have violated this Policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Students, faculty, or staff who believe they have been discriminated against may obtain redress through the complaint procedures adopted as a part of these Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures. They may choose to pursue the matter through informal or formal procedures, or both. The College will respond promptly and equitably to both informal and formal complaints, and will respect, insofar as possible, the right to confidentiality of all members of the College community. Retaliation against persons who bring complaints of discrimination in good faith is prohibited and is, in itself, a form of discrimination that is actionable under this Policy.

Sexual discrimination and harassment is a unique form of discrimination which includes discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. Sexual discrimination and harassment is addressed in a separate policy from this one: the College’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures. Please refer to these policies and procedures if you are the victim of sexual discrimination or harassment. 

Members of the College community should understand that standards of civility, consideration, and tolerance must shape our interactions with one another, regardless of whether the violation of such standards subjects one to sanctions under this Policy. Certain types of behavior may be inappropriate even though they may not be violations of the Policy. Such behaviors will be dealt with by suasion rather than sanctions.

  1. DEFINITION OF DISCRIMINATION (SCOPE)

    Discrimination occurs when race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, religion, veteran status, age or any protected status is used as (inappropriate) irrelevant criteria for action. Discrimination is particularly condemned when it exploits and jeopardizes the trust that should exist among members of an educational institution. To preserve a work and study atmosphere that fosters such trust, the College affirms the principle that students, faculty, and staff must be treated equitably and evaluated on the basis of merit rather than irrelevant criteria. When a person intentionally or inadvertently abuses the power and authority inherent in his or her position, there can be negative consequences both to the individuals involved as well as to the educational and working environment of the College.

    Discrimination also includes harassment. Harassment may be based on a person’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, religion, veteran status, age or any protected status. It includes a wide range of abusive and humiliating verbal or physical behaviors that are directed against a particular person or persons. In some cases, the conduct may be such that it is clear that it is directed against a particular person or persons, even though the person(s) may not be explicitly identified.

    The definition of sexual discrimination and harassment which includes discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression is explained in detail in the College’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.

Procedures

  1. PROCEDURES FOR RESOLVING COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION

    The College’s methods of handling complaints of discrimination include informal resolution procedures and formal grievance procedures. Regardless of the procedure selected by the Complainant, prompt reporting is important. Incidents should be reported as soon as possible after an incident occurs, but there is no statute of limitations for reporting an incident.

    Complaints of sexual discrimination and harassment which includes discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression are handled pursuant to the procedures adopted in the College’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.  Please refer to those policies and procedures if you are the victim of sexual discrimination or harassment.

    1. Informal Resolution Procedures:  If you have been discriminated against, you may contact one of the advisors listed below to pursue informal resolution of the issue:  Associate Dean of the College; Chairperson of the Minority Concerns Committee; Chairperson or Co-Chairperson of the Women’s Concerns Committee; College Chaplains; College Vice Presidents; Dean of the College; Associate Dean of the Faculty; Dean of Students; Associate Deans of Students; Director of Human Resources; Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC); ADA/504 Coordinator; Assistant Vice President and Director of the Butler Center; International Students Advisor; and Residential Life and Housing professional staff.
      1. Procedures:  Courses of action to informally resolve an incident include but are not limited to:
        1. The victim may communicate directly, orally or in writing, with the person who has engaged in the allegedly discriminatory conduct, and ask that person to cease the behavior.
        2. The above named advisors could help in facilitating communication with the accused individual in cases where the victim should not communicate directly with the accused individual.
        3. The victim may discuss and attempt to resolve the matter informally with one of the advisors named above. 
      2. All aspects of the informal resolution procedures will remain confidential to the extent possible, however, the College cannot guarantee confidentiality in cases where such protection allows the behavior to continue, such that future discrimination is possible.
      3. The victim may at any time end the informal resolution process and begin the formal grievance procedures.  Further, the College may determine that a particular incident giving rise to the informal resolution process is sufficiently serious to require immediate interim measures or resolution through the formal grievance procedures.
    2. Formal Grievance Procedures:  If you wish to formally report an incident involving discrimination, to begin the formal grievance procedures, you must report the incident to one of the following: 
      • The College’s Title IX Coordinator:  If the accused is a student, staff, or faculty, you may report to the College’s Title IX Coordinator.  The College’s current Title IX Coordinator is Gail Murphy-Geiss and she can be reached by calling x6868 or (719) 389-6868, emailing gmurphygeiss@coloradocollege.edu., or going to Palmer 131A.
      • Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students:  If the accused is a student, you may report to the College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students.  The College’s current Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students is Rochelle Mason, the Associate Dean of Students, and he can be reached by calling x6800 or (719) 389-6800, emailing RMason@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Worner Center 230.
      • Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff:  If the accused is a staff member, you may report to the College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff.  The College’s current Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff is Barbara Wilson, the Director of Human Relations, and she can be reached by calling x6421 or (719) 389-6421, emailing bwilson@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Spencer Center, Suite 301.

