WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE
[Filed August 6, 2018, 8:23 a.m., effective September 6, 2018]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The existing chapter 132U-125 WAC, Student rights and responsibilities and chapter 132U-300 WAC, Discrimination and harassment, have out-of-date definitions, jurisdiction, and procedures that must be updated and revised based upon the AAG model policies and procedures and a statewide review of best practices among community and technical colleges. The existing chapter 132U-125 WAC does not address the recent federal and state regulations.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New chapter 132U-126 WAC; repealing chapter 132U-125 WAC; and amending chapter 132U-300 WAC.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.50
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 18-10-034 on April 25, 2018.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 21, Amended 11, Repealed 25; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: June 7, 2018.
Administrative Assistant to the
Vice President for Student Services
The following chapter of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
Statement of jurisdiction.
Statement of student rights.
Student responsibilities and prohibited conduct.
Initiation of disciplinary action.
Appeal from disciplinary action.
Brief adjudicative proceedings authorized.
Brief adjudicative proceedings—Initial hearing.
Brief adjudicative proceedings—Review of an initial decision.
Brief adjudicative proceedings—College record.
Student conduct committee.
Appeal—Student conduct committee.
Student conduct committee hearings—Presentations of evidence.
Student conduct committee—Initial decision.
Appeal from student conduct committee initial decision.
Supplemental sexual misconduct procedures.
Supplemental complaint process.
Supplemental appeal rights.
Chapter 132U-126 WAC
STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES POLICY
The board of trustees, acting pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140
(14), delegates to the president of the college the authority to administer the disciplinary procedure. Administration of the disciplinary procedures is the responsibility of the vice president for student services or designee. Unless otherwise specified, the student conduct officer or designee shall serve as the principal investigator and administrator for alleged violations of this code.
Whatcom Community College, as a state supported institution of higher education, has a primary mission to contribute to the vitality of its communities by providing quality education and preparing students for active citizenship in a global society. Students and college personnel share the responsibility of contributing to a learning environment that promotes academic integrity, social justice, civility, and nonviolence within a safe and supportive college community.
Enrollment in Whatcom Community College carries with it the obligation to be a responsible citizen of the college community and to treat others with respect and dignity. All students are responsible for understanding and complying with college policies and regulations along with local, state, and federal laws. The student conduct code and disciplinary procedures are implemented to assist in the protection of the rights and freedoms of all members of the college community. The purpose of the student code is to hold students accountable while upholding their rights and responsibilities.
WAC 132U-126-005Statement of jurisdiction.
(1) The student conduct code shall apply to student conduct that occurs:
(a) On college premises;
(b) At or in connection with college sponsored activities; or
(c) To off-campus conduct that, in the judgment of the college, adversely affects the college community or the pursuit of its objectives.
(2) Jurisdiction extends to locations in which students are engaged in official college activities including, but not limited to, foreign or domestic travel, activities funded by the associated students, athletic events, training, internships, cooperative and distance education, online education, practicums, supervised work experiences, study abroad, or any other college-sanctioned social or club activities.
(3) Students are responsible for their conduct from the time of admissions to the college through the actual receipt of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. The student conduct officer has sole discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether the student conduct code will be applied to conduct that occurs off campus.
(4) These standards shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from college while a disciplinary matter is pending.
The following definitions shall apply for the purpose of this student conduct code:
(1) "Business day" any day, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), during which college offices are open.
(2) "College community" shall include any person or entity with a connection or relationship with pursuit of the college mission.
(3) "College premises" shall include the college campus and includes all land, buildings, facilities, vehicles, equipment, and other property owned, used, leased, or controlled by the college.
(4) "Complainant" is an alleged victim of sexual misconduct.
(5) "Conduct review officer" is the vice president for student services or other college administrator designated by the president to be responsible for receiving and for reviewing or referring appeals of student disciplinary cases in accordance with the procedures of this code.
(6) "Disciplinary action" is the process by which the student conduct officer imposes discipline against a student for a violation of the student conduct code.
(7) "Disciplinary appeal" is the process by which an aggrieved student can appeal the discipline imposed by the student conduct officer. Disciplinary appeals from a suspension in excess of ten business days or an expulsion are heard by the student conduct appeals board. Appeals of all other appealable disciplinary action shall be reviewed through brief adjudicative proceedings.
(8) "Filing" is the process by which a document is received by a college official responsible for facilitating a disciplinary process. Documents required to be filed shall be deemed filed upon actual receipt during office hours at the office of the specified college official. Unless otherwise provided, filing shall be accomplished by:
(a) Hand delivery of the document to the specified college official or college official's assistant; or
(b) Sending the document by first class mail to the specified college official's office; or
(c) Emailing the document to specified college official's colleges email address.
(9) "Guest" any person who is not a member of the college community, who is on institutional property or attending an institutional function that the invitation of and/or hosted by a member of the college community.
(10) "Preponderance of evidence" is defined as "more likely than not" and is the standard of responsibility that is used when determining whether a violation of the student rights and responsibilities has occurred.
(11) "President" is the president of the college. The president is authorized to delegate or reassign any and all of their responsibilities as may be reasonably necessary.
(12) "Reporting party" is a student or another member of the college community who reports an alleged violation of this code that has been committed.
(13) "Respondent" is the student against whom disciplinary action is initiated.
(14) "Service" is the process by which a document is officially delivered to a party. Service is deemed complete upon the hand delivery of the document, or upon the date the document is emailed or post marked by the mail service. Unless otherwise provided, service upon a person shall be accomplished by:
(a) Hand delivery of the document to a person; or
(b) Sending the document by certified or first class mail to the person's last known address; or
(c) Emailing the document to the party's official college email address.
(15) "Student" includes all persons taking courses at or through the college, whether on a full-time or a part-time basis, and whether such courses are credit courses, noncredit courses, online courses, or otherwise. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admissions are considered "students."
(16) "Student conduct code" or "code" is the student rights and responsibilities policy in this chapter.
