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Harassment & Discrimination – VSC Policy 311

All members of the College community must act in a manner that allows others to pursue appropriate activities and goals without fear of harassment. The College values a community atmosphere that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, and will endeavor to prevent discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or military service. The College prohibits conduct that prevents free academic interaction and opportunities or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

A copy of VSC Policy 311, Non-Discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Professional Conduct, may be viewed at www.vsc.edu under the public information section. Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz, Assistant Dean of Students, is the Vermont Tech’s Policy 311 and Title IX Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating the institution‘s response to complaints and maintaining records on complaints.

Complaints of harassment and discrimination are investigated by two impartial investigators.  Where a complaint is made by a student against another student, the Dean of Students shall appoint two investigators. Where a complaint is made by an employee or by a student against an employee, the President shall appoint two investigators who may or may not be employees of the member College. In complaints involving sexual harassment, the investigators generally shall include one male and one female.  All faculty and staff have an obligation to report any complaints shared with them to the Policy 311 coordinator.

Any student or employee who believes that he or she is a victim of discrimination, harassment or related unprofessional conduct, or a person who has information about alleged incidents, may seek information from the Policy 311 coordinator or College Administrator.

Any communication of an incident of harassment, discrimination, or bias received by the Policy 311 coordinator or Administrator will be investigated in a timely manner, corrective measures taken as appropriate, and information fed back to the complaining party.

The investigator(s) may call on the College President, Deans, or designated College personnel for support in an investigation, and to ensure that there is no bias during the investigation.

Retaliation for an employee or student having filed or made a good faith complaint under this Policy, or for cooperating in an investigation, is strictly prohibited and will be considered a violation of Policy 311.

Sexual Harassment

Vermont Tech is committed to the full development of each community member‘s abilities and aspirations. As part of that commitment, the College seeks to establish and maintain a community in which all members are accorded respect, free from unwelcome sexual advances and comments or displays of unwarranted gestures or behavior. Sexual harassment is covered under VSC Policy 311 as outlined above, and all students are encouraged to read the policy and discuss its contents with faculty, staff, other students, or with one of the designated contact people trained to assist in implementing the policy.
These people are:
  • All Resident Directors
  • Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz, Assistant Dean of Students, extension 1319, mjuskiewicz@vtc.edu
  • Pamela Gandin Ankuda, Director of Human Resources, extension 1530, pankuda@vtc.edu

Sexual Assault

It is important that students know their rights and responsibilities regarding sexuality and sexual behavior. For many students, college years are a time of learning more about personal values and choices in many areas of life. Each person must learn how to express thoughts, feelings and desires in appropriate ways, while maintaining respect for the rights and choices of others. One basic right is the right to refuse to consent to sexual activity, contact, or harassment at any time and in any situation, or at any point in a relationship. Sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. Intercourse without consent is rape.

These crimes may involve threats, coercion, or fear of imminent harm; they sometimes involve situations where consent or personal control is impaired by drugs or alcohol. These are serious crimes that can have a devastating impact on everyone involved. Each student should take the time to learn about these issues for him or herself and to help others be more aware of them.

Students should make use of the various campus educational materials and programs on rape and sexual offense issues to explore their thoughts and values and those of others, and to get to know the rules that we all need to live by. There are many resources available to anyone who wants to learn more or to discuss these issues further. On the Randolph Center campus, ask at Student Support Services, located in Conant Hall or the Health Center, located in Keenan for information on the resources and support groups that are available on campus and in the wider community. At the Williston campus, see Jean Marie Clark or Dillon Bianchi. Any person who has been assaulted should immediately contact one of the people listed below. Victims will be advised of their rights and options, and will be assisted in preserving evidence that may be needed in a criminal prosecution and encouraged to contact local or state police. At the victim‘s request, a counselor or advocate from the College community will assist with dealing with medical and law enforcement authorities, accompany the victim to the hospital, and provide support and information. In the event of sexual assault, immediately contact one or all of the following:
Randolph Center:
  • Emile Fredette, or the Officer on duty, Public Safety, Administrative Center 122, extension 1292
  • Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz Branch, Assistant Dean of Students, Conant 220, extension 1319
  • Vermont State Police, Royalton Barracks, 1-802-234-9934
  • Robert Sivret, nurse on the Randolph Campus, extension 1270
  • Nursing site directors
Williston:
  • Dillon Bianchi, Coordinator of Student Activities, extension
  • Jean Marie Clark, Associate Dean of the Williston Campus, extension 2322

