Student Code of Conduct Procedures
Procedures for Handling Complaints Involving Students Pursuant to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Harassment
This College Code describes misconduct that adversely affects the College’s pursuit of its educational objectives or interferes with the rights of another person. The Code governs all activities on the College premises and at College functions both on and off campus. It also applies to certain off campus behavior. CMSV encourages, but does not require, victims, survivors, complainants, claimants, and witnesses with victim status of Sexual Offenses (reporting individuals) to report the incident to one or more of the following resources.
The Title IX Deputy Coordinator is in charge of overseeing investigations and processes when a student is accused of Sexual Misconduct, Gender-Based Harassment and Sexual Discrimination.
Dean of Students
Room 114 Founders Hall
First, you may (but are not required to) report a Sexual Offense to local law enforcement (such as the New York Police Department) for the sole purpose of documentation. You may also (but are not required to) report it to local law enforcement and/or State Police so that they may investigate the matter and identify an offender. You may contact local and state law enforcement as follows:
- New York Police Department 50th Precinct
Address: 3450 Kingsbridge Ave., Bronx, NY, 10463-4004
Non-Emergencies: (718) 543-5700 Website:
- Yonkers Police Third Precinct
General Address: 435 Riverdale Ave, Yonkers, NY
General Phone: Phone: (914)-377-7427 Fax: (914)-377-7431
- The New York State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit number is (844)-845-7269
If you want or need assistance in notifying the local Police Departments or State Police, you should contact CMSV’s Office of Campus Safety and Security who will assist you in doing so. CMSV’s Security can be contacted as follows:
- Main Office Address: 6301 Riverdale Ave, Maloney Center first floor, Riverdale, NY 10471
- Emergencies: 9-1-1
- Non-Emergencies—on campus (Main Gate) (718) 548-2116
If you choose to contact law enforcement, you may have the further option to (but are not required to) pursue the case through the criminal justice system, where you will be assisted by the District Attorney’s office, the local or state Police Department and the support and advocacy services of your choice.
Second, you may (but are not required to) report the Sexual Offense to the Office of Campus Safety and Security. This may trigger the judicial process, which may result in the removal of the offender from the campus. It also assists in complying with federal requirements for reporting offenses occurring on campus. You may (but are not required to) report sexual offenses anonymously to the Campus Safety and Security, preserving your privacy and only reporting the particulars of the incident.
Third, you may also (but are not required to) report the Sexual Offense to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinator(s).
- When you first disclose an incident to a Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinator, you will be presented with (1) a copy of this policy, (2) a written explanation of your rights and options, whether the incident occurred on or off-campus, and (3) the following information: “You have the right to make a report to the Office of Campus Safety and Security, local law enforcement, and/or state police or choose not to report; to report the incident to your institution; to be protected by the institution from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your institution.”
- You will have the right to emergency access to the Title IX Coordinator or another appropriate official who has been designated by the Title IX Coordinator to provide emergency assistance (the “Designee”). The Designee may be an official of CMSV or an official of an off campus resource. The Title IX Coordinator or Designee will be available upon the first instance of disclosure by a reporting individual to provide immediate information and assistance regarding (1) options to proceed, including other reporting options; (2) where applicable, the importance of preserving evidence and obtaining a sexual assault forensic examination as soon as possible; and (3) the criminal justice process, including that it utilizes different standards of proof and evidence and that any questions about whether a specific incident violated the penal law should be addressed to law enforcement or to the district attorney. The Title IX Coordinator or Designee will also explain whether he or she is authorized to offer you confidentiality or privacy, and will inform you about other reporting options.The Title IX Coordinator’s Office is located in Founders Hall Room 113.Be aware that certain CMSV officials with significant responsibility for student and employee activities may be required by law to disclose the occurrence of the event. If you make a report to an official who is required by law to disclose the occurrence of the event, but you request confidentiality, the Title IX coordinator will evaluate the confidentiality request, by weighing the request against CMSV’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of its community. If it is determined that the incident must be disclosed, your name will be kept confidential, and you will be offered privacy to the greatest extent possible. If it is determined that the incident must kept confidential, CMSV will still assist with academic, housing, transportation, employment, and other reasonable and available accommodations.
- Even CMSV officers and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non- confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution. Your identity will remain private at all times if you wish to maintain privacy.
