Policies and Laws

Gender and sex-based discrimination, harassment, and violence is prohibited by UWCX policy, UW System policy, and under state and federal laws. The policies and laws related to these specific topics are listed below. Additional policy-related resources are available at the UW-Extension policies website and the UW Colleges Senate policies website. 

UW Colleges and UW-Extension Policy

Unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, protected status harassment, and retaliation policy

UW System Policies

Regent Policy 14-2 Sexual Harassment

Regent Policy 14-3 Equal Opportunities in Education

Regent Policy 14-6 Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation 

Regent Policy 14-8 Consensual Relationship Policy

UWS Chapter 17 Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures

Wisconsin Statutes

Wisconsin-based laws also prohibit discrimination and harassment based upon sex or require university employees to report certain types of behaviors. These laws include the Wisconsin Fair Employment LawExecutive Order #54, and Wisconsin Statute 36.11 (22)(c).

Wisconsin Statute also defines some words and behaviors relating to sexual misconduct, gender-based discrimination, or relationship violence, including:

Sexual Assault, Wis. Stat. 940.225

Sexual Intercourse, Wis. Stat. 940.225(5)(c)

Sexual Contact, Wis. Stat. 940.225(5)(b)(1)

Consent, Wis. Stat. 940.225(4)

Stalking, Wis. Stat. 940.32

Dating/Domestic Violence, Wis. Stat. 813.12(1)(am) and 968.075 (1)(a)

Federal Laws

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law, as well as a living breathing law, that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded educational program or activity, which includes both UW Colleges and UW-Extension. 

Although many of the original Title IX complaints focused on equal opportunity to academic programs for female students and employees, more recently attention has focused on educational barriers created by sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and interpersonal violence.

The Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, regularly issues guidance to institutions in the form of Dear Colleague letters. They can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/ocr/sex.html. In 2011, they issued a Dear Colleague letter regarding sexual violence, followed by the publication Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence. These documents described how universities must prevent sexual misconduct, respond to incidents, and remedy their effects. 

In addition to the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972, the federal Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act amendment require universities to report and respond to sexual assault and related crimes. These responsibilities are described in the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting.