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ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES

When on campus and/or attending class, students should demonstrate responsible behavior and respect for others in their use of electronic communication devices, e.g., cell phones, electronic games. Cell phone conversations should not be intrusive or distracting to other members of the University community. While in class, during exams, or participating in other group activities, the device should be turned off.  When this is not feasible, the device should be set to vibrate or soft tone. The use of cell phones is prohibited in all UMA computer labs.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

Copies of the complete Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure for the University of Maine System are available from the equal opportunity officer. It also is on reserve in the campus library. These procedures, both informal and formal, are designed to assist students and employees in dealing with and resolving sexual harassment and other discrimination complaints. See Sheri Stevens, equal opportunity officer, in Augusta.

The University of Maine System is committed to maintaining a respectful, fair educational and work environment, free from discrimination or harassment. The goal of the University is to prevent discrimination or harassment from occurring and to provide a means of raising and resolving complaints. The Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure may be used by any employee or student of the University of Maine System who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veterans status. Sex discrimination complaints alleging discrimination based on marital status, pregnancy, or parental status may also be raised through this procedure.

These procedures provide a mechanism for employees and students to file complaints and for investigation and resolution of such complaints. The University is responsible for providing an environment free of discrimination and harassment whether or not an employee or student chooses to file a complaint using these procedures. Nothing in this document should be construed to limit the University’s ability to take corrective action when the University’s Non-Discrimination policy is violated.

General Information

Who may file a complaint
Any employee or student with a concern about discrimination or harassment should contact Sheri Stevens, University Equal Opportunity Officer, as soon as possible after the alleged incident.  Any person may bring information or a concern about discrimination or harassment to the Equal Opportunity Officer. A complaint may be initiated by an employee or student who feels he or she has experienced discrimination or harassment, or by anyone with knowledge of an incident. When the complainant is not the person who may have experienced discrimination or harassment, the University’s ability to investigate and resolve the situation may depend on that person’s willingness to participate in the investigation.
The Equal Opportunity Officer will provide information about University policy and relevant laws, suggest ways to hand the complaint either informally or formally, and provide referrals to counseling or other support services, as needed. In any situation in which the person accused of discrimination or harassment is a student and a formal complaint is filed, the investigation will be conducted by the Student Judicial Officer under the Student Conduct Code. In such cases the Equal Opportunity Officer may serve as a consultant.

Alternate investigator
The University shall also provide a qualified alternate investigator in certain circumstances.   Complaints may be made to the alternate investigator if the Equal Opportunity Officer is the subject of the complaint. A request that the alternate investigator handle a complaint may be made if there is a concern that the Equal Opportunity Officer has a substantial conflict of interest in connection to the complainant or the person accused. If the Equal Opportunity Officer files a complaint, it shall be investigated by the Investigations Coordinator in the System Office of Human Resources.

Confidentiality
Investigations will be conducted as confidentially as possible to protect the privacy and due process rights of both the complainant and the individual accused. Consultation with and involvement of other employees, supervisors and others will be strictly limited to those who may have information about the alleged incident, who need to know that a complaint has been made, or whose job responsibilities include equal opportunity matters. All those involved in a complaint process are strongly encouraged not to discuss information about the complaint within the University in order to protect their privacy, the privacy of others, and the effectiveness of the process. The complainant and the person accused may discuss the matter with family and others outside the University as necessary for support and guidance and may obtain assistance from University counseling professionals.

Supervisor’s responsibility
If a supervisor becomes aware of a discrimination or harassment concern regarding an employee’s behavior, the supervisor should consult with the Equal Opportunity Officer. The Equal Opportunity Officer and the supervisor will discuss the situation and together decide how to proceed.

Time limits
The people responsible for this process will seriously attempt to meet all deadlines, but failure to do so will not prevent the process from continuing. Deadlines in this procedure are intended to serve as outside limits for actions to occur. In the interest of everyone concerned, all matters should be handled as expeditiously as possible. All deadlines refer to calendar days.

Retaliation
Retaliation against anyone who makes a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who is involved in a complaint process is illegal and constitutes a serious violation of University policy. Retaliatory action will be regarded as a basis for a separate complaint under these procedures.