- CMSV will make every effort to ensure that you are asked to describe the incident to as few representatives of CMSV as possible, and are not required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident.
Fourth, in addition to, or in lieu of, reporting a Sexual Offense to one or more of the above, you may (but are not required to) make a confidential report to any campus mental health counselor, pastoral counselor, social worker, psychologist, nurse- practitioner, or other person with a professional license or who is supervised by such a person. This includes, but is not limited to, professional employees and support staff at the College. These employees are exempt from any requirement to further disclose your report to them, unless you want and ask them to do so. These employees can assist in obtaining services for reporting individuals.
Fifth, in addition, you may confidentially disclose the Sexual Offense and obtain services from the state or local government.
Sixth, you can also make an anonymous report to a confidential hotlines provided by New York state agencies and not-for-profit entities. These hotlines include:
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
- Safe Horizon Hotlines: 800-621-4673 (domestic violence), 866-689-4357 (victims of other crimes, 1-212-227-3000 (rape and sexual assault victims)
Lastly, if the accused is an employee of CMSV, you can report the Sexual Offense to CMSV’s Office of Human Resources, or request that another employee assist in reporting to the Office of Human Resources.
CMSV encourages the victims of Sexual Offenses to report the incidents, in any of the manners described above. However, again, victims are not required to report the offense to, or to seek assistance from CMSV, law enforcement, or campus authorities. CMSV will not pressure any student or employee to disclose a crime or violation, or to participate in the judicial, conduct, or criminal justice processes.
Reporting an incident does not:
- Obligate the victim to prosecute;
- Subject the victim to inappropriate scrutiny or judgment by the person receiving the report; or
- Suggest in any way that the victim is at fault for the crime or violation, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid the crime or violation.
Reporting the incident does:
- Ensure that a victim of a Sexual Offense receives necessary medical testing and treatment;
- Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence critical to a prosecution, which cannot be obtained later;
- Ensure that the victim has knowledge of and access to professional, confidential counseling form counselor specifically trained in the areas of Sexual Offenses.
If the accused or respondent is a student, you may request that CMSV file student conduct charges against the accused or respondent. All students have the right to request that CMSV bring student conduct charges against another student. Requests to file charges should be prepared in writing and directed to the Dean of Students. Written requests may be emailed to the Dean of Students at or mailed or delivered in person to the Dean of Students at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Ave., Bronx, NY 10471.
CMSV retains the right to determine whether to actually file the charges against the accused or respondent. CMSV can initiate charges or choose not to initiate them when evidence does or does not merit doing so, in conformity with state and federal law, CMSV’s Student Code of Conduct, and other CMSV policies. Additional details regarding Student Conduct Charges can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.
You should be aware that there are significant differences between CMSV’s disciplinary system and the criminal justice system, because they have different, important goals. In the criminal justice system, prosecutors pursue cases when they believe there is sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an individual has committed a criminal act. A person who is convicted of a crime will face criminal penalties, such as incarceration, probation, or the imposition of a fine. CMSV’s disciplinary process seeks to determine whether an individual has violated college policy. In this process, a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is used to determine responsibility. A person who is found to have violated CMSV policy may be suspended, expelled or otherwise restricted from full participation in the CMSV community. Additional information regarding these distinctions can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.
Confidentiality may be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to institution officials, in a manner consistent with state and federal law, including but not limited to 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f) and 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). Licensed mental health counselors, medical providers and pastoral counselors are examples of CMSV employees who may offer confidentiality.
The obligation to keep information in confidence is inherent for certain CMSV professionals on campus, such as health care providers, licensed social workers, licensed psychologists, and pastoral and professional counselors (including licensed mental health counselors). Many off-campus resources such as rape crisis centers are also confidential, and with the exception of certain child abuse and imminent threats, individuals working in such organizations have no obligation to report information back to the reporting individual’s campus.
It is important to note that all other CMSV employees who do not fall within the categories listed above are required to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes, so they are NOT confidential resources. However, even CMSV offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution.
Affirmative Consent: Affirmative Consent is a clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence or lack of resistance cannot be interpreted as consent. Seeking and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any other sexual act. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or cannot be given, sexual activity must stop. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the ability to fully, knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation includes impairment due to drugs or alcohol (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary), the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, if any of the parties are under the age of 17, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
Bystander: A person who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of rules or policies of an institution.
Confidentiality: May be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to institution officials, in a manner consistent with state and federal law, including but not limited to 20 U.S.C. 1092(f) and 20 U.S.C. 1681(a). Licensed mental health counselors, medical providers and pastoral counselors are examples of institution employees who may offer confidentiality.
Privacy: May be offered by an individual when such individual is unable to offer confidentiality under the law but shall still not disclose information learned from a reporting individual or bystander to a crime or incident more than necessary to comply with this and other applicable laws, including informing appropriate institution officials.
Accused: A person accused of a violation who has not yet entered an institution’s judicial or conduct process.
Respondent: A person accused of a violation who has entered an institution’s judicial or conduct process.
Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault: The College seeks to foster a safe and healthy environment built on mutual respect and trust. At the foundation of the College’s mission is the recognition of the dignity and worth of every person. Sexual misconduct of any kind is a serious violation of these principles and will not be tolerated in any form.
The College defines Sexual Misconduct to include Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment, Sex-Based Harassment, Relationship Violence of a sexual nature, and Stalking (see definitions below). Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. Sexual Harassment, including sexual violence is a form of sex discrimination.
Sexual Assault: Any actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent (See Consent defined below). Sexual Assault includes anal, oral or vaginal penetration, however slight, or any sexual contact by a person upon another person without effective consent (See Consent defined below). Sexual penetration includes, but is not limited to: vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger and oral copulation by mouth-to-genital or genital-to-mouth contact.
Sexual Exploitation: Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute sexual assault, sexual misconduct, or sexual harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, making public sexual activity with another student without that student’s consent; prostituting another student; nonconsensual video or audio recording of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting someone hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); voyeurism; and/or knowingly transmitting HIV or an STI to another student.
Sex-Based Harassment: Includes sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.
Sexual Harassment: Includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors and other gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to unreasonably interfere with an individual’s educational experience or living conditions. Sexual harassment also occurs when submission to or rejection of such conduct denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from any College educational program or activity; or by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for another person.
Gender-Based Harassment: Includes unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.
Hostile Environment: A “hostile environment” exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs or activities. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a College program or activity (i.e., administrators, faculty members, students and campus visitors. In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the College considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not enough, that the conduct was unwelcome to the person who was harassed. However, the College will also need to find that a reasonable person in the person’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive in order for that conduct to create or contribute to a hostile environment.
To make the ultimate determination of whether a hostile environment exists for any member of the College community, the College considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sex-based harassment, including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and, (5) the degree to which the conduct affected the student’s education or an employee’s employment, and/or a visitor’s purpose on campus.
The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.
Relationship Abuse: Relationship abuse is sometimes referred to as Intimate-Partner Violence, Domestic Violence or Dating Violence. Relationship Abuse is a pattern of coercive behaviors that serves to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, and/or emotional. Relationship abuse can occur between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, currently reside together on or off campus, or who otherwise are connected through a past or existing relationship. It can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. Relationship abuse can be a single event or a pattern of abuse. Examples of relationship abuse include, but are not limited to; attempting to cause or causing bodily injury by hitting, slapping, punching, hair-pulling, kicking, sexual assault and/or other forms of unwanted physical contact that causes harm; knowingly restricting the movements of another person; isolating or confining a person for a period of time; controlling or monitoring behavior; being verbally and/or emotionally abusive; and exhibiting extreme possessiveness or jealousy.
Stalking: Any pattern of conduct that has the purpose or effect of producing fear and/or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. A “pattern of conduct” is defined as two or more times and constitutes a repeated attempt to initiate unwanted, inappropriate and/or threatening interactions with a particular person or group. Examples of stalking behavior include, but are not limited to: unwelcome communication that can be face-to-face, phone, text, e-mail, voice messages, via social media sites, written messages, gifts, etc.; pursuing and/or following another person or group; surveillance; trespassing; gaining unauthorized access to personal, medical, financial or any other identifying pieces of information without explicit permission; and accessing e-mail, phone or other forms of personal communication in order to follow or monitor another’s activity.
Medical Amnesty: The health and safety of every student at the College of Mount Saint Vincent is of utmost importance. The College of Mount Saint Vincent recognizes that student who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The College of Mount Saint Vincent strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the College’s Code of Conduct for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
Student Code Process and Procedures
The well-being of a community is harmed by misconduct of its members. Whether minor or major, misconduct cannot be disregarded if all members of the community are to be respected, safe, and secure. For that reason, the student disciplinary process is an integral part of our academic community. Consistent regulations, policies, procedures, and their enforcement are ingredients of any community in which students can live and learn successfully.
In all disciplinary cases, principles of fair practice will prevail. Fair practices require that students be informed of the nature of the charges against them, that they be given an opportunity to refute the charges, that the College not be arbitrary or capricious in its actions or decisions, and that there be provision for appeal of any decision.
Title IX cases and their outcomes, including any subsequent sanctions or penalties, are recorded in the Office of Human Resources as the Director for Human Resources serves as the College’s Title IX Coordinator. If an accused student is expelled from the College for disciplinary reasons, it is noted on the student’s transcript.
Student Bill of Rights
In addition to the presumption of innocence; pursuant to Education Law 129-B (6443) amendments to New York State Education Law, all students have the right to:
- Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
- Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
- Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;
- Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
- Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
- Be free from any suggestions that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
- Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
- Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused and/or the respondent and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution;
- Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
- Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
- Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.
Rights of Reporting Individuals
All reporting individuals must be advised of certain rights, including the right to:
- Notify campus security, local law enforcement, and/or state police.
- Have prompt access to a Title IX Coordinator, or other appropriate official, trained in interviewing victims of sexual assault, who shall be available upon the first instance of disclosure to provide the reporting individual with certain information.
- Disclose the incident confidentially to institution representatives who can offer confidentiality and can assist in obtaining services for reporting individuals.
- Disclose the incident confidentially and obtain services from state or local government.
- Disclose the incident to institution representatives who can offer privacy or confidentiality and can assist in obtaining resources for reporting individuals.
- File a report of sexual misconduct and the right to consult the Title IX Coordinator and other appropriate institution representatives for information and assistance.
- Disclose the incident to the institution’s HR authority or request that a confidential or private employee assist in reporting to HR where the accused is an employee.
- Receive assistance from appropriate institution representatives in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court.
- Withdraw a complaint or involvement from the institution process at any time.
In cases of expulsion, the College will retain records indefinitely. In cases involving violations of the Cleary Act and/or Sexual Misconduct violations, the College will retain records indefinitely. The College may disclose to law enforcement authorities the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against a student found in violation of a College policy, rule, regulation or standard of conduct involving a violent felony or a non-forcible instance of sexual misconduct. In such cases, the College will only release the name of the student found in violation, the violation committed and any sanctions imposed on the student.
Violations of the Law and College Policy
To have the institution’s judicial or conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than ten days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
Any member of the College community can report an alleged student violation of Sexual Misconduct or Gender-Based Harassment to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator (Dean of Students) or the Title IX Coordinator (Director for Human Resources). These individuals will provide information about pursuing informal resolution, filing a formal complaint, the investigation process, and possible interim measures.
The Pre-Hearing Conference
The right to a process in all student judicial or conduct cases, where a student is accused of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual activity that may otherwise violate the institution’s code of conduct, that includes, at a minimum: (i) notice to a respondent describing the date, time, location and factual allegations concerning the violation, a reference to the specific code of conduct provisions alleged to have been violated, and possible sanctions; (ii) an opportunity to offer evidence during an investigation, and to present evidence and testimony at a hearing, where appropriate, and have access to a full and fair record of any such hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained for at least five years from such a hearing and may include a transcript, recording or other appropriate record; and (iii) access to at least one level of appeal of a determination before a panel, which may include one or more students, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest. In order to effectuate an appeal, a respondent and reporting individual in such cases shall receive written notice of the findings of fact, the decision and the sanction, if any, as well as the rationale for the decision and sanction. In such cases, any rights provided to a reporting individual must be similarly provided to respondent and any rights provided to a respondent must be similarly provided to a reporting individual.
An accuser who wishes to file an official complaint within the College’s Title IX process but does not wish to pursue a formal complaint may request a less formal proceeding known as Informal Resolution. Informal Resolution is an adjudicative process; it is not mediation. Informal Resolution provides an opportunity for the accuser to confront the accused in the presence of, and facilitated by the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee, and to communicate his or her feelings and perceptions regarding the incident, the impact of the incident and his or her wishes and expectations regarding protection in the future. The accused will have an opportunity to respond.
Both the accuser and the accused may each choose one member of the College community (faculty, staff or student) to accompany them throughout the Informal process.
The Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee may elect to be assisted by a member of the Student Board for Sexual Misconduct.
Informal Resolution cannot result in institutionally imposed sanctions as described in the Sanctions section of this Handbook. Informal Resolution may, however, result in the Student Conduct Officer or the Title IX Coordinator imposing protective actions or sanctions agreed upon by the parties. Without such agreement, Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee may impose protective actions based on information derived from the proceedings, taken together with any other relevant information known to the College at the time of the Informal Resolution.
The College or the accuser may, at any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Resolution, elect to end such proceedings and initiate the formal Student Conduct process instead.
In order to promote honest, direct communication, information disclosed during Informal Resolution will remain confidential while the Informal Resolution is pending, except where disclosure may be required by law or authorized in connection with duties on behalf of the College.
In cases where the accused student pleads in violation, the Student Conduct Officer will proceed immediately to conduct an Administrative Hearing. In the Administrative Hearing the Student Conduct Officer will discuss the specifics of the case, the College’s behavioral expectations, and possible sanctions. The Student Conduct Officer may choose to consult with the Student Conduct Board before imposing sanctions. All parties have the right to appeal. See Procedures for Appeal in this section of the Handbook for more information.
Student Conduct Hearing
When the accused student or student organization pleads not in violation he/she/it may waive the opportunity for additional time to prepare and proceed immediately to a Student Conduct Hearing. If additional time is not waived, a Student Conduct Hearing will be scheduled such that the timing does not negatively affect the student’s ability to fulfill his/her academic obligations at the College and such that the accused has a reasonable amount of time to prepare the case.
In either case, the accused will have ample opportunity at the Student Conduct Hearing to make any oral or written statements relevant to the case and to identify possible witnesses. The Student Conduct Board will review all available evidence, reserve the opportunity to contact witnesses not present, determine a finding of in violation or not in violation based on the evidence, and in the case of a finding of in violation impose sanctions. The accused student will be notified of the sanctions via their College e-mail. The accused student or student organization can appeal the sanction(s) per the Procedures for Appeal as stated in this Handbook.
Student Conduct Hearing Procedures
In cases where the accused student or student organization contest the charges, the Student Conduct Officer will determine who will hear the case; a Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Board, if constituted. Whatever the determination, the process is similar. The accused shall have a fair and timely Student Conduct Hearing. The Student Conduct Hearing will be scheduled such that the timing does not negatively affect the student’s ability to fulfill his/her academic obligations at the College and such that the accused has a reasonable amount of time to prepare the case. The accused will have ample opportunity to make any written or oral statements relevant to the case and identify possible witnesses.
After having received notice of the scheduled hearing the accused must appear at the Student Conduct Hearing. If the accused fails to appear at the Student Conduct Hearing, the Student Conduct Officer shall review all available evidence; determine a finding of in violation or not in violation based on the evidence. In the case of a finding of in violation, the Student Conduct Officer will impose appropriate sanctions.
The Student Conduct Hearing is a formal process. Students have a choice whether to proceed in the judicial or conduct process. Both parties also have the right to be accompanied by an advisor of choice. Witnesses may be called to testify by the accuser, by the accused student and/or by the Student Conduct Officer. The Student Conduct Officer/Board may reasonably limit the number of witnesses.
Whenever possible, the accused shall have the right to hear or read all evidence presented at the Student Conduct Hearing.
The accused shall have the opportunity to refute or respond to all charges and all evidence and to call a reasonable number of witnesses on her/his behalf or to submit their statements. However, the accused does not have the right to receive copies of such statements or evidence. The accused does not have the right to confront or cross-examine witnesses. Under rare circumstances, the Student Conduct Officer/Board may determine that the identity of certain witnesses should be withheld.
The accuser and the accused may choose to be accompanied to the Student Conduct Hearing by an advisor of his/her choice. In keeping with the educational goals of the College, the advisor must be a member of the College community. The advisor may advise the accuser or accused during the hearing. However, the advisor may not address the Student Conduct Board or the Student Conduct Officer during the course of the proceedings, question witnesses or participate directly in the hearing proceedings.
Attorneys are not permitted to be present at the hearing except in cases where criminal charges are pending. In such cases, lawyers may advise the accuser or accused during the hearing but they cannot address the Student Conduct Officer/Board during the course of the proceedings, question witnesses or participate directly in the hearing proceedings. In the case of disciplinary proceedings for alleged Sexual Misconduct, both the accuser and the accused may each choose an advisor to accompany them to proceedings before the Student Conduct Board for Sexual Misconduct. The advisor may be a member of the College community, an attorney, or any other individual the parties choose. In cases where an accused or accuser chooses to have an attorney present, the costs associated with the attorney’s services are the sole responsibility of the parties.
If at any time, a party is found to falsify information before the Student Conduct Board, s/he will be charged with a violation of the College’s Code of Conduct.
In all Student Conduct Hearings, unless otherwise specified by the Student Conduct Officer/Board, the accuser, accused, and all witnesses will be called and spoken to individually to give their testimony and will then be excused. In all hearings involving more than one accused student, the Student Conduct Officer/ Student Conduct Board will meet with each student separately. For cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual assault, the accused and the accuser will be assigned separate waiting rooms at the time of the hearing.
A single verbatim recording will be made of each Student Conduct Hearing, whether the case is heard by a Student Conduct Officer or a Student Conduct Board, not to include the deliberations of the Board.
Student Board for Sexual Misconduct
The Student Board for Sexual Misconduct consists of three non-student members of the College’s Student Conduct Board. These members are specially selected and trained to appreciate the complexities and legal implications of violations of this policy. This Board follows the same procedures as the Student Conduct Board except where noted in this Handbook.
Whether the case is adjudicated via Administrative Hearing or a Student Board for Sexual Misconduct, the decision is not delivered at the hearing. All evidence is reviewed and any deliberations take place in private.
In the case of the Student Conduct Board, a vote is taken. An accused is found in violation or not in violation by majority vote. The Dean of Students or a designee is present for all deliberations but does not vote. In cases in which the accused is found in violation, the Student Board for Sexual Misconduct discusses sanction options and recommends sanctions to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee.
The Title IX Coordinator retains a written record of all charges, pleas, statements, decisions, the verbatim recording and sanction(s) recommendation of Student Board for Sexual Misconduct.
As soon as possible after the Hearing, and in consideration of the Student Board for Sexual Misconduct’s recommendations, the Deputy Coordinator or designee determines sanctions in all cases for which the accused is found in violation. The Deputy Coordinator must consider prior disciplinary history and, under rare circumstances, may request additional advisory deliberation on the part of the Student Board for Sexual Misconduct before the imposition of sanctions. Both the accused and the accuser will be issued results simultaneously. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination before a panel, which may include one or more students, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest. In order to effectuate an appeal, a respondent and reporting individual in such cases shall receive written notice of the findings of fact, the decision and the sanction, if any, as well as the rationale for the decision and sanction. In such cases, any rights provided to a reporting individual must be similarly provided to a respondent and any rights provided to a respondent must be similarly provided to a reporting individual.
Burden of Proof
The determination “in violation” requires “a preponderance of the evidence” that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it is more likely than not that the accused student or student organization violated the Student Code of Conduct.
Procedures for Appeal
The appeal process is available only to the accused student or accused student organization that has been found in violation with the exception of cases involving Sexual Misconduct where the appeal process is available to the accuser and the accused. Appeals are heard by a Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Board. Appeal hearings are limited to case related documents and verbatim recordings.
In cases of Sexual Misconduct, the accuser and the accused have the right to appeal a decision of in violation whether it has been decided by the Student Board for Sexual Misconduct or a Title IX Coordinator. In practice, there is one level of appeal before the panel which is called pre-hearing, which may include one or more students, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest. Any appeal of either a decision of in violation and/or severity of sanction(s), or both, must be submitted in writing, including a detailed explanation of the basis for the appeal, no more than five (5) business days of the date of the letter informing the accused and the accuser of the outcome of the hearing. In the case of new information, the appeal must be submitted within five (5) business days of when the new information becomes available. Appeal hearings are document hearings only, and in the case of a Sexual Misconduct Board Hearing, the verbatim recording. The accuser or accused do not appear during Appeal Hearings and the appeal results will be shared with both parties concurrently.
