The Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence, Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Complicity, and Retaliation (“Policy”) prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment under Title IX, sexual misconduct in accordance with M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E, sexual misconduct and retaliation) on the basis of race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle (CROWN ACT) and any other legally protected class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment, in education, admission, access to or treatment in, its programs, services, benefits, activities, and terms and conditions of employment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (“University”).
Any member of the campus community, guest, or visitor who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential and/or social access, benefits, and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above will be in violation of this policy.
Finally, this Policy prohibits Complicity for knowingly assisting in an act that violates this Policy and Retaliation against an individual because of their good faith participation in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of violations of this Policy. University students and employees who violate this Policy may face discipline up to and including expulsion or termination. When brought to the attention of the University, the University will act appropriately to respond to, stop, remedy, and prevent the reoccurrence of any such discrimination.
The University has two policies that prohibit sexual harassment. Certain forms of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking (collectively hereafter referred to as Sexual Harassment Under Title IX) are defined within this Policy. Other forms of sexual harassment are adjudicated per the University’s Title IX Policy and Procedures.
In accordance with this Policy, the University will maintain Procedures which detail the complaint procedures and appeal rights associated with violations of this Policy. This Policy and its related procedures shall be made publicly available on the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (“EOA”) website, with written copies available upon request.1
Notice of Non-Discrimination Based on Protected Status
The University is committed in policy, principle, and practice to maintaining an environment which prohibits discriminatory behavior and provides equal opportunity for all persons. The University affirms its commitment to provide a welcoming and respectful work and educational environment, in which all individuals within the University community may benefit from each other’s experiences and foster mutual respect and appreciation of divergent views. The University will not be tolerant of conduct which violates rights guaranteed by the law or University policies. Accordingly, and pursuant to the Affirmative Action and NonDiscrimination Policy, the University prohibits discrimination and harassment based upon protected characteristics, and retaliatory conduct, in accordance with state and federal nondiscrimination laws, including but not limited to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and Massachusetts Law.
Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking Are Prohibited Forms of Conduct
Just as the University's prohibition of discrimination based on Protected Status (including Sexual Assault as a form of Sexual Harassment) is grounded in federal law and state law, so is its prohibition against Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking. The University's response to Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking is governed by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f) (the Clery Act), Section 304 of the 2013 Amendments to the Violence Against Women Act, the Department of Education’s Final Rule on Title IX, 34 CFR 106 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance (May, 2020), and M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E, Sexual Violence on Higher Education Campuses.
The University is committed to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate Sexual Harassment under Title IX and to prevent the recurrence of such acts and to address their effects. The University recognizes that Sexual Harassment under Title IX encompasses a broad spectrum of conduct and will respond according to both the severity of the allegation and the threat it poses to the campus community.
The University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Access is charged with monitoring the University’s compliance with the Policy and responsibilities conferred by federal and state law, including but not limited to the ADA, ADEA, Title VII, Title IX, Massachusetts Law or other laws, ensuring appropriate education and training, coordinating the University’s investigation, response, and resolution of all reports under this Policy and ensuring appropriate actions to eliminate Prohibited Conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
Reports of Prohibited Conduct, whether actual or perceived, may be made in person or anonymously to the University. For any report under this Policy, every effort will be made to respect and safeguard the privacy interests of all individuals involved in a manner consistent with the need for a careful assessment of the allegation and any necessary steps to eliminate the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
The university encourages the prompt reporting of allegations of Prohibited Conduct. Persons who report allegations of Prohibited Conduct, including Complainants and witnesses, will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of University Policy regarding drug or alcohol use at or near the time of the incident unless the violation placed the health and safety of another person at risk, involved academic dishonesty, or was otherwise egregious. This provision does not limit the ability of the University to respond in non-disciplinary ways to drug or alcohol use at or near the time of the incident.
Reports of Prohibited Conduct, regardless of where the alleged conduct took place, should be promptly reported to EOA, the Title IX Coordinator, or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator at the contact information below:
Equal Opportunity and Access
225 Bartlett Hall
130 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
Reports of Prohibited Conduct may be made to the following individuals:
Kerri Thompson Tillett
Title IX Coordinator
Associate Vice Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Access
225 Bartlett Hall
130 Hicks Way
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
Phone: (413) 545-3464
Deputy Title IX Coordinators:
Ryan K. Morse
Equal Opportunity and Access
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
225 Bartlett Hall
130 Hicks Way
Phone: (413) 545-3464
Interim Dean of Students
Office 227 Whitmore Administration Building
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Sr. Assoc. Athletics Director
Boyden Gymnasium, Rm 223
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
Phone: (413) 545-2866
Reports of discrimination by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Equal Opportunity, Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators should be reported to the Chancellor at the following address:
Office of the Chancellor
374 Whitmore Building
181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
B. Filing Anonymous Reports of Prohibited Conduct
Individuals seeking to anonymously report allegations of Prohibited Conduct may file a report using the reporting protocols and procedures on the EOA website.
C. Reporting Prohibited Conduct to Law Enforcement
All parties to whom this Policy applies have the right to notify or decline not to notify law enforcement of an alleged incident of Sexual Misconduct. The university will assist parties in making or facilitating a report to law enforcement. Parties may concurrently utilize the complaint procedures applicable to this Policy to investigate Prohibited Conduct while seeking or participating in any external civil or criminal process.
Parties that seek to report allegations of Sexual Misconduct as defined by this Policy may report this to the University of Massachusetts Police Department (“UMPD”). For those allegations of Sexual Misconduct that occurred off campus that parties wish to report to law enforcement, those allegations should be reported to the police department where the alleged incident occurred.
UMPD Reporting Procedures:
D. University Assistance for Reporting, Obtaining and Disclosing Court Ordered Protective Orders and University Issued No-Contact Orders.
The University will assist students and employees and those covered under this Policy in obtaining court ordered protective orders. Those parties seeking assistance with obtaining court ordered relief may obtain assistance from the university’s Civilian Advocates assigned to the UMPD and the University’s Center for Women and Communities (“CWC”). The Civilian Advocate can also assist a party in reporting Prohibited Conduct and in seeking a university issued no-contact order. The UMPD website provides a description of the services offered by the Civilian Advocate and their contact information. This information can be accessed here: www.umass.edu/umpd/advocacy-services-violence-and-abuse-victims
The AVC/Title IX Coordinator, EOA, and the Dean of Students Office can assist a party in requesting a university no-contact order and/or issue a no-contact order.
E. Disclosure of a Court Issued Protective Order to the University
Parties who have obtained a court issued protective order, harassment prevention order, or temporary restraining order that applies to person covered by this Policy may provide this documentation to the University in order for the University to review, assess and implement the appropriate supportive measures.
Parties who have obtained a Court Issued Protective Order may submit these to the AVC /Title Coordinator and/or the EOA Office.
Notice of Rights, Resources, Supports and Related Information to be Provided to Reporting Parties
The university’s informed response to a Prohibited Conduct report requires a prompt and deliberate assessment. This response will be consistent with the nature of the reports and the university’s obligations under applicable federal and state law and regulation.
The university’s response to the Reporting Party may include the following notifications and disclosures depending on the nature of the Report.
A. Notification of Rights Applicable to Reports of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Defined by Title IX, M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E, and University Policy. The university will provide the Reporting Party with notice of their right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement of the allegation, to receive assistance in reporting to law enforcement, information on obtaining court issued protective orders and/or institutional no-contact orders, to utilize the university’s internal complaint procedures concurrently with any external civil and/or criminal processes.
B. A description of university based supportive measures to include but not limited to; options to change living, academic, transportation, working arrangements and how to request these supports.
C. Information on how and where to seek emergency assistance and/or medical assistance following an incident of Prohibited Conduct defined by reports of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Defined by Title IX, M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E, and university Policy.
D. Information on available counseling, health, safety, academic and related support services from the university which may include the name and contact information for the university’s rape crisis counseling center, The Center for Women and Community, as well as other service providers in the community.
E. A summary of the applicable university procedure that applies to a formal complaint of Prohibited Conduct defined by this Policy. This summary describes the applicable complaint procedure in detail from the complaint’s inception to final resolution, appeal rights, standards, investigation, rights of the parties, role of advisors and support persons, standard of evidence, hearing and disciplinary proceedings, range of sanctions, procedures, evidence, and post resolution proceedings. This notice will also include a summary of the university’s policy on retaliation noting that retaliation against anyone who participates in a grievance proceeding or assists another in making a report of Prohibited Conduct is strictly forbidden.
All members of the university community are encouraged to report instances of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation as described in this Policy. Reports should be directed to the Equal Opportunity Office. Additional reporting obligations specifically under Title IX, the Clery Act, university policy, and when child abuse is suspected, are detailed below.
High-level and supervisory employees, including Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deans, Department Heads, and Directors (including Directors of Centers and Institutes and Graduate and Undergraduate program directors) must report any information related to possible violations of this Policy.
A. Sexual Harassment Under Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Reporting Obligations
An Employee’s responsibility to report information about certain types of Prohibited Conduct to the Title IX Coordinator under this Policy is governed by their role at the University. The University designates Confidential Employees and Responsible Employees.
Confidential Employee: An employee who, because of their position, may not reveal an individual’s identity or other information without permission, even to the Title IX Coordinator(s).
The following categories of employees are confidential employees:
- Licensed sexual assault counselors, physicians, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, clergy, and attorneys, university Ombuds employees, and those persons working under the supervision of such individuals, when acting in their professional role providing services to a patient or client;
- University employees bound by statutory privilege obligations under Massachusetts law; and
- University employees providing administrative, operational and/or related support for a confidential employee in the performance of such services.
- The University’s Designated Confidential Resource Provider(s) appointed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 6 §168E(l).
Responsible Employee: an employee (a) who, because of their position, must report known or possible incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment under Title IX or any other sexual misconduct by students or employees, including the known details of the incident and the name(s) of alleged victim(s) and respondent(s), to the Title IX Coordinator(s) or other appropriate school designee ; or (b) who has the authority to take action to redress sexual harassment/misconduct; Campus police officers are Responsible Employees; but, see exception for public safety personnel.
At UMass Amherst, it has been determined that “responsible employees” include:
- faculty with administrative or supervisory responsibilities (deans and associate deans, heads and chairs, graduate and undergraduate program directors, faculty athletic representatives and directors of centers and institutes);
- Campus police officers (but, see exception noted below);
- all staff that are academic advisors;
- all coaches and trainers;
- all advisors to Registered Student Organizations, intramural sports and other student groups;
- all supervising travel external to the university and any contractors doing the same;
- all personnel in Student Affairs with the exception of confidential employees; and
- staff in managerial and supervisory roles.
All University employees are strongly encouraged to report to law enforcement any conduct that could potentially present a danger to the community or may be a crime under Massachusetts law.
Exception for public safety personnel: Although campus police officers are designated as Responsible Employees, if a student or employee reporting sexual assault or domestic violence requests confidentiality, the campus police officer must not disclose the name of the reporting party to the Title IX Coordinator(s).
B. Clery Reporting Obligations
Under the Clery Act, certain University employees are designated as Campus Security Authorities. CSAs include: student/conduct affairs, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations, and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Based on information reported to CSAs, the University includes statistics about certain criminal offenses in its annual security report and provides those statistics to the United States Department of Education in a manner that does not include any personally identifying information about individuals involved in an incident. The Clery Act also requires the University to issue timely warnings to the University community about certain reported crimes that may pose a serious or continuing threat to Students and Employees. Consistent with the Clery Act, the University withholds the names and other personally identifying information of the Complaining Party when issuing timely warnings to the University community.
C. Child Abuse Reporting Obligations
Certain University employees may be mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect as defined by Massachusetts G.L. c. 119, § 21 and must comply with Massachusetts’ mandated reporting laws.
Prohibited Conduct Under this Policy
Prohibited conduct under this Policy is prohibited regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression of the Reporting Party 3 or Respondent. Prohibited Conduct includes the following specifically defined forms of behavior: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct in accordance with M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E, sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Complicity, and Retaliation. This Policy includes the definition of Sexual Harassment under Title IX for reference. Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment are adjudicated per the University’s Title IX Policy and Procedures.
If a Respondent has been found to have violated this Policy after the conclusion of a formal complaint investigation into an allegation of Prohibited Conduct defined by this policy, the University may apply a range of sanctions to the Respondent.
