Sexual Misconduct Policy

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions which receive federal financial assistance.  This statute states as follows: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” 20 U.S.C. § 1681.

Title IX Coordinator
Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and 34 C.F.R. Part 106, Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator assesses institutional compliance with Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, and other related federal and state discrimination laws and guidance documents. The Title IX Coordinator develops, implements, updates and serves as the principal coordinator for policies, procedures, and programs to raise awareness of gender equity and sex discrimination across the College. The Title IX Coordinator oversees all complaints of sexual misconduct and sexual discrimination for all members of the College community and is responsible for Title IX and Sexual Harassment training of all segments of the College community. The duties and responsibilities related to the coordination of the College’s Title IX compliance efforts include but are not limited to:

  1. Notification and Education, including Training for Students, Faculty, and Staff
  2. Consultation, Investigation, and Disposition
  3. Providing Appropriate Remedies, Including Interim Measures
  4. Institutional Monitoring and Compliance Assurance

The College’s Title IX Coordinator is:

Director for Human Resources
Founders Hall, Room 113
(718) 405-3212
title9coordinator@mountsaintvincent.edu

The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for investigating complaints when an Administrative or Staff employee is accused of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct.

Deputy Coordinators
Pursuant to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and 34 C.F.R. Part 106, Title IX, Title IX Deputy Coordinators help to process and investigate complaints of sexual misconduct and sex discrimination and assist with general education and compliance efforts.  All Deputy Coordinators are knowledgeable about and will provide information on options for complaint resolution after consultation with the Title IX Coordinator.

The Deputy Coordinator for Students is:

Vice President for Student Affairs
Founders Hall, Room 114
(718) 405-3253
studentaffairs@mountsaintvincent.edu

The Deputy Coordinator for Faculty is:

Provost
Founders Hall, Room 206
(718) 405-3343
provost@mountsaintvincent.edu

Inquiries or complaints that involve potential violations of Title IX may also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which can be reached at:

New York Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500

Telephone: (646) 428-3900
FAX: (646) 428-3843; TDD: (800) 877-8339
Email: OCR.NewYork@ed.gov

Inquiries or complaints may also be referred to the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/#three.

Policy and Procedures

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 equal and inviolable 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 Exploitation, Sex-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Relationship Violence of a sexual nature. 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.

Any member of the College community who encourages, aids, assists or participates in any act of Sexual Misconduct against another is in violation of the College policy, Title IX, and Article 129-B.

Violence that is not of a sexual nature is also incompatible with the College’s mission and a violation of College policies.  Policies and procedures governing incidents of violence that are not of a sexual nature are covered separately. This policy governs the process and procedures for sexual misconduct at the College and is separate from New York State Penal Law and its policies and procedures.

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 students 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.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Any member of the College community who encourages, aids, assists or participates in any act of Sex Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct against another is in violation of the College’s Code of Conduct.

Every member of the faculty, administration and staff, including student workers, is obligated by law under Title IX to immediately report to the Title IX Coordinator or the appropriate Deputy Coordinator incidents of or perceived incidents of Sexual Misconduct involving any member of the campus community or third party upon learning of the incident.  Even if the alleged victim requests confidentiality of the incident, the employee has a legal and moral obligation to report.

The only individuals exempt from reporting are priests who learn of the alleged behavior in a confession or licensed health or mental health professionals when functioning in their designated counseling role at the College.  These individuals may not report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator or to any other person without a victim’s express written permission, unless there is an imminent threat of serious harm to the individual or to others, or a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). They may submit non-identifying information about violations of this policy only to the Department of Public Safety for purposes of anonymous statistical reporting under the Clery Act.

Title IX Coordinators will make every effort to maintain the privacy of all parties involved during investigations into alleged Sexual Misconduct.

All incidents or perceived incidents of Sexual Misconduct where the accused is an Administrative or Staff employee or third party, are to be reported to the College’s Title IX Coordinator (read more about the policy and disciplinary procedures in the Employee Handbook):

Director for Human Resources
Founders Hall, Room 113
(718) 405-3212
title9coordinator@mountsaintvincent.edu

All incidents or perceived incidents of Sexual Misconduct where the accused is a faculty member are to be reported to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Faculty (read more about the policy and disciplinary procedures in the Faculty Handbook):

Provost
Founders Hall, Room 206
(718) 405-3343
provost@mountsaintvincent.edu

All incidents or perceived incidents of Sexual Misconduct where a student is the accused are to be reported to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students (read more about the policy and disciplinary procedures in the Student Handbook):

Vice President for Student Affairs
Founders Hall, Room 114
(718) 405-3253
studentaffairs@mountsaintvincent.edu

In the event that the incident, policy, or procedure about which a student, employee, faculty member or third party seeks to file a report or complaint creates the appearance of a conflict of interest with any one of the members of the Title IX compliance team, complainants may contact any other member of the team, including the Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator, directly.

