Affirmative Action, Equal Employment and Grievance Procedure
Montana Western is committed to affirmative action: to provide all persons an equal opportunity for education, employment, and participation in University activities without regard to the individual’s race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or handicap; and to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era.
All University supervisory personnel are responsible for applying the equal opportunity guidelines. This responsibility includes assurance that employment and admission decisions, personnel actions, and administration of benefits to both students and employees are based on criteria that adhere to the principle of equal opportunity. Search committee chairs are responsible for applying the equal opportunity guidelines to their respective searches. Specific responsibility to develop and implement an effective equal opportunity program, including appropriate reporting and monitoring procedures, has been assigned to the Affirmative Action Officer. All members of the University community are expected to familiarize themselves with the affirmative action program to assure that their official actions are consistent with this policy.
Montana Western has an established grievance procedure for any faculty member, student, non-academic employee, or applicant for employment or admission who claims to have been unlawfully discriminated against because of any University regulation, policy, practice, or the official action of any Montana Western employee. Persons alleging discrimination at Montana Western are encouraged to contact Montana Western’s Affirmative Action Officer, (406) 683-7101.
Alcohol Policy Summary
Consumption of alcoholic beverages on property belonging to the Montana University System is prohibited except as expressly permitted.
Unless otherwise authorized by the Chancellor or designee, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed on campus.
Authorization by the Chancellor for consumption of alcoholic beverages shall conform to the following:
- Consumption shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment, or reception.
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages shall also be available.
- The event shall be monitored to prevent consumption by a person not of legal age.
- Must submit waiver form prior to the event.
The University of Montana Western reserves the right to contact parents of students under the age of 21 as they become involved in or are adjudicated for violations of Montana Western’s drug and alcohol policies. Contacts are made when it is deemed appropriate for the safety and well-being of the involved student.
Alcoholic beverage means any beverage that is subject to the Montana Alcoholic Beverages Code.
Property belonging to the Montana University System means any property that is owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by any unit of the Montana University System.
Further information regarding Montana Western’s alcohol use policies (100.5) is available from the Conference & Events Office, Mathews Hall, 683-7566.
Tobacco Free Campus Policy Summary
The use of tobacco (including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidi, hookah, snus, orbs, all forms of smokeless tobacco) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties owned or leased by The University of Montana Western.
Drug Free Schools and Communities Act
In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by University employees and its students on institutional property or at any of its activities is prohibited. Montana Western will uphold the standards of conduct that prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students.
Montana Western will impose disciplinary sanctions (consistent with local, State, and federal laws), and consistently enforce such sanctions relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion and may have legal consequences. A student violating this policy may be required to satisfactorily complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as an alternative to suspension or expulsion. Anyone unlawfully possessing or using drugs risks being reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
There are at least two alternatives for students seeking assistance with substance use or abuse-related issues. The Campus Counseling Center is a good first step toward identifying at-risk behavior or to obtain coping strategies for substance addictions. It is available to help those with substance abuse problems, including dealing with friends and family who may have substance abuse issues (call 683-7565 for confidential appointment). The Beaverhead Chemical Dependency Center is also available for assessment and treatment, which can be in the form of individual or group counseling (683-4305).
Firearms, Fireworks, Chemicals and Explosives
No student, guest, faculty member, or employee may transport firearms, chemicals, fireworks, or explosives on Montana Western’s campus. Rifles and shotguns may be stored in the Residence Life gun storage room during Fall Semester, but these firearms must be removed as soon as hunting season ends. No weapons or ammunition are allowed in the residence halls or rooms at any time. Handguns may not be kept in the residence halls at any time. Anyone unlawfully possessing or using firearms, chemicals, fireworks, or explosives risks being reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Hold Harmless Policy
The University of Montana Western administration and faculty agree that students will be held harmless for absences due to University sanctioned activities in so far as possible. All parties recognize that not all classes are amenable to alternative assignments and in some cases it is impossible to reschedule critical learning experiences. Though faculty has the final decision regarding the appropriateness of alternative assignments or experiences, in all cases they will make a good faith effort to accommodate.
Students should work with their advisors and potential faculty members to design student course schedules that minimize absences in those courses with learning experiences that present special challenges for replication at an alternative time.
Wherever possible, all student work should be completed before the end of the course block. If it is not possible for a faculty member to replicate a learning experience that produces similar critical learning outcomes to the missed experiences in a particular course within the same block, incompletes may need to be issued to the student until such time as suitable learning experiences, if possible, can occur. Final decisions regarding the appropriateness of assigning incomplete grades are made exclusively by the faculty.
