Employee Grievance Resolution
Fei Tian College recognizes and endorses the importance of academic due process and of resolving grievances properly without fear of prejudice or reprisal. Any regular employee of the College shall have recourse to the Judicial Committee for a recommended resolution. Employees who believe existing laws, policies, procedures, or practices have been violated, misapplied, or misinterpreted, and are perceived to have adversely affected an individual’s professional or academic capacity, may file a grievance on their own behalf.
The Judicial Committee is responsible for administering these grievance policies and procedures, and for making recommendations to the President concerning individual grievance cases.
If an employee grievance arises, the employee should first attempt in the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation to resolve the dispute or complaint through a meeting and open exchange with the concerned individual(s), or if not concerning an individual, then with his or her department chair or unit supervisor. In the case of an impasse, the employee should then attempt a meeting with the designated employee ombuds.
If the informal grievance process does not bring about a resolution, the employee may file a complaint and begin the formal grievance process.
The formal grievance process begins on the date of filing of the Employee Complaint Form. The complaint generally must be filed within three months of the occurrence. If the complaint involves a faculty member or administrator on the Judicial Committee, that individual shall be recused from the case.
A grievant may seek assistance in the grievance process from an advisor who is a member of the faculty or administration. The grievant and College representative may each, at their own respective expense, retain counsel for purposes of assisting in the grievance case.
A grievant may seek assistance in the grievance process from an advisor who is a member of the faculty or administration. The grievant and college representative may each, at their own respective expense, retain counsel for purposes of assisting in the grievance case.
Upon receipt of the Employee Complaint Form, the Judicial Committee shall conduct a preliminary review to determine whether it will hear the grievance case.
Grounds for declining to hear a grievance case include the following:
Failure to identify a cognizable grievance;
An incomplete Employee Complaint Form;
A complaint based on the same facts submitted in a prior complaint; or
Existence of a related pending outside proceeding.
Dismissal of a grievance case is not appealable, and cannot serve as the basis for a grievance.
In conducting its preliminary review, the Judicial Committee may meet with the grievant and may obtain information from any source and in any manner it determines to be necessary or useful in reaching a decision.
Should the grievance case be accepted, the Judicial Committee arranges a meeting between the involved parties within 15 workdays.
Based on the meeting and documents provided by both parties, the Judicial Committee makes a written advisory determination and proposed decision within 15 workdays. At this time, the committee will provide all parties with a written copy of its proposed decision.
Within 10 workdays of the issuance of the committee’s proposed decision, the President shall issue a decision adopting, rejecting, modifying, or remanding the proposed decision.
The final decision of the President is binding and shall not be subject to external review.
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Fei Tian College
140 Galley Hill Rd
Cuddebackville, NY 12729-5225
In the spirit of federal and state privacy laws, Fei Tian College honors the privacy of students, employees, College business, and other matters by restricting access to records determined to contain confidential information. Unauthorized accessing or disclosure of confidential information is prohibited and may result in disciplinary sanctions. Specific categories of confidential information include information about: current and former students; current, former, and prospective employees; College operations, including finances, legal matters, or other particularly sensitive matters; and information security data.
Only those with legitimate need have authorization to access such records, including College officials who need to review a record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities and the person to whom a record belongs.
Fei Tian College is committed to conducting its affairs ethically and in compliance with laws, regulations, and college policies. Retaliation against members of the College community for making good faith reports of suspected ethical misconduct is strictly prohibited, and is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or separation.
Article 129-B Policies
Pursuant to Article 129-B of the New York State Education Law (as added by Chapter 76 of the Laws of 2015), the Board of Trustees of Fei Tian College has adopted the following policies required by this article.
Section 6441 Definition of Affirmative Consent Policy
Fei Tian College hereby adopts the following definition of affirmative consent:
Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex or gender.
Furthermore, the College adopts the following principles for its community:
- Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
- Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
- Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
- Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
- When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
Section 6442 Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty Policy
The health and safety of every student at Fei Tian College is of utmost importance. The College 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 strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to College officials. 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 the College’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the College’s Code of Conduct action 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.