The College is firmly committed to providing immediate care and support to all accusers.  The College will take action to address any and all Sexual Misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. In accordance with the Federal Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights, the College will ensure that:

  • Survivors will be notified of their options to notify law enforcement. (New York State requires all colleges and universities to report incidents of alleged sexual assault.)
  • The accuser and accused will have the same opportunity to have an advisor present during a hearing or other disciplinary proceeding.
  • Both the accused and the accuser will be notified of the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding.
  • Survivors will be notified of counseling services.
  • Survivors will be notified of options for changing academic or a living arrangements.

The College will provide counseling to accusers who seek criminal prosecution under New York State Penal Law. Any student charged with such an offense may be prosecuted under New York State criminal statutes. Any student charged with such an offense may be subject to action under the College’s Student Conduct process, which acts independently of any legal proceedings.

Any faculty, administrative, staff employee or third party charged with such an offense may be prosecuted under New York State criminal statutes.  Any faculty, administrative, or staff employee charged with such an offense will be subject to the rules and procedures outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and/or provisions of the Employee Handbook or Faculty Handbook, which apply independently of any legal proceedings.

The College is required to report instances of alleged Sexual Assault to criminal authorities without the express consent of the victim, and where a legal obligation mandates such reporting (e.g., if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor).

Taking into account the wishes of the accuser, the College will pursue disciplinary action in cases of Sexual Misconduct. The College may choose to override a complainant’s decision not to go forward with an investigation. In this case, the College will inform the complainant of the College’s determination. Sanctions imposed on students for violations of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy may include, but are not limited to, suspension or expulsion from the College’s residence halls and suspension or expulsion from the College. Sanctions imposed on faculty, administrative or staff employees for violations of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy include, but are not limited to, suspension or dismissal from the College. The College’s disciplinary processes act independently of any legal proceedings.

Definitions

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 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 person takes nonconsensual 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 videos, photos, or audio recordings of a sexual nature without the consent of the party or parties involved; prostituting another person; 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); viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent; and/or knowingly transmitting HIV or an STI to another student.

Sexual HarassmentIncludes 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’s program or activity (e.g., 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. But 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 a student’s education, 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 the 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 refers to coercive behavior that serves to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behavior 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 cause 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, email, voice messages, 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 email, phone or other forms of personal communication in order to follow or monitor another’s activity.

Cyberstalking is a non-physical form of stalking and is a violation of this policy. Therefore, using electronic media such as the internet, social networking sites, cell phones or similar devices or mediums to pursue, track, harass, monitor or make unwanted contact with another person is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Rights of Reporting Individuals
All reporting individuals have the right to:

  • Notify the College’s Office of Campus Safety and Security, local law enforcement, and/or state police.
  • Have emergency 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 College 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 College 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 College representatives for information and assistance.
  • Disclose the incident to the institution’s HR Director or request that a confidential or private employee assist in reporting to HR where the accused is an employee.
  • Receive referral assistance from appropriate College representatives in initiating legal proceedings in criminal, family, or civil court.
  • Withdraw a complaint or involvement from the College process at any time.

Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures

When a reporting individual initially discloses an incident to a College representative, it is important for that individual to understand that they have the right to pursue a report to Campus Safety and Security, local law enforcement, and/or state police. They also have the right to choose not to report the incident; to be protected by the institution from retaliation; and to receive assistance and access resources from the College. The complainant also has the right to keep his/her/their name private.

Initial Meeting
Alleged violations of the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy are to be reported to the Title IX Coordinators. These individuals will provide an understanding of this policy and identify forms of support or immediate interventions available to the accuser, including referrals to appropriate law enforcement agencies, referrals for medical treatment, the College’s Counseling Center and other on and off campus resources.  A student, faculty member or employee who reports to the College that they have been a victim of one of the aforementioned crimes shall be provided with a written explanation of their rights or options.