    After you contact one of these individuals they will assist you in filling out a formal Complaint.  Reporting an incident to one of these individuals should be done as soon as possible after the incident occurred, if possible, but there is no statute of limitations on such complaints.  Although internal Complaints about students can only be processed while the accused is a student at CC, and against staff and faculty while the accused is employed by CC, the College welcomes Complaints at any time, in our attempt to maintain a safe and productive educational community.  In making a decision whether to file a formal Complaint, the Complainant may want to confer with one of the advisors listed above.

    The College considers all acts of discrimination to be serious and the College may impose disciplinary action ranging from education, to warnings, to probation, suspension, expulsion, or termination of employment.

    The College has implemented a process that ensures that you only have to file one Complaint, which will be disseminated to need-to-know parties, including the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and the Investigators.

    1. Procedures
      1. Once a Complaint is submitted, the Respondent is contacted within 24 hours.  The Respondent, once informed, has 3 days to respond in writing to the Complaint.  If no response is received, the formal grievance procedures will still move forward.  The Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator will choose two Investigators to investigate and decide the case. 
        1. For cases involving allegations against students, the Investigators will be trained College staff members.
        2. For cases involving allegations against staff, the Investigators will be trained College staff and/or faculty members.
        3. For cases involving allegations against faculty, the Investigators will be trained College faculty members.
      2. The names of the Investigators are disclosed to the Complainant and the Respondent, and if either the Complainant or Respondent has objections to either of the Investigators chosen, they must notify the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator within three days of being advised of the names of the Investigators.  The Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator retains sole discretion on whether to replace any of the Investigators originally chosen.
      3. Once chosen, the Investigators review the Complaint and Response, conduct an investigation into the allegations, and examine available evidence.  The Investigators communicate individually with both the Complainant and the Respondent and may contact other witnesses.  The Complainant and Respondent may provide information to the Investigators including the names of witnesses. 
      4. If either the Complainant or Respondent wants to have an advisor to assist them through the formal grievance procedures/investigation process, the College will provide one to them.  This advisor is for support and information only and cannot actively participate in the investigation and adjudication process.  The Complainant and Respondent are not allowed to:  have attorneys present at any interviews or proceedings; have attorneys communicate with the Investigators or any other College official involved in the investigation and adjudication process; or have attorneys actively participate in the investigation and adjudication process.
      5. If at any time, the Complainant or Respondent feels that they are not being treated fairly during the formal grievance procedures/investigation process, they should contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator to address the issue.
      6. The standard of proof used to determine whether a Respondent has violated the Policy is a “preponderance of the evidence” meaning that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not, or more than a 50% likelihood, that the Respondent is responsible for the violation.
      7. When the Investigators complete the investigation, they create final written report with the Investigators’ recommended findings as to whether the Respondent is responsible for the violation, and if the Respondent is found responsible, the Investigators’ recommended sanction.  The Investigators’ written report is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and to the final decision-maker:  the Dean of Students (for Complaints against students); the Vice President for Finance and Administration (for Complaints against staff); and the Dean of the Faculty (for Complaints against faculty).
      8. In making recommendations on sanctions, the Investigators may consider:
        1. The severity of the Respondent’s conduct;
        2. The Respondent’s conduct history;
        3. Whether the conduct involved a single incident or repeated acts; and
        4. Any mitigating or aggravating circumstances with respect to either party.
      9. The Respondent and Complainant will be notified of the final decision on whether a violation is found to have occurred and if a violation is found to have occurred, the sanction imposed, in the form of a letter issued by the Dean of Students (for Complaints against students), the Vice President for Finance and Administration (for Complaints against staff), and the Dean of the Faculty (for Complaints against faculty)