(17) "Student conduct officer" is a college administrator designated by the president or vice president for student services to be responsible for implementing and enforcing the student conduct code.
WAC 132U-126-015Statement of student rights.
As members of the academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in an independent search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the college community.
The following enumerated rights are guaranteed to each student within the limitations of statutory law and college policy, which are deemed necessary to achieve the education goals of the college:
(1) Academic freedom.
(a) Students are guaranteed the rights of free inquiry, expression, and assembly upon and within college facilities that are generally open and available to the public.
(b) Students are free to pursue appropriate educational objectives from among the college's curricula, programs, and services, subject to the limitations of RCW 28B.50.090
(c) Students shall be protected from academic evaluation which is arbitrary, prejudiced, or capricious but are responsible for meeting the standards of academic performance established by each of their instructors.
(d) Students have the right to a learning environment which is free from unlawful discrimination, inappropriate and disrespectful conduct, and any and all harassment, including sexual harassment.
(2) Due process.
(a) The right of students to be secure in their persons, quarters, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed.
(b) No sanction may be imposed on any student without notice to the accused of the nature of the charges.
(c) A student accused of violating this code of student conduct is entitled, upon request, to procedural due process as set forth in this chapter.
(3) Sexual misconduct complainant. In any case involving an allegation of sexual misconduct as defined in this code, a complainant is afforded certain rights under this code including, but not limited to:
(a) The right to be informed of all orders issued in the disciplinary case in which they are a complainant;
(b) The right to appeal to the student conduct committee an initial order issued by a conduct officer;
(c) The right to request presidential review of an initial order issued by the student conduct committee; and
(d) The right to be accompanied to all hearings by an advisor and/or an attorney.
WAC 132U-126-020Student responsibility for guests.
Guests and visitors on college property or at official college functions are expected to comply with all college policies and procedures, as well as all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
(1) Guests who willfully refuse to comply with an order of a college official or other law enforcement officer to desist from prohibited conduct may be ejected from the premises by legal trespass order.
(2) Students who invite guests into their college controlled residence, or to official college functions are responsible for the behavior of their guests. As a result, a student may be held responsible for any alleged violation(s) of the code committed by their guest.
Students are encouraged to see swift medical assistance for themselves and others without fear of penalty in situations involving use of, or medical issues related to, alcohol or drugs. Students requesting and receiving medical assistance in these situations will not typically be subject to the formal student conduct process. While disciplinary action may not be taken, the college reserves the right to take steps necessary to address health and safety concerns for the individual and the community. This policy refers to isolated incidents and does not excuse students who repeatedly or knowingly violate the alcohol or drug policy, nor does it preclude action arising from other violations of the code. The student conduct officer will consider the positive impact of reporting a situation when determining any course of action.
Complainants and witnesses who, in good faith, report sexual misconduct will not be subject to alcohol or drug violations of the code occurring at or near the time of the sexual misconduct unless their own conduct placed another person's health or safety at risk.
WAC 132U-126-030Prohibited student conduct.
The college may impose sanctions against a student found responsible for committing, attempting to commit, aiding, abetting, inciting, encouraging, or assisting another person to commit, an act(s) of misconduct which include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Academic dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication:
(a) Cheating includes any attempt to give or obtain unauthorized collaboration relating to the completion of an academic assignment.
(b) Plagiarism includes taking and using as one's own, without proper attribution, the ideas, writings, or work of another person in completing an academic assignment. Prohibited conduct may also include the unauthorized submission for credit of academic work that has been submitted for credit in another course.
(c) Fabrication includes falsifying data, information, or citations in completing an academic assignment and also includes providing false or deceptive information to an instructor concerning the completion of an assignment.
(2) Other dishonesty. Any other act of dishonesty including, but not limited to:
(a) Forgery, alteration, submission of falsified documents or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification;
(b) Tampering with an election conducted by or for college students;
(c) Furnishing false information, or failing to furnish correct information, in response to the request or requirement of a college officer or employee.
(3) Disruptive behavior. Behavior not otherwise protected by law, that interferes with, impedes, or otherwise unreasonably hinders the following:
(a) Instruction, services, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other college activities, including the obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular movement on college property or at a college activity; or
(b) Any activity that is authorized to occur on college property or under college jurisdiction, whether or not actually conducted or sponsored by the college.
(4) Assault or intimidation. Unwanted touching, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threat(s), intimidation, harassment, bullying, or other conduct which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person or another person's property. Bullying is physical or verbal abuse, repeated over time, and involves a power imbalance between the aggressor and victim.
(5) Cyber misconduct. Use of electronic communication including, but not limited to, electronic mail, instant messaging, electronic bulletin boards, and social media sites, to harass, abuse, bully or engage in other conduct which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, unauthorized monitoring of another's email communications directly or through spyware, sending threatening emails, disrupting electronic communications with spam or by sending a computer virus, correspondence using another's identity, nonconsensual recording of sexual activity, and nonconsensual distribution of a recording of sexual activity.
(6) Property violation. Damage to, misappropriation of, unauthorized use or possession of, vandalism, or other nonaccidental damaging or destruction of college property or property of another person. Property for the purposes of this subsection includes, but is not limited to, computer passwords, access codes, identification cards, personal financial account numbers, other confidential personal information, intellectual property, and college copyrights and trademarks.
(7) Failure to comply. Failure to comply with a directive of a college officer or employee who is acting in the legitimate performance of their duties, including failure to properly identify oneself to such a person when requested to do so.
(8) Weapons. Possession, holding, wearing, transporting, storage or presence of any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, explosive device, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm is prohibited on the college campus, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) Commissioned law enforcement personnel or legally authorized military personnel while in performance of their duties;
(b) A student with a valid concealed weapons permit may store a pistol in their vehicle parked on campus in accordance with RCW 9.41.050
(2) or (3), provided the vehicle is locked and the weapon is concealed from view; or
(c) The president may grant permission to bring a weapon on campus upon a determination that the weapon is reasonably related to a legitimate pedagogical purpose. Such permission shall be in writing and shall be subject to such terms or conditions incorporated in the written permission.