Section 6443 Students’ Bill of Rights Policy
The College is committed to providing options, support, and assistance to victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking to ensure that they can continue to participate in College and campus programs, activities, and employment. All victims/survivors of these crimes and violations, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or gender, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, have the following rights, regardless of whether the crime or violation occurs on campus, off campus, or while studying abroad.
Pursuant to Section 6443, all students have the right to:
- Make a report to campus security, 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 suggestion 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 during 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.
Section 6444 Sexual Violence Response Policy
In accordance with the Section 6443 Students’ Bill of Rights, reporting individuals shall have the right to pursue more than one of the options below at the same time, or to choose not to participate in any of the options below:
To disclose confidentially the incident to a school student affairs or health services staff, who by law may maintain confidentiality, and can assist in obtaining services.
To disclose confidentially the incident and obtain services from the New York State or county domestic and sexual violence hotline: http://www.opdv.ny.gov/help/dvhotlines.html; New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6909
Additional disclosure and assistance options can also be obtained through the following:
- SurvJustice: http://survjustice.org/ourservices/civilrightscomplaints/;
- Legal Momentum: https://www.legalmomentum.org/;
- NYSCASA: http://nyscasa.org/responding;
- NYSCADV: http://www.nyscadv.org/;
- Pandora’s Project: http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html;
- RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/gethelp;
- Safe Horizons: http://www.safehorizon.org/;
- Safe Homes of Orange County: http://www.safehomesorangecounty.org
To disclose the incident to a College official who can offer privacy and can provide information about remedies, accommodations, evidence preservation, and how to obtain resources. These officials will also provide the information contained in the Section 6443 Students’ Bill of Rights, including the right to choose when and where to report, to be protected by the College from retaliation, and to receive assistance and resources from the College. The College official will disclose that he/she is a private and not confidential resource, and may still be required by law and College policy to inform one or more College officials about the incident. The official will notify reporting individuals that the criminal justice process uses different standards of proof and evidence than internal procedures, and questions about the penal law or the criminal process should be directed to law enforcement or a district attorney.
To file a criminal complaint with local law enforcement, and/or state police:
- State Police 24-hour hotline to report sexual assault on a New York college campus: 1-844-845-7269
- Mount Hope Police Department: 1706 Route 211W, Otisville, New York; (845) 386-1460
To file a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking with the Student Affairs Director and/or talk with him or her for information and assistance. Reports will be investigated in accordance with College policy and the reporting individual’s identity shall remain private at all times if said reporting individual wishes to maintain privacy. If a reporting individual wishes to keep his or her identity anonymous, he or she may call the Office of Student Affairs anonymously to discuss the situation and available options:
- Office of Student Affairs: (845) 672-0550, ext. 215
When the accused is an employee, a reporting individual may also report the incident to the Office of Financial Service and Human Resources (OFS) or may request that one of the above referenced confidential or private employees assist in reporting to OFS. Disciplinary proceedings will be conducted in accordance with employee policies and procedures. When the accused is an employee of an affiliated entity or vendor of the College, College officials will, at the request of the reporting individual, assist in reporting to the appropriate office of the vendor or affiliated entity and, if the response of the vendor or affiliated entity is not sufficient, assist in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and College policy.
- Office of Student Affairs: (845) 672-0550, ext. 215
- Office of Financial Services and Human Resources: (845) 672-0550, ext. 216
A complaint and involvement may be withdrawn from the College process at any time. The College shall ensure that, at a minimum, at the first instance of disclosure by a reporting individual to a College representative, the following information shall be presented to the reporting individual: “You have the right to make a report to campus security, local law enforcement, and/or the state police, or choose not to report; to report the incident to the College; to be protected by the College from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from the College.”
Reporting individuals shall have information about resources, including intervention, mental health counseling, and medical services, which shall include information on whether such resources are available at no cost or for a fee. The College shall also provide information on sexually transmitted infections, sexual assault forensic examinations, and resources available through the New York New York State Office of Victim Services, established pursuant to Section 622 of the Executive Law.
To obtain effective intervention services
- Wellness Center: 2nd floor Shepard Center, Middletown, NY; 845-341-4870; There is no charge for mental health or nursing services.