Informal Complaints
The University’s experience is that most complaints can be resolved through an informal process. By its nature an informal process is less procedurally detailed than a formal process. The informal process provides the maximum privacy and an opportunity for the earliest possible resolution for everyone concerned.
If the complainant wishes to explore an informal resolution of the problem, the Equal Opportunity Officer will provide assistance without fully investigating the allegation. The objective of the informal process is to seek a resolution to which all parties involved can agree. The Equal Opportunity Officer may suggest that the complainant speak directly to the accused person or may act as an intermediary. A complainant may request that the person accused not be informed of the complainant’s identity if this is not essential to resolve the complaint informally. The Equal Opportunity Officer may also gather information from other sources in an effort to resolve the complaint.
If the person accused elects not to participate in an informal process, the non-participation will not be considered as damaging evidence. Failure of the accused person to participate does not change the University’s responsibility to investigate and to make decisions based on available information.
Attempts to resolve an informal complaint will be completed within thirty (30) days from the date of the complaint. The complainant and the person accused will be informed of the outcome of the informal process. This notification may be oral. At the completion of the informal process if a formal complaint will not be filed, the complainant or person accused may request a letter from the Equal Opportunity Officer regarding the status of the complaint. If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, the complainant or the Equal Opportunity Officer may request a formal investigation.

Formal Complaints

Filing a complaint
An employee or student who wishes to file a formal complaint should contact the Equal Opportunity Officer. Investigation of a formal complaint will normally be conducted by the Investigations Coordinator in the System Office of Human Resources. The complaint should be filed as soon as possible after the alleged incident or unsuccessful efforts to resolve the situation informally. A formal complaint must be put in writing and signed by the complainant. The complaint shall specify the incidents giving rise to the complaint. When possible, dates and location of incidents and potential witnesses shall be identified. 
The University will attempt to balance the wishes of a complainant who does not want to file a formal complaint with the University’s responsibility to investigate serious allegations and take prompt corrective action. A complainant who decides not to proceed with a formal complaint may be asked to state that preference in writing.

Notifying the person accused
The person accused of discrimination or harassment in a formal complaint will be informed in writing by the Equal Opportunity Officer within seven (7) days of both the allegations and the complainant’s identity.

Investigative process
The Investigations Coordinator will meet with the complainant and the person accused and may request to meet with them together. The Investigations Coordinator may also interview witnesses, supervisors, or other persons who have information about the alleged incident, and may review personnel or other records relevant to the complaint. Prior allegations, or findings about prior incidents of discrimination or harassment, shall not be considered in determining whether the present allegation has been substantiated.

Findings and remedies
The Investigations Coordinator will assess whether a violation of the University ’s non-discrimination or harassment policy has occurred and will submit findings in writing to the responsible administrator, the complainant, and the person accused within thirty (30) days of receiving the formal complaint. A copy of the findings will also be provided to the Equal Opportunity Officer. If the finding is that discrimination or harassment occurred, the Investigations Coordinator may discuss or provide information about appropriate remedies to the responsible administrator. The responsible administrator is the line administrator (for example, the dean, director, vice president, or president), who is responsible for acting on the findings and for making a decision regarding discipline of the person accused. Appropriate discipline may range from an oral reprimand up to and including termination, or any other appropriate remedial action.
In making a decision regarding discipline, the responsible administrator may consider properly established records of previous conduct and the seriousness of the violation. A complaint made more than twelve (12) months after the incident shall not be the basis for disciplining any person accused of discrimination or harassment. However, where there are allegations of discrimination or harassment made within the twelve (12) month period and a longer pattern or practice of discrimination or harassment exists, the responsible administrator shall consider the totality of events in determining appropriate discipline.
Before any disciplinary action is taken the responsible administrator shall discuss the findings and recommendations with the Investigations Coordinator, shall meet with the accused person, and shall offer to meet with the complainant. The responsible administrator may also interview other witnesses and review other relevant evidence. The accused person, the Investigations Coordinator, and the Equal Opportunity Officer will be notified of the decision of the responsible administrator in writing within fourteen (14) days. The complainant will be notified at the same time whether the allegations have been substantiated, what corrective action, if any, will be taken, and, in general, whether any discipline will be imposed. An employee who is disciplined after a complaint has been substantiated may grieve the discipline by filing a grievance according to the procedures in the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or non-represented employees’ grievance procedure.