(d) This policy does not apply to the possession and/or use of legal disabling chemical sprays when possessed and/or used for self defense.
(9) Hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to, any initiation into a student organization or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm.
(10) Alcohol, drug, and tobacco violations.
(a) Alcohol. The use, possession, sale, or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, except as permitted by law and applicable college policies.
(b) Marijuana. The use, possession, or sale of marijuana or the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana and intended for human consumption, regardless of form, or being under the influence of marijuana or the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana or the possession of drug paraphernalia. While state law permits the recreational use of marijuana, federal law prohibits such use on college premises or in connection with college activities.
The use, possession, delivery, sale, or the appearance of being under the influence of any legend drug, including anabolic steroids, androgens, or human growth hormones as defined in chapter 69.41
RCW, or any other controlled substance under chapter 69.50
RCW, except as prescribed for a student's use by a licensed practitioner.
(d) Tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and related products. The use of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and related products in any building owned, leased or operated by the college or in any location where such use is prohibited, including twenty-five feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of any building owned, leased or operated by the college. "Related products" include, but are not limited to, cigarettes, pipes, bidi, clove cigarettes, water pipes, hookahs, chewing tobacco, vaporizers, and snuff.
(11) Lewd conduct. Conduct which is obscene, indecent, pornographic and/or lascivious that is not otherwise protected under the law.
(12) Discriminatory conduct. Conduct which harms or adversely affects any member of the college community because of race; color; national origin; sensory, mental, or physical disability; use of a service animal; age; religion; creed; gender, including pregnancy; marital status; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender identity; veteran's status; or any other legally protected classification.
(13) Sexual misconduct. The term "sexual misconduct" includes sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, and sexual violence.
(a) Sexual harassment. The term "sexual harassment" means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, and does deny or limit, based on sex, the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other campus community members.
(b) Sexual intimidation. The term "sexual intimidation" incorporates the definition of "sexual harassment" and means threatening or emotionally distressing conduct based on sex including, but not limited to, nonconsensual recording of sexual activity or the distribution of such recording.
(c) Sexual violence. "Sexual violence" is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
(i) Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
(ii) Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breast, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
(iii) Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence laws, or anyone else protected under domestic family violence law.
(iv) Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
(v) Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
(vi) Consent means knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.
Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
(14) Harassment. Unwelcome and offensive conduct, including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, that is directed at a person because of such person's protected status and that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, and that does deny or limit, the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational program or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other campus community members. Protected status includes a person's race; color; national origin; sensory, mental, or physical disability; use of a service animal; age; religion; genetic information; gender, including pregnancy, marital status; sexual orientation; gender identity; veteran's status; or any other legally protected classification. See "sexual misconduct" for the definition of "sexual harassment." Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to, physical conduct, verbal, written, social media and electronic communications.
(15) Retaliation. Harming, threatening, intimidating, coercing, or taking adverse action of any kind against a person because such person reported an alleged violation of this code or college policy, provided information about an alleged violation, or participated as a witness or in any other capacity in a college investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
(16) Misuse of electronic resources. Theft or other misuse of computer time or other electronic information resources of the college. Such misuse includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Unauthorized use of such resources or opening of file, message, or other item;
(b) Unauthorized duplication, transfer, or distribution of a computer program, file, message, or other item;
(c) Unauthorized use or distribution of someone else's password or other identification;
(d) Use of such time or resources to interfere with someone else's work;
(e) Use of such time or resources to send, display, or print an obscene or abusive message, text, or image;
(f) Use of such time or resources to interfere with normal operation of the college's computing system or other electronic information resources;
(g) Use of such time or resources in violation of applicable copyright or other law;
(h) Adding to or otherwise altering the infrastructure of the college's electronic information resources without authorization;
(i) Failure to comply with the college's electronic use policy.
(17) Unauthorized access. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or other use of a key, keycard, or other restricted means of access to college property, or unauthorized entry onto or into college property.
(18) Safety violation. Safety violation includes any nonaccidental or negligent conduct that interferes with or otherwise compromises any college policy, equipment, or procedure relating to the safety and security of self or the campus community, including tampering with fire safety equipment and triggering false alarms or other emergency response systems. A safety violation may include the operation of any motor vehicle on college property in an unsafe manner or in a manner which is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person.
(19) Violation of other laws and policies. Violation of any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation or other college rules or policies.
(20) Ethical violation. The breach of any generally recognized and published code of ethics or standards of professional practice that governs the conduct of a particular profession for which the student is taking a course or is pursuing as an educational goal or major.
In addition to initiating discipline proceedings for violation of the student conduct code, the college may refer any violations of federal, state, or local laws to civil and criminal authorities for disposition. The college shall proceed with student disciplinary proceedings regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
WAC 132U-126-035Classroom conduct.
Faculty have the authority to take appropriate action to maintain order and proper conduct in the classroom and to maintain the effective cooperation of the class in fulfilling the objectives of the course.
Any instructor has the authority to exclude a student from any single class session during which the student is disruptive to the learning environment. The instructor shall report any such exclusion from the class to the vice president for student services, or designee, who may summarily suspend the student or initiate conduct proceedings as provided in this procedure. The vice president for student services, or designee, may impose a disciplinary probation that restricts the student from the classroom until the student has met with the student conduct officer and the student agrees to comply with the specific conditions outlined by the student conduct officer for behavior in the classroom. The student may appeal the disciplinary sanction according to the disciplinary appeal procedures.
In keeping with the educational mission of Whatcom Community College, sanctions serve the purpose of educating students about their rights and responsibilities, reinforcing the high standards of scholarship expected of Whatcom students, promoting student development, and maintaining safety and well-being of members of the college community. When appropriate, the college may attempt to resolve issues without formal disciplinary action and may give verbal warnings. When a student takes responsibility for a violation or is determined to have violated the code, the student conduct officer may impose one or more of the following sanctions. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and other sanctions may be applied at the discretion of the student conduct officer.
(1) Disciplinary warning. A verbal statement to a student that there is a violation and that continued violation may be cause for further disciplinary action.
(2) Written reprimand. Notice in writing that the student has violated one or more terms of this code of conduct and that continuation of the same or similar behavior may result in more severe disciplinary action.
(3) Disciplinary probation. Formal action placing specific conditions and restrictions upon the student's continued attendance depending upon the seriousness of the violation. Probation may be for a specific period of time or for the duration of the student's enrollment at the college.
(4) Disciplinary suspension. Dismissal from the college and from the student status for a stated period of time. There may be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken.
(5) Dismissal. The revocation of all rights and privileges of membership in the college community and exclusion from the campus and college-owned or controlled facilities without any possibility of return. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken.
(6) Educational activity. A student may be required to engage in educational activities related to violation(s). Such activities may include, but are not limited to, attendance at educational programs, community services, project or written assignments, and/or meeting with campus officials.
(7) Loss of privileges. A student may be denied specific privileges on a temporary or permanent basis such as participating in specific activities or restriction from specific areas of campus.
(8) Restitution. Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, or for injury to persons, or for reasonable costs incurred by the college in pursuing an investigation or disciplinary proceedings.
(9) Professional evaluation. Referral for drug, alcohol, psychological or medical evaluation by an appropriately certified or licensed professional may be required. The student may choose the professional within the scope of practice and with the professional credentials as defined by the college. The student will sign all necessary releases to allow the college access to any such evaluation. The student's return to college may be conditional upon compliance with the recommendations set forth in such a professional evaluation. If the evaluation indicates that the student is not capable of functioning within the college community, the student will remain suspended until further evaluation recommends that the student is capable of reentering the college and complying with the rules of conduct.
(10) Administrative no-contact order. An order directing a student to have no contact with a specified student, college employee, a member of the college community, or a particular college facility.
(11) Student housing relocation. Students who are living in college-controlled or administered housing may be transferred to alternate college-controlled or administered housing.
(12) Termination of student housing contract. A student may be removed from their college-controlled housing and their housing contract terminated.
WAC 132U-126-045Initiation of disciplinary action.
(1) All disciplinary actions will be initiated by the student conduct officer in response to a report filed by any college community member. A complaint should be made in writing to the office of student conduct. Additionally, information received from any source (police report, third party, electronic, etc.) may be considered as a complaint. If that officer is the subject of a complaint initiated by the respondent, the president shall, upon request and when feasible, designate another person to fulfill any such disciplinary responsibilities relative to the complaint.
(2) The student conduct officer shall initiate disciplinary action by serving the respondent with written notice directing them to attend a disciplinary meeting. The notice shall briefly describe the factual allegations, the provision(s) of the conduct code the respondent is alleged to have violated, the range of possible sanctions for the alleged violation(s), and specify the time and location of the meeting. At the meeting, the student conduct officer will present the allegations to the respondent and the respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain what took place. If the respondent fails to attend the meeting after proper service of notice, the student conduct officer may take disciplinary action based upon the available information.
(3) The student conduct officer, prior to taking disciplinary action in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, will make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to discuss the results of the investigation and possible sanctions and/or conditions, if any, that may be imposed upon the respondent if the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to have merit.
(4) Within ten business days of the initial disciplinary meeting, and after considering the evidence in the case, including any facts or argument presented by the respondent, the student conduct officer shall serve the respondent with a written decision setting forth the facts and conclusions supporting their decision, the specific student conduct code provisions found to have been violated, the sanction imposed, if any, and a notice of any appeal rights with an explanation of the consequences of failing to file a timely appeal.
(5) The student conduct officer may take any of the following disciplinary actions:
(a) Exonerate the respondent and terminate the proceedings.
(b) Impose a disciplinary sanction(s), as described in WAC 132U-125-035.
(c) Refer the matter directly to the student conduct committee for such disciplinary action, as the committee deems appropriate. Such referral shall be in writing, to the attention of the chair of the student conduct committee, with a copy served on the respondent.
(6) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the student conduct officer, on the same date that a disciplinary decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including disciplinary suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights. If protective sanctions and/or conditions are imposed, the student conduct officer shall make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to ensure prompt notice of the protective sanctions and/or conditions.
WAC 132U-126-050Appeal from disciplinary action.
(1) The respondent may appeal a disciplinary action by submitting a written appeal with the conduct review officer within ten business days of service. Failure to appeal on or before the deadline constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and the initial decision shall be deemed final.
(2) The written appeal must include a brief statement explaining why the respondent is seeking review.
(3) The parties to an appeal shall be the respondent and the conduct review officer.
(4) A respondent, who timely appeals a disciplinary action or whose case is referred to the student conduct committee, has a right to a prompt, fair, and impartial hearing as provided for in these procedures.
(5) On appeal, the college bears the burden of establishing the evidentiary facts underlying the imposition of a sanction by a preponderance of the evidence.
(6) Disciplinary action imposed for violation will not begin while an appeal is pending, except summary suspension and any conditions included in a summary suspension.
(7) The student conduct committee shall hear appeals from:
(a) Disciplinary suspensions in excess of ten business days;
(b) Dismissals; and
(c) Discipline cases referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the conduct review officer, the president or designee.
(8) Appeals to the following sanctions shall be reviewed through brief adjudicative proceedings:
(a) Suspension of ten business days or less;
(b) Disciplinary probation;
(c) Written reprimands; and
(d) Any conditions or terms imposed in conjunction with one of the three sanctions listed in this subsection.
(9) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant has the right to appeal the following actions by the student conduct office following the same procedures as set forth in subsection (8)(a) through (d) of this section for the respondent:
(a) The dismissal of a sexual misconduct complaint; or
(b) Any sanctions and/or conditions imposed against a respondent for a sexual misconduct violation, including a disciplinary warning.
