Western Michigan University, in accordance with the law, prohibits discrimination in the provision of all student instruction, activities, and programs. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, protected disability, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status shall not be tolerated in the determination of eligibility, participation, or grading for any courses or program established for the benefit of students unless otherwise provided by law.
Students who have inquiries about the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy or about anti-discrimination laws, including Title IX and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or who have complaints of prohibited discrimination, may file their inquiries and complaints with the Office of Institutional Equity, 1220 Adrian Trimpe Building (387-6316).
The Office of Institutional Equity will receive and investigate complaints of prohibited discrimination filed with that office by students and may assist the students in resolving their concerns. The complaint, an oral allegation or charge against the University, an employee(s), or agent, stating prohibited discrimination has occurred, must be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity within 180 days of the alleged prohibited discrimination and/or harassment.
The Office of Institutional Equity will investigate and make reports and/or recommendations to the complaining students and/or to the academic dean or program and/or Office of Student Conduct.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a Federal law which states that: (a) a written institutional policy must be established, and (b) a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of the students must be made available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education.
Western Michigan University accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to, nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ educational records without the written consent of the students, except to personnel within the institution, to officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll, to persons or organizations providing students financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the Act.
Within the Western Michigan University community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to student educational records. These members include faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, and other persons who manage student record information (e.g., Office of the Registrar, Academic Records Office, Controller, Financial Aid, and the Office of Admissions and Orientation).
At its discretion, the institution may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: student name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, curriculum and major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status (full/part time), degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.
Students may withhold Directory Information by notifying the Academic Records Office in writing within the official drop-add period of each semester or session.
Western Michigan University has established administrative procedures necessary to accomplish and insure compliance with the Act, specifically including procedures permitting students to inspect and review their educational records and the opportunity for discussion or a hearing if a student challenges any materials in such records. These procedures are outlined in Western Michigan University’s Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. The University Registrar is designated as the officer with responsibility for insuring University compliance with this law.
Western Michigan University is committed to an environment which encourages fair, humane, and beneficial treatment of all faculty, staff, and students. In accordance with that fundamental objective, the University has a continuing commitment to assure equal opportunity and to prohibit discrimination or harassment which violates the law or which constitutes inappropriate or unprofessional limitation of employment opportunity, University facility access, or participation in University activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, protected disability, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status. Therefore, in that same perspective, sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Western Michigan University. It is expected that each member of the University community will consider herself/himself responsible for the proper observance of this policy.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct which is related to any condition of employment or evaluation of student performance. This definition is intended to include more than overt advances toward actual sexual relations. It applies as well to repeated or unwarranted sex-related statements, unwelcome touching, sexually explicit comments, and/or graphics. All persons should be sensitive to situations that may affect or cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation or may display a condescending sex-based attitude towards a person. Sexual harassment is illegal under both state and federal law. In some cases, it may be subject also to prosecution under the criminal sexual conduct act. Conduct will be defined as sexual harassment when any or all three of the following conditions exist:
The sexual harassment continues after the recipient has made it clear that the conduct is unwelcome.*
Complaint Procedure: Sexual harassment constitutes an act of misconduct. Therefore, whenever such acts are reported and confirmed, prompt disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including discharge. However, to enable the University to act through these formal procedures, employees and students are encouraged to report such incidents. Employees and students should report such conduct to the Office of Institutional Equity (formerly the Department of Affirmative Action). The Office of Institutional Equity shall establish appropriate procedures to implement this policy. The Office of Institutional Equity shall also investigate thoroughly any complaints of alleged sexual harassment, and then report the results of such investigations to the President of the University.
If you hesitate to file a sexual harassment complaint for fear of retaliation, you need to know that: Federal and state law, as well as University policies, protect any person who has filed a complaint of sexual harassment from being intimidated, threatened, coerced, and discriminated against or any other form of retaliation.
Likewise, protection is afforded any person who testifies, assists or participates, in any manner, in an investigation resulting from a sexual harassment complaint.
Therefore, any individual so harassed, intimidated or otherwise retaliated against may file a complaint alleging harassment, intimidation or retaliation. Such complaint should be filed with the Office of Institutional Equity, 1220 Adrian Trimpe Building (387-6316).
*In some cases of overt physical sexual conduct, a blatant threat if sexual favors are not given, or promised reward in exchange for sexual favors, no notice that the conduct is unwelcome shall be necessary, and a finding of sexual harassment may be based on a single occurrence.
Western Michigan University recognizes that sexual assault is a serious social problem that occurs among college students as well as within other segments of our society. The University makes a strong commitment to work toward preventing sexual assault within our community, to provide support and assistance to sexual assault victims, and to impose sanctions on those who have been found responsible for a sexual assault. Our goal is to foster and protect an environment of mutual respect and concern and a safe community in which learning and growth can occur.
As used here, the term “sexual assault” is synonymous with the University’s definition of “sexual misconduct,” as stated in the Student Code, Article IV: Proscribed Conduct, B. Conduct Policies, item 15, Sexual Misconduct.
The University, in a variety of ways, addresses the topic of sexual assault with students. The subject is discussed with first-year students during the First Year Experience. This information is also available on Western’s web site.
