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Nondiscrimination Policy

Union College was established by the Seventh-day Adventist church as an integral part of its teaching ministry. It is committed to equal education and employment opportunities for men and women of all races and does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, sex, marital status, race, color, or national origin in its educational   and admissions policies, financial affairs, employment programs, student life and services or any College-administered programs. To this end, the College is in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and in substantial compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 CFR 106 et seq.), and does not discriminate against any employees or applicants for employment because they are disabled veterans or veterans of the Vietnam era.


The College reserves constitutional and statutory rights as a religious institution and employer to give preference to Seventh-day Adventists in admissions and employment, including  but not limited to 42 USC Secs. 2000e-1, 2000e-2: Sec. 204(c) of Federal Executive Order 11246; 41 CFR Sec. 60-1.5(5); 20 USC Sec.1681 (a)(3); 34 CFR Sec. 106.12; and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The College believes that Title IX regulations are subject to constitutional guarantees against unreasonable entanglement without infringements on the religious teachings and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The College expects students and employees to uphold biblical principles of morality and deportment as interpreted by the Seventh-day Adventist church. Pursuant to 34 CFR Sec. 106.12, the College claims exemptions from the provisions of Title IX set forth in 34 CFR Secs.

106.21, 106.31, 106.39, 106.40, 106.51 and 106.57.

Disability Accommodations

Union College honors section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which forbids discrimination against all individuals on the basis of handicap. Students with disabilities requesting any accommodations must submit a letter to the Department of Disabilities Services (see Teaching Learning Center) verifying the student’s disability. Students with disabilities requesting dorm accommodations should also send their request to the Teaching Learning Center and in writing to the respective dean along with an explanation of the need for the request. Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:

  1. The barriers from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment.

  2. The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers.

  3. Whether or not essential elements of the program, service, or activity are compromised by the accommodations.


Union College endorses Biblical principles of morality. We believe Scripture supports virginity until marriage and outlines appropriate, heterosexual relations within the marriage covenant. As a Christian institution of higher learning, Union College believes healthy romantic and sexual relationships must be built on Biblical principles. In keeping with the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of those principles, we expect students to refrain from premarital and extramarital sexual relationships and any same-sex romantic relationships while enrolled at Union College.


We believe all people are God’s children. Union College expects students, employees and guests to treat each other and the wider community with respect and dignity, and will not tolerate harassment.  We all deserve a constructive learning and working environment. Realizing that one’s actions affect the people around us, and given today’s societal and health concerns, the college feels a responsibility in furthering a student’s understanding of healthy relationships. This goal can be achieved through residence hall worships, chapels, and classroom instruction.


The college may intervene with students whose behavior is out of harmony with Biblical principles of morality. As a result of a student’s misconduct, he/she may be asked to seek counseling, education, or spend time away from campus with family/faculty/staff. Type or severity of recommended intervention may vary depending upon individual attitudes and circumstances. The purpose of intervention as it relates to Union College and its students is

  • to help students live/behave in a manner appropriate to Christians,

  • to provide an educational setting to disseminate life-changing information,

  • to provide a support system both within and outside the school setting to effectively address the problem.

  • The goal of intervention is to assist students in developing their individual, intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual capabilities to the fullest extent possible while completing their academic program.

Sex Offender Policy 

Union College considers the protection of our community from sex offenders to be a matter of significant importance. The Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act allows the college to provide notice to the campus community concerning sex offenders who are, or will be attending classes or working on the campus, and to assist our community members in developing constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children residing near released sex offenders. The college is authorized to notify the community when information is received  that a registered sex offender may be expected on or near the college campus, including off-site buildings and associated college activities. Information that is relevant and necessary to protect the public and to counteract the danger by a particular offender may be released pursuant to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act.


Any student or employee of Union College that is a sex offender is required, in addition to residency registration, to register with the Lancaster County Sheriff disclosing his or her involvement or relationship with Union College. Such registration shall be completed on a form approved by the Nebraska State Patrol. Any student so registered is subject to the disclosure requirements of the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act which supersedes any expectation of privacy provided pursuant to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The extent and content of the disclosure of relevant and necessary information shall be related to:

  • the level of risk posed by the offender to the community;

  • the location where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found; and

  • the needs of affected community members for information to enhance their individual and collective safety.