(10) If the respondent files an appeal to a decision imposing sanctions for a sexual misconduct violation, the college shall notify the complainant of the appeal and provide the complainant an opportunity to participate as a party to the appeal.
(11) Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, a complainant who files an appeal to sanctions or who participates as a party to a respondent's appeal of a disciplinary decision shall be afforded the same procedural rights as are afforded the respondent.
WAC 132U-126-055Brief adjudicative proceedings—Initial hearing.
(1) Brief adjudicative proceedings shall be conducted by a conduct review officer or designee. The conduct review officer shall not participate in any case in which the conduct officer is complainant or witness; or in which they have direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias; or in which they have acted previously in an advisory capacity.
(2) The parties to a brief adjudicative proceeding are the respondent, the student conduct officer, and the complainant in cases involving sexual misconduct. The conduct review officer shall conduct an informal hearing and provide each party an opportunity to be informed of the facts as viewed by the college and the initial disciplinary findings. Each party will also have an opportunity to explain their view of the matter.
(3) The conduct review officer shall serve an initial decision to both the respondent and the student conduct officer within ten business days of consideration of the appeal. The initial decision shall contain a brief written statement of the reasons for the decision and information about how to seek administrative review of the initial decision. If no request for review is filed within ten business days of service of the initial decision, the initial decision shall be deemed the final decision.
(4) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the conduct review officer, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
(5) Upon review, if the conduct review officer determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten business days or dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
WAC 132U-126-060Brief adjudicative proceedings—Review of an initial decision.
(1) An initial decision is subject to review by the president or designee, provided a party files a written request for review with the conduct review officer within ten business days of service of the initial decision.
(2) The president or designee shall not participate in any case in which they are a complainant or witness; has direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias; or has acted previously in an advisory capacity.
(3) During the review, the president or designee shall give each party an opportunity to file written responses explaining their view of the matter and shall make any inquiries necessary to ascertain whether the sanctions should be modified or whether the proceedings should be referred to the student conduct committee for a formal adjudicative hearing.
(4) The decision on review must be in writing and must include a brief statement of the reasons for the decision. The decision must be served on the parties within twenty business days of the initial decision or of the request for review, whichever is later. The decision on review will contain a notice that judicial review may be available. A request for review may be deemed to have been denied if the president or designee does not make a disposition of the matter within twenty business days after the request is submitted.
(5) If, upon review, the president or designee determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant disciplinary suspension of more than ten business days or expulsion, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
(6) In cases involving sexual misconduct, the president will, on the same date as the final decision is served to the respondent, serve a written notice to the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
WAC 132U-126-070Student conduct committee structure.
(1) The student conduct committee shall consist of five members appointed each year:
(a) Two full-time students appointed by the student government;
(b) Two faculty members appointed by the faculty union;
(c) One administrative staff member (other than an administrator serving as a student conduct or conduct review officer) appointed by the president or designee.
(2) The administrative staff member shall serve as the chair of the committee and may take action on preliminary hearing matters prior to convening the committee. The chair shall receive annual training on protecting victims and promoting accountability in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
(3) Hearings may be heard by a quorum of three members of the committee so long as one faculty member and one student are included on the hearing panel. Committee action may be taken upon a majority vote of all committee members attending the hearing.
(4) Members of the student conduct committee shall not participate in any case in which they are in a party, complainant, or witness; in which they have direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias; or in which they have acted previously in an advisory capacity. Any involved party may petition the committee for disqualification of a committee member.
WAC 132U-126-075Appeal—Student conduct committee.
(1) Proceedings of the student conduct committee shall be governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05
(2) The student conduct committee chair shall serve all parties with written notice of the hearing not less than seven business days in advance of the hearing date. The chair may shorten this notice period if both parties agree, and may continue the hearing to a later time for good cause shown.
(3) The committee chair is authorized to conduct prehearing conferences and/or to make prehearing decisions concerning the extent and form of any discovery, issuance of protective decisions, and similar procedural matters.
(4) Any involved party, including the committee chair, may submit a request to submit and exchange lists of potential witnesses and copies of potential exhibits that reasonably expect to be presented to the committee. This request must be submitted to the committee chair at least five business days prior to the hearing. The parties shall exchange the items no later than the third business day prior to the hearing. Failure to participate in good faith in such a requested exchange may be cause for exclusion from the hearing of any witness or exhibit not disclosed, absent a showing of good cause for such failure.
(5) The committee chair may provide to the committee members in advance of the hearings copies of:
(a) The conduct officer's notification of imposition of discipline or referral to the committee; and
(b) The notice of appeal or any response to referral by the respondent. If doing so, however, the chair should remind the members that these "pleadings" are not evidence of any facts they may allege.
(6) The parties may agree before the hearing to designate specific exhibits as admissible without objection and, if they do so, whether the committee chair may provide copies of these admissible exhibits to the committee members before the hearing.
(7) The student conduct officer, upon request, shall provide reasonable assistance to the respondent in obtaining relevant and admissible evidence that is within the college's control.
(8) Communications between committee members and other hearing participants regarding any issue in the proceeding, other than procedural communications that are necessary to maintain an orderly process, are generally prohibited without notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, and any improper "ex parte" communication shall be placed on the record, as further provided in RCW 34.05.455
(9) Each party may be accompanied at the hearing by a nonattorney assistant of their choice. A respondent, or complainant in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, may elect to be represented by an attorney at their own cost, but will be deemed to have waived that right unless, at least four business days before the hearing, written notice of the attorney's identity and participation is filed with the committee chair with a copy to the student conduct officer. The committee will ordinarily be advised by an assistant attorney general. If the respondent or complainant is represented by an attorney, the student conduct officer may also be represented by a second, appropriately screened assistant attorney general.
WAC 132U-126-080Student conduct committee hearings—Presentations of evidence.