- Sexual contact can transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and may result in pregnancy. Testing for STIs and emergency contraception is available through Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-7526; http://www.plannedparenthood.org/plannedparenthoodmidhudsonvalley. There may be charges for these services.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Program through Rape Crisis Services: 1-800-832-1200; http://www.mhaorangeny.com/rapecrisis/rapecrisis_sane.html; There is no charge for these services.
Within 96 hours of an assault, an individual can get a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (commonly referred to as a rape kit) at a hospital. While there should be no charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off campus and, in some cases, insurance may be billed for services. The individual is encouraged to let hospital personnel know if he or she does not want his or her insurance policyholder to be notified about the individual’s access to these services. The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating victims/survivors for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information may be found here: http://www.ovs.ny.gov/files/ovs_rights_of_cv_booklet.pdf, or by calling 1-800-247-8035. Options are explained here: http://www.ovs.ny.gov/helpforcrimevictims.html.
To best preserve evidence, victims/survivors should avoid showering, washing, changing clothes, combing hair, drinking, eating, or doing anything to alter physical appearance until after a physical exam has been completed.
Protection and Accommodations:
When the accused is a student, to have the College issue a “No Contact Order,” meaning that continuing to contact the protected individual is a violation of College policy subject to additional conduct charges; if the accused and a protected person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person. Both the accused/respondent and reporting individual may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of a No Contact Order.
To have assistance from College officials in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court, including but not limited to obtain an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order.
To receive a copy of the Order of Protection or equivalent and have an opportunity to meet or speak with a college official who can explain the order and answer questions about it, including information from the Order about the accused’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person(s); that burden does not rest on the protected person(s).
To an explanation of the consequences for violating these orders, including but not limited to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension.
To have assistance from campus security in effecting an arrest when an individual violates an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order within the jurisdiction of campus security or, if outside of the jurisdiction or if campus security does not have arresting powers to call on and assist local law enforcement in effecting an arrest for violating such an order.
When the accused is a student and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to have the accused subject to interim suspension pending the outcome of a conduct process. Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of an interim suspension.
Factors used to determine whether the accused presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community include, but are not limited to:
- Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
- Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the accused from previously noted behavior;
- The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
- Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
- Whether the reporting party is under 17 years of age; and
- Whether the alleged misconduct involved multiple perpetrators;
- The seriousness and/or severity of the reported misconduct.
When the accused is not a student but is a member of the College community and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to subject the accused to interim measures in accordance with College policies and rules.
When the accused is not a member of the College community, to have assistance from campus security or other College officials in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and College policy.
To obtain reasonable and available interim measures and accommodations that effect a change in academic, housing, employment, transportation, or other applicable arrangements in order to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, and avoid an ongoing hostile environment. The protected individual may submit evidence in support of the accommodation request. Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of any interim measures and accommodations that directly affect them. The Student Affairs office shall review all requests for modifications to interim measures. While reporting individuals may request accommodations through any of the offices referenced in this policy, the following office can serve as a point to assist with these measures:
- Office of Student Affairs: (845) 672-0550, ext. 215
Article 129-B Student Conduct Process:
Every student is afforded the following rights:
The right to request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused in proceedings governed by this article and the procedures established by the College’s rules and policies. Note that in the case of a report of sexual violence, the normal conduct proceedings will be supplemented by the more specific rules described below.
Throughout conduct proceedings, the respondent and reporting individual will have:
The same opportunity to 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 during all meetings and hearings related to such process. Rules for participation of such advisor shall be established in the Code of Conduct.
The right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have the complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the respondent, including the right to a presumption that the respondent is “not responsible” until a finding of responsibility is made pursuant to the provisions of this article and the College’s policies and procedures, and other issues including, but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
The right to an investigation and process that is fair, impartial, and provides a meaningful opportunity to be heard, and that is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest.
The right to have the College’s 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.
The right to review and present available evidence in the case file, or otherwise in the possession or control of the College, and relevant to the conduct case, consistent with College policies and procedures.
The right 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.
