Discrimination and Harassment Policies

Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, that are free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

To ensure compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, and to affirm its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational program or activity, the College has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of discrimination or harassment on the basis of protected class status, and for allegations of retaliation.

See the full Non-Discrimination Policy.

Bias Incident Report/Community Insensitivity Reporting

The purpose of this section is to inform and educate members of the Mount Holyoke community on the processes and procedures related to bias incidents. Such incidents work contrary to the inclusiveness that forms the foundation for the College’s educational community, and so the College takes any reports of them very seriously. Mount Holyoke has established a systematic approach for responding to the harm and the impact bias and insensitive incidents can have on the well-being and success of members of our community.  Mount Holyoke encourages students to review the content provided.

All members of the Mount Holyoke community should be informed on the processes and procedures related to bias incidents.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)  

Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., is a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The code states “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (Pub. L. 88-352, title VI, Sec. 601, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 252.) Title VI protects Mount Holyoke students, faculty, staff and visitors from discrimination in any program, service, and activity offered by the College. 

The following resolution was affirmed by the faculty in 1973: The faculty of Mount Holyoke College reaffirms its commitment to an academic environment free of racial discrimination in which all individuals are treated with a common standard of decency. It commits itself to a continuing effort to confront and resist racist attitudes and actions wherever they appear in the Mount Holyoke community, and to build a community useful and attractive to all individuals regardless of ethnic background. Please contact the Dean of Students with questions or concerns.

Protocols for Bias Incidents and Hate Crimes

The goal of these protocols is to help support a culture of open exchange in the spirit of mutual respect. These protocols operate within the context of the College’s values of community responsibility and the commitment to free inquiry. 

Please note that these protocols apply when students and/or their campus guests are the targets of a bias incident, insensitive incident or hate crime. Faculty and staff who have been the target of a bias incident, insensitive incident or hate crime should consult with the Associate Dean of Faculty and/or the dean of faculty. Staff who have been the target of a bias incident, insensitive incident or hate crime should consult with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and/or the director of human resources accordingly.

If a student reports a bias incident, insensitive incident or hate crime, they can expect that their concerns will be treated with respect and sensitivity and that each case will be taken seriously.  However, it is important to remember that incidents of bias, insensitivity and hate crimes are very complex and may not be immediately recognizable as belonging to one of these three categories. The protocols laid out below should be considered a work in progress. 

Learn about reporting protocols for students.

Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 29 U.S.C. § 793 states that “no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under” any program or activity that either receives federal financial assistance or is conducted by any executive agency or the United States Postal Service. Section 504 and ADA 42 U.S.C § 12101 ensure that the individuals with a disability have equal access to programs, services and activities of the College. Individuals with disabilities may request accommodations and modifications as a means to gain access to College programs, activities and services. 

Under these laws, discrimination on the basis of a disability can be physical barriers or an inaccessible facility that prevents access to a program, activity or service, or denial of an approved accommodation. Section 504 and the ADA protect Mount Holyoke students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

Students seeking a disability-related accommodation should contact  Services. Disability Services is the only designated office at the College for students to voluntarily disclose a disability or disabilities, submit appropriate documentation for verification, and request accommodations.  See more about Disability Services under the Access and Inclusion section of this handbook.

Disability Services approves and facilitates academic, housing, dining and on-campus employment-related accommodations in support of students with all types of disabilities. Students seeking more information on services provided to students and/or information on requesting accommodations should contact Disability Services at 413-538-2634. Students can also visit Disability Services, send an email to accessability-services@mtholyoke.edu or stop by the office on the third floor of Mary Lyon Hall.

The College has also designated a primary coordinator to respond to concerns of disability discrimination. The Section 504 Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the College’s efforts to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act both for programmatic and physical accessibility. The Section 504 Coordinator will respond to complaints of disability discrimination as well as identify and address patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. 

Section 504 Coordinator    
Dwight Hall Room 217


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) is a federal civil-rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sex or gender based discrimination, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct, including stalking and intimate partner violence.

Title IX Coordinator

The Vice President for Equity and Inclusion  is serving as the Interim Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of Mount Holyoke College’s compliance with Title IX.. The Title IX coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating the College’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation prohibited under this policy.  

Kijua Sanders-McMurtry
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Interim Title IX Coordinator
Dwight Hall 217