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Washington State University Office for Equal Opportunity

OEO Procedural Updates – June 2019

As part of Washington State University’s (WSU) resolution with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Office for Equal Opportunity has revised their internal polices and procedural guidelines.

Although the revisions do not substantively change OEO’s investigative procedures, the  revisions create a better understanding of the OEO process for all participants. The updates clarify that:

  • Both the reporting and responding parties may present witnesses and evidence.
  • Input will be requested from both the reporting and responding parties when determining the appropriate resolution path.
  • The prohibition against sexual harassment and retaliation extends to individual students and advisors acting on behalf of student organizations at the University.
  • Retaliation against participants in an investigation is prohibited; this prohibition applies to all participants of an investigation.
  • Individualized and appropriate resources, including interim measures are available to both the reporting and responding parties.

The revised procedures also clarify the rights and responsibilities of a responding party in Section IV.B and IV.C.

WSU remains firmly committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  As such, discrimination in all its forms, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other sexual violence), are prohibited and are not tolerated at Washington State University.  Information on WSU’s policies and procedures for addressing discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct can be found in the WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, Executive Policy 15 (EP 15) and in the OEO Procedural Guidelines.

Complaints under EP 15 may be filed with the Office for Equal Opportunity or the Title IX Coordinator.

 

Office for Equal Opportunity

French Administration Building, Room 225

Phone: 509-335-8288

Email: oeo@wsu.edu

Website: oeo@wsu.edu

 

Holly Ashkannejhad

Title IX Coordinator

French Administration Building, Room 225

Phone: 509-335-8288

Email: Titleix.coordinator@wsu.edu

 

EP 15 prohibits retaliation against participants in OEO processes. Retaliation includes any act that would dissuade a reasonable person from making or supporting a complaint or participating in an investigation. It includes action or threat of action that could negatively affect another’s employment, education, reputation, or other interest. Retaliation is a separate and distinct violation of  EP 15. Retaliatory acts should be reported immediately to OEO.

The University vigorously enforces EP 15 . Persons determined to have violated this policy are subject to sanctions imposed using the procedures set forth in applicable University policies and handbooks (e.g., the WSU Faculty Manual, the Administrative Professional Handbook, WAC 357-40 (civil service employees), applicable collective bargaining agreements, or the WSU Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26), including any appeal procedures therein.

New OEO Hires

The end of 2018 brought with it three new hires to the OEO office –

Rachel Brooks joined the office December 3rd as an Investigator and EEO Coordinator.

Jenna Van Klaveren also joined the office December 3rd as an Investigator and EEO Coordinator.

Alexis Guse joined us November 1st as our Compliance Assistant.

Proposed Title IX Rule Changes

U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding university processes for responding to sexual violence concerns under Title IX.  WSU is carefully reviewing the proposed rule and intends to provide feedback consistent with the values and needs of our communities before the January 28, 2019 deadline.  We encourage you to learn about and review the rule, and welcome your input; we are particularly interested in any specific aspects of the rule that you find promising or concerning.

For more information and/or to leave feedback on the proposed change visit Title IX and OCR.