This policy is effective so long as:
- The student provides both verbal and written communication to the faculty member or employer on Day 1 of any given block.
- The student is engaged in a University-sanctioned event necessitating the student’s absence. Examples of such events include (but are not limited to) athletic activities, career fairs, and field experiences. The faculty member or employer must be able to verify this activity if so desired.
The student is not excused from academic work required for a course, but in these instances will be allowed to work with a faculty member or employer to alter deadlines, or complete alternate assignments, or make up work as assigned by the faculty member or employer in so far as possible.
Students will not be penalized for engaging in such activity and the faculty member or employer shall attempt to accommodate the student as long as the student provides for 1 and 2 above.
Students with complaints that a faculty member is not working under this policy must initiate the following procedure as soon as possible.
- Initial attempts to resolve the matter should be made in writing with the instructor/administrator, who shall have ten (10) working days to respond in writing.
- If further action is necessary, the student will next direct the grievance to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will convene a meeting involving the faculty member/administrator, the student, and a neutral mediator. The mediator will be designated to hear the case and help the parties communicate. The Dean of Students will provide guidelines for this mediation to all parties.
- If the mediation does not resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both parties, the written grievance and supporting documentation will be forwarded, by the Dean of Students within ten (10) working days of the mediation, to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who shall have twenty (20) working days to act upon the complaint and/or assign the case to a campus committee for a recommendation. The assigned committee shall have twenty (20) working days to reach their conclusion(s) and recommend suitable action to the Chancellor.The Chancellor may refer the matter to the Affirmative Action Committee for review and recommendation. If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he/she will be advised of the right to file with the appropriate federal and/or state investigatory agency.
Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters and In-line Skates
The use of non-motorized bicycles, skateboards, scooters and in-line skates shall be allowed as a means of transportation on sidewalks, walkways and roadways of the University of Montana Western. Anyone using one of these methods of travel shall give right of way to any pedestrian and shall travel at a speed no greater than twice that of walking speed. Under no circumstances will the above vehicles be allowed on ramps, curbs, benches, steps or other pieces of buildings or decorations. None of these vehicles are permitted for use inside any building.
Safety and Security
The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors are of primary concern to Montana Western. This document, in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools & Communities Act and the Student Right To Know & Campus Security Act (Clery Act) outlines policies and procedures to aid in a safe and productive learning, working, and living environment.
The Campus Security Office is a part of Facilities Services. This operation is a 24-hour-a-day function. During normal weekday working hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) safety and security issues and questions should be addressed by calling 683-7142; on weekends, holidays or outside normal weekday working hours, call 683-7141 or cell phone 596-2222.
Campus Security is responsible for a full range of public safety services including vehicle violations, maintaining instructional integrity and building security, fire safety, key issuance, preparing and submitting incident reports, as well as keeping a nightly log book. Security personnel are to make assessments based on established laws and policies, direct training, and personal judgment.
To report a crime or emergency, dial 911 to report to the Dillon Community Emergency Hotline. Then call Facilities Services, 683-7142 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or Campus Security, 683-7141 or 596-2222 (cell phone) evenings, weekends, and holidays. See Emergency Reporting list on inside front cover.
Creating and maintaining a healthy and safe environment requires the cooperation and involvement of everyone. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors must assume responsibility for their personal health and safety and the security of their personal belongings. Precautionary measures are the key. For example, although the campus is well lighted, anyone (male or female) may contact Campus Security at 683-7141 or cell phone 596-2222 for an escort if traveling across campus late at night.
Students Right to Know and Campus Security Act
The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act (P.L. 101-542) (Clery Act) was signed into law on November 8, 1990. The crime reporting provisions of the Act require that all 8,000 postsecondary institutions that receive federal financial assistance distribute a Security Report to each student and employee, warn them when specific violent crimes occur on campus, and develop crime awareness programs and security policies. Prospective students and employees must also be informed of the availability of the report and be given a summary of its contents and an opportunity to request a copy.
- Procedures and facilities for reporting crimes.In the event a crime occurs, the Facilities Services Office should be called at 683-7142 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) for assistance and notification. If outside of weekday office hours, Campus Security or the Facilities Services Office should be called at 683-7141. If the crime occurs in the residence halls, call the Residence Life Office at 683-7565; if the call is not answered, or if after office hours, contact the Hall Director on duty at cell phone 925-9828. Law enforcement authorities and medical assistance should be contacted, if necessary. If a student is injured, hospitalized, or arrested, notify the Dean of Students, 683-7900 or 925-9782 An incident reporting from on Maxient should be completed. An Incident and Security Report form should be completed by a staff member of the Facilities Services Office or Residence Life Office, or other staff member at the scene. This completed form is to be submitted to the Facilities Services Office with photographs or other pertinent information.
- The institution’s policies for responding to these reports.The institution may respond to these reports through a number of administrative channels. In most instances involving crimes, the institution will call upon the Dillon Police Department to act as its patrolling agent and the University will work cooperatively with this agency. In cases involving additional students and/or other concerns, the institution may call its Crisis Management Team to address counseling concerns and the impact the crime may have on other students, staff, faculty, or the entire Montana Western community.
- The institution’s current policies with respect to the security of and access to its facilities.The Campus Security employees check that the campus buildings are locked at night, provide escort service upon request, and report situations of concern to campus or local law enforcement authorities. Residence Life staff lock the main residence hall building doors at 11:00 each night, and unlock these doors at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Suspicious activity is reported to campus or local law enforcement authorities.
- The enforcement and arrest authority of the campus and their relationship to State and local police.The enforcement and arrest authority at Montana Western rests with the Dillon Police Department. Currently, none of the Campus Security or Student Affairs staff members have any authority to arrest individuals.
- Institutional policies that encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to campus security and appropriate police agencies.Montana Western works closely with the Dillon Police Department in obtaining the necessary reporting of all crimes on campus. The Dillon Police Department provides Montana Western with the statistics needed to file this and other reports.
- A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own safety.Programs are held at Orientation and in the residence halls that are designed to inform our students of safety issues, and students and employees receive information in the Student Handbook detailing safety precautions and crime reporting procedures.
- A description of programs to inform students and employees about crime prevention.Montana Western provides programs designed to inform students about the prevention of crime through student programming sessions and leadership training programs. No programs are presently offered to employees on the prevention of crimes on campus.
- A statement of policy concerning monitoring and recording through local police of criminal activity engaged in at off-campus locations of student organizations recognized by the institution including their off-campus housing facilities.Montana Western does not have any officially recognized organizations (fraternities, sororities) with off-campus locations.
- Statistics on arrests for liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and weapons possessions.Statistics for arrests on Montana Western’s campus for the period of January 1-December 31 of the current reporting year are found on our website or at the Dean of Students Office.
- A statement of policy regarding the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of State underage drinking laws.Montana Western prohibits the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages by anyone under the age of 21 on the Montana Western campus, in accordance with Montana’s underage drinking laws.
- A statement of policy concerning the possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement of Federal and State drug laws.Montana Western is a drug-free institution and has established a policy prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance by students and employees. Montana Western will enforce this policy and will take action for violations, in accordance with Federal guidelines. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, suspension/ termination from Montana Western, and loss of a student’s financial aid.Anyone in need of professional assistance should contact the Residence Life Office, Dean of Students Office, Campus Counseling Center, or Beaverhead Chemical Dependency Center for information on drug counseling and rehabilitation programs.
- A description of drug and alcohol education programs.Montana Western provides educational sessions in the residence halls and training for the Residence Life Staff members. The Student Wellness Program, Student Activities Office, and Residence Life programming provide programs on these topics throughout the academic year, including participation in Alcohol Awareness Week. The Campus Counseling Program distributes information around campus. The Self Over Substance class is required of all students who violate the drug or alcohol policy on or off campus.
- Report to the campus community in a timely manner that will aid in the prevention of similar crimes, the occurrence of the “BIG 6” reported to campus security and other officials of the institution, who have significant responsibilities for student and campus activities, which are considered a threat to students and employees.Montana Western has established a Crisis Management Plan that includes procedures for informing students and staff of an incident, policies and procedures that are being followed, and counseling services that are available if needed.
Regroup is a system The University of Montana Western uses to broadcast emergency alerts through text messaging to our campus community. We will also send email messages through Regroup to our students when Montana Western needs to share important University business with the student body. Students will automatically be signed up with Regroup by the University. Students can opt out of the text messaging by following the directions they will receive from the Dean of Students annually. Students do NOT have the option of opting out of email messages. Students are responsible for updating their cell phone number and email address with DAWGS.