Additionally, further information about any registered sex offender can be found by searching the sex offender registry located at http://www.nsp.state.ne.us/SOR/. This policy is intended to comply with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act.


4.14 DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT, OPR: President, 06/09 (E-26) Union College is committed to providing employees and students with an environment free of discrimination, harassment or intimidation. As such, employees, students, and other individuals working at the College, such as vendors, volunteers and contractors are prohibited from engaging in discrimination, sexual harassment, or any other unlawful harassment. Discrimination or harassment of co-workers or students is inconsistent with the College’s faith-based principles and standards of acceptable Christian behavior, and will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.



The policy of Union College prohibits unlawful discrimination against an employee or a student on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other legally protected status under Nebraska or federal law, with respect to any conditions, benefits, aids, or services provided by the College.



Union College wants its employees and students to enjoy an environment free of harassing conduct or conduct which, if not curtailed, has the potential of creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive working or school environment. As a result, it is against the policy of Union College for any employee, student, supervisor, manager, or independent contractor to harass another on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability or any other legally protected status under Nebraska or federal law. Employees and students are encouraged to report incidents of harassment before they become severe or pervasive in order that Union College may address the conduct immediately.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment involves unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non- verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol, or because of an intellectual or other disability.


Employee Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of employees occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual activity or any other unwelcome verbal, written, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, and

  1. Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision or action; or

  2. Submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment, or

  3. The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment.


Student Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of a student occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual activity or any other unwelcome verbal, written, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, and

  1. Submission to or rejection of the conduct denies, limits, provides different, or is used as a basis for the provision of a school-related benefit, aid, or service; or

  2. Submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a school-related benefit, aid, or service; or

  3. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment.


Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment of an employee or student include, but are not limited to verbal or visual harassment or abuse (degrading sexual comments, unwelcome propositions, sexually offensive jokes, gestures, materials, objects, and tricks), unwelcome requests for sexual favors or activity, inappropriate touching or physical actions of a sexual or abusive nature (pinching, hugging, patting, repeated brushing against another person’s body, sexual coercion, sexual battery, sexual assault, and rape), or a suggestion, threat, or action that makes the affected individual’s employment or educational opportunities and benefits subject to submission to sexual demands, harassment, or sexually offensive conduct.


Harassment does not include occasional compliments or voluntary personal relationships between employees or students. However, some conduct that may be appropriate in a social setting is not appropriate in our college environment.


Other Unlawful Harassment

Unlawful harassment may also consist of verbal, visual or physical conduct that denigrates, threatens, or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of his or her race, color, gender, national origin, disability or any other protected status under Nebraska or federal law, and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or school environment. Examples of conduct which may constitute unlawful harassment of an employee or student include but are not limited to epithets, slurs, insults, negative stereotyping, threats, disparaging remarks, written or printed material of a disparaging or hostile nature, intimidation or hostile acts, or offensive jokes or tricks based upon or because of a person's protected status, including race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability or any other legally protected status under Nebraska or federal law.


Communication of Policy

Unlawful discrimination and harassment violates Union College's employee and student policies and the Christian values upheld by the College. For these reasons, it is expressly prohibited. As a preventive measure, Union College will actively seek to educate all faculty and staff (through regular meetings, special seminars, etc.), about the prohibition of all forms of harassment and discrimination and the steps to report suspected violations. In addition, the College shall communicate its policy against harassment and discrimination to employees and students by publishing the policy within the College in a manner that faculty, staff, and students are aware of its content.


Reporting Incidents: Any employee or student who in good faith believes that he or she has been harassed or discriminated against in violation of this policy should immediately report the incident to one of the following:

Employees: Employees may report an incident of harassment or discrimination to any of the following persons, depending on the employee’s comfort level.

The Sexual Harassment Compliance Officer is Kim Canine, 486-2507.

  • His or her supervisor

  • Vice-President over the department to which the employee reports; OR

  • The Vice-President of Financial Administration; OR

  • The College President, OR

  • The Vice President for Academic Administration, OR

  • The Sexual Harassment Compliance Officer, OR

  • Multicultural Ombudsperson, OR

  • Disability Compliance Officer, OR

  • Any other member of College management with whom he/she feels most comfortable approaching

Students: Students may report an incident of harassment or discrimination to any of the following persons, depending on the student’s comfort level.