Hazing

Vermont State Colleges Manual of Policies and Procedures
Policy 313 6/1/06
Hazing

I.) POLICY STATEMENT
It is the policy of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) that no member of the VSC community may participate or be involved in hazing. A student or employee will be subject to disciplinary action for:
1.) Engaging in hazing;
2.) Soliciting, directing, aiding or abetting, or attempting to aid or abet another person engaged in hazing; and
3.) knowingly failing to take reasonable measures within the scope of the person's authority to prevent hazing. It is not a valid defense against charges of hazing that the student against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.

II.) DEFINITION
"Hazing" means any act committed by a person, whether individually or in concert with others, against a student in connection with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization which is affiliated with the Vermont State Colleges or any member College thereof; and which is intended to have the effect of, or should reasonably be expected to have the effect of humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning the student or endangering the mental or physical health of a student. Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts. Hazing occurs regardless of the consent or willingness of a person to participate in the activity. Hazing shall not include any activity or conduct that furthers legitimate curricular, extracurricular, or military training program goals, provided that:
1.) the goals are approved by the member College; and 
2.) the activity or conduct furthers the goals in a manner that is appropriate, contemplated by the member College, and normal and customary for similar programs at other educational institutions.

"Organization" means an athletic team, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, or other similar group, whose members primarily are students at a member College, and which is affiliated with the College. "Pledging" means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization.

"Student" means any person who:
1.) is registered in or in attendance at a member College;
2.) has been accepted for admission at a member College where the hazing incident occurs; or
3.) intends to attend a member College during any of its regular sessions after an official academic break.

III.) INTERPRETATION OF POLICY
This policy is to be interpreted consistent with Vermont law.

IV.) REPORTS OF HAZING; ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSE; SANCTIONS
1.) Reports of Hazing. Member College employees are required to report possible hazing incidents in a prompt and effective manner. Students and other members of the VSC community are strongly encouraged to report possible hazing incidents. All reports of hazing should first be directed to the member College Dean of Students, or his or her equivalent, or, in the absence of the Dean, to the public safety or security office. Where the public safety or security office is notified in the absence of the Dean, the office shall notify the Dean at its earliest convenience. An investigation shall be initiated immediately and, if the report is substantiated, the Dean shall take necessary steps to stop the hazing. If the Dean or the public safety or security office believes a crime may have been or is about to be committed and such reporting is consistent with state and federal law regarding confidentiality of student information, a report also shall be made to state or local law enforcement agencies.
2.) Administrative Response. If after completion of the investigation the Dean concludes a violation of this policy has occurred, the student or employee discipline process, as the case may be, shall be initiated.
3.) Sanctions. Students may face discipline up to and including expulsion for hazing. Employees may face discipline up to and including dismissal for hazing. Organizations found to have knowingly permitted, authorized, or condoned hazing may face sanctions up to and including suspension or revocation.
V.) DISTRIBUTION OF POLICY SUMMARY
A summary of this policy shall be placed in the Student Handbook of each member College that is distributed to students.
Legal Authority: 16 V.S.A. §2182(b)
Legal References: 16 V.S.A. §11(a)(30) (Definition)
16 V.S.A. §140a-140d (Civil Penalties)
Cross References: Collective Bargaining Agreements

Date Adopted by Trustees: 6/1/06