The right to exclude their own prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the judicial or conduct process or their own mental health diagnosis and/or treatment from admittance in the College disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction.
The right to receive written or electronic notice, provided in advance pursuant to the College policy and reasonable under the circumstances, describing the date, time, location, and factual allegations concerning the allegations as well as a reference to the specific rule, rules or laws alleged to have been violated and in what manner, and the sanction or sanctions that may be imposed on the respondent based upon the outcome of the judicial or conduct process, at which time the designated hearing or investigatory officer or panel shall provide a written statement detailing the factual findings supporting the determination and the rationale for the sanction imposed.
The right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the decision maker is deliberating on appropriate sanctions.
The right to simultaneous (among the parties) written or electronic notification of the outcome of a judicial or conduct process, including the sanction or sanctions.
The right to be informed of the sanction or sanctions that may be imposed on the respondent based upon the outcome of the judicial or conduct process and the rationale for the actual sanction imposed.
The right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct or judicial process.
The right to access to at least one level of appeal of a determination that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest.
The right to have all information obtained during the course of the conduct or judicial process be protected from public release until the appeals panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law.
The College will promptly conduct a fair and impartial investigation of all reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Appeal: The outcome of a proceeding may be appealed in certain circumstances subject to the following guidelines. Within 5 calendar days of the outcome of the proceeding, a letter of appeal must be submitted by the student to the President. The appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration; specifically, state 1) significant procedural error that changes the findings of fact of the proceeding or 2) new evidence that significantly alters the findings of fact. This appeal may not be made on the basis of general dissatisfaction with the decision. The President will assemble a panel to review and determine the outcome of the appeal. Normally no more than 45 calendar days should elapse between the filing of the appeal and the disposition, which shall be conveyed in writing to the student. The decision on appeal is final and cannot serve as the basis for a grievance.
Policy on Transcript Notations and Appeals
For crimes of violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII), the College shall make a notation on the transcript of students found responsible after a conduct process that they were “suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or “expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For the respondent who withdraws from the College while such conduct charges are pending, and declines to complete the disciplinary process, the College shall make a notation on the transcript of such students that they “withdrew with conduct charges pending.”
The Office of Admissions and Records shall make notations on the transcripts of students found responsible for crimes of violence. The following notations are developed for suspension, expulsion, or withdrawal with charges pending.
- SUS suspension
- EXU expulsion
- WCP withdrawal with charges pending
The respondent may appeal removal of such transcript notation. However, such notation shall not be removed prior to one year after conclusion of the suspension. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed.
Section 6445 Campus Climate Assessment Policy
Climate assessments afford the College the opportunity to better understand their campus and to make informed decisions when it comes to providing a safe educational environment. Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, the College will conduct a climate assessment every other year that ascertains general awareness and knowledge of reporting and College adjudicatory processes for sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and other related crimes.
The College shall take steps to ensure that answers to such assessments remain anonymous and that no individual is identified. The College shall publish results of the surveys on its website provided that no personally identifiable information shall be shared.
Beginning in the summer semester of 2016, the President or designee convened a committee to review methods of assessing campus climate, specific questions asked in past surveys, relevant data on responses and response rates, issues and problems encountered in survey implementation, and lessons learned from past surveys. The President or designee shall gather this data and develop a standardized survey, with the advice of relevant members of the College community and if feasible knowledgeable outside entities, that uses established measurement tools, to be implemented every two years by the College beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year. This policy may be changed by the President or designee should federal and/or state legislation require a different process or duplicate efforts to assess campus climate via survey.
Section 6446 Options for Confidential Disclosure Policy
The College wants its community to get the information and support it needs regardless of whether an individual would like to move forward with a report of sexual violence to campus officials or to police. Individuals may want to talk with someone about something he or she observed or experienced, even if he or she is not sure that the behavior constitutes sexual violence. A conversation where questions can be answered is far superior to keeping something to oneself. Confidentiality varies, and this document is aimed at helping individuals understand how confidentiality applies to different resources that may be available.
Confidential Communications. Confidential communications are those communications, which legally cannot be disclosed to another person, without the reporter’s consent, except under very limited circumstances such as an imminent threat or danger to self or others.
Examples of confidential communications include: a certified counselor; a licensed health care provider; and victim assistance services.
Non-Confidential Communications. Even College offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain an individual’s privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information one provides to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary to investigate and/or seek a resolution and to notify the Office of Student Affairs who will contact the individual to discuss the matter and options for the individual.
Examples of non-confidential communications include: Student Affairs staff; College faculty and staff.
Requesting Confidentiality. If you disclose an incident to a College employee who is responsible for responding to or reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment, but wish to maintain confidentiality or do not consent to the institution’s request to initiate an investigation, the coordinator must weigh your request against our obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of our community, including you. We will assist you with reasonable and available accommodations regardless of your reporting choices. While reporting individuals may request accommodations through several college offices, the Office of Student Affairs can serve as a primary point of contact to assist with these measures. We also may take proactive steps, such as training or awareness efforts, to combat sexual violence in a general way that does not identify you or the situation you disclosed. We may seek consent from you prior to conducting an investigation. You may decline to consent to an investigation, and that determination will be honored unless the College’s failure to act does not adequately mitigate the risk of harm to you or other members of the College community. In such a case, the College will consider many factors to determine whether to proceed despite that request including: whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender; whether the incident represents escalation; the increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence; and whether we possess other means to obtain evidence such as security footage. If the College determines that it must move forward with an investigation, the reporting individual or victim/survivor will be notified and the College will take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist them.
Public Awareness/Advocacy Events. If you disclose a situation through a public awareness event or other public event, the College is not obligated to begin an investigation.
Institutional Crime Reporting. Reports of certain crimes will be included in the College’s Annual Security Report in an anonymous manner that neither identifies the specifics of the crime or the identity of the reporting individual or victim/survivor.
The College shall notify the student population of the following options during orientation or otherwise by public notice:
- Information regarding privileged and confidential resources they may contact regarding domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault;
- Information about counselors and advocates they may contact regarding domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault;
- A plain language explanation of confidentiality which shall, at a minimum, include the following provision: “Even the College’s offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a nonconfidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the appropriate administrator to investigate and/or seek a resolution;”
- If a reporting individual discloses an incident to a College employee who is responsible for responding to or reporting domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault but wishes to maintain confidentiality or does not consent to the College’s request to initiate an investigation, the appropriate official must weigh the request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of its community. The College shall assist with academic, housing, transportation, employment, and other reasonable and available accommodations regardless of reporting choices;
- Information about public awareness and advocacy events, including guarantees that if an individual discloses information through a public awareness event such as candlelight vigils, protests, or other public event, the College is not obligated to begin an investigation based on such information;
- Information about existing and available methods to anonymously disclose;
- Information regarding College crime reporting including, but not limited to: reports of certain crimes occurring in specific geographic locations that shall be included in the College’s annual security report pursuant to the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), in an anonymized manner that identifies neither the specifics of the crime nor the identity of the reporting individual; that the College is obligated to issue timely warnings of crimes enumerated in the Clery Act occurring within relevant geography that represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees, except in those circumstances where issuing such a warning may compromise current law enforcement efforts or when the warning itself could potentially identify the reporting individual; that a reporting individual shall not be identified in a timely warning; that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, allows the College to share information with parents when i. there is a health or safety emergency, or ii. when the student is a dependent on either parent’s prior year federal income tax return; and that generally, the College shall not share information about a report of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault with parents without the permission of the reporting individual.
If the College determines that an investigation is required, it shall notify the reporting individuals via notice and take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist them.
The College shall seek consent from reporting individuals prior to conducting an investigation. Declining to consent to an investigation shall be honored unless the College determines in good faith that failure to investigate does not adequately mitigate a potential risk of harm to the reporting individual or other members of the community. Honoring such a request may limit the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate and pursue conduct action against an accused individual. Factors used to determine whether to honor such a request include, but are not limited to:
- Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
- Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the accused from previously noted behavior;
- The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
- Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
- Whether the reporting individual is a minor; and
- Whether the College possesses other means to obtain evidence such as security footage, and whether available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
Section 6447 Student Onboarding and Ongoing Education Policy
The College shall educate all new and current students using a variety of best practices aimed at educating the entire College community in a way that decreases violence and maintaining a culture where sexual offenses are not tolerated.
