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Non-Discrimination (Policy)

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Human Resources 
Date Adopted: 07-29-82 
Date Reviewed: 08-18-14, 05-04-17, 07-20-18
Last Date Modified & Approved: 09-23-14, 05-23-17, 09-25-18 

    Lake Michigan College is an equal opportunity institution, affording enrollment, employment and services without distinction on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, physical or mental disability, weight, height, creed, political affiliation, citizenship status, AIDS/HIV status, misdemeanor arrest record, genetic information or veteran status. The parties recognize the College’s continuing commitment to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination. Minorities and persons with a disability are encouraged to attend Lake Michigan College. Any questions regarding your rights under Title VI and Title IX should be directed to Executive Director, Human Resources, (269) 927-8102, Room A-305.

    Any questions regarding your rights under Section 504 should be directed to the Student Outreach and Support Services Office, A-218, (269) 927-8866.

    Lake Michigan College offers an open door policy for individuals who are interested in and capable of extending their education beyond high school. Because of this open door policy, diversity or goals is a non-issue regarding admissions.

    This commitment to equal opportunity encompasses:

    1. For every student the right:
      • to have access to all courses and programs;
      • to physical education and to participation in interscholastic, intramural and club athletics;
      • to equal treatment, including financial aid assistance, employment assistance, honors and awards, and extracurricular activities.
    2. For every individual the right to personnel, employment and College business practices that provide equal opportunity and equity:

      Pursuant to its obligations under the Federal and State statutes, and in conformity with other legal and moral obligations, the College has on staff a Diversity Officer within the Office of Human Resources to implement the commitment of the College.

      Inquiries or complaints by College students, prospective students, employees, employee applicants, and persons providing services to or for the College, which concern non-discrimination policies or procedures may be directed to:

      Executive Director, Human Resources
      (Diversity Officer)
      Lake Michigan College
      2755 East Napier Avenue
      Benton Harbor, MI 49022-1899
      (269) 927-8704
      Room H-110E

      Michigan Department of Civil Rights
      State Office Building, Fourth Floor
      350 Ottawa Avenue, N.W.
      Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2301
      Phone: (616) 356-0380
      Fax: (616) 356-0399
      TTY: (616) 356-0391

      No act of retaliation will occur to any person making a charge, filing a complaint, testifying or participating in any discrimination investigation or proceeding.

      The Diversity Officer will, upon request, provide a copy of the Lake Michigan College grievance procedures, and will investigate each complaint according to such procedures. A copy of relevant laws, regulations and policy may be found in the Office of Human Resources and with the Diversity Officer.

    The Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, arrest record and disability in all employment practices, including terms, conditions and privileges of employment. This act prohibits discrimination and provides specific remedies and penalties. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual harassment of students in any part of any higher education institution receiving federal funds, and requires institutions to maintain grievance procedures capable of prompt and equitable resolution of sexual harassment complaints.

    Lake Michigan College prohibits sexual harassment in its employment practices and in its educational programs and activities.
    Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, including unwanted touching; verbal remarks of a sexually suggestive or derogatory nature; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature which have as their consequence an adverse effect on the recipients' morale, work status, or academic or job performance. Such conduct is absolutely prohibited whether the perpetrators are students, employees of the College or contractors or other non-employees who have reason to be on College premises where:

    1. submission to such conduct is either an expressed or implied condition of employment, education, or academic or financial assistance,
    2. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision or the performance evaluation of students or staff, or
    3. the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an affected person’s work or scholarly performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or education environment.

    The College will actively investigate any allegations of sexual harassment by students or staff, and if it is determined that sexual harassment has occurred, will take prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.

    Anyone who believes that sexual harassment has occurred is expected to report such conduct promptly under appropriate College procedures.

    Lake Michigan College supports the rights of all students and employees to learn and work in an environment free from sexual coercion and violence. Sexual contact with another person without consent or with the use or threat of force violates the standards of civility, decency, and respect expected of all members of the campus community.

    The requirements of this policy are blind to the sexual orientation or preference of individuals engaging in sexual activity or sexually exploitative behavior.

    Any retaliatory action or behavior taken toward an alleged victim as a consequence of his or her decision to report a violation, pursue conduct action, or criminal prosecution, is prohibited. Retaliation by either party may result in immediate disciplinary action.

    Prohibited conduct:

    1. Non-Consensual Sexual Activity
    2. Non-consensual sexual activity includes, but is not limited to, any sexual activity by a group or individual that takes place without the effective consent of the other individual(s) involved. Effective consent is shown by the exchange of mutually understandable words or actions between parties to a sexual interaction. Consent must be informed and freely and actively given. Silence in and of itself is not an indication of consent.

      In order to be effective, consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear that he or she does not want sex, that he or she wants to stop, or that he or she does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. In other words, consent may be withdrawn at any time.

      In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age (16). Sexual activity with someone a person knows to be - or should know to be - mentally or physically incapacitated (because of disability, alcohol or other drug use, sleep, unconsciousness, blackout, or bodily restraint), is a violation of this policy.

      Any time sexual activity takes place between individuals; those persons must be capable of controlling their physical actions and be capable of making rational, reasonable decisions about their sexual behavior. A person who has consumed alcohol may experience diminished capacity for effective decision-making and action, and thus may be incapable of consenting to sexual activity.

      Sexual activity with someone whose incapacity results from the ingestion of a so-called “date-rape” drug is in violation of this policy. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc., is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student or employee for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy.

      Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.

    3. Sexually Exploitative Behavior
      Sexually exploitative behavior occurs when a student or employee takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostituting another student or employee, non-consensual video/audio-taping or photographing of sexual activity, unauthorized posting or distribution of materials involving the sexual activity of another person, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as voyeurism or secretly watching others), or knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student or employee.
    1. Definition: A discrimination grievance is an unresolved complaint by any member of the faculty, staff or any student that there has been a violation or misinterpretation of the College's Diversity/Nondiscrimination policies and procedures, or of any antidiscrimination provisions of law. The following are not subject to the grievance procedure:
      1. decisions to reduce the work force;
      2. the contents of evaluations;
      3. the modification, amendment or repeal of any Board policy; or
      4. the modification, amendment or repeal of any operational procedure of the administration, unless it violates Board policy.
    2. The collegewide grievance procedure will be used to resolve all grievances. In concerns involving students, the student filing the grievance should direct it to the Vice President, Student Engagement and Support, who will coordinate the process with the Executive Director, Human Resources and Diversity.
    3. A grievant must join in a single grievance proceeding for every claim that he or she has arising out of the same transaction or occurrence, even where it is asserted that the transaction or occurrence has violated more than one Board policy, administrative procedure or law. A grievant is prohibited from filing more than one grievance concerning the same transaction or occurrence.
    4. Forms: The administration has developed grievance forms for use in processing grievances. All grievances must be signed by the aggrieved person and must specify the date or dates upon which the complained of action occurred; the policy, procedure or law which is claimed violated; the facts upon which the aggrieved person relies; and the relief requested. Grievance Procedures for Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 are addressed in Procedure HR 14.

Responsibility: Vice President, Administrative Services; Vice President, Student Engagement and Support

References: Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Violence Against Women Act – Amendment to Clery Act), U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975

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