Below are step by step options available to you if you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment.  Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) if you would like to further discuss your options, need additional information or procedural support. 

DO NOT follow these steps if you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.  If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, please contact the Title IX Office.


Step 1 - Attempt Resolution

Initially, students are encouraged to attempt to resolve complaints informally at the lowest level through the administrative structure of the employment unit or academic department involved. However, this is not required and formal complaints may be filed directly.

One-on-one attempts at resolution

  • If you feel comfortable dealing with the situation without the direct involvement of a third party, you can communicate directly with the person whose behavior is unwelcome.
  • It is appropriate to use face-to-face, individual communication only when you do not feel threatened, there is no risk of physical harm and you believe the other person will be receptive.
  • E-mail is the preferred method of communication. If you choose to communicate face-to-face, you also should send an e-mail, if possible. Keep copies of any communication.
  • The communication should include:
    • A factual description of the incident(s) including date, time, place, witnesses and a description of the specific unwelcome behavior.
    • A description of any consequences you may have suffered due to the unwelcome behavior.
    • A request that the unwelcome behavior cease.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with individual communication or you believe the communication was not successful, you should consider other informal and formal complaint procedures.


Step 2 - Discuss Your Options

If your attempts at resolution have not been successful and you would like to discuss next steps, please contact the OEO.  Your communications will be considered an informal complaint and we will work towards helping you resolve the complaint.

Failure to participate in mediation or another form of informal resolution will not be considered adversely against either you or the respondent in any subsequent investigation or hearing.


STEP 3 – File a Formal Complaint

If the complaint is against a student (except in the student’s capacity as a university employee), contact the Office of Student Accountability & Restorative Practices.

If the complaint is against a student employee, faculty or staff member, contact OEO or complete the Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form.

Complaints against visitors, guests, affiliates or associates may also be filed with the OEO or by completing the Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form.

Formal complaints must be filed within 180 days of the last date of discriminatory or harassing behavior by the respondent.


STEP 4 – Formal Complaint Investigation Procedures

  1. Any formal complaint made to the OEO will be investigated by the Director of Equal Opportunity (DEO).
  2. You, the respondent, and the appropriate VP will receive a copy of your complaint.
  3. The DEO will conduct an investigation within 60 days. The DEO will use the preponderance of evidence standard to determine if there has been a violation.
  4. The DEO’s report of preliminary findings will be provided to you, the respondent, the respondent’s supervisor, and the appropriate VP.
  5.  If the DEO determines there has not been a violation all parties will receive a notice of dismissal of complaint.  The DEO’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
  6. If the DEO determines that the evidence justifies a preliminary finding of violation, all parties will receive notification that the complaint is being referred to the appropriate VP for potential further proceedings.
  7. It is up to the appropriate office to determine what steps to take, including whether to institute disciplinary procedures against the respondent for misconduct, subject to review by the appropriate VP.


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