The Equal Opportunity Office supports Western's mission to serve the people of the State of Washington, the nation, and the world by bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive, student-centered university that develops the potential of learners and the well-being of communities. Our office engages in a wide-range of activities in effort to ensure an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination.
Civil Rights Compliance
The Equal Opportunity Office oversees the University's compliance on a number of federal and state civil rights issues, laws and statutes, including:
- Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504
- Affirmative Action
- Title IX (discrimination based on sex in federally funded educational programs)
- Title VI (discrimination based on race in federally funded educational programs)
- Title VII (employment discrimination)
- Washington Law Against Discrimination
Education & Outreach
The Equal Opportunity Office facilitates training on a wide-range of compliance topics, including:
- Student and employee rights and responsibilities in regards to sex and gender discrimination
- Equal opportunity and affirmative action compliance in search and recruitment processes
The Office publishes resource materials and communications to the campus community regarding any new regulations or guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as the Washington State legislature.
The Office is a resource for the Western community, serving academic and administrative departments, as well as individual faculty, staff, and students. We provide consultation in regards to civil rights concerns, policy implementation and violation, prevention, remediation, and internal procedural processes.
The Equal Opportunity Office collaborates with diverse campus units to provide coordinated and individualized support for students and employees who have been affected by discriminatory behavior or activities. The Office provides individualized resource referrals and has the authority to initiate university-wide assistance and support as as appropriate. Resource referrals and accommodations can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Interim no-contact orders
- Safety planning
- Changes to class schedules and/or living arrangements
- Counseling services
- The modification of class requirements or testing schedules
The University is committed to resolving complaints alleging illegal discrimination, including harassment, at the earliest and most informal level, depending on the nature of the complaint. Our informal resolution process includes aspects of interest-based mediation, negotiation and various conflict resolution strategies.
Civil Rights Investigations
The Equal Opportunity Office is committed to conducting investigations in a timely and effective manner, adhering to the principles of due process in all investigations, and providing prompt corrective action if discrimination is found to have occurred. No individual shall be penalized, or retaliated against in any way by a member of the university community for their participation in this complaint procedure.