Appeals of Formal Complaints
Either the complainant or person accused may file an appeal if (1) the findings include relevant factual errors or omit relevant facts, (2) relevant procedural errors are alleged, or (3) relevant issues or questions concerning interpretation of University policy are raised. An appeal must be made in writing to the Equal Opportunity Director for the University System within seven (7) days of being notified of the responsible administrator's decision. The appeal must state the reason(s) for the appeal. The Equal Opportunity Director will review the written record and may request additional information from the Investigations Coordinator, complainant, person accused, responsible administrator, or others with direct knowledge about the complaint. The Equal Opportunity Director’s review will be completed within fourteen (14) days and will be reported in writing to the complainant, person accused, Investigations Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Officer, responsible campus administrator, and University president. The final decision on an appealed complaint rests with the University President. During an appeal, the University shall not impose any discipline on a respondent for the behavior which is the subject of the appeal.
At any point in the complaint process if the University believes that the accused person represents a danger to individuals or to operations of the University, the accused may be placed on a leave with pay.

Right to Representation

General
The complainant and the person accused have the right to representation as specified below. Any representative may attend any inquiry with the employee or student and may receive copies of documents, notice of proceedings, and copies of findings, but may not participate in the inquiry.

Bargaining unit members
The University shall inform a bargaining unit member who is the subject of a complaint of the member’s right to be accompanied by a grievance representative. An employee who files a complaint and who is a bargaining unit member may also be accompanied by a union representative.

Students and non-represented employees
A student or non-represented employee, as either complainant or accused, shall also have the right to be accompanied by another student or employee at the campus or other person.

Attorneys
Either the complainant or the accused may be accompanied by legal counsel when a formal complaint has been made.

Written Records
The kinds of written records relating to a charge of discrimination or harassment that may be placed in an accused employee’s official personnel file include: any document that has been mutually agreed to by the University and the employee; a letter issued by the responsible administrator to the employee at the conclusion of a formal investigation, which notifies the employee about discipline to be imposed or other remedies; a settlement agreement between the parties. Inclusion of such information in the personnel file shall be in accordance with the relevant collective bargaining agreement.
Other written records of informal or formal complaint investigations will be marked "CONFIDENTIAL" and will be retained in a separate and secure (locked) confidential file by the Equal Opportunity Officer and Investigations Coordinator.

Alternative Procedures
Employees are encouraged to use the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure to address any complaints of discrimination or harassment based on protected class status. However, an employee may elect to file a grievance under the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or non-represented employees’ grievance procedure, if the alleged incident is also a violation of the collective bargaining agreement or non-represented employees’ handbook. This action may be in addition to, or in the place of, the procedures described above. An employee who wishes to use the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure but also to preserve his or her right to file a grievance must ask for, and normally will be granted, an extension of the initial deadline for filing a grievance. Such a request shall be made in writing before the initial deadline for filing a grievance passes by the bargaining agent or the non-represented employee to the University administrator with authority to grant an extension.
Any complaint of discrimination or harassment filed under these procedures shall be processed even if the complainant also files a complaint or suit with an outside agency, including the Maine Human Rights Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

Academic Freedom
Harassment based on sex, race, or other protected characteristics includes verbal conduct which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment. However, harassment does not include verbal expression which is relevant to course subject matter, and University procedures for handling harassment complaints shall not abridge academic freedom.

Dissemination of Procedures
A summary of the Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure will be provided to all employees and students. Periodic notices sent to students, employees, and supervisors about the University’s equal opportunity and sexual harassment policies will include information about the complaint procedure and will refer individuals to the Equal Opportunity Officer for additional copies.