Appeals must be based upon at least one of the following four criteria:
Severity of Sanctions: To determine whether the sanctions imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Specifically, the sanction imposed is not consistent with those imposed for similar violations that occurred under similar circumstances.
Improper procedure: To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges, information presented and consistency with prescribed procedures.
Insufficient information: To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student or student organization was based on a preponderance of evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that “more likely than not” a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred. In making such a determination, the Appeal Hearing Officer or Appellate Board, if constituted, shall not substitute its judgment for the judgment of the Student Conduct Hearing Board or Student Conduct Officer, but instead will review the outcome based on whether there was information sufficient to support the original result.
New Information: Information that has become available but was not available at the time of the hearing. To consider new information sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the student or student organization appealing at the time of the original hearing. In the case of new information, the appeal must be submitted within five (5) days of when the new information becomes available.
In cases in which an appeal is requested, a stay of sanctions will normally be granted by the Dean of Students. Sanctions, other than no contact orders, will be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal. However, the Student Conduct Officer reserves the right to deny a stay of sanctions in cases in which he/she deems appropriate.
If the Student Conduct Officer/Board grants an appeal for a reason other than severity of sanction, the matter shall be returned to the original Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Board to allow reconsideration of the original decision. In reopening all cases, the decision of the Student Conduct Officer or the Student Conduct Board regarding sanctioning may not result in more severe sanctioning for the accused, except in cases of alleged Sexual Misconduct where the accuser pursues the appeal.
In certain circumstances, the Dean of Students or a designee may suspend a student from residence and/or from the College pending the outcome of the Student Conduct Process.
Interim suspension may be imposed:
- To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property.
- To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being
- If, in the judgment of the Dean of Students or designee, the student poses a definite threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College.
- If the Dean of Students or designee determines that the interim suspension is in the best interests of the College community.
During the interim suspension, students or student organizations shall be denied access to College housing and/or attending class and other College activities or privileges for which the student or student organization might otherwise be eligible, as deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students or designee.
In the case of a student organization, the organization’s activities and participation in College events may be limited as specified by the Dean of Students or designee. If appropriate, interim suspension may include the cessation of all activities and the withdrawal of recognition and allocated funding by the College, pending the final outcome of the proceedings.
In cases of interim suspension, the Student Conduct Hearing will be conducted as soon as possible to determine the outcome of the case. A student or student organization on interim suspension can request an opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of Students or designee within five business days from the effective date of the interim suspension to discuss the suspension. This request should be made to the Dean of Students in writing. The decision of the Dean of Students or designee as to whether or not to impose an interim suspension will hold as final.
Authority of the President of the College
In all matters of student conduct, the President reserves the right to overturn a student conduct decision, including a decision of appeal, if in his/her sole judgment the safety or well-being of a campus community member, the community in general or College property are at risk.
The following sanctions are typical of what may be imposed. More than one sanction may be imposed for a single violation.
The student or student organization is given a written warning in cases where the violation is minor or a first offense. The student or student organization is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action.
Disciplinary Probation is a specific period of time during which the College provides the student or student organization with the opportunity to prove that he/she/it will contribute in a positive manner to the College community. Should a student or student organization violate College policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions will be imposed. Specific restrictions of disciplinary probation can include, but are not limited to prohibiting a student from representing the College in any intercollegiate sports competition, holding any elected or appointed office on the campus and may in some cases be banned from attendance at or participation in organized College functions, whether athletic, social, or institutional, during this period. Other specific restrictions may be added as conditions of probation in individual cases.
Evaluation and Counseling
The student may be referred to the College Counseling and Psychological Services Center for evaluation and counseling when the violation is alcohol, other drug, anger, or violence related. A student can be referred for other violations as well.
The student or student organization is required to make monetary reimbursement for repair or replacement of property, for services rendered to the College or to other persons, groups, or organizations for a specified amount by a date designated by the Student Conduct Officer.
A monetary fine may be assessed for certain infractions.
No Contact Order
An order of “no contact” is a restriction of contact between parties, including direct and indirect contact through intermediaries and/or social media/technology.
Assignment of a Contributory Service or Constructive/Educational Task
A student is required to complete a task that benefits the individual, campus, or community. Examples include, but are not limited to, performing contributory service, writing reaction or research papers, and attending programs, lectures, or other educational events deemed appropriate by the Student Conduct Officer.