The Sexual Harassment Compliance Officer is Kim Canine, 486-2507.

  • His or her teacher; OR

  • His or her faculty advisor; OR

  • The Vice President for Academic Administration; OR

  • The Vice President for Student Life; OR

  • The College President; OR

  • The Sexual Harassment Compliance Officer; OR

  • Multicultural Ombudsperson; OR

  • Disability Compliance Officer; OR

  • Any other member of college management with whom he/she feels most comfortable approaching

If possible, the employee or the student should tell the person engaging in the inappropriate behavior that the conduct is offensive and should be immediately stopped. Employees and students are encouraged to report incidents of harassment or discrimination within 72 hours so that the college can undertake a prompt investigation.


Union College believes that it is every employee's and every student’s obligation to report complaints or incidents of possible discrimination or harassment. Employees or students who observe incidents of harassment, discrimination, or intimidation against others should report such conduct to their supervisor, their teachers, their faculty advisor, the vice president of their department, the Vice President of Financial Administration, the Vice President for Academic Administration, the Vice President for Student Life, or the President of the College. Any supervisor or member of management receiving a complaint of harassment or discrimination should immediately report it to the Sexual Harassment Compliance Officer.



The College prohibits retaliation, discrimination, harassment, or intimidation, against employees or students for reporting, in good faith, suspected incidents of harassment, discrimination, or intimidation, or for cooperating with or participating in the College’s investigation of such conduct. While the College urges individuals to report alleged harassment, discrimination, or intimidation, unfounded allegations can irreparably harm an employee’s or a student’s reputation and limit their ability to fulfill job or educational responsibilities. Employees or students who bring malicious, spiteful, or knowingly false allegations of harassment will be subject to discipline.



The college will investigate all claims of harassment or discrimination in a confidential, objective, and thorough manner. The college will take all possible steps to maintain the anonymity of the complaining party, if requested, and will inform the complaining party if that anonymity cannot be maintained for whatever reason. Generally, within seven working days of a complaint, an appropriate officer (as determined by the college) will review the matter and determine the scope and nature of the investigation. The duration and extensiveness or the investigation will vary depending upon the allegations but will not exceed 60 days absent extraordinary circumstances. If the investigation cannot be completed with this timeframe, the college will inform the complaining party of the delay and provide an updated timeline for completion. The involved parties will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and evidence, if deemed necessary by the college, as provided in the college’s Grievance Policy.


Students and employees accused of campus misconduct may also face criminal charges arising from the same behavior. The existence of a criminal process or investigation does not relieve the college of the duty to investigate, and the college will proceed with its investigation in a timely manner. This may raise the issue for accused individuals that participation in the campus process may lead to statements that could incriminate the accused individual if campus records are admitted in court.  Accused individuals who are concerned about the implications of such statements should consult with qualified legal counsel. The college has the expectation that accused individuals will participate in campus resolution processes (and does not permit students with pending conduct matters to withdraw until those matters are resolved). An individual who fails to cooperate in a campus investigation may face charges for failure to comply with the reasonable directives of campus officials, which may result in expulsion. Attendance at any interview, meeting or hearing is required when requested. When criminal charges are pending (or impending), the accused individual may elect not to answer questions that could lead to self-incrimination, but still must attend the meeting to assert that intention for any or all questions the college needs to ask.


Upon conclusion of the investigation and consultation with the President, and based on a preponderance of the evidence gathered, the college will take whatever appropriate remedy or correction it deems necessary to stop any discriminatory or harassing behavior, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from school. If required by the allegations made, the college may take immediate action to protect a complaining party from ongoing harassment prior to the conclusion of the investigation. The college will notify both parties, in writing, of the outcome of the complaint. If necessary, the college will take reasonable steps to prevent recurrence of any harassment.



Any employee who believes that he or she or any other employee has been the subject of sexual or other unlawful harassment as defined in this policy by a non-employee or non-student, such as a client, vendor or visitor, during work or school time or in relation to the employee's work or the student’s education at the college, should immediately report the incidents by following the procedure set forth above. An investigation of the complaint will be undertaken as stated above. If Union College concludes that a non-employee or non-student has sexually or otherwise unlawfully harassed any employee or student during work or school time or in relation to the employee's work or the student’s education at the college, immediate and appropriate action, will be taken by the college, as feasible.