1994 EQUITY IN ATHLETICS DISCLOSURE ACT

The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) is an annual report that colleges must file with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education concerning intercollegiate athletic participation rates, staffing, and revenues and expenses, by men’s and women’s teams. The Department uses the data to report to Congress on gender equity in intercollegiate athletics.  The electronic version is available through UMA Annual Equity in Athletics Report. A print version is available upon request by contacting the Office of Student Life.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Participation in extracurricular activities is an intrinsic part of the educational experience for many UMA students. Many of our finest students represent UMA through their participation in the arts, community service, athletics, etc. Students are urged, whenever feasible, to arrange class schedules to minimize conflicts with such obligations. Faculty members are also urged to make reasonable adjustments for students who must miss class time to represent UMA in extracurricular activities. To facilitate this process, students should notify their faculty of involvement in these activities at the beginning of each semester. Such students may be excused from attending classes but are not excused from any assigned class work or examinations. Faculty should be sensitive to the scheduling conflicts of these students and modify assignment and exam dates as necessary. With an athlete's permission, the Athletic Department monitors their grades on a regular basis.

FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

For continued financial aid eligibility and compliance with federally mandated requirements, a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is provided to financial aid recipients of UMA. All students receiving financial aid must successfully complete a given number of credits in comparison to those attempted and students must maintain a specified cumulative grade point average. A student is also required to complete the program within a specified time frame.  An online copy of the policy is available at http://www.uma.edu/financialsap.html or in person at the Office of Financial Aid in Augusta.

FIREARMS (POSSESSION OF)

Please see Possession of Weapons, Firearms and/or Ammunition.

FREE SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY POLICY

1. Policy Statement 
The primary purpose of an academic community is to search for truth. Indispensable to that search is the freedom to think as you wish and to speak as you think. Therefore, in keeping with the purpose of the University of Maine System there shall be no restrictions, on any of its campuses, placed on the fundamental rights of free speech and assembly except those necessary to protect the rights of others and to preserve the order necessary for the University to continue its function as an institution of higher education.
The entire outdoors of the campus is open to any form of expression or opinion by students, faculty, staff, and invited guests; the only limitations being that normal University functions may not be disturbed and the free flow of traffic may not be disrupted. Individuals or groups wishing to use outdoor facilities shall contact the executive director of administrative services within a reasonable time in advance for permission of their use. Inside facilities that are used for scheduled meetings are also to be made available on a nondiscriminatory basis; these shall also be scheduled through the Office of Administrative Services.

2. Interpretations

  • The policy statement does not guarantee the right to demonstrate in corridors, lobbies, or in any other part of buildings that are normally used for scheduled meetings. The right to protest recruiting, or anything else is guaranteed in the policy statement, but such protests must take place outside buildings or in scheduled inside facilities; and these inside facilities must be made available on a non-discriminatory basis.
  • Lockouts clearly border on, if they do not always actually constitute, prior restraints to free expression; for this reason, they are to be avoided. 
  • Members of the University faculty and staff have all the rights protected by the Free Speech and Assembly Policy. 
  • Groups and organizations planning activities under the Free Speech and Assembly Policy are encouraged to notify the dean of students 72 hours in advance of the event. 
  • Sponsoring groups (recognized organizations and ad hoc campus groups) will be held responsible for the behavior of their guests in accordance with University regulations. 
  • Physical interference with activities carried on within the framework of the Free Speech and Assembly Policy is unacceptable. This prohibition includes such actions as throwing objects of any sort, bodily contact for the purpose of interference and removal of demonstration materials from any individual participants. 
  • Appropriate sanctions for violations of relevant sections of the UMA Student Conduct Code will be imposed through the procedures outlined in the Code. Students and non-students are also subject to relevant local, state, and federal laws.

 

GUESTS (INCLUDING CHILDREN) IN THE CLASSROOM

Guests (including children) are not normally allowed to attend UMA classes. Only in the event of an emergency and/or non-routine situation may a student seek an exception to this policy. If not already prohibited in the course syllabus, the request for an exception must be made to the responsible faculty member prior to bringing the guest into the classroom. Faculty members have the authority to decide if guests may be allowed in the classroom. Faculty and the student will consider issues of safety and may consider the appropriateness of course content in making such decisions. It is the student's responsibility to make sure guests do not disrupt the educational environment of the class. If the guests do cause a disruption, the faculty member shall request or insist that the guest(s) leave or be removed from the classroom. 
Faculty and students must also abide by the University policy that prohibits children under 18 from entering University laboratories, shops or other potentially hazardous work areas without the written permission of the Executive Director of Administrative Services. 
This policy applies to both campuses. Centers and sites may have a different policy. In the event that no policy exists at a center or site, the UMA campus policy will be in effect. This policy does not apply to other campuses of the University of Maine System where their own policies supersede this one.