      10. The confidentiality of all parties to the formal grievance procedures should be strictly observed, insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s obligation to investigate Complaints fully and to take corrective action.  Dissemination of information or materials to persons not involved in the formal grievance procedures is not permitted.
      11. The College also may act as the Complainant and formally report incidents of discrimination for processing through the formal grievance procedures if the College knows that discrimination has occurred.  Such complaints will be initiated by the Title IX Coordinator.
      12. If the Investigators find that the Complaint was not brought in good faith, and that the allegations of discrimination were fabricated or malicious, it may recommend that sanctions be imposed on the Complainant.  The Investigators should consider that allegations of discrimination cannot always be substantiated, and that lack of corroborative evidence should not be interpreted as lack of good faith on the part of the Complainant.
    2. Appeals
      1. Either the Complainant or the Respondent may appeal the final finding of responsibility or non-responsibility.  Appeals may only be granted for one of the following reason
        1. New Evidence or Information:  New evidence or information sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not known at the time of the original investigation.
        2. Failure of Investigative or Decision Making Process:  Allegations that the Investigators deviated from the Policy in a way that substantially altered the outcome of the case.
        3. Bias in Decision Making Process:  Evidence that an Investigator or person involved in the formal grievance procedures have relevant history of interaction or involvement with either Complainant or Respondent sufficient to establish bias or conflict of interest.
        4. Disagreeing with the imposed sanction is not grounds for an appeal.
      2. Appeal Procedures:
        1. Appeals are limited to one per case.  Written appeal requests should include:  The grounds for the appeal; supporting documentation; and information and arguments relevant to support the appeal. 
        2. Anyone that wishes to appeal must submit the appeal in writing to the President of the College within four days of receiving the letter outlining the finding of responsibility or non-responsibility. 
        3. If the Respondent wishes to have a sanction suspended pending the outcome of the appeal, the Respondent must request this when they request an appeal.  It is within the sole discretion of the President of the College, or their designee, to grant a suspension of the sanction pending an appeal determination.
        4. The President of the College, or their designee, reviews the appeal materials to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the appeal to move forward.
        5. If the President of the College, or their designee, determines the appeal should move forward, they will choose three individuals to sit as an Appeal Panel to decide the appeal.  If the allegations are against a student or staff, the Appeal Panel members will be chosen from the Student and Staff Appeals Board.  If the allegations are against a faculty member, the Appeal Panel members will be chosen from the Faculty Appeals Board.
        6. The Appeal Panel reviews the file of the Investigators and may interview the Investigators or any other person that participated in the investigation and decision-making process.  The Appeal Panel does not substitute its judgment for that of the Investigators and limits their review to the three grounds for appeal stated above:  (1) new evidence or information; (2) failure in investigative or decision making process; and (3) bias in decision making process.
        7. The Appeal Panel may uphold the original decision, reverse the original decision, issue additional or different sanctions, send the case back to the original Investigators to redecide the case, or send the case to new Investigators to redecide the case.  The decision of the Appeal Panel is recommended to the President of the College who will make the final decision regarding the appeal, except in rare instances where the President was involved in the adjudication of the initial Complaint, in which case the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the College will make the final decision regarding the appeal.
        8. The final appeal decision will be sent to the Complainant and Respondent in a letter.  This final decision cannot be appealed.
      3. Timeline for Formal Grievance Procedures:  The application of the formal grievance procedures to any case must be promptly completed, with the Complainant and Respondent being informed of the final outcome, including any outcome of an appeal, no more than 60 days from the date of submission of the Complaint.  On rare occasions, timelines may be extended for good cause.
      4. Post-Decision Follow-Up:  Should the Respondent be found to have committed a violation of the Policy, the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, will follow-up with the Complainant periodically to ensure that the prohibited conduct has ceased and that no acts of retaliation have occurred.
  2. IMMEDIATE RESPONSES AND INTERIM MEASURES
    1. The College reserves the right to take whatever immediate response or interim measure it deems necessary and appropriate to eliminate discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects, or to protect an individual’s safety, physical and mental well-being, and rights. 

