Policies + Additional Resources
Norwalk Community College has policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.
- Americans with Disabilities Policy
- CSCU Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Policy
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Policy on Consensual Relationships
- Use of a Preferred First Name and Execution of Changes to Legal Name by Students
- Access to Restrooms and Locker Rooms
- Additional Policies and Procedures
Americans with Disabilities Policy
Norwalk Community College does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the administration of, or access to, its programs, services or activities. Under this policy, a person with a disability is defined as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.”
Norwalk Community College President, David Levinson, has designated the following individual to coordinate the university’s compliance with the non-discrimination requirements of Section 35.1067 of the Department of Justice regulations:
Cheryl C. DeVonish, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
CSCU Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Policy
The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) in conjunction with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) is committed to insuring that each member of every BOR governed college and university community has the opportunity to participate fully in the process of education and development. The BOR and CSCU strive to maintain a safe and welcoming environment free from acts of sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence and stalking. It is the intent of the BOR and each of its colleges or universities to provide safety, privacy and support to victims of sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence.
The BOR strongly encourages victims to report any instance of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking and intimate partner violence, as an effective means of taking action by reporting such acts to the appropriate officials and pursuing criminal or disciplinary remedies, or both. The only way that action can be taken against anyone who violates another in such a manner is through Reporting.
Faculty, staff, and others who are concerned about a student’s behavior are encouraged to report the concern through the online student of concern form. This includes emotional/behavioral concerns, disruptive behaviors, threating words or actions, academic concerns, personal needs, as well as reports of sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence. All reports are taken seriously, therefore, it is essential to provide as much information as possible. Your name will remain confidential, however, the appropriate party may need to contact you for additional information.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The purpose of FERPA is to protect the privacy of educational records. An educational record is any record that contains personally identifiable information about a student who is or was enrolled at the College. Students have the right to review their own educational records.
Students have the right to have personally identifiable information contained in education records kept private unless they consent in writing to disclosure. Students have the right to refuse to permit the disclosure of directory information except to school officials. FERPA provides students with certain rights with regard to their education records.
Click here for additional information on FERPA.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, enacted in 1975, is a series of laws that guarantee the public access to public records of governmental bodies in Connecticut. Public records include any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract. This data or information can be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
Cheryl De Vonish, CEO has been designated as the College representative responsible for receiving and responding to FOIA requests on campus.
Exemptions to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act include, but are not limited to:
- Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of “personal privacy”
- Collective bargaining records and reports.
- Personal information including names and addresses of students enrolled in any school
- Adoption records
- Records of complaints
- Any information that would jeopardize security at correctional facilities, infrastructure, telecommunications or the security of any individuals
- Home addresses of anyone within the Address Confidentiality Program
Anyone may request public records and a purpose does not need to be stated. There are no restrictions on the use of the records and the allotted response time for Connecticut open requests is four days.
For more information, refer to the BOR Guide to FOIA.
4.3 Policy on Consensual Relationships 16-114 2016-10-20
The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities’ respects that the educational mission of its institutions is founded on an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between all members of the academic community. Faculty members, as well as those individuals upon whom the institution confers managerial, supervisory, or evaluative responsibilities, (including graduate assistants or undergraduate teaching assistants) carry a special responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards and to avoid any actions that may appear to undermine this atmosphere of trust and respect and thereby hinder the institution’s educational mission.
Because of the inherent imbalance of power and need for trust, faculty members, supervisory staff, and those with evaluative authority should be aware that dating or sexual relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between a faculty and or staff member and a student as well as when they occur between a supervisor and employee.
Such relationships can create real conflicts, are susceptible to an appearance of exploitation, and can impair the trust and integrity of the teaching, coaching, or other supervisory or evaluative relationship and may cause a perception of favoritism or bias on the part of the staff. In addition, although these relationships may begin and remain consensual, they may easily be later characterized as non-consensual and could potentially lead to sexual harassment charges.
Affirmative consent is the standard used to determine whether sexual activity was consensual. As defined by Public Act 16-106, “Affirmative consent” means an active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person.
Policy Prohibited Between Employee and Student
Consensual romantic, dating, or sexual relationships between any employee and any student over whom that employee exercises direct or otherwise significant academic, supervisory, or evaluative authority or influence are prohibited at all State Universities and Colleges. The evaluative relationship can take a variety of forms, such as teacher to student, advisor to advisee, coach to athlete, supervisor to student employee, or similar relationship.
Strongly Discouraged Between Employee and Student
Romantic, dating or sexual relationships between employees and students over whom said employee does not have supervisory or evaluative authority are strongly discouraged. Such relationships are not only susceptible to future conflicts of interest, but also may present the appearance of impropriety.