When possible, the initial meeting may include a discussion of any accommodations that may be appropriate for the accuser’s academic schedule, College housing, and/or College employment arrangements.  If such a discussion is not possible or appropriate during the initial meeting, it will follow as soon thereafter as is possible and appropriate.  Available accommodations will be provided to the victim regardless of whether he or she chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement. Please note, that the College is required by New York State law to report alleged incidents of sexual assault to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

At the initial meeting or as soon thereafter as is possible and appropriate, the accuser will be asked to decide how he/she wants to proceed. The options include pursuing the complaint within the College and/or with local law enforcement or requesting the complaint remain confidential.

Interim Measures
In all cases of alleged Sexual Misconduct, regardless of how the accuser wishes to proceed, the College will undertake a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation conducted by officials who receive annual training on issues related to sexual misconduct.  At the same time, the College will take immediate and effective action to support and protect the accuser pending the final outcome of the investigation and hearing, taking into account the desire of the accuser to maintain confidentiality, as applicable.  Accordingly, the College may impose a no-contact order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation and, if applicable, the hearing.

The College also may take any further protective action if deemed appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties including providing escorts for the accuser to and from College locations, modifying the students’ academic schedules, provide a Leave of Absence or arrange for the accuser to be away from campus for a few days, change in room assignment with College housing, and/or alter College employment arrangements. The individual requesting interim measures may request a review of a grant or denial or an interim measure.

Title IX requires that when taking such steps to separate the accuser and the accused, the College should minimize the burden on the accuser and thus should not, as a matter of course, remove the accuser from his/her classes, housing or employment while allowing the accused to remain. The College will consider how such changes will impact the accused.

Violation(s) of the College’s directives regarding the protective actions may lead to additional disciplinary proceedings as outlined in the Student Handbook for students, the Employee Manual for all administrative and staff employees and both the Faculty Handbook for faculty.

Accuser Requests Confidentiality
If the accuser requests confidentiality, under Title IX, the College is still required to investigate and take reasonable action in response to the accuser’s request.  The accuser should be informed that in such situations that the College’s ability to take action is likely to be limited. Alleged sexual assault incidences must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency whether or not the accuser participates in an investigation.

In such cases, Title IX requires the College to evaluate the accuser’s request(s) that the complaint not be adjudicated or remain confidential due to the College’s legal and moral obligation to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students, faculty, administrative and staff employees. In order to make such an evaluation, the College may conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged Sexual Misconduct and will weigh the accuser’s request(s) for confidentiality against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Misconduct, whether there have been other complaints of Sexual Misconduct against the same individual, and the accused’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the accused is a student and the College maintains such information as an educational record under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The College will inform the accuser if the College cannot ensure confidentiality. Even if the College cannot take disciplinary action against the accused because the accuser insists on confidentiality or that the complaint not be adjudicated, Title IX requires the College to take prompt and effective action to limit the effects of the alleged Sexual Misconduct and to prevent its recurrence. The College reserves the authority to issue a no-contact order and other measures as indicated in this policy.

The Title IX Coordinator, charged with coordinating investigative and disciplinary procedures, will disclose confidential information regarding instances of sexual misconduct only on a need-to-know basis.  Notwithstanding the College’s respect for the accuser’s confidentiality, the College will disclose information relating to instances of Sexual Misconduct to appropriate legal authorities where it has a legal obligation to do so.

Accuser Requests Informal Resolution
An accuser who wishes to file an official complaint within the College, but who does not wish to pursue the formal student or faculty, administrative or staff employee conduct process, 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 a Deputy Coordinator, 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 an advisor to accompany them throughout the Informal Resolution process.  The advisor may advise the accuser or accused during the Informal Resolution.  However, the advisor may not address the Deputy Coordinator during the course of the proceedings, question witnesses or participate directly in the Informal Resolution proceedings. The accuser may write an impact statement to present during the informal complaint process. When a student is the accuser, the Deputy Coordinator may elect to be assisted by a member of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board or a member of the Vice President for Student Affairs’ staff. 

Informal Resolution cannot result in the formal sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the College’s residence halls, the College, or the termination of employment of the accused. Informal Resolution may, however, result in imposing protective actions agreed upon by the parties. Without such agreement, the Title IX Coordinator 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 College conduct process instead. In such cases, statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may not be used as evidence in the formal College conduct process. However, the Title IX Coordinator may consider such statements and impose protective actions as deemed necessary until all formal College conduct procedures are completed including the Appeals Process.

In order to promote honest and 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. The investigation and Informal Resolution typically conclude within sixty (60) days.   

Accuser Requests College Adjudication
If the accuser decides to proceed with the College adjudication, the College will proceed with a full investigation. The accuser may write an impact statement to be included in the adjudication process.