      Such responses and measures include but are not limited to: 

      1. Immediate modification of living arrangements;
      2. Immediate modification of class schedule;
      3. Ordering the accused individual/Respondent to have no contact with the victim/Complainant;
      4. Immediate removal from campus;
      5. Immediate modifications in work arrangements; and
      6. Reporting to local police. 
    2. Any immediate response or interim measure may be imposed at any time after any prohibited conduct has become known to the College.  Such measures may be recommended by the Investigators or administratively imposed according to the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator or the President of the College.  Any immediate response or interim measure will be designed to minimize the burden on the victim’s educational program. 
  3. MISCELLANEOUS
    1. Education of College Community:  The College’s Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Human Resources have the responsibility of educating the College community regarding the negative consequences of discrimination. Among their responsibilities, they conduct workshops and train the advisors and Investigators on these Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures.

      The College's Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Human Resources submit an annual report to the College community, outlining the number of informal and formal complaints filed, the College constituencies involved, and the outcome of each case. The identities and positions of the parties are not included in the report.

    2. Student Allegations Against Faculty:  Students who have allegations about faculty conduct in the classroom and in other academic contexts should consult with the Title IX Coordinator who will consult with the Dean of Students about academic freedom issues.
    3. Recordkeeping:  When a student, staff or faculty member is found responsible for violating this Policy, a disciplinary file is created.  This file contains all of the information pertinent to the resolution of the case.  This file is maintained by the Title IX Coordinator (and the Student Life Office if you are a student) until ten years after the disciplinary file was created, at which point the file will be destroyed, meaning that the violation will no longer be officially part of the student, staff or faculty member’s College record for future reporting purposes (e.g., employment or graduate school admission).  However, files of severe violations (those that result in suspensions, expulsion or termination) will be maintained by the College as a permanent record and will be considered part of the student, staff or faculty member’s College record for future reporting purposes. 

      When a student, staff or faculty member is accused of a violation of this Policy but is not found responsible for the violation, a file is also created.  This file is maintained only by the Title IX Coordinator and after ten years the file is destroyed.  However, when a student, staff or faculty member was found not to have violated this Policy, the person is not considered to have a disciplinary record with the College for future reporting or any other purposes. 

      If you have any questions about whether or not you need to report any violations of this Policy for any reason in the future please contact the Title IX Coordinator, and if the record was created when you were a student, the Student Life Office.

Definitions

  1. Definitions for the Formal Grievance Procedures
    1. Complainant:  A person submitting a Complaint alleging discrimination.
    2. Complaint:  A written document alleging discrimination.
    3. Respondent:  The person accused of discrimination.
    4. Response:  A written document providing Respondent’s response to the allegations in the Complaint.
    5. Investigators:  Two individuals selected by the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator to investigate and resolve a Complaint.  Investigators are chosen from a pool of staff and/or faculty, all of whom have been trained on:  this Policy; how to investigate and resolve Complaints in a way that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability; the problems related to discrimination; and federal, state, and local laws regarding discrimination. 

Inquiries regarding the Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures may be directed to the College’s current Title IX Coordinator Gail Murphy-Geiss (Office: Palmer 131A. Phone: 719-389-6868. E-mail: gmurphygeiss@coloradocollege.edu)