Dean of Students Hold on Records
The enforcement of College policies may necessitate placing a Dean of Students hold on the student’s record. This hold will prevent a student from accessing grades, registering for classes, receiving a diploma and in some instances receiving transcripts.
Notification of Parent or Legal Guardian
The College will inform a student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) that the student has been found in violation of the College’s policies on alcohol, other drugs, or violence or separated from the College or the College’s residence halls.
A student is involuntarily reassigned to a new campus location.
Ban from College Residence Halls
A student is prohibited from entering all residence halls or a specific residence hall(s) for a designated period of time.
Loss of Residence Hall Visitation Privileges
The residence hall visitation and guest privileges of the resident student are revoked for a designated period of time. Additionally, the student must sign in and out of his/her assigned residence hall each time the student enters or exits the building.
Suspension of Residence Life Privileges
The student will be suspended from residency when there is reason to believe that a student will continue to have a disruptive influence on the residential community unless or until certain conditions are met. (i.e., attend counseling, rehabilitation, or resolution of a dispute) or when a student has seriously abused his/her privilege of residency. Readmission is usually at the discretion of the Dean of Students in conjunction with the Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing. The sanction will stipulate a specific time period for the suspension of residency privileges and may include specific requirements must be fulfilled before reinstatement into residence life will be considered. Suspension of residence life privileges means the student must properly check out of his/her room in accordance with existing College procedures within the time constraints established by the Student Conduct Officer. As indicated in the Terms and Conditions of Room and Board, the resident will be liable for the full room charges.
Permanent Loss of Residence Life Privileges
The student will permanently lose residency privileges when there is reason to believe that they will continue to have a disruptive influence on the residential community or when violations are so severe that they merit permanent removal of the privilege of residency. Loss of residence life privileges means the student must properly check out of his/her room in accordance with existing College procedures within the time constraints established by the Student Conduct Officer. As indicated in the Terms and Conditions of Room and Board, the resident will be liable for the full room charges.
Suspension from the College
The student or student organization will be suspended from the College when there is reason to believe that a student or student organization will continue to have a disruptive influence on the College. Suspension is a separation of the student from the College for a specified period of time. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a leadership position, or be on College premises without the written authorization of the Dean of Students or designee throughout the entire duration of the suspension period. A suspended student must surrender his/her College-issued identification card to the Dean of Students for the duration of the suspension.
In the case of a student organization, suspension will result in the loss of recognition which includes loss of privileges including, but not limited to, loss of the use of campus facilities and allocated student activity funds, inability to participate in College activities or sponsor official activities. Future recognition is at the discretion of the Dean of Students in consultation with the Associate Director for Student Activities, Leadership and Commuter Life.
Expulsion from the College
The student will be expelled from the College when there is reason to believe that a student will continue to have a disruptive influence on the College community and/or when the nature of the violation is so serious that permanent separation from the College community is in order. Expulsion is a permanent. An expelled student shall not be permitted on College property. An expelled student cannot be re-admitted to the College. Any refunds of tuition, fees, room and board are subject to the College’s refund policy as stated in the Undergraduate College Academic Catalog.
A record of the expulsion is entered and remains on the student’s transcript. In the case of a student organization, the organization will lose its official recognition allocated funding, and all other privileges.
For crimes of violence as defined in the Clery Act, including but not limited to sexual violence, colleges and universities are required under New York State Law to make a notation on the student’s transcript. The notation must state that the student was:
- Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.
- Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation, or
- Withdrew with conduct charges pending.
Notations cannot be removed prior to one year following the conclusion of the suspension. Notations of expulsion can never be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, the transcript notation will be removed.
Students wishing to appeal a transcript notation must do so in writing to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator. In response, the Title IX Coordinator will empanel a 3-member review committee consisting of the Registrar, one member of the faculty, and one administrator. The faculty member and administrator will be selected from a pool of individuals who serve on Sexual Misconduct Boards. The accuser will be notified that a transcript notation appeal has been filed and will be offered the opportunity to provide a statement for consideration. The 3-member panel will also be allowed access to any documentation or records associated with the original case. Upon completion of their review, the committee will make a recommendation to the Title IX coordinator.
Approved June 28, 2018
This policy is in compliance with Title IX and Article 129-B