Western Governors University (WGU) is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning and working atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our university. Acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, and retaliation will be addressed consistent with this policy. This policy of nondiscrimination applies (without limitation) to student recruitment, admissions, academic programs and services, student discipline, grading, and participation in WGU sponsored forums.
Consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodation will be provided to persons with disabilities.
It is important that members of the University community understand that the law does not just prohibit discrimination and harassment of employees by employers. The law also prohibits discrimination and harassment between members of the University community more generally; for example, between faculty or staff and a student, between two students, or between a student and an applicant or visitor/guest. This policy applies in all University programs and activities, including, but not limited to, discrimination in instruction, grading, and university employment. In addition, the law prohibits retaliation against an individual for opposing any practices forbidden under this policy, for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, for assisting someone with such a complaint, for attempting to stop such discrimination or harassment, or for participating in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. It is central to WGU values that any individual who believes they may have been the target of unlawful discrimination or harassment feel free to report their concerns for appropriate investigation and response, without fear of retaliation or retribution.
All complaints or any concerns about conduct that may violate this policy and retaliation should be filed with the WGU Title IX coordinator:
Dr. Lucas Kavlie
Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
Upon receiving a complaint, the Title IX coordinator will follow the procedures described in WGU's discrimination grievance procedures.
Important Note! Please do not wait to report a concern until the situation becomes severe or persistent. The Title IX coordinator, designees, and other University officials can take proactive steps to prevent harassment from continuing, and to protect or otherwise assist the person being harassed. For example, the University can arrange for no-contact orders, counseling and personnel changes as needed. The Title IX coordinator and designees can also provide expertise and advice to help evaluate conduct that might be a warning sign of, or constitute, conduct prohibited by this policy and address any concerns or complaints appropriately.
The following definitions are for general reference only; and may differ from applicable legal definitions in the state in which the conduct occurred.
Harassment that creates a hostile environment (“hostile environment harassment”) violates this policy.
A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and even campus guests). Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a serious incident, such as a sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient.
In determining whether harassment has created a hostile environment, consideration is made not only as to whether the conduct was unwelcome to the person who feels harassed, but also whether a reasonable person in a similar situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. The following factors will also be considered:
Consent is informed, freely given, and mutual. If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used there is no consent. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent.
B. Inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes includes using drugs, alcohol, or other means with the intent to affect or have an actual effect on the ability of an individual to consent or refuse to consent (as “consent” is defined in this policy) to sexual contact.
C. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the preceding sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
Article Number: 20490, 1017