(1) Upon the failure of any party to attend or participate in a hearing, the student conduct committee may either:
(a) Proceed with the hearing and issuance of its decision; or
(b) Serve a decision of default in accordance with RCW 34.05.440
(2) The hearing will ordinarily be closed to the public. However, if all parties agree on the record that some or all of the proceedings be open, the chair shall determine any extent to which the hearing will be open. If any person disrupts the proceedings, the chair may exclude that person from the hearing room.
(3) The chair shall cause the hearing to be recorded by a method that they select, in accordance with RCW 34.05.449
. That recording, or a copy, shall be made available to any party upon request. The chair shall assure maintenance of the record of the proceeding that is required by RCW 34.05.476
, which shall also be available upon request for inspection and copying by any party. Other recording shall also be permitted, in accordance with WAC 10-08-190.
(4) The chair shall preside at the hearing and decide procedural questions that arise during the hearing, except as overridden by majority vote of the committee.
(5) The student conduct officer, unless represented by an assistant attorney general, shall present the case for imposing disciplinary sanctions.
(6) All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. Evidence shall be admitted or excluded in accordance with RCW 34.05.452
(7) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, neither party shall directly question or cross-examine one another. Attorneys from the parties are also prohibited from questioning the opposing party absent express permission from the committee chair. Subject to this exception, all cross-examination questions shall be directed to the committee chair, who in their discretion, shall pose the questions on the party's behalf.
WAC 132U-126-085Student conduct committee—Initial decision.
(1) At the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct committee shall permit the parties to make closing arguments in whatever form it wishes to receive them. The committee also may permit each party to propose findings, conclusion, and/or a proposed decision for its consideration.
(2) Within twenty business days following the later of the conclusion of the hearing or the committee's receipt of closing arguments, the committee shall issue an initial decision in accordance with RCW 34.05.461
and WAC 10-08-210. The initial decision shall include findings on all material issues of fact and conclusion on all material issues of law. The decision shall state the related section(s) of the conduct code the respondent is alleged to have violated and if the allegations are sustained. Any findings based substantially on the credibility of evidence or the demeanor of witnesses shall be so identified.
(3) The committee's initial order shall also include a determination on appropriate discipline, if any. If the matter was referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the committee shall identify and impose disciplinary sanction(s) or conditions, if any, as authorized in the student code. If the matter is an appeal by the respondent, the committee may affirm, reverse, or modify the disciplinary sanction and/or conditions imposed by the student conduct officer and/or impose additional disciplinary sanction(s) or conditions as authorized herein.
(4) The committee chair shall cause copies of the initial decision to be served on the parties and their legal counsel of record. The committee chair shall also promptly transmit a copy of the decision and the record of the committee's proceedings to the president or designee.
(5) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the chair of the student conduct committee, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. A complainant may appeal the student conduct committee's initial decision to the president subject to the same procedures and deadlines applicable to other parties. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
WAC 132U-126-090Appeal from student conduct committee initial decision.
(1) A respondent, or complainant in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, who is aggrieved by the findings or conclusions issued by the student conduct committee may appeal the student conduct committee's initial decision to the president or designee by filing a written notice of appeal with the president's office within ten business days of service of the committee's initial decision. Failure to file a timely appeal constitutes a waiver of the right and the initial decision shall be deemed final.
(2) The president or designee shall not participate in any case in which the president or designee is a complainant or witness; has direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias has or has acted previously in an advisory capacity.
(3) The notice of appeal must identify the specific findings of fact and/or conclusions of law in the initial decision that are challenged and must contain argument why the appeal should be granted. If necessary to aid review, the president or designee's may ask for additional briefing from the parties on issues raised on appeal. The review shall be restricted to the hearing record made before the student conduct committee and will normally be limited to a review of those issues and arguments raised in the notice of appeal.
(4) The president or designee shall provide a written decision to all parties within twenty business days after receipt of the notice of appeal. The president or designee's decision shall be final and shall include a notice of any rights to request reconsideration and/or judicial review.
(5) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the president, on the same date that the final decision is served upon the respondent, shall serve a written notice informing the complainant of the final decision. This notice shall inform the complainant whether the sexual misconduct allegation was found to have merit and describe any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent.
(6) The president or designee shall not engage in an ex parte communication with any of the parties regarding any appeal.
WAC 132U-126-095Summary suspension.
(1) Summary suspension is a temporary exclusion from specified college premises or denial of access to all activities or privileges for which a respondent might otherwise be eligible, while an investigation and/or formal disciplinary procedures are pending.
(2) The student conduct officer may impose a summary suspension if there is probable cause to believe that the respondent:
(a) Has violated any provision of the code of conduct; and
(b) Presents an immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of members of the college community; or
(c) Poses an ongoing threat of substantial disruption of, or interference with, the operations of the college.
(3) Notice. Any respondent who has been summarily suspended shall be served with oral or written notice of the summary suspension. If oral notice is given, a written notification shall be served on the respondent within two business days of the oral notice.
(4) The written notification shall be entitled "Notice of Summary Suspension" and shall include:
(a) The reason for imposing the summary suspension, including a description of the conduct giving rise to the summary suspension and reference to the provisions of the student conduct code or the law allegedly violated;
(b) The date, time, and location when the respondent must appear before the conduct review officer for a hearing on the summary suspension; and
(c) The conditions, if any, under which the respondent may physically access the campus or communicate with members of the campus community. If the respondent has been trespassed from the campus, a notice against trespass shall be included that warns the student that their privilege to enter into or remain on college premises has been withdrawn, that the respondent shall be considered trespassing and subject to arrest for criminal trespass if the respondent enters the college campus other than to meet as scheduled with the student conduct officer or conduct review officer or to attend a scheduled disciplinary hearing.
(5) The conduct review officer shall conduct a hearing on the summary suspension as soon as practicable after imposition of the summary suspension.
(a) During the summary suspension hearing, the issue before the conduct review officer is whether there is probable cause to believe that the summary suspension should be continued pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings and/or whether the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
(b) The respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain why summary suspension should not be continued while disciplinary proceedings are pending or why the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
(c) If the student fails to appear at the designated hearing time, the conduct review officer may order that the summary suspension remain in place pending the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings.