All new first-year and transfer students will, during the course of their onboarding to the College, receive training on the following topics, using a method and manner appropriate to the College culture of the campus. All students and leaders of student organizations are required to participate in the training.
- The College prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, other violence or threats of violence, and will offer resources to any victims/survivors of such violence while taking administrative and conduct action regarding any accused individual within the jurisdiction of the institution.
- Relevant definitions including, but not limited to, the definitions of sexual violence and consent.
- Policies apply equally to all students.
- The role of the Campus Security and other relevant offices that address violence prevention and response.
- The Article 129-B policies and related procedures.
- Consequences and sanctions for individuals who commit these crimes.
Methods of training and educating students may include, but are not limited to:
- Website disclosure;
- Online/intranet training;
- Orientation programs;
- Posters and bulletin boards.
Section 6448 Privacy in Legal Challenges Policy
Pursuant to subdivision (i) of rule three thousand sixteen of the civil practice law and rules, in any proceeding brought against an institution which seeks to vacate or modify a finding that a student was responsible for violating an institution’s rules regarding a violation covered by this article, the name and identifying biographical information of any student shall be presumptively confidential and shall not be included in the pleadings and other papers from such proceeding absent a waiver or cause shown as determined by the court. Such witnesses shall be identified only as numbered witnesses. If such a name or identifying biographical information appears in a pleading or paper filed in such a proceeding, the court, absent such a waiver or cause shown, shall direct the clerk of the court to redact such name and identifying biographical information and so advise the parties.
The campus must make a notation on the transcripts of students found responsible for crimes of violence. The notations are for suspension, expulsion, or withdrawal with charges pending.
Section 6449 Reporting Aggregate Data to NYSED Policy
The Office of Admissions and Records shall be responsible for collecting, compiling, and annually reporting to the New York State Education Department the following information:
- The number of such incidents that were reported to the College.
- Of those incidents in paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the number of reporting individuals who sought the College’s judicial or conduct process.
- Of those cases in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, the number of respondents who were found responsible through the College’s judicial or conduct process.A description of the final sanctions imposed by the College for each incident for which a respondent was found responsible, as provided in paragraph (d) of this subdivision, through the College’s judicial or conduct process.
- Of those cases in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, the number of respondents who were found not responsible through the College’s judicial or conduct process.
- The number of cases in the College’s judicial or conduct process that were closed prior to a final determination after the respondent withdrew from the College and declined to complete the disciplinary process.
Of those reporting individuals in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, the number of cases processed through the College’s judicial or conduct process.
- The number of cases in the College’s judicial or conduct process that were closed because the complaint was withdrawn by the reporting individual prior to a final determination.
Article 129-B Legislative Definitions Policy
- “Accused” shall mean a person accused of a violation who has not yet entered an institution’s judicial or conduct process.
- “Bystander” shall mean 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.
- “Confidential Communications” shall mean those communications that legally cannot be disclosed to another person without the reporter’s consent, except under very limited circumstances such as an imminent threat or danger to oneself or to others. A certified counselor, a licensed health care provider, and religious counselors are examples of institution personnel who may offer confidentiality.
- “Domestic violence”, “dating violence”, “stalking” and “sexual assault” shall have the same meaning as provided in 34 C.F.R. 668.46.
- “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. Institutions may substitute another relevant term having the same meaning, as appropriate to the policies of the institution.
- “Reporting individual” shall encompass the terms victim, survivor, complainant, claimant, witness with victim status, and any other term used by an institution to reference an individual who brings forth a report of a violation.
- “Respondent” shall mean a person accused of a violation who has entered an institution’s judicial or conduct process.
- “Sexual activity” shall have the same meaning as “sexual act” and “sexual contact” as provided in 18 U.S.C. 2246(2) and 18 U.S.C. 2246(3).