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Policies and Laws

UC Merced's policies and codes of conduct spell out the rights and responsibilities of students and employees in ensuring that UC Merced is a safe environment, and how the University addresses reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment.

University of California Policies

Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment (SVSH)

This Policy addresses the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to sexual violence, sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior as those terms are defined in this Policy (together, “Prohibited Conduct”) in order to ensure an equitable and inclusive education and employment environment. The Policy defines Prohibited Conduct and explains the administrative procedures the University uses to resolve reports of Prohibited Conduct.

Note on Federal Regulations: The Title IX regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) that went into effect August 14, 2020 require the University to follow a specific grievance process (“DOE Grievance Process”) in response to conduct covered by the regulations (“DOE-Covered Conduct”). The University advocated strongly for DOE to change some components of the DOE Grievance Process before DOE issued the regulations; DOE did not. Because compliance with the regulations is a condition of federal funding, the University has nonetheless revised its policies to fully implement them. This Policy is more expansive than the regulations in both conduct prohibited (described in Section II) and its coverage (described in Section III.B). So, the University will apply the DOE Grievance Process only when required, in response to DOE-Covered Conduct. It will follow its existing processes for all other reports. Appendix IV describes how the University will determine whether it must apply the DOE Grievance Process.

Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace

The University of California is committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment. The University prohibits discrimination against any person employed; seeking employment; or applying for or engaged in a paid or unpaid internship or training program leading to employment with the University of California. In addition, the University prohibits harassment of an employee, applicant, paid or unpaid intern, volunteer, person participating in a program leading to employment, or person providing services pursuant to a contract. The University undertakes affirmative action, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor.

Gender Recognition & Lived Name

Gender identity is fundamentally personal, and the University of California should ensure that all individuals have university-issued identification documents and displays of personal identification information that recognize their accurate gender identity and lived name (first name, middle name and/or last name or surname). As a public research university, the collection of gender identity data is necessary for federal reporting and assessing gender equity. As such, this policy also provides guidance on the collection and reporting of gender identity, lived name and sexual orientation.

Abusive Conduct in the Workplace

The University of California (“University”) is committed to promoting and maintaining a healthy working environment in which every individual is treated with respect. This policy addresses the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to Abusive Conduct and Retaliation for reporting, or participating in, an investigation or other process provided for in this policy. This policy will be implemented in a manner that recognizes rights to freedom of speech and expression. However, freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and, for example, do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

Additional Policies & Resolution Processes

For Students

For Faculty

For Staff and Non-Faculty Academic Personnel

UC Merced Policies, Values, & Principles of Community

  • Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct 
    Members of the University of California community are committed to the highest ethical standards in advancing our mission of teaching, research and public service. We recognize that we hold the University in trust for the people of the State of California. Our policies, procedures and standards provide guidance for application of the ethical values stated below in our daily life and work as members of this community.
  • Principles of Community reflect our ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures lifelong learning and growth for all of its members. We encourage every member of the UC Merced community to join us in our collective pursuit of these principles.

Federal Laws & Policies

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Title VII

Title IX

Clery Act


Related UC Merced Sites

  • Protecting Minors on Campus
    UC Merced is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of minors who visit campus or participate in programs and activities sponsored by the University or by third parties using University facilities or resources. 
  • The Campus Advocacy, Resources, & Education (CARE) Office  provides free and confidential advocacy services for those affected by sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.  CARE also provides prevention education for the UC Merced community.  CARE welcomes students, staff and faculty of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races/ethnicities, classes and abilities.
  • The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities oversees the student disciplinary system for reports of suspected student misconduct, both academic and nonacademic (e.g., computer misuse, alcohol and other residence hall violations, theft, and conduct that threatens health and safety)