Middlesex Community College (MxCC) strives to provide all of its students and employees with an environment that is conducive to learning, teaching, and the execution of employment responsibilities. Our goal is for our college environment to foster inclusivity and be free of harassment of any kind. Toward this end, this webpage was developed to inform the college community of existing policies and methods of expressing concerns and complaints.
This webpage contains the following information which can be easily accessed by clicking on the title:
Middlesex Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or genetic information in its programs and activities. In addition, the College does not discriminate in employment on the additional basis of veteran status or criminal record.
The following people have been designated to handle inquiries or complaints regarding non-discrimination policies and practices:
A copy of the college’s affirmative action grievance procedures as outlined in the Affirmative Action Plan, Section XIV, is available in the Jean Burr Smith Library’s reserved reading area.
The Board of Regents policy on Affirmative Action can be accessed here: http://www.ct.edu/files/pdfs/hr-policy-affirmative-action.pdf.
The Connecticut Board and all of the colleges under its jurisdiction are committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for individuals with disabilities in the community colleges. To that end, this statement of policy is put forth to reaffirm the commitment to ensure that no qualified person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity on a college or university campus or in the central office of the Board.
The Board recognizes that a physical or functional impairment is a disability only to the extent that it contributes to the cutting off of a person from some valued experience, activity, or role. Higher education is therefore especially important to persons with disabilities, since its goal is to increase every student’s access to those valued experiences, activities, and roles. Improving access for students and employees means removing existing physical, programmatic and attitudinal barriers, as well as taking such corrective measures to prevent any new barriers.
The efforts of the colleges and universities to accommodate persons with disabilities should be measured against the goals of full participation and integration. Such services and programs best promote full participation and integration when they complement and support, but do not duplicate, the regular services and programs of the postsecondary institution.
Achieving the goal of full participation and integration of persons with disabilities requires cooperative efforts within and among sectors of higher education. The Board will work to achieve this higher level of services and appropriate delivery methods at all Connecticut colleges and universities.
This statement is intended to reaffirm the Board’s commitment to affirmative action and equal opportunity for all people and in no way replaces the Equal Opportunity Policy Statement.
A grievance is an allegation that an agent of the college has discriminated against the grievant on the basis of disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et. seq. (ADA). The following procedure shall apply only to members of the public.
How to file a Grievance:
- Submit a grievance to Ms. Hillary Phelps (see above) within 30 days of the date of the alleged violation
- Include description of the discriminatory action
- State briefly the underlying facts
Procedure for grievance resolution:
- The Section 504/ADA coordinator shall investigate the grievance in consultation with the college’s affirmative action officer
- Within thirty (30) days from the time the grievance was submitted, grievance coordinator shall recommend to the president a disposition of the grievance
- The president shall notify the grievant of the final disposition within fifteen (15) days of receiving the recommendation.
Community colleges have historically been committed to providing educational opportunities to all that desire and can benefit from them, as evidenced in the mission statements and policies concerning student rights, affirmative action, and equal opportunity. The Board recognizes that an important part of providing such opportunity is through the creation of a welcoming environment in which all people are able to work and study together, regardless of their differences. At the same time, colleges and universities have traditionally been at the cutting edge in the protection of our most cherished freedoms, most notably freedom of speech and non-violent action, which may protect even unpopular or divisive ideas and perspectives.
Such Constitutionally protected expression can contribute to the production of an unwelcoming and even offensive social and educational environment for some individuals particularly when it concerns race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnicity; and, the First Amendment does not preclude colleges from taking affirmative steps to sensitize the college community to the effects of creating such a negative environment.
Therefore, the colleges and universities recognize their obligation not only to punish proscribed actions, but also to provide programs which promote pluralism and diversity and encourage the college community to respect and appreciate the value and dignity of every person, and his or her right to an atmosphere not only free of harassment, hostility, and violence but supportive of individual academic, personal, social, and professional growth.
Therefore, any acts of racism or harassment directed against individuals or specific groups of individuals will not be tolerated and will be dealt with under the employee affirmative action grievance procedures and the student grievance and disciplinary procedures.