HARASSMENT

This section provides information to increase awareness about discriminatory and non-discriminatory harassment.  It:

  • Identifies discriminatory harassment and how it differs from non-discriminatory harassment
  • Describes what to do about harassment and who must report it
  • Explains where to get help if you believe you may be experiencing harassment 

The University of Maine System is committed to providing an educational and work environment that recognizes and respects the dignity of all students, faculty, and staff. Harassment of any form undermines this important commitment and is not acceptable within the university community.

Words and actions can damage morale, motivation, and community. The pain inflicted might be intentional or accidental, but if it prevents or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s ability to perform his or her job or participate in educational programs, it is inappropriate and may violate University policy.

We must be sensitive to the harmful effects of behavior. We can express our opinions and voice even strong disagreement without using statements or actions that personally attack others.

Balancing individual and group rights and responsibilities and promoting respect, civility, and a sense of community are sensitive matters that require attention by each student, faculty, and staff member at our universities.

UMS Policies Prohibit Harassment

UMS Board of Trustees  Equal Opportunity Policy : “In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information, or veterans status in employment, education, and all other areas of the University...The University will regard freedom from discrimination and discriminatory harassment as an individual employee and student right which will be safeguarded as a matter of policy."


UMS Board of Trustees Campus Violence Policy:  "The University will not tolerate acts of violence against or by any member of the University community … Campus violence is any physical assault, or threatening or harassing verbal or physical behavior occurring on University premises, in University facilities, or while conducting University business.”

WHAT IS HARASSMENT?

Harassment is unwelcome behavior that creates a hostile or intimidating working, educational, or living environment.  It also includes behavior that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or job performance and opportunities.

Harassing behavior may be verbal, written, physical, or graphic (including on-line postings and messages).   All types of harassment are prohibited by University policies.

         DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT

Discriminatory harassment occurs when unwelcome behavior is directed toward an individual based on protected class status, including race, color, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity and gender expression, age, national origin, citizenship, genetic information, or veterans status.

Discriminatory harassment is also prohibited by both state and federal law.

More information about discriminatory harassment based on sex is provided in the UMS Sexual Harassment brochure online at      www.maine.edu/pdf/sexharasbroc.pdf.  

     NON-DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT

Non-discriminatory harassment is harassment that is not based on a person’s protected class status. Examples of non-discriminatory harassment include harassing a student for being a member of a conservative campus club or harassing an employee who is new to the department.

All forms of harassment constitute misconduct when committed by an employee and a violation of the Student Conduct Code when committed by a student.  Discriminatory harassment is also a violation of the University’s Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment policies, and non-discriminatory harassment may be a violation of the Campus Violence Policy.

Not every unpleasant interaction, offensive comment, or disagreement constitutes harassment. Harassment occurs when unwelcome behavior creates a hostile environment or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s academic or job performance and opportunities.  However, even if conduct does not meet the narrow definition of harassment under University policies or the law, it may be inappropriate in the workplace or the educational environment and could lead to corrective or disciplinary action.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT HARASSMENT

If you are a student or employee who experiences or witnesses harassment:

SPEAK UP. If someone’s behavior makes you uncomfortable, say so clearly and without delay. Tell the person that the behavior is unwanted and that it needs to stop.  You are not required to talk with the person directly, but that is often the simplest and most effective way to get the behavior to stop.

KEEP RECORDS. Write down what happened. Include names, dates, times, witnesses, and a description of what the person did or said as well as your response.

TELL SOMEONE. Being quiet or stoic about the behavior enables it to continue.  If you need assistance approaching the person whose behavior is offensive or if the behavior is severe, talk to your supervisor, advisor, or another University official.  If the person you believe is harassing you is your supervisor or advisor, go to someone else.  Each campus has designated resources listed in this brochure where you can find someone to listen to your experience and guide you.

If you are a supervisor, administrator, faculty member, staff member in a residence hall or athletic program, or police officer:

You have a responsibility to take action when you become aware of any form of harassment by reporting it to the appropriate office. Under state and federal law you also have a legal responsibility to stop discriminatory harassment.

