campus-life

Harassment/Discrimination

The response by Madison Area Technical College to the changing nature of diversity, which goes beyond categories such as gender, race, and disability, requires a commitment by each member of the campus community to create and sustain a learning environment built on respect for the unique experiences and potential of all. This ensures that Madison Area Technical College is preparing students personally and professionally to become active and successful participants in a complex, diverse world. Madison Area Technical College commits to providing all services to students in a nondiscriminatory manner, and an educational climate that is conducive to and supportive of cultural and ethnic diversity. 

Definition of Discrimination

Discrimination is defined as: an unfairness or prejudice based on a person’s age, race, creed, color, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record or conviction record, religion, parental status or pregnancy in its educational programs, admissions, activities or employment practices.

 Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Statement

Definition of Harassment

Harassment is unwanted, deliberate or repeated unsolicited comments, slurs, demeaning references, gestures, graphic materials, physical contacts, solicitation of favors, advances, bullying or other adverse treatment based on a protected group status when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, student status, or academic participation.
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual.
  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment which tangibly affects or interferes with an individual's job performance or other employment or academic opportunities.

Harassment is illegal if it is based on the following protected group statuses: age, disability, national origin, ancestry, race, color, record of arrest or conviction (which does not relate directly to the job, academic program, or student status), religion, creed, sex, sexual preference or marital status, or retaliation for having engaged in a prior equal rights complaint process.

Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure

Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed may follow either the informal or formal procedure without fear of recrimination and shall be assured a prompt and confidential investigation. Any person who has a complaint brought against him/her shall have the same assurance of a prompt and confidential investigation before any determination of probable cause is made.

Informal Procedure for Dealing with Harassment/Discrimination

Any student or faculty/staff member who believes that he/she has been a victim of harassment/discrimination should consult with personnel at Conflict Management Services. In doing so, the individual will receive information about what constitutes harassment/discrimination, policies governing behaviors, and informal and formal options and procedures available to the complainant.

Informal options include speaking directly to the person(s) with whom you have a concern, talking to the appropriate administrator, or participating in mediation, which is facilitated by a neutral third party and is designed to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties involved. It is used only if the appropriate parties agree to participate. Mediation is private and expedient.

A written record of the number and type of informal complaints received shall be kept for each academic year. However, the names of the accused shall be held in confidence and not revealed unless a formal complaint is later filed or the matter becomes part of a subsequent formal disciplinary process or legal proceeding.

Formal Procedure for Dealing with Harassment/Discrimination

If informal attempts to resolve matters of harassment/discrimination fail, a formal complaint may become necessary.

A formal complaint of harassment/discrimination may be filed no later than 300 calendar days following the alleged incident of harassment/discrimination. Complainants should be aware that the longer they wait, the more difficult it will be to gather the information to resolve harassment/discrimination allegations. Therefore, complainants are encouraged to file within 40 calendar days of the incident. Complaints initiated by students must be filed with Conflict Management Services. Complaints initiated by a staff member against a student should also be filed with Conflict Management Services. Complaints may be filed in person or may be mailed to Conflict Management Services, Madison Area Technical College, 1701 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704.

These steps shall be followed in case of a harassment/discrimination complaint:

Step 1 Image A complaint should include the time, place, pertinent facts, and circumstances of the alleged harassment/discrimination. The complaint must be in writing, dated and signed by the complainant, and filed with Conflict Management Services. Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF, 996KB)

Step 2 Image A copy of the complaint shall be provided to the person(s) against whom the allegations have been made within 10 working days of the date Conflict Management Services receives the complaint. The accused person(s) shall be given 10 working days to respond to the complaint.

Step 3 Image Within 30 working days after the Step 2 response is received or is due, Conflict Management Services and, when appropriate, Human Resources shall investigate the complaint, attempt to resolve it, and prepare a written report of the findings. The report of the findings shall be given to the appropriate senior executive of the college. The time limits in this step may be extended where necessary. If an extenion is necessary, the investigator(s) will send a written notice to the involved parties stating the reasons for any extension.

Step 4 ImageThe appropriate senior college executive may attempt to resolve the complaint but shall make a decision on the complaint within 20 working days of receiving the report of the findings from Conflict Management Services/Human Resources. The senior college executive or designee may order any reasonable and appropriate remedy if there is substantial, credible evidence (more likely than not) that the harassment/discrimination occurred. A copy of the decision of the senior college executive shall be given to the involved parties.

Employees found to have violated college harassment/discrimination policies are subject to discipline in accordance with applicable personnel policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Students found to have violated college harassment/discrimination policies are subject to discipline in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Step 5 Image Any party who is dissatisfied with the decision at Step 4 shall have the right to one appeal to the college president. The appeal must be in writing and filed with the office of the president within 14 working days of the date of the decision at Step 4. Written appeals should be addressed to the president and should be sent to 1701 Wright Street, Madison, WI, 53704. All parties will be notified of the decision of the president/designee within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. The decision of the president/designee is final.

Responsibility of Staff Members in Dealing with Harassment/Discrimination

Under both Wisconsin and federal laws, Madison Area Technical College has a responsibility to address harassment/discrimination which comes to the attention of its administrative or supervisory personnel, whether or not the affected individual files a formal complaint.

Any staff/faculty member who becomes aware of the harassment/discrimination of any member of the Madison College community shall promptly convey that information to either his/her supervisor or department chairperson. Any supervisor or chairperson who receives information about an employee discriminating against or harassing a student shall promptly convey that information to the affirmative action officer. Any supervisor or chairperson who receives information about a student discriminating against or harassing another student or faculty/staff member shall promptly convey that information to Conflict Management Services via completion of a Behavioral Intervention Team form.

If no harassment/discrimination complaint is filed, but harassing/discriminating behavior is discovered, the Affirmative Action Office or Conflict Management Services may investigate and act appropriately to see that the harassment/discrimination ceases.

General Information

The filing of a formal complaint with Conflict Management Services does not restrict the right of a person to complain to state or federal equal rights agencies or to take other legal action. There are time limits applicable to the filing of such complaints with external agencies. Waiting too long may jeopardize the right to initiate an action. Contact the appropriate external agency for more information.

Complaints will be maintained as confidential as possible with due regard for the rights of all parties in the process.

In the event a complainant files both a harassment/discrimination complaint and some other form of Madison Area Technical College complaint based on the same set of circumstances, there shall be a consolidated co-investigation by Conflict Management Services and the administrator responsible for the other complaint process.

If a person against whom allegations have been made is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, that person may have a union representative present when interviewed during the investigation.

Members of the public may utilize this process whenever they have a concern relating to harassment/discrimination that would come under the authority or jurisdiction of the college. Complaints relating to employment matters should be filed with the Human Resources Office.

Any questions concerning the complaint process should be directed to Conflict Management Services.