If this situation exists, no employee should agree to supervise or evaluate a student with whom he or she has, or formerly had, a consensual relationship. A faculty member should inform the Dean if such a student wishes to enroll in a credit bearing course that he or she is teaching so that alternate arrangements can be made. Nor should a faculty member direct the student’s independent study, internship, or thesis; participate in decisions regarding grades; or write letters of recommendation or reference
Between Employee and Employee
BOR discourages employees with supervisory or evaluative authority from engaging in romantic, dating or sexual relationships with employees who they supervise or evaluate. If such a relationship exists or develops, the supervisory employee must notify his/her manager so that arrangements can be made for the unbiased supervision and evaluation of the employee. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis and may require transfer or reassignment of one or more employees.
In the Event of a Sexual Harassment Charge
Anyone who enters into a romantic, dating or sexual relationship where a professional power differential exists must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently filed, it may be difficult to defend the charge by claiming that there was mutual consent. Employees could be held personally liable in a criminal or civil lawsuit. Affirmative consent is the standard used to determine whether sexual activity was consensual. As defined by Public Act 16-106, “Affirmative consent” means an active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person.
All violations of this policy should be reported to Human Resources for investigation and appropriate administrative action, up to and including disciplinary action.
2.2 Use of a Preferred First Name and Execution of Changes to Legal Name by Students 17-041 2017-04-06
Statement of Policy
The Board of Regents for Higher Education is committed to providing an educational environment where all are welcome and free to express the manner in which they choose to identify themselves. In this vein the BOR is issuing this policy so that individuals may be identified by a preferred first name or used name as well as understand procedures to change their legal names for the purposes of their education records.
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) shall use a preferred or used name on all documents and records other than official documents, such as diplomas and transcripts. Documents and records that may display a preferred or used name include, among others, course rosters, identification cards, email addresses, and honors, awards and prizes issued by the institution.
The Board of Regents for Higher Education directs the system office working with representatives of the CSCU institutions to establish appropriate forms, procedures and timelines to facilitate students’ requests for usage of a preferred first name or used name. The institutions are to incorporate advisement regarding the ramifications of preferred first name or used name usage into their process.
CSCU institutions must use students’ legal names in all official documents, despite requests for the usage of preferred or used names. Legal names are to appear on all external use reports and documents including, but not limited to employment paper work, paychecks, tax forms, student billings, financial aid forms, scholarships, transcripts, diplomas, and other documents required by law.
The Board of Regents for Higher Education directs the system office working with representatives of the CSCU institutions to establish appropriate forms, procedures and timelines to facilitate students’ requests to change their legal name. Within such a request, the student must present an original or certified copy of the court order. After the request has been processed, only the new legal name should be reflected in the institution’s official documents, unless the individual requests in writing that such documents include reference to his or her former name (e.g. Heather Pauline Armstrong formerly known as John Joseph Doe).
In the event of a typographical or other error in institutional records or documents, the individual’s request to correct the name will be granted after verification that the correction is due to an error. Documents that may provide sufficient verification for determination of the correction include birth certificates, social security cards, driver’s licenses, and other documents issued by federal, state and local governmental agencies.
Preferred First Name: A preferred first name or used name is not a legal first name, but is generally used to change the manner in which others refer to the individual. For example, student Mathew Allan Smith may prefer the name Matt or Susan Elaine Taylor may choose to be referred to as Sue or Elly rather than Susan. Note that preferred first names or used names are not limited to variations or derivatives of a given or legal name; for example, student Margaret Ann Parker may request the preferred name Robert or Lawrence Peterson may choose to be called Sarah due to gender identity or transgender status, respectively, without court-ordered documentations.
Legal Name: A legal name is the person’s official name in accordance with the law. Legal names can only be changed on official documents when a student acquires a court order. Such a court order may arise in a number of different contexts, including a name change proceeding, an adoption, a divorce decree, individual choice, witness protection program. Additionally, a marriage certificate should be treated like a court order.
5.8 Policy on Access to Restrooms and Locker Rooms 17-042 2017-04-06
STATEMENT OF POLICY
The Board of Regents for Higher Education is committed to providing an educational and employment environment where all are welcome. The Board of Regents further recognizes that restroom and locker room facilities at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities are public accommodations. Therefore, the Board of Regents prohibits controlling or otherwise limiting transgender or gender nonconforming persons’ access to restroom or locker room facilities.
Requiring a transgender or gender non-conforming person to use a separate, non-integrated space, potentially identifies that person as well as potentially marginalizes a person. Such treatment fails to recognize that restroom and locker room facilities on the campuses as public accommodations and that denial of access may result in the deprivation of an equal educational or employment environment. In this vein, the BOR is issuing this policy so that individuals may access restrooms and locker rooms, in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression.
Institutions may maintain separate restroom facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access the facilities based upon their gender identity and not exclusively based upon their assigned birth sex. However, if requested, any person may be provided with access to either a “unisex” restroom or a restroom with single stalls.
Locker Room Use
Institutions may maintain separate locker room facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access them based on their gender identity and not exclusively based on their assigned birth sex. In locker rooms where undressing occurs in the presence of others, a private option should be provided to any person if requested.