Supervisors include department chairs and directors, administrators, and any other person who is responsible for the work of another employee, including student employees.

If someone reports harassing behavior to you, listen carefully and encourage the person to contact the applicable campus resource office listed in this brochure.  If the person does not wish to contact the applicable office or if you witness harassing behavior directed toward a student or employee, it is essential that YOU advise the applicable campus office.  There are different resource offices depending on whether the alleged harassment is discriminatory or non-discriminatory and on whether the alleged harasser is an employee, a student, or someone from outside the University.

If you are a faculty member:

Be aware of classroom behaviors and interactions with students that may constitute or be perceived as harassment. Be aware of how interactions with other faculty may cross the line between energetic discussion and harassment that creates a hostile environment.

If a student engages in harassing conduct in your class, you have a responsibility to take action to intervene effectively.  Contact the Student Conduct or Dean of Student’s office to report the situation and get assistance in addressing it.

Discuss the issue of harassment with your colleagues. 

 

HOW TO REPORT HARASSMENT AND GET HELP

For all situations alleging that a student has engaged in discriminatory or non-discriminatory harassment, contact the campus Student Conduct Officer or Dean of Students. The reported conduct will be handled as provided in the Student Conduct Code, available online at http://www.maine.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Student-Conduct-Code-final-version-Dec-2013.pdf 

 Discriminatory Harassment by an Employee or Third Party

The University has an Equal Opportunity Complaint Procedure to deal with concerns and complaints about discriminatory harassment by an employee or third party (an individual who is neither an employee nor student).  The procedure is available online at http://www.maine.edu/about-the-system/system-office/human-resources/equal-opportunity-complaint-procedure-2/ or from your campus Equal Opportunity Office

The campus Equal Opportunity Office will discuss with you both informal and formal options for resolving the problem.  The goal of the informal process is to assist you in resolving the matter in a way that is acceptable to everyone.  If the problem cannot be resolved informally and the person with whom you have a problem is an employee, the Equal Opportunity Director can help you file a formal complaint.

A formal complaint will be investigated by the University of Maine System Office of Human Resources.  An impartial investigator will talk with individuals, gather documents, and determine whether discriminatory harassment, violation of other University policy, or other misconduct has occurred.

Non-Discriminatory Harassment by an Employee or Third Party

Report concerns or complaints about non-discriminatory harassment by an employee or third party (an individual who is neither an employee nor student) to the campus Human Resources Office.

Both formal and informal processes are available to respond to complaints of non-discriminatory harassment.

 Reporting Requirements Under Title IX

Federal law – Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 – prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, in educational institutions.

Title IX requires that faculty members, staff who work in residence halls or athletic programs, police officers, supervisors, and administrators MUST report sexual harassment or sexual assault that they witness or receive information about. 

 Retaliation against anyone for making a complaint, reporting alleged harassment,  or participating in an investigation of alleged harassment is a violation of University policy and the law andwill not be tolerated.

 

WHAT IS A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT?

A hostile environment is created when unwelcome behavior is either severe or pervasive.

  • SEVERE: Conduct does not necessarily have to be repeated to constitute harassment.  If sufficiently severe, single or isolated incidents can create a hostile environment. While there is no definition of what constitutes “severe” behavior, severity may be determined by whether the behavior is physically threatening or humiliating as opposed to being merely offensive.
  • PERVASIVE: A series of lesser incidents may also have a cumulative effect over time of creating a hostile environment.
  •  

    Contact these offices for assistance or to file a complaint

     

    For Discriminatory Harassment by an Employee or 3rd Party contact Title IX Coordinator

    For Non-Discriminatory Harassment by an Employee or 3rd Party

    For Harassment by a Student contac Title IX Coordinator or

    University of Maine at Augusta

    University College (Centers)

    Director of Equal Opportunity

    Farmhouse

    621-3110

    Director of Equal Opportunity

    Farmhouse

    621-3110

    Coordinator of Community Standards & Mediation

    Randall Student Center

    621-3226

    Allegations of discriminatory harassment may also be filed with:

    Maine Human Rights Commission                             Office for Civil Rights OCR.Boston@ed.gov

    51 State House Station                                                U. S. Department of Education

    Augusta, ME 04333                                                     5 Post Office Square

    (207) 624-6290                                                           Boston, MA 02109

                                                                                        (617) 289-0111


    FREEDOM OF SPEECH

    Freedom of speech is of paramount value to our University.  The constitutional rights of all members of the University community to express themselves must be protected, not punished.  Great care must be taken not to inhibit open discussion, debate, and expression of personal opinion, particularly in the classroom.

