INTERIM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY

VIII. REPORTING

Reporting decisions are the students' decisions to make.

The Colleges encourage all individuals to make a report to the Colleges and to local law enforcement.

Reporting options are not mutually exclusive.

Both internal and criminal reports may be pursued simultaneously
or not at all.

At the time a report is made, a Complainant does not have to decide whether or not to request disciplinary action or file a criminal complaint.

Faculty, coaches, administrators, RAs, and student Orientation staff are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator any report of sexual assault or harassment they receive or of which they become aware.

As outlined in Section VII (B) describing Emergency Support Services in the Event of a Sexual Assault, the Colleges encourage all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or law enforcement immediately after an incident of sexual violence.

Overview

The Colleges encourage all community members to report sex discrimination and harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, intimate partner violence, and sex- or gender-based harassment that do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. The Colleges will respond to any information they receive—whether from a Complainant, third party or anonymously—against a named Respondent.

The Colleges are committed to providing a variety of welcoming and accessible means of reporting sexual misconduct so that all instances of sexual assault or harassment will be reported. All Colleges’ community members not required to make a report under this Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual assault or harassment to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is specifically charged with coordinating the initial assessment, initiating the investigation, and responding to allegations of sexual assault or harassment to stop the harassing conduct, address its effects, and prevent its recurrence.

Faculty, coaches, administrators, Resident Assistants, and student Orientation staff are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator any report of sexual assault or harassment they receive or of which they become aware. These individuals are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator all information of which they are aware, including the identities of the parties involved in the acts of sexual misconduct, if known. On the other hand, employees who work in CCSW, Hubbs Health Center, and the Office of Religious Life are not required to share with the Title IX Coordinator any information related to a report of sexual assault or harassment.

At the time a report is made, a Complainant does not have to decide whether or not to request disciplinary action. Choosing to make a report and deciding how to proceed after making the report can be a process that unfolds over time. To the extent possible, the Colleges will respect an individual’s autonomy in making these important decisions and provide support that will assist each individual in making that determination. Individuals have the option to: 1) notify Campus Safety; (2) notify law enforcement authorities; 3) be assisted by the Colleges in notifying law enforcement authorities; and 4) decline to notify Campus Safety or law enforcement.

The Colleges recognize that not every individual will be prepared to make a report to the Colleges or to law enforcement, and individuals are not expected or required to pursue a specific course of action. As outlined in the Resources section of this Policy, the Colleges offer a number of confidential resources on campus, which can be supplemented by other community resources, to individuals who want support—regardless of whether they currently plan to make a report to the College. Information shared with the identified confidential resources will not be reported to the Colleges.

As outlined in Section IV regarding privacy and confidentiality, the Colleges respect the privacy interests of students, faculty, and staff. All information reported to the Title IX Team will be shared only with those Colleges’ employees or designees who will assist in the investigation and/or resolution of the complaint, or whose assistance is required to implement interim measures and any accommodations for the individuals involved.

The Title IX Coordinator, working with the Title IX Team, will ensure that the Colleges respond to all reports in a timely, effective, and consistent manner. The Title IX Team is charged with coordinating the review, investigation, and resolution of all reports to ensure consistent responsiveness, and the integrated provision of interim measures to support the individuals involved and to protect the Colleges community. The Colleges are committed to using a consistent and informed response to create a culture of mutual accountability. When community members report incidents of sexual assault and harassment as provided in this Policy, the Title IX Team is committed to providing support, assessing individual and campus safety, and effectively responding.

The Colleges will promptly review and respond to all reports of sexual violence and harassment in an integrated, consistent manner that treats each individual with dignity and respect and that seeks to understand the perspective and experiences of each individual involved in order to ensure fair and impartial evaluation and resolution.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

The Colleges encourage Complainants to pursue criminal action for incidents of sexual assault or harassment that may also be crimes under New York criminal statutes. The Colleges will assist a Complainant, at the Complainant’s request, in contacting local law enforcement and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process to the extent permitted by law. Complainants have the right to also decline to report to law enforcement.

Except where the Complainant is under 18 years old, the Colleges will generally respect a Complainant’s choice whether or not to report an incident to local law enforcement, unless the Colleges determine that there is an overriding issue with respect to the safety or welfare of the Colleges’ community. Where a report involves suspected abuse of a minor less than 18 years old, certain individuals at the Colleges may be required by state law to notify law enforcement and/or the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, as discussed further in Appendix B.

The Colleges’ policy, definitions, and standard of review differ from New York criminal law. A Complainant may seek resolution through the Colleges’ complaint process, may pursue criminal action, may choose one but not the other, may choose both, or may choose neither. Neither law enforcement’s determination whether or not to prosecute a Respondent nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution are determinative of whether sexual assault or harassment has occurred under this Policy. Proceedings under the Colleges’ Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following off-campus civil or criminal proceedings.

Victim Assistance Programs

Individuals making a report to local law enforcement may also avail themselves of services through the New York State Office for Victim Services (“OVS”). The OVS funds local Victim Assistance Programs (“VAPs”) including:

Among other things, these VAPs offer a crime victim advocate that can provide direct assistance to victims and their families as they navigate the criminal justice process. In addition to funding VAPs, in certain circumstances the OVS provides compensation to innocent victims of crime for their out-of-pocket losses related to a crime (such as medical or counseling expenses). In order to take advantage of the services offered by the OVS, a victim must have reported the crime to the police. To obtain compensation, a victim must complete an application supported by related police reports and other documentation. OVS is considered a payer of last resort, meaning that all other sources of compensation must be exhausted before OVS will pay a claimant for out-of-pocket losses related to the crime.

Students of the Colleges can learn more about the OVS by visiting http://www.ovs.ny.gov/ or by contacting by phone or visiting the website for the Victim Assistance Programs using the information above.

Simultaneous Investigations by the Colleges and GPD

Where the Complainant reports to both Geneva Police Department (“GPD”) and the Colleges, there will be some coordination of the simultaneous or parallel investigations. The Colleges may agree to defer their fact-gathering until after the initial stages of a criminal investigation. During that time, the Colleges will continue to offer support to the Complainant, including discussing Title IX rights, procedural options, and needed interim measures to ensure safety and well-being. The Colleges will promptly resume their fact-gathering as soon as law enforcement has completed its initial investigation.

The Colleges and the GPD will timely share information in parallel investigations, except that the GPD may manage sharing of information so as not to impede its ongoing law enforcement investigation. In addition, the Colleges’ ability to share information related to its own investigation and/or adjudication of certain offenses involving a student or students will be governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which prohibits disclosure of student education records containing personally identifiable information except under certain circumstances.

Campus Reporting Options

The Colleges recognize that a student or employee may choose to report sexual assault or harassment to any employee of the Colleges. For example, a student may choose to talk with an assistant dean, a Resident Assistant, a faculty member, or a coach. An employee may choose to tell a supervisor or colleague. This Policy requires all faculty, coaches, administrators, Resident Assistants, and other student employees who have responsibility for the welfare of other students who receive a report of sexