Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.15
Liaison Ashley Woolman
Submission Date April 8, 2022

STARS v2.2

Western Colorado University
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Kevin Alexander
Associate Vice President
Academic Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

https://www.western.edu/title-ixsexual-harassment-discrimination-policies

Western Colorado University does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status in employment or admission and access to its educational programs and activities. Title IX also requires that the college not discriminate in such a manner. The University is an equal opportunity institution for all faculty, staff and students.

* Please Note: This nondiscrimination policy shall not be interpreted or applied in a manner that conflicts with or subjects the University to penalties or ineligibility for funds under state or federal law.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

Title IX/Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policies serve all members of the university community, including students, faculty and other academic personnel, staff employees, non-students or non-employee participants in university programs. Western has policies in place which govern the ways in which Western must respond to misconduct and sexual harassment. For more information, please go to https://western.edu/student-life/title-ix/title-ix-sexual-harassment-and-discrimination-policies/.

Two forms are available to report an incident:
Bias Incident Report Form
Use this form report incidents of bias and discrimination. Anyone can file a report, including community members.
Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Report Form
Use this form if a Western student or employee was involved in a situation you think someone needs to know about regarding sexual harassment/misconduct. Anyone can file a report, including community members.

Anonymity – After the Title IX Coordinator receives a report in which the Complainant wishes to remain anonymous, the Title IX Coordinator will make every attempt to keep the Complainant anonymous while remedying the situation. However, this could limit Western’s ability to respond to the complaint. If you are ever unsure about anonymity and reporting, please contact the Title IX Coordinator with questions or concerns and to receive support regardless of willingness or ability to file a complaint in the moment. Just because a complaint is filed does not necessarily mean you are obligated to pursue a Formal or Informal case.

After a complaint is filed with the Title IX Coordinator, whether directly or indirectly from the Complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the Complainant with resources and support. The Complainant is under no obligation to respond or meet with the Title IX Coordinator but may do so to ask questions, raise concerns, or talk through options and safety needs.

Many supportive measures and resources are available, including: counseling, course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leave of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus, and other similar measures.


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Student recruitment: Western has recruiters spread across the state of Colorado to better serve a wide range of student populations. We are currently visiting high schools across the state with underrepresented populations of students. Key areas of focus for us are the San Luis Valley and the Denver metro area. The recruitment staff both on and off campus utilize key programs on campus to help recruit underrepresented populations of students, such as the MCC. During key events like Preview Day we work collaboratively with these programs to highlight successful students at western in these underrepresented groups.
The Multicultural Affairs Department collaborates with various visiting groups and programs to help with specific target groups. The multicultural Affairs Department is present at all Preview Days to visit with both potential future students as well as their families.

Staff/Faculty recruitment: Western advertises all of our vacant positions with Connecting Colorado’s website, a dedicated source for US veterans. All tenure track faculty announcements are upgraded on HigherEdJobs.com to include in the Diversity and Inclusion (opt in) email listing. For all searches, the committee chair is instructed by the Affirmative Action Officer to identify targeted recruitment sources for qualified candidates in protected groups. This varies by academic discipline and the qualifications of the position. For example, if Western is seeking a Librarian, the chair is able to advertise on the website of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s website. Similarly, if we are seeking a Chemist, HR provides a list of diversity resources for recruitment that includes the employment website for the National Organization for the Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. Entry level university administrator positions are advertised on the career pages for graduating students and alumni of Historically Black, Latina/o serving and native American serving institutions. The entire search committee receives a charge from the Affirmative Action Officer about equal opportunity and affirmative action, with specific educational information, and tools for further learning, about unconscious bias in selection and techniques for overcoming it. WE have also advertised Cluster hires.

Our President's charge to the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Internationalization Committee (DEII) is to develop operations and programming to improve recruitment and retention of diverse groups of people throughout Western's students, faculty, and staff. This is part of Western's current strategic plan.


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Our DEII committee is tasked with supporting underrepresented groups on campus as well as our Multicultural Center. WCU's Multicultural Center celebrates the diversity of people in and around the Gunnison community and helps Western students develop academically, culturally, and personally. The Multicultural Center advises five organizations: Amigos, Asian Pacific Islanders, the Black Student Alliance, and Native American Student Council, and the Polynesian Chant and Dance Club. These groups commit to community service and offer cultural events which allows for the chance to develop communication skills and brings together a sense of community support.The MCC also has a mentoring program open to students who identify as being from an undeserved population.

While there is not a program specifically to support faculty and staff from underrepresented groups, The Multicultural Center is open to them as a resource. In addition, they tend to seek advice from colleagues that understand their identities.

Further, there is also a Veterans group on campus that is undergoing a remodeling to provide greater support for students, faculty, staff, and community members.


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

We have undergraduate programs and professionally oriented graduate programs. We do not have academic programs that prepare people for academic careers.


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
No

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.