Accused – as Administrative or Staff Employee in College Adjudication
In cases where the accused is an administrative, or staff employee, the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Employee Handbook shall govern how the case is investigated and adjudicated. Following the investigation and hearing (if applicable), the Director for Human Resources will issue a document to the accused and the accuser indicating the results of the proceeding.  Results will include: a finding of in violation or not in violation of Sexual Misconduct for the accused, the sanctions imposed, if any, and an explanation of the rationale for its determination. Read the policy.

Accused – as Faculty Member in College Adjudication
In cases where the accused is a faculty member, the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Faculty Handbook shall govern how the case is investigated and adjudicated. Following the investigation and hearing (if applicable), the Provost will issue a document to the accused and the accuser indicating the results of the proceeding.  Results will include: a finding of in violation or not in violation of Sexual Misconduct for the accused, the sanctions imposed, if any, and an explanation of the rationale for its determination. Read the policy.

Accused – as Student in College Adjudication
In cases where the accused is a student, the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Student Handbook shall govern how the case is investigated and adjudicated. Following the investigation and hearing (if applicable), the Vice President for Student Affairs will issue a document to the accused and the accuser indicating the results of the proceeding.  Results will include: a finding of in violation or not in violation of Sexual Misconduct for the accused, the sanctions imposed, if any, and an explanation of the rationale for its determination. Read the policy.

Retaliation
The College strictly prohibits retaliation against any person who in good faith brings forth a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation in addition to retaliation against any person because of their good faith involvement in an investigation or hearing as part of the complaint process.  Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy.

Retaliation is any materially adverse action, or threat thereof, against an individual because of the individual’s good faith report or complaint of a potential policy violation or his/her good faith participation in an investigation or hearing.  Retaliatory acts may include, but are not limited to: adverse changes in employment status or opportunities; adverse academic action; adverse changes to academic, educational and extra-curricular opportunities; harassment; intimidation; acts or comments intended to embarrass the individual; and seeking out or attempting to discover the parties and witnesses involved in a report or complaint process for the purpose of influencing their participation or testimony or taking adverse action against them.

Retaliatory conduct by community members and third-parties is prohibited regardless of whether such conduct occurs on or off campus, in person, or through social media, e-mail, or other form of communication. Retaliatory conduct may lead to additional disciplinary proceedings as outlined in the Student, Faculty and Employee Handbooks.

Anyone who feels they have been retaliated against should report the retaliation to the Director for Human Resources, Provost or Vice President for Student Affairs.

Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Abuse Education
The College provides Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Abuse primary prevention programs, ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns, and risk-reduction programs to the campus community, and educates about relevant resources.

Through annual training, the College encourages students, faculty, administrative and staff employees to learn about sexual misconduct. The Director for Human Resources, Provost, and Vice President for Student Affairs are valuable resources for students, faculty, administrative and staff employees who have experienced Sexual Violence or who are interested in learning more about how Sexual Violence affects their campus and the society in which they live.

Bystander Intervention Information
If someone suspects that another individual may be in a high risk situation to become a victim of any form of Sexual Misconduct, it is important to decide as a bystander whether there is a safe and reasonable way to intervene effectively.

There is no legal obligation in New York State for a bystander of a potentially violent situation or crime to intervene or act. However, our mission commits us to our obligations to each other and to a deep respect for human dignity. Bystanders are encouraged to act if there are safe and reasonable ways to intervene and/or discourage people from being uncivil towards each other in an effort to foster a safer environment for everyone.

Bystander Tips

  • Remind others that “consent” is the difference between sex and sexual assault and that someone can be too intoxicated, or otherwise physically or mentally incapacitated to consent.
  • Take the initiative to help others who are not thinking clearly from becoming targets of violence (or) take steps to stop a friend who chooses to use violence.
  • Prevent an intoxicated person from going to a private location with a stranger or an acquaintance.
  • Do not leave anyone, whether a friend of an acquaintance, alone at a party or a bar.
  • Ask anyone, whether an acquaintance or stranger, who is attempting to engage in Sexual Misconduct to stop and leave the location.
  • Recognize dating or domestic partners who cause fear or physical pain to their partner and voice your concerns where appropriate; one suggestion is referring the student to the Counseling Center and a faculty, administrative or staff employee to Human Resources.
  • Contact Campus Security Main Gate (718) 405-3434, Residence Life Staff, Human Resources, the Vice President for Student Affairs or another person of authority who can assist.

For information or questions about Bystander Intervention, contact: 

Approved April 20, 2018

This policy is in compliance with Title IX and Article 129-B