Affirmative Action & Title IX
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affirmative action & equal opportunity
Holyoke Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and college policies. The College prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence. Inquiries or complaints concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation or sexual violence shall be referred to the College's Affirmative Action and/or Title IX Coordinator, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission or the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
The community colleges affirm the commitment to affirmative action and equal opportunity. The efforts are on behalf of women, minorities, the disabled, and persons at least 40 years of age, known as the "protected group." Affirmative Action will include those with veteran status when such status is considered part of the "protected group."Community colleges truly committed to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action can go beyond developing policies and practices that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or disability. They can take meaningful steps to recruit, hire, transfer, promote, and train women and minorities to enhance their representation.Affirmative action requires the college to do more than ensure employment and education neutrality. As the phrase implies, affirmative action requires the college to make positive efforts to educate, recruit, employ, and promote qualified members of the protected group who may have been excluded, even if that exclusion cannot be traced to particular discriminatory actions on the part of the college. The premise of the affirmative action concept is that unless positive action is undertaken to overcome the effects of systemic institutional forms of exclusion and discrimination, a benign neutrality in employment and education practices will tend to perpetuate the status quo ante indefinitely.
The following specific policies are established:
- Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall apply to all segments of the College; full and part‑time employment; day and continuing education; the curriculum and offerings of the College.
- Equal opportunity and affirmative action shall be applied to the recruitment process for employment and/or access to education.
- Students will have access to the College, programs of study, activities, and other resources intended to serve them, according to the policies of the individual Colleges.
- Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action will be realized in all personnel employment, including recruitment, application for employment, hiring, benefits, compensation, training, promotion, and termination.
- All policies, procedures, privileges, and conditions of the College will follow and incorporate applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action rules and regulations.
The above‑stated policies are intended to be applied broadly with the goal of promoting equal opportunity and diversity in community colleges. The community colleges pledge to apply all policies consistently, fairly, and vigorously. Attempts to subvert or abuse these policies will not be tolerated. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the case of an infraction. Such disciplinary action shall be consistent with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.All policies are made in compliance with laws and regulations and executive orders promulgated by the federal and state governments and other appropriate agencies and authorities, where applicable. Read the full Affirmative Action policy document.
Inquiries regarding compliance with the college's affirmative action policy may be directed to:
If applicable, you may also complete a complaint form and return it to Olivia Kynard in MRB 319, or submit it online.
Criminal complaints can be filed with the college's office of public safety at 413.552.2400.
what is title ix?
- Title IX is a landmark federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. In addition to equal opportunities in athletic programs, Title IX also addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence.
- Title IX does not apply to female students only. Male and gender non-conforming students are protected, too.
- Schools must take immediate action to ensure that the complainant/victim can continue their education free of ongoing sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence.
- The college has an established procedure for handling complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic and sexual violence, and stalking.
- The college can issue a no-contact directive under Title IX to prevent the accused student from approaching or interacting with the complainant.
- Students who report violations have a right to remain on campus and have every educational program available to them.
- Title IX provides rights to pregnant and parenting students. Examples include excused absences due to pregnancy or childbirth that are medically necessary, return to the same academic status as before medical leave, and the opportunity to make up missed work.
want to know more about title ix?
Director of Public Safety
YWCA of Western Massachusetts
Center for Women & Community
Elizabeth Freeman Center
Victims' Rights – Victims of Sexual Violence
Are you worried about someone or do you have questions about domestic or dating violence? Do you recognize warning signs of an unhealthy relationship? Do you need help or support? SafeLink is Massachusetts' statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline. Call 877.785.2020 or 877.521.2601 (TTY) to speak with a bilingual (English/Spanish) advocate.