Each college will provide a comprehensive educational program designed to foster understanding of differences and the value of cultural diversity. This will include plans to (1) promote pluralism, (2) educate the college community about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors to increase sensitivity and encourage acceptance, and (3) widely disseminate this policy statement to the entire college community.
MxCC condemns all forms of racism, religious intolerance, and any acts of hatred or violence based on differences. Such behaviors will not be tolerated at the College, and may be subject to disciplinary action.
In adopting this policy, the College affirms the following principles:
- Every student and employee should be treated with dignity and assured security and equality in the pursuit of higher learning and the execution of his/her job.
- Acts of violence and harassment, particularly when they reflect bias or intolerance of race, religion, and ethnic or cultural origin are unacceptable behaviors and are inconsistent with the teachings and values of higher education; individuals who persist in such behaviors have no place in a college community.
- The promotion of pluralism within higher education is a responsibility of both individuals and the higher education community.
- Colleges and universities have a duty to foster tolerance and encourage diversity—elements central to the mission of higher education.
- Individuals may not exercise personal freedoms in ways that invade or violate the rights of others.
The Board of Regents policy on sexual harassment is included in its policy on Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence
Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Statement
To insure that each member of the college community has the opportunity to participate fully in the process of learning and understanding, all Connecticut colleges and universities strive to maintain a safe and welcoming environment free from acts of sexual misconduct and relationship violence. It is the intent of the Colleges to provide safety, privacy and support to victims of sexual misconduct and relationship violence.
Sexual misconduct is defined as:
- Non-consensual sexual intercourse, which includes any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object, by a man or a woman, without effective consent.
- Non-consensual sexual contact, which includes sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman, without effective consent.
- Sexual exploitation, which includes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage taken by a student of another, for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage any one other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact or sexual harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostitution, videotaping sexual activity of any sort without a partner’s consent, posting video or audio recordings on social media sites without consent of the individuals on the video or in the audio recording, peeping tommery, and knowingly transmitting sexually transmitted infections without a partner’s knowledge.
Definition of Consent
Consent must be informed, freely and actively given, involving an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. The lack of a negative response is not consent. Consent may not be given by a minor or by any individual who is incapacitated, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, by drugs and/or alcohol, or for any other reason. Past consent of sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent.
Stalking is defined as:
Any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one (1) occasion that collectively instill fear in the victim and/or threaten her/his safety, mental health and/or physical health. Such behaviors or activities may include, but are not limited to, whether on or off campus, non-consensual communications (face to face, telephone, e-mail, etc.), threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance or being present outside the victim’s classroom or workplace.
Relationship violence is defined as:
- Physical abuse, which can include but is not limited to, slapping, pulling hair or punching.
- Threat of abuse, which can include but is not limited to, threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon on another (whether victim or acquaintance, friend or family member of the victim) or other forms of verbal threat.
- Emotional abuse, which can include but is not limited to, damage to one’s property, driving recklessly to scare someone, name calling, threatening to hurt one’s pets and humiliating another person.
- Sexual harassment, which can include any unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favors, or any conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic decisions affecting the individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment. Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- sexual flirtation, touching, advances or propositions
- verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- pressure to engage in sexual activity
- graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or appearance
- use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual
- display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or photographs
- sexual jokes
- stereotypic comments based upon gender
- threats, demands, or suggestions that one’s educational status is contingent upon toleration of or acquiescence in sexual advances.
The definitions contained in this statement are in addition to any applicable provisions of state law.
While the College will treat reports of sexual misconduct and relationship violence seriously and with sensitivity for all concerned, the College cannot assure complete confidentiality in all instances with respect to such information, particularly when that information pertains to an offense or an alleged offender that may affect the safety of others on campus or is mandated to be reported.
Time for Reporting
Normally reports must be received by the Dean of Students or other designee of the president within thirty (30) days of the date of a possible violation or within thirty (30) days of the date the facts constituting a possible violation were known. However, the College recognizes that the decision to file a report of sexual misconduct or relationship violence is difficult and may take some time. Because memories may fade and witnesses may become inaccessible, the sooner information is gathered, the greater is the ability of the College to effectively investigate and resolve the matter fairly to all parties concerned. Access a complete copy of the Policy on Student Conduct and Policy Statement Regarding Sexual Violence.