The WMU Department of Public Safety presents numerous crime prevention programs annually that include discussion of personal safety issues. Printed crime prevention materials are distributed during presentations and at various locations on campus. Any student group or organization may request an educational program by a police officer on any crime or safety issue by calling 387-5555.
Educational programs that address the subject of sexual assault are also presented by the Office of Health Promotion and Education (HP&E), Sindecuse Health Center. To request a program for your group or to obtain information about upcoming scheduled programs, call HP&E, 387-3263. This office also maintains a library of books, brochures, and other educational materials about sexual assault. A variety of programs and activities are typically organized by HP&E during April, which is nationally designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The University recognizes the right of a sexual assault victim to decide, without pressure or coercion, what action s/he will take following an assault. The University encourages students to report all crimes to the police and to pursue action through the University conduct process as well, if the alleged violator is a student. The University encourages victims of sexual assault to take the following steps after a sexual assault:
The University conduct process is initiated by filing a statement with the Office of Student Conduct. A description of the process is included in the Student Code. Students are also welcome to discuss the process with the appropriate staff in the Office of Student Conduct.
Sexual assault victims are assured the following rights within the University conduct process:
A student charged with alleged sexual misconduct violation is assured of the same rights. A student found responsible by the Office of Student Conduct for sexual misconduct will be given a sanction(s) appropriate to the offense. Possible sanctions range from a warning to expulsion from the University.
Ask for information, support, and assistance. Sexual assault victims and/or their friends can obtain accurate and complete information about their rights, options, and available resources for help, as well as receive assistance in carrying out decisions about what to do following an assault. Students who have been sexually assaulted while enrolled at Western may request special academic considerations or arrangements and, when appropriate, a change in University living arrangements.
Western Michigan is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors in accordance with the Michigan Clean Indoor Air Act and the University’s own directives and policies.
A person shall not smoke in any enclosed, indoor facilities in or on University properties, except in a designated smoking area. A designated smoking area must have adequate ventilation or access to fresh air to minimize the effect of smoke on both smokers and nonsmokers. Areas without adequate ventilation may not be designated as smoking areas. “Smoking” or “smoke” means the carrying by a person of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking device.
This policy does not apply to a private, enclosed room or office occupied exclusively by a smoker where ventilation is adequate and smoke does not escape into common hallways or other offices.
Every University building shall be designated as a nonsmoking (smoke-free) facility unless a smoking area has been designated by the building coordinator and approved by the Vice President for Business and Finance or her/his designee. Smoking areas to be designated may not include restrooms, hallways, passageways for the public, lobby areas or entrances/exits to buildings.
No smoking is permitted in University vehicles.
In order to separate smokers from nonsmokers in designated smoking areas:
Signs shall be posted on every entrance to every University facility stating:
“SMOKING IS PROHIBITED EXCEPT IN DESIGNATED SMOKING AREAS.”
Seating shall be arranged to provide, as nearly as practicable, a smoke-free area.
Signs shall be posted in every University vehicle stating:
“SMOKING IS PROHIBITED IN THIS VEHICLE.”
Building coordinators shall be responsible for building designations as smoke-free or designated smoking areas, which designations are subject to final approval by the Vice President for Business and Finance or his/her designee.
Complaints of violation of this policy shall be received, investigated, and acted upon by the Department of Public Safety, Division of Environmental Health, who shall enforce this policy. All final decisions regarding interpretation and enforcement of this policy shall be made by the Vice President of Business and Finance or his/her designee.
A person violating this policy is subject to those consequences as provided by law, as well as applicable University disciplinary procedures. Policy effectuated in January, 1987 pursuant to state law; amended December 1991; August, 1994.
This policy covers the posting and distribution of literature except on one’s personal property. Students may not post or distribute literature on University premises except in designated areas and with appropriate University approval. All information posted or distributed in the residence halls must have the approval of the Office of Residence Life and be posted or distributed in approved areas. Information posted or distributed in the Bernhard Center must adhere to Bernhard Center guidelines. Registered Student Organizations must adhere to the guidelines listed below.
A student organization or member of a student organization may not place or distribute literature on University premises without proper authorization from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. All literature must comply with the guidelines determined by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. All information posted or distributed in the residence halls must have the additional approval of the Office of Residence Life and be posted and distributed in approved areas. All information posted or distributed in the Bernhard Center must adhere to Bernhard Center guidelines.
The following restrictions do not apply to animals assisting disabled persons. No student owning or having under his/her control any animal shall permit such animal to be brought upon the University property without having a leash suitably attached to the animal and with the leash held by the person responsible. Keeping animals, reptiles, or birds in University buildings, except when authorized, is a violation of this policy, and the animals are subject to impoundment.
The name “Western Michigan University” (“WMU”), WMU insignias, signature, seal, athletic marks, etc. (collectively “WMU marks”) belong to WMU. WMU marks may not be utilized in any fund-raising, advertising, marketing, promotional activity or other venture by any student organization, entity or individual without prior written approval from authorized University representatives. Unauthorized use shall subject the user to sanctions, including but not limited to those sanctions set forth in the Student Code and The Registered Student Organization Handbook.