Oct 07, 2022  
2022-2023 UMA Catalog 
    
2022-2023 UMA Catalog

Policies on Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Student Confidentiality



Nondiscrimination                                                 

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information, or veterans status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Questions and complaints about discrimination in any area of the University should be directed to Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine System, Orono, Maine 04469-5754, telephone (207) 581-1226 (voice) or 711 (TTY).

Inquiries or complaints about discrimination in employment or education may also be referred to the Maine Human Rights Commission. Inquiries or complaints about discrimination in employment may be referred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Inquiries about the University’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Boston, MA 02110-1491, telephone (617) 289-0111 (voice) or (617) 289-0150 (TTY/TDD). Generally, an individual may also file a complaint with OCR within 180 days of alleged discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault and sexual violence. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Consistent with the law, two types of sexual harassment are prohibited:

  1. Tangible Employment or Educational Action (quid pro quo): This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity are made an explicit or implicit condition of submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program or activity. Generally, a person who engages in this type of sexual harassment is an agent or employee with some authority conferred by the University. 
  2. Hostile Environment: Sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment is based on sex and exists when the harassment:

i. Is subjectively and objectively offensive; and,

ii. Is so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of a person’s employment, education or living situation that it creates an abusive working, educational or living environment.

A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University program or activity, such as an administrator, faculty or staff member, student, or campus guest. Offensiveness alone is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that a hostile environment has been created, a single serious incident, such as a sexual assault, can be sufficient.

Determining whether conduct creates a hostile environment depends not only on 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:

a) The degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education or individual’s employment;

b) The nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incident(s);

c) The identity, number, and relationships of persons involved;

d) The nature of higher education.

e) whether the conduct arose in context of other discriminatory conduct;

f) whether the conduct altered the conditions of the Complainant’s educational or work performance and/or UMS programs or activities;

g) whether the conduct implicates academic freedom or protected speech; and,

h) other relevant factors that may arise from consideration of the reported facts and circumstances.


TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Title IX regulations define Sexual Harassment (also includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking) as conduct on the basis of sex that must satisfy one or more of the following: 

  • A University employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of UMS on an individual’s participating in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to UMS’ education program or activity.

Title IX jurisdiction applies when the alleged sexual harassment occurs within the context of the University’s “education program or activity” which includes all of the operations of the University, and locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University.

Questions and complaints about sexual harassment should be directed to: Elizabeth Lavoie, UMS Title IX Coordinator (207-581-1406), for situations involving faculty, staff and visitors; or to Kim Kenniston, Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3310, or Terri Reiter, Director of Student Support & Development & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3044, for situations involving students.

University Mandatory Reporter - Title IX

All University faculty and staff (including student employees) have a duty to report incidents of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault (also known as Gender-Based Violence) to campus Title IX officials (past or present). Student employees, peer advocates and volunteers who learn of a violation of this policy in the course of their employment, internships, programming or volunteer responsibilities are also required to report.

If (When) a University employee receives or becomes aware of an incident covered by this policy, the employee should be clear with the complainant that (1) they are not a confidential resource, if they are not so designated, and (2) they are obligated to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator on campus.

When a person tells an employee of the University about a violation of this policy, the University employee shall promptly report to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Kim Kenniston, Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3310, or Terri Reiter, Director of Student Support & Development & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3044) all relevant details about the alleged incident shared by the complainant.  Title IX professionals will assess next steps according to policy guidelines.  At a minimum students will be offered access to free campus-based support services.  To the extent possible, information reported will be shared only with people responsible for handling the University’s response to the Title IX report.

Anonymous Reporting
The University provides an online form for anonymous reporting.

Confidentiality
The University encourages people who have experienced sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or retaliation to talk to somebody about what happened so they can get the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately.  For more information about available confidential resources (both on and off-campus), such as licensed professional counselors, Pastoral counselors, licensed health professionals, and community agencies, see UMA’s Title IX webpage or the UMS policy on Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Stalking, Retaliation and Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Supportive Options
Students who disclose that they have been subject to harassment based on sex will receive information regarding available resources both on and off campus. Students are not obligated to respond to outreach from the university offering these supportive options. Students may also seek assistance directly, by making a report (which may be done anonymously) through this secure form. Students may also report incidents or complaints to UMA Security or through the Dean of Students office.  Confidential support is available through UMA Counseling Services (uma.edu/counseling).  Confidential support is available in the community, whether an individual lives in Maine or elsewhere.  In Maine, agencies are available which support specific populations such as tribal communities and immigrants.  To access a full listing, visit the websites of the Maine-based organizations below.

Domestic/Dating Violence or Other Intimate Partner Violence:

  • Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence: mcedv.org or 1-866-834-HELP
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: thehotline.org or 800-799-7233

Sexual Assault:

  • Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault: mecasa.org or 1-800-871-7741
  • RAINN: rainn.org or 800-656-HOPE (4673)

Stalking:

Human Trafficking:

Pregnancy and Parenting
Students who are pregnant or recovering from a pregnancy related condition, have a partner who is pregnant or recovering from a pregnancy related condition, and students that are parenting have a variety of options and resources available under Title IX laws and regulations, including support for lactation and breastfeeding.  More information is available about these rights on UMA’s Pregnancy & Parenting page.  Students who need accommodations for these reasons should contact Kim Kenniston, Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3310, or Terri Reiter, Director of Student Support & Development & Title IX Deputy, 207-621-3044.

 

Student Confidentiality Under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student, or former student, who has reached the age of 18 or is attending any school beyond the high school level. Students and former students to whom the rights have transferred are called eligible students.

Eligible students have the right to inspect and review all of their education records within 45 days after the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. Schools are not required to provide copies of materials in education records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for eligible students to inspect the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

Eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. If the University decides not to amend the record, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student before releasing any information from a student’s record. However, the law allows schools to disclose records, without consent, to the following parties:

  • school officials with a legitimate educational interest, including faculty and staff, and which also can include students and members of the public who serve on University committees
  • to officials of other schools to which a student is transferring
  • specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • organizations conducting certain studies for the school
  • accrediting organizations
  • individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas
  • persons who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • state and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law

Under FERPA, directory information may be publicly shared unless the student specifically requests that directory information not be released. The University of Maine System has designated the following as directory information:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • University email address
  • date of birth
  • program of study
  • class level
  • degrees, honors and awards (including dates)
  • enrollment status (full/part time)
  • dates of attendance
  • most recent previous educational institution attended
  • participation in sports activities
  • appropriate personal athletic statistics

Students can request that their directory information not be released. To do so, students must submit a Request to Suppress Directory Information form, found on the Registrar’s page on the UMA website (https://www.uma.edu/directory/offices/registrar/ in the Confidentiality section), or through MaineStreet. The request will be honored until such time as the student requests otherwise in writing. In the event that such written notification is not filed, the University assumes that the student does not object to the release of directory information. Students also have the option to have all directory information released except address, which also excludes email address.

For more information please visit our website at https://www.uma.edu/compliance/confidentiality/

Students also have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the University to comply with FERPA. The names and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520

Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act

The University of Maine at Augusta issues an annual security report in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. This report contains safety and security policies and procedures for students, employees, and visitors as well as selected crime statistics. To view a copy of this report visit http://www.uma.edu/compliance/annual-security-report/ or you can obtain a copy from the Director of Campus Safety and Security, University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330 (207)-621-3103 or toll-free in-state 1-877-UMA-1234).