Discrimination Against Students

NOTICE M E M O R A N D U M

TO: All UW–Madison Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM: Office for Equity and Diversity

RE: State Law Prohibiting Discrimination Against Students, s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statutes

In 1990, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted Wisconsin Act 186, creating s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statues. This statute provides, in part:

"No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the {UW} system or its institutions or centers because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status."

The statute also requires that each UW System and College establish policies and procedures that:

  1. Provide criteria for determining whether there has been a violation of the general prohibition against discrimination;
  2. Provide remedies and sanctions for discrimination;
  3. Require complaints of discrimination to be brought within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory actions; and
  4. Establish time periods within which complaints of discrimination must be processed and resolved at the institution or center, with a final decision by the Chancellor or Dean.

The policy and procedures for developed for processing students' complaints alleging discrimination are attached. All s. 36.12 complaints must be filled with the Office or Equity and Diversity (OED). OED must process a complaint within 90 days of receipt of the complaint. To obtain a copy of the Student Discrimination Complaints Policy and Procedure, please contact your Dean, Director or Department Chair. Copies are also available in the Office for Equity and Diversity, 179-A Bascom Hall and the Division of Student Life, 75 Bascom Hall.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

STUDENT DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURES

Revised 1997

Pursuant to s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statutes and the Regent Guidelines for Implementation, the following is the Policy and Procedure of the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding student complaints of discrimination.

I. Student Discrimination Prohibited s.36.12, Wisconsin Statutes provides in pertinent part:

"No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the {UW} system or its institutions or centers because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, or parental status."

II. Policies and Procedures for Complaints Under s. 36.12

A. Criteria for Determinations

In determining whether discrimination in violation of s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statutes, has occurred, the University of Wisconsin-Madison through its Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), shall apply state and federal statutes, regulations, and case law relevant to the basis of discrimination being alleged, including but not limited to such legal materials and precedents as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, s. 101.223, Wis. Stats., s. 36.11 (3) (a), Wis . Stats., the United States Constitution, the Wisconsin Constitution, and related regulations and case law. In any case where there is a question as to whether the action or conduct in question violates s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statutes, OED shall consult with institutional legal counsel.

B. Filing Complaints alleging a violation of s. 36.12, Wisconsin Statutes, must be filed within 300 days of the alleged violation.

C. Procedures and Remedies

1. OED shall be responsible for:

a. Reviewing each complaint;

b. Providing procedural advice and counsel to the complainant, and referring the complainant to any other more relevant complaint or grievance process, if appropriate; and

c. Conducting investigation of complaints, where no other complaint or grievance mechanism applies to the subject matter of the complaint.

2. Where OED refers a complaint to another relevant complaint or grievance procedure, further action on the matter will be taken in accordance with the other procedure, provided, however, that the requirements of paragraphs 5. and 6. below shall apply to all procedures applicable to complaints under s. 36.12.

3. OED determines after investigation that no discrimination in violation of s. 36.12 has occurred, the complaint shall be dismissed, and the complainant and any other interested parties will so be advised.

4. Where OED determines after investigation that discrimination in violation of s. 36.12 is likely to have occurred, OED may:

a. Attempt to resolve the matter through mediation among the involved parties;

b. Recommend remedial action to eliminated the discrimination to the appropriated administrators; or

c. Refer the matter to the appropriate administrators for review and consideration of possible disciplinary action, where misconduct by faculty, staff, or students appears to be involved.

5. OED, or any other office processing a s. 36.12 complaint, shall complete its processing of a complaint within 90 days of receipt.

a. In the event a complaint is dismissed under paragraph 3, above, or otherwise, the complainant may appeal to the Chancellor within 10 days of the dismissal.

b. In the event any attempt at mediation under paragraph 4. a. above, or otherwise, fails or a recommended remedial action under paragraph 4. b. above, or otherwise, is rejected, the complainant may appeal to the Chancellor within 10 days of the action.

c. In the event the matter is referred under paragraph 4. c. above, or otherwise, the time limitations and procedures applicable to employee or student disciplinary matters shall apply.

6. In all matters involving an alleged violation of s. 36.12, the Chancellor's decision shall be final, except that the Board of Regents may, consistent with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, conduct a review of the record.

III. Notification and Reporting

The OED, in conjunction with the Dean of Students Office, shall notify students annually of the existence of s. 36.12 and what it prohibits. This notice shall also identify OED as the institutional office where students may file complaints under s. 36.12.

OED shall also provide to the Board of Regents the information from the University of Wisconsin-Madison required to meet the reporting requirement of s.36.12.