    As students, faculty, and staff and as an educational institution, we can individually and collectively use “more speech” to prevent and respond to offensive protected speech by others.

    We can:

  • Promptly and clearly speak out against offensive words and actions when they occur.
  • Be models of the type of civil, respectful behavior that is expected of everyone in the University.
  • Resolve disputes in a constructive manner through discourse, mediation, and education.
  • Actively work to promote a campus climate and work environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all persons.
  • However, freedom of speech is not a shield behind which a person can harass others. “Fighting words” – words that would provoke a reasonable person to respond with violence – may constitute harassment and are not protected free speech.  Neither is slander or libel.

    When verbal conduct is severe or pervasive, directed at an individual or group, and creates an intimidating or hostile environment or unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or academic performance, it is harassment.

     

    Non-Discrimination Notice

    The University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information, or veterans status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:  campus Equal Opportunity Director or Director of Equity & Diversity, University of Maine System, 16 Central Street, Bangor, Maine 04401, voice (207) 973-3372, TTY 711 Maine Telecommunications Relay Service (MERS).

     

     

    A brochure is available in alternate format upon request.  This brochure was developed by the System Office of Human Resources and the UM Equal Opportunity Office, in collaboration with Indigenous Resistance Against Tribal Extinction (IRATE).  Parts of this brochure are adapted with permission from a publication by Oregon State University.

    OHR 2014

    HAZING

    In accordance with the policy of the State of Maine as set forth in Chapter 159 of the Public Laws of 1983 (20-A M.R.S.A. 10004), the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System reaffirms its policy that the injurious hazing of any student enrolled at any institution of the University of Maine System is prohibited. In order to implement that policy and comply with State Law, the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System adopts these rules:

    1. No person or organization shall create, or permit to exist, any situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student enrolled at any institution of the University of Maine System. 
    2.  Each organization affiliated with any institution of the University of Maine System shall adopt and include these rules as part of its by-laws or other governing document. Each such organization shall advise the Office of the President of each campus with which it is affiliated, in writing, within sixty days after the adoption of this policy, of such adoption and inclusion; and shall thereafter notify the Office of the President, in writing, forthwith, of any change or amendment relating to these rules or to such adoption and inclusion. 
    3. Any organization affiliated with any campus of the University of Maine System that violates these rules shall lose all right to conduct activities on any campus of the University of Maine System and all right to receive any other benefit of affiliation with any campus of the University of Maine System. 
    4. Any person associated with any institution of the University of Maine System as a student, administrator, faculty member or in any other capacity, whose conduct violates these rules, shall be subject to suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate disciplinary action. 
    5. Any person, not associated with the University of Maine System, whose conduct violates these rules shall be ejected from, and shall thereafter be banned from re-entering, any campus of the University of Maine System. 
    6. Any disciplinary action, penalty, or sanction enforced under these rules for conduct violating these rules shall be in addition to, and not in limitation of, any other civil law or criminal law process, procedure or penalty arising from the conduct concerned. 
    7. The administration and enforcement of these rules within each institution of the University of Maine System shall be the responsibility of those persons and administrative officers at each campus of the University of Maine System who have responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the Student Conduct Code. Such administration and enforcement shall be pursuant to the Student Conduct Code and in accordance with the policies and procedures including, without limitation, the appeal procedures of that Code. 
    8. A copy of these rules and of the Student Conduct Code shall be given to all students enrolled at each institution of the University of Maine System. Appropriate announcements of the existence of these rules, of the Student Conduct Code, and of the availability of copies shall be made at least annually through appropriate and usual campus notification procedures. The failure of any student, administrator, faculty member or any other person associated with the University to have received such copies or to have actual knowledge thereof shall not be justification for, or excuse, any failure to comply with the said policy or these rules.

    HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA)

    On August 21, 1996, Congress enacted The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which established a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. The University, as a covered entity, is responsible for maintaining these standards.