(d) As soon as practicable following the hearing, the conduct review officer shall issue a written decision which shall include a brief explanation for any decision continuing and/or modifying the summary suspension and notice of any right to appeal.
(e) To the extent permissible under applicable law, the conduct review officer shall provide a copy of the decision to all persons or offices who may be bound or protected by it.
(f) In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant shall be notified that a summary suspension has been imposed on the same day that the summary suspension notice is served on the respondent. The college will also provide the complainant with timely notice of any subsequent changes to the summary suspension order.
WAC 132U-126-100Sexual misconduct proceedings.
Both the respondent and the complainant in cases involving sexual allegations of sexual misconduct shall be provided the same procedural rights to participate in student discipline matters, including the right to participate in the initial disciplinary decision-making process and to appeal any disciplinary decisions.
Whatcom Community College recognizes its responsibility for investigation, resolution, implementation of corrective measures, and monitoring the educational environment and workplace to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, or honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the use of trained guide dog or service animal, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendment Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and Washington state's law against discrimination, chapter 49.60
RCW and their implementing regulations. Employees are also protected from discrimination for filing a whistleblower complaint with the Washington state auditor.
Complainant: Employee(s), applicant(s), student(s), or visitor(s) of Whatcom Community College who alleges that she or he has been subjected to discrimination or harassment due to his or her membership in a protected class.
Complaint: A description of facts that allege violation of the college's policy against discrimination or harassment.
Consent: Knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct. Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct.
Discrimination: Unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person's membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination.
Harassment: A form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward individuals because of their membership in a protected class or their perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational and/or social programs and/or student housing. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment. Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of discriminatory harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Epithets, "jokes," ridicule, mockery, or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual's membership in a protected class.
(b) Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership in a protected class.
(c) Making, posting, emailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to race, ethnic origin, gender or any other protected class.
Protected class: Persons who are protected under state or federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
Resolution: The means by which the complaint is finally addressed. This may be accomplished through informal or formal processes, including counseling, mediation, or the formal imposition of discipline.
Respondent: Person or persons who are members of the campus community who allegedly discriminated against or harassed another person or persons.
Retaliation: Harming, threatening, intimidating, coercing, or taking adverse action of any kind against a person because the person reported an alleged violation of this policy or other college policy, provided information about an alleged violation, or participated as a witness or in any other capacity in an investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
Sexual harassment: A form of discrimination consisting of unwelcome, gender-based verbal, written, electronic, and/or physical conduct. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's gender. There are two types of sexual harassment:
(a) Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe and/or pervasive and so objectively offensive that it has the effect of altering the terms or conditions of employment or substantially limiting the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational and/or social programs and/or student housing.
(b) Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority, conditions the receipt of a benefit upon granting of sexual favors.
Examples of conduct that may qualify as sexual harassment include:
(i) Persistent comments or questions of a sexual nature;
(ii) A supervisor who gives an employee a raise in exchange for submitting to sexual advances;
(iii) An instructor who promises a student a better grade in exchange for sexual favors;
(iv) Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
(v) Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual's body;
(vi) Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual's clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences;
(vii) Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship;
(viii) Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity;
(ix) Unwelcome letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
Sexual violence: Sexual violence is a type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
(a) Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
(b) Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
(c) Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
(d) Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
(e) Stalking means intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
WAC 132U-300-060Complaint procedure.
Whatcom Community College has enacted policies prohibiting discrimination against, and harassment of members of protected classes. Any individual found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college or from employment.
Any employee, student, applicant, or visitor who believes that he or she has been the subject of discrimination or harassment should report the incident or incidents to the college's Title IX/EEO coordinator identified below. If the complaint is against that coordinator, the complainant should report the matter to the president's office for referral to an alternate designee.
The college encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at http://www.whatcom.edu/home/showdocument?id=360. Hard copies of the complaint form are available in the Human Resource Office, Laidlaw Center (LDC) 235.
The following college official is designated to handle inquiries regarding this policy:
Name: Becky Rawlings
Title: Executive Director for Human Resources, Title IX/EEO Coordinator
Office: Laidlaw Center (LDC) 235
Address: 237 W. Kellogg Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226
The Title IX/EEO coordinator or designee:
• Will accept all complaints and referrals from college employees, applicants, students, and visitors;
• Will make determinations regarding how to handle requests by complainants for confidentiality;
• Will keep accurate records of all complaints and referrals for the required time period;
• May conduct investigations or delegate and oversee investigations conducted by a designee;
• May impose interim remedial measures to protect parties during investigations of discrimination or harassment;
• Will issue written findings and recommendations upon completion of an investigation; and
• May recommend specific corrective measures to stop, remediate, and prevent the recurrence of inappropriate conduct.
WAC 132U-300-070Who may file a complaint.
Any employee, applicant, student, or visitor of Whatcom Community College may file a complaint. Complaints may be submitted in writing or verbally. The college encourages the timely reporting of any incidents of discrimination or harassment. For complainants who wish to submit a written complaint, a formal complaint form is available online at http://www.whatcom.edu/home/showdocument?id=360. Hardcopies of the complaint form are available at the Human Resource Office, Laidlaw Center (LDC) 235. Any person submitting a discrimination complaint shall be provided with a written copy of the college's antidiscrimination policies and procedures.
WAC 132U-300-080Confidentiality and right to privacy.
Whatcom Community College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Whatcom Community College policies and procedures. Although Whatcom Community College will attempt to honor complainants' requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee.
Confidentiality requests and sexual violence complaints. The Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will inform and obtain consent from the complainant before commencing an investigation into a sexual violence complaint. If a sexual violence complainant asks that his or her name not be revealed to the respondent or that the college not investigate the allegation, the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will inform the complainant that maintaining confidentiality may limit the college's ability to respond fully to the allegations and that retaliation by the respondent and/or others is prohibited. If the complainant still insists that his or her name not be disclosed or that the college not investigate, the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will determine whether the college can honor the request and at the same time maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the college community, including the complainant. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:
• The seriousness of the alleged sexual violence;
• The age of the complainant;
• Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
• Whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints;
• Whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others; and
• Whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence).
If the college is unable to honor a complainant's request for confidentiality, the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant's identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.
If the college decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible.
WAC 132U-300-090Investigation procedure.
Upon receiving a discrimination complaint, the college shall commence an impartial investigation. The Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee shall be responsible for overseeing all investigations. Investigations may be conducted by the Title IX/EEO coordinator or his or her designee. If the investigation is assigned to someone other than the Title IX/EEO coordinator, the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee shall inform the complainant and respondent(s) of the appointment of an investigator.
(1) Interim measures. The Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee may impose interim measures to protect the complainant and/or respondent pending the conclusion of the investigation. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, imposition of no contact orders, rescheduling classes, temporary work reassignments, referrals for counseling or medical assistance, and imposition of summary discipline on the respondent consistent with the college's student conduct code or the college's employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
(2) Investigation. Complaints shall be thoroughly and impartially investigated. The investigation shall include, but is not limited to, interviewing the complainant and the respondent, relevant witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable time, normally sixty days barring exigent circumstances. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall set forth his or her findings and recommendations in writing. If the investigator is a designee, the investigator shall send a copy of the findings and recommendations to the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee. The Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee shall consider the findings and recommendations and determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether a violation of the discrimination and harassment policy occurred, and if so, what steps will be taken to resolve the complaint, remedy the effects on any victim(s), and prevent its recurrence. Possible remedial steps may include, but are not limited to, referral for voluntary training/counseling, development of a remediation plan, limited contact orders, and referral and recommendation for formal disciplinary action. Referrals for disciplinary action will be consistent with the student rights and responsibilities policy (chapter 132U-126 WAC) or college employment policies and collective bargaining agreements.
(3) Written notice of decision. The Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee will provide each party and the appropriate student services administrator or appointing authority with written notice of the investigative findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, subject to the following limitations. The complainant shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint, if any, only to the extent that such findings, actions, or recommendations directly relate to the complainant, such as a finding that the complaint is or is not meritorious or a recommendation that the respondent not contact the complainant. The complainant may be notified generally that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action. The respondent shall be informed in writing of the findings and of actions taken or recommended to resolve the complaint and shall be notified of referrals for disciplinary action. Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to review any final findings, conclusions, and recommendations, subject to confidentiality requirements.
(4) Informal dispute resolution. Informal dispute resolution processes, like mediation, may be used to resolve complaints, when appropriate. Informal dispute resolution shall not be used to resolve sexual discrimination complaints without written permission from both the complainant and the respondent. If the parties elect to mediate a dispute, either party shall be free to discontinue mediation at any time. In no event shall mediation be used to resolve complaints involving allegations of sexual violence.
(5) Final decision and/or reconsideration. Either the complainant or the respondent may seek reconsideration of the decision by the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee. Requests for reconsideration shall be submitted in writing to the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee within seven business days of receiving the decision. Requests must specify which portion of the decision should be reconsidered and the basis for reconsideration. If no request for reconsideration is received within seven business days, the decision becomes final. If a request for reconsideration is received, the college president or designee shall respond within fourteen business days. The president or designee shall either deny the request or, if the president or designee determines that the request for reconsideration has merit, issue an amended decision. Any amended decision is final and no further reconsideration is available.
WAC 132U-300-100Publication of antidiscrimination policies and procedures.
The policies and procedures regarding complaints of discrimination and harassment shall be published and distributed as determined by the president or president's designee. Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of college policy will be provided a copy of these policies and procedures.
WAC 132U-300-110Limits to authority.
Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the college president or designee from taking immediate disciplinary action in accordance with Whatcom Community College policies and procedures, and federal, state, and municipal rules and regulations.
WAC 132U-300-120Nonretaliation, intimidation, and coercion.
Retaliation by, for, or against any participant (including complainant, respondent, witness, Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee, or investigator) is expressly prohibited. Retaliatory action of any kind taken against individual(s) as a result of seeking redress under the applicable procedures or serving as a witness in a subsequent investigation or any resulting disciplinary proceedings is prohibited and is conduct subject to discipline. Any person who thinks he/she has been the victim of retaliation should contact the Title IX/EEO coordinator/designee immediately.
WAC 132U-300-130Criminal complaints.
Discriminatory or harassing conduct may also be, or occur in conjunction with, criminal conduct. Criminal complaints may be filed with the following law enforcement authorities:
Bellingham Police Department
505 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
Blaine Public Safety Department
322 H Street
Blaine, WA 98230
Everson Police Department
111 W Main Street
Everson, WA 98247
Ferndale Police Department
2220 Main Street
Ferndale, WA 98248
Lynden Police Department
203 19th Street
Lynden, WA 98264
Sumas Police Department
433 Cherry Street
Sumas, WA 98295
Western Washington University
Department of Public Safety
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Whatcom County Sheriff's Office
Public Safety Building
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
The college will proceed with an investigation of harassment and discrimination complaints regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil criminal prosecution.
WAC 132U-300-140Other discrimination complaint options.
Discrimination complaints may also be filed with the following federal and state agencies:
Washington State Human Rights Commission at http://www.hum.wa.gov/
U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at http://www.eeoc.gov/
This form is designed to assist you with filing a discrimination and/or harassment complaint. Please write clearly and focus on the alleged discriminatory and/or harassing conduct. The complaint should include as much information regarding the incident giving rise to the complaint as possible, including the location, date and time of the alleged incident(s); the name of the individual or group whom the complaint is against, if known; a description of the incident(s); and the remedy sought.
Name of person filing the complaint: _____
You may use the back side of this sheet if needed. Please return this form to the Title IX/EEO coordinator, LDC 235.