In seeking to do what is right, Union College values student complaints as evidence of potential difficulties to be addressed. Most complaints are addressed informally, orally or electronically with the division chair, residence hall dean, work supervisor, or other responsible campus employee. However, if a student seeks further resolution of the problem and discussion with the appropriate vice president likewise fails to satisfy the student, a formal complaint is the next step and should be filed in writing or by e-mail with the appropriate vice president.


Formal complaints are defined as non-trivial complaints submitted in writing, dated, signed by the student, and submitted to the vice president with the responsibility to handle the complaint. Formal complaints are kept on file, and each vice president maintains a record of each complaint filed and its resolution.


It is the responsibility of the vice president to document evidence related to the case, and to propose a resolution of the case within three weeks of receipt of the complaint. Unless the complaint is merely informative, and the student does not desire any corrective action, the student will be informed of the resolution of the case either orally or formally in writing.


If a formal complaint does bring a satisfactory resolution to the situation, a grievance may be filed with the president. Filing a formal complaint does not preclude use of the grievance procedures, but once a grievance is filed, that process will replace the resolution of the written complaint.

Grievance Policy

Union College attempts to follow Biblical principles when wrong is perceived by a student or employee. A student who feels treated unfairly or unjustly has the right to appeal according to approved procedures.


Informal Complaint Procedure

The following steps of the Informal Complaint Procedure must be followed in the correct order by the student desiring to utilize the grievance process:

  1. Most misunderstandings and difficulties are settled to mutual satisfaction when the student discusses the issue with the course instructor, residence hall dean, or staff member.

  2. A student who is not satisfied by discussion at this direct level, should appeal to the instructor’s program director, division chair, head residence hall dean, or staff supervisor.

  3. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the discussion of the complaint at the supervisor level, the next step should be to take the complaint to the Vice President for the appropriate area.


Formal Complaint Procedure

If not satisfied with the decision of the appropriate vice president, within seven working days the student should file a formal written complaint with the president of Union College requesting a grievance hearing.


Filing a formal grievance is a serious matter and should be done thoughtfully. The Grievance Committee’s recommendation will provide the underlying context of the president’s decision, which will constitute final action by the college. The Grievance Committee, selected by the president, shall be composed of two students and the three faculty or staff members, as appropriate. Either party may suggest one member of the committee. The chair and secretary of the committee shall be elected by the committee members at the first meeting.


Both the student and the college employees involved in the case are invited to appear before the committee or to present a verbal statement of the case. The student shall also be allowed to present additional written statements about the case. At the student’s request, one advisor (a parent, spouse, student, or college employee) may accompany the student to the meeting. However, the presence of legal counsel is not appropriate for the student or the college. The presence of the student’s advocate is for the purpose for moral support. The advocate may speak when recognized by the chair and for the time allocated by the chair. The advocate may make requests of the committee but throughout the proceedings the committee will determine its own actions. The student and the student’s advocate may attend the committee presentation of all evidence and any related matter considered by the Grievance Committee,  They also have the right to present rebuttal to all evidence and reasoning. However, they may not attend the committee’s final deliberation and vote.


The Grievance Committee may recommend that either the action taken should stand, that the matter should be reconsidered by the original deciding body, or a new action is warranted. The recommendations of the Grievance Committee shall be presented as a recommendation in writing to the President of Union college, who will determine final recommendation and will notify the student of the decision.


Withdrawal of Grievance

At any time during the grievance procedure, the student may withdraw the complaint in writing to the president. In addition, a failure by the student to appear for a requested hearing, without prior notification or evidence of extenuating circumstances, shall constitute withdrawal of the grievance or appeal.


Matters Not Grievable

Policies and regulations adopted by the college and/or the Board of Trustees are not subject to the grievance process. Students may request discussion and recommend changes to such policies but this dialogue is advisory and not grievable.  In addition, the College may be substantially limited to act in matters involving patient and public safety, state requirements, hospital policies, and similar off-campus situations.