Respondent employees may be disciplined per disciplinary procedures defined under their applicable collective bargaining agreements or handbook. Employee discipline may range from verbal or written warnings, suspensions, demotions, and termination of employment.
Sanctions of student respondents is defined by the Code of Student Conduct. These sanctions range from University Reprimand, Probation, Suspension Deferred, Suspension, Expulsion, and Revocation of Degree or Admission.
A. Unlawful Discrimination
Unlawful discrimination is conduct that is directed at a specific person or persons that subjects them to treatment that adversely affects their employment, application for employment, education, admissions, University benefits, programs, or activities, because of their religion or religious belief, color, race, marital status, veteran or military status, age, sex (including sexual harassment), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected class.
Harassment is conduct against a person or persons based upon their legally protected class that adversely has the effect of:
- unreasonably interfering with a person or person’s employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, or participation in University programs or activities; or
- unreasonably interfering with a person or person’s work or academic performance; or
- creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
C. Sexual Harassment Under Title IX
Sexual Harassment under Title IX is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that effectively denies a person equal access to the University's education program or activity;
- "Sexual assault" as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), "dating violence" as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), "domestic violence" as defined in 34 U.S.C. 1229(a)(8), or "stalking" as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30), as amended.
D. Sexual Misconduct Defined by M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E.
M.G.L. c. 6 §§ 168D and 168E defines Sexual Misconduct as an incident of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, sexual assault, sexual harassment or stalking.
E. Sexual Misconduct
Sexual Misconduct is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person or persons is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such person or persons, or participation in University programs or activities;
- or such conduct unreasonably (1) interferes with a person or person’s work or academic performance; (2) interferes with or limits a person or person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a work or academic program or activity; or (3) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
F. Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault is broadly defined as any sexual activity that is forced, coerced, or unwanted.
G. Sexual Exploitation
Sexual Exploitation is taking sexual advantage of another person without his or her consent. Sexual exploitation includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts of another person; allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts; and engaging in voyeurism.
H. Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence is any physical sexual act or activity engaged in without the consent of the other individual, including when the other individual is unable to consent to the act or activity (See also, definition for Consent).
I. Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate Partner Violence is Dating Violence or Domestic Violence as defined below.
J. Dating Violence
Dating Violence is violence committed by a person—
(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
(B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based upon a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship
- the type of relationship; and
- the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
K. Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by
-a current or former spouse of the victim,
-a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
-a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse,
-a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or
-any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
A person who is or has been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship with the victim.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
-fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
-suffer substantial emotional distress.
Retaliation is the interference through intimidation, including threats, coercion, or unlawful discrimination, with an individual’s right or privilege secured under the law including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Massachusetts law, or other laws, to report or make a complaint, testify, assist or participate or refuse to participate in any manner in an investigation or grievance proceeding, or hearing, or to intervene to prevent a violation of this policy.
Complicity is any act taken with the purpose of aiding, facilitating, promoting or encouraging the commission of an act of Prohibited Conduct by another person.
Prevention, Awareness and Training Programs
The University is committed to the prevention of Prohibited Conduct through regular and ongoing education and awareness programs. Incoming students and new employees receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation and returning students and current employees receive ongoing training and related education and awareness programs. The University provides training, education and awareness programs to students and employees to ensure broad understanding of this Policy and the topics and issues related to maintaining an education and employment environment free from harassment and discrimination.
For a description of the University’s Prohibited Conduct prevention and awareness programs, including programs on minimizing the risk of incidents of Prohibited Conduct and bystander intervention, see the University’s annual Clery reports (found online at: https://www.umass.edu/umpd/clery-act).
Obligation to Provide Truthful Information
All University community members are expected to provide truthful information in any report, investigation, or proceeding under this Policy. Submitting or providing false or misleading information in bad faith or with a view to personal gain or intentional harm to another in connection with an incident of Prohibited Conduct is prohibited and subject to disciplinary sanctions under The Student Code (for Students), Principles of Employee Conduct (for Employees), and any other applicable and appropriate University policy or policies. This provision does not apply to reports made or information provided in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are not later substantiated.