Wesleyan does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, familial status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability status or veteran status. This policy applies to students, employees and applicants with respect to participation in any program, benefit, activity or student/employment opportunity offered by Wesleyan, except Wesleyan College does not admit men to its baccalaureate programs, in accordance with Title IX.
This policy applies to all complaints of discrimination and/or harassment, whether the parties are students, recognized student organizations, employees, campus visitors, persons participating in campus activities, or persons conducting business with the College. Every member of the Wesleyan community is expected to uphold this policy as a matter of mutual respect and fundamental fairness in human relations. Every student has a responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with this policy as a condition of enrollment. No person shall be retaliated against for reporting violations or concerns about prohibited discrimination or bias through appropriate Wesleyan channels.
This complaint process involves an immediate initial investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the College will initiate a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether Wesleyan’s nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the College will implement a prompt and effective remedy designed to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
1. Filing Complaints with the Appropriate Coordinator
Students who wish to report a concern or complaint relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by completing Wesleyan’s Discrimination, Harassment and Title IX Complaint Form and filing the report on-line. Reports may be made anonymously. Additionally, verbal and written complaints may be filed with the following individuals:
Complaints based on race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, marital status, or veteran status discrimination should be filed with the following coordinator:
Title IX Coordinator
(478) 757-4028 firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints based on disability, pregnancy, and genetic information discrimination should be filed with the following coordinator:
Complaints based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual harassment, or sexual assault/violence should be filed with the following coordinator:
Title IX Coordinator Tonya Parker
Olive Swann Porter Building
*For additional information on gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault/violence please see Wesleyan’s Title IX Policy against Sexual Assault and Harassment.
2. Other Reporting Options.
Students with complaints of discrimination under this policy have the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 16T7061 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Fax: (404) 562-7881
TDD (800) 537-7697
Faculty Members and Employees with complaints of discrimination under this policy have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
100 Alabama Street, SW, Suite 4R30
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Retaliation against any person for reporting or complaining of discrimination and/or harassment, assisting or participating in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, or enforcing College policies with respect to discrimination and/or harassment is strictly prohibited. Overt or covert acts of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, threats, coercion or harassment against an individual or group for exercising rights or performing duties under this policy will be subject to appropriate and prompt disciplinary or remedial action.
1. Overview of Process
This policy is intended to apply to student-on-student grievance, and employee-student civil rights. All other types of grievances by students against students or employees against students will be addressed through the student complaint processes located elsewhere in the Student Handbook.
If a student alleges a complaint against a College faculty member or employee, the coordinator responsible for investigating the alleged discrimination or harassment will work with the Director of the Human Resources Department. In the event an employee is taking classes or should a student also be an employee (e.g., work-study, RA, etc.) procedures applicable to employee-on-employee grievances through the Department of Human Resources may also be applicable. It is Wesleyan’s practice to bring employee and student grievance mechanisms together for joint resolution in such cases when possible. Sanctions may result in an individual’s capacity as a student, as an employee, or both.
In the event a complaint under this policy is alleged by an employee against another employee, procedures applicable to employee-on-employee grievances through the Department of Human Resources shall be applicable.
While a person filing a grievance (Complainant) or the accused individual (Respondent) is not required to participate in the grievance process, the grievance process will continue whether or not such individual agrees to participate, and the College will determine an outcome and provide for any appropriate remedies based on the information that is available.
2. Interim Measures
Upon receipt of a complaint, the College will take interim measures to address concerns regarding safety and well-being. If necessary, the College will assist the Complainant in making reasonable efforts to avoid contact with the Respondent. Interim measures may include no-contact directives, changes in class or work schedules, changes in College-owned living arrangements, interim suspension, College-imposed leave, or any other measures that the College deems appropriate. Interim measures are available under both the Informal Dispute Resolution Efforts and the Formal Complaint and Disciplinary Process, although the ability to impose certain protective measures against a Respondent may require that the report be resolved through the Formal Complaint and Disciplinary Process.
3. Informal Dispute Resolution Efforts: A Useful First Step before Filing a Formal Complaint
Whenever prudent and safe, reasonable efforts should be made to constructively resolve issues with faculty, staff, or administrators, or other individual involved by talking through the concerns to reach a resolution. If the complaint is against a faculty or staff member, the student should also speak with the individual’s supervisor to informally resolve this matter. If conditions prevent a discussion of this nature, or satisfactory resolution is not reached after discussion with the individual, or a faculty or staff member’s supervisor if appropriate, the formal complaint process should be initiated.
Wesleyan does not require a student to contact the person involved if doing so is not prudent or if the student believes that the conduct cannot be effectively addressed through informal means.
4. Formal Complaint and Disciplinary Process
Notice of a formal complaint can be made in person to the coordinator designated above, but the College encourages the submission of grievances in writing by email to the appropriate coordinator utilizing Wesleyan’s Discrimination, Harassment and Title IX Complaint Form, which can be found at wesportal.wesleyancollege.edu/ICS/WesNet/
The complaint should clearly and concisely describe the alleged incident(s), when and where it occurred, and the desired remedy sought. The grievance should be signed by the grievant (Complainant) or, in the case of an email submission, signed electronically. While complaints can be submitted anonymously, students are encouraged to share as much information as they feel comfortable as more information shared will aid the College in its investigation. Any supporting documentation and evidence should be referenced within the body of the formal grievance. Additionally, the Complainant should submit any supporting materials in writing as quickly as possible. The Complainant is also asked to share all informal efforts, if any, to resolve the issue(s) with the individual involved and the individual’s supervisor if the complaint is against a faculty or staff member.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the appropriate coordinator will open a formal case file and begin the investigation process. If necessary, the coordinator may designate a deputy coordinator to assist in the investigation process. The coordinator will direct the investigation and confer with appropriate individuals and offices to address any interim accommodations for the Complainant, or other necessary remedial short-term actions.
Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the College from initiating a formal complaint and investigation process.
a. Timeframe of the Formal Complaint Process.
Within 60-days of receipt of a complaint, the College will seek to complete the phases described below within the following time periods:
All of these time frames are meant as guidelines rather than rigid requirements. Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames, including extension beyond sixty (60) days. Extenuating circumstances may include the complexity and scope of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening College break or holiday, or other unforeseen circumstances. In the event that the process exceeds these time frames, the College will notify the Complainant and Respondent of the reason(s) for the delay and the expected adjustment in time frames. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.
The College reserves the right to modify or adapt the Formal Complaint and Disciplinary Process as needed to allow for the fair and prompt resolution of a complaint when it is received and at the end of a term or during a break in the College’s academic schedule.
b. Investigation into a Formal Complaint
An investigation into a claim regarding a violation of this policy may include, but is not limited to, the following steps:
c. Advisor or Support Person
Both a Complainant and a Respondent are entitled to an advisor or support person of their choice, and the advisor or support person may accompany the party to any meeting or proceeding under this policy. A Complainant may have an advisor or support person present when reporting discrimination and/or harassment or at any point in these Procedures. A Respondent may also have an advisor or support person present if and when the Respondent becomes a party to an Informal Resolution Process or a Formal Resolution Process. An advisor or support person may not stand in place of either the Complainant or the Respondent, act as legal counsel for a party, or otherwise participate in the Informal Resolution Process or the Formal Resolution Process. Parties may not be represented by legal counsel during this complaint process.
d. Resolution by Agreement
Where the Complainant and Respondent agree to do so, the College reserves the right to terminate the investigation and disciplinary process in circumstances in which it is able to reach a resolution with Respondent that satisfies the College’s obligations under Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, and other relevant discrimination laws to end the alleged conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on Complainant and the College community. In the event an agreement is reached under this provision, the Respondent waives their right to a hearing under this policy.
e. Unsubstantiated Formal Complaints
A complaint is considered unsubstantiated, and will be closed, if the investigator determines the following has occurred:
A written statement will be provided to the Complainant and the Respondent detailing the efforts of the investigator and the reasons for finding that the complaint is unsubstantiated.
f. Substantiated Formal Complaints-Referral to the Hearing Process
In the event that the investigator determines that discrimination, sexual harassment, or other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct has occurred based on a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not that a violation of this policy occurred), further action will be taken, including a hearing and appropriate disciplinary action. A written statement will be provided to the Complainant and the Respondent detailing the efforts of the investigator and the reasons for finding that the complaint is substantiated.
g. The Hearing Process
The Hearing Process for Students. Where the Respondent is a student, the appropriate coordinator, in conjunction with the Vice President of Student Affairs, will convene a hearing committee that consists of four members chosen from among members of the President’s Cabinet, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Faculty Council, and the Chancellor of the Student Honor Council. Each of these individuals will have received training provided by the College regarding discrimination and other forms of harassment. These four members shall be provided with the names of the Complainant and Respondent in order to determine if there is a potential conflict of interest that would preclude the individual from serving on the hearing committee. In the event there is a conflict of interest, any alternative hearing committee members shall be selected using the same process as described above.
Prior to the hearing, the four committee members will elect amongst themselves a Chairperson. The Chairperson shall guide the proceedings and determine the evidence that will be allowed at the hearing. The Chairperson will not vote or make any recommendations regarding the outcome of the hearing committee.
The hearing committee shall convene a hearing before which the Complainant and Respondent may have a support person/advisor of their choice at the hearing as outlined above.
An overview of the hearing process for students is as follows:
The Hearing Process for Faculty Members. In the event that the accused is a faculty member, the procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook shall apply. Where the complaint concerns Title IX, the Complainant shall have the opportunity to participate in any proceedings involving a faculty member, including presenting witnesses or other evidence.
The Hearing Process for Employees. In the event that the Respondent is an employee, the procedures set forth in the employee handbook shall apply. Where the complaint concerns Title IX, the Complainant shall have the opportunity to participate in any proceedings involving an employee, including presenting witnesses or other evidence.
Any one or more of the sanctions listed below may be imposed on a Respondent who is found responsible for a violation under this policy. Sanctions not listed here may be imposed in consultation with the approval of appropriate coordinator, Vice President of Student Affairs or Human Resources Director, as appropriate. Sanctions are accessed in response to the specific violation(s) and any prior discipline history of the Respondent. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:
i. The Appeal Process
In the event that the Complainant or Respondent disputes the hearing committee’s decision, each shall have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing committee and imposition of any sanction to the President. The appeal must be submitted in writing within five days of the issuance of notification of the decision, with all supporting materials attached, to the Chairperson. Decisions not appealed within such time are deemed final. The President shall review the appeal and record from the hearing committee. The President will issue a decision on the appeal to all parties involved. The President’s written decision on the appeal shall constitute the College’s final action.
As part of its efforts to protect the privacy and confidentiality interests of the individuals involved, the College will use its best efforts to not disseminate information concerning the complaint beyond those who have a need to know. The College will inform all parties, including the Complainant, the Respondent, any Support Persons, and any witnesses involved of the importance of and expectation that they maintain the confidentiality of this process and any information shared with them as a result of their participation. Complainants and Respondents are not prohibited from sharing details of the process and information shared with them with family, or their Support Person in order to prepare for their participation in the process. However, any individual involved in this process needs to understand that information collected through the Grievance and Investigation Process may be subpoenaed in a criminal and/or a civil proceeding.
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