Harassment, Bias, & Inaccessibility


Beloit College strives to make access, equity, and inclusion a priority. 

When students have a situation or an encounter that could be improved, we encourage you to consider the following avenues for communicating the area of needed improvement. Most of them have both an informal and a formal procedure of addressing the situation. If you would like assistance in sorting out which approach would be best for your situation, you are encouraged to consult with a trusted employee of the college.

Harassment

If you have been harassed by a faculty, staff, or student member of our community, see the Harassment Policy in the Student Handbook.

Personal harassment (“Harassment”) is verbal or physical conduct, including actions motivated by bias, that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual. Harassment may include behavior that targets an individual because of race, color, religion, sex, perceived, or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, marital or family status, military or veteran status, citizenship or any other characteristic protected by law. Harassment also includes any kind of nonverbal, verbal, or physical conduct involving either intimidation or promise of reward where:

a) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance of creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment; or
b) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement, or;
c) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment decision or academic decision affecting that individual.

While harassment may be indicated by frequent or repetitive acts, it is possible that one severe act could constitute a violation of the harassment policy. Incidents of harassment can occur whether or not the act or actions were intended to harass; the effect of the conduct will determine whether harassment has occurred. The effect of the conduct in question will be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position.

Bias Incidents

A bias incident is a verbal, written, or physical act of intolerance or prejudice that does not involve violence or other conduct violating college policy, but which threatens, intimidates, or marginalizes individuals or groups because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, sexual orientation, ability status, ethnicity/national origin, physical characteristics, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and/or any other legally protected classification and lacks a reasonable relationship to an educational, political, and/or artistic end. Refer to the Beloit College Bias Incident Policy.

Examples of bias incidents include but are not limited to homophobic or sexist jokes, racist epithets, religious slurs, offensive graffiti, or demeaning remarks on social media. Bias incidents may or may not be intended to cause harm.

Responses to bias incidents may include educational opportunities for the individuals and groups involved, as well as for members of the campus community as a whole when reporting patterns suggest broader issues that move beyond the immediate incident. This policy, therefore, seeks to enhance understanding, provide a forum for the expression of multiple viewpoints, mediate conflict, and pursue restoration. Reports will only be referred to a disciplinary body if the behavior violates other college policies.

Disability Accommodations

This policy is to specifically address when students, staff or faculty members have a grievance with decisions made regarding accommodations for students with disabilities.

Inaccessibility

If the inaccessibility is not covered by the Disability Grievance Procedure, one of the following options may be appropriate:

For situations where minor adjustments need to be made, students are encouraged to contact the office/staff directly. For example, if a needed path is blocked, contact security (608-363-2355) or facilities (608-363-2200) and ask them to unblock it; if an automatic door opener is not working, contact facilities (608-363-2200).

For situations that need a more systematic or comprehensive change, contact Angi Olesen, Director of Learning Enrichment and Disability Services. Phone: 608-363-2572. Email: olesena@beloit.edu.

For non-student accessibility issues, concerns or plans, contact Lori Rhead, ADA and Section 504 Coordinator and Vice President for Human Resources and Operations. Phone: 608-363-2631. Email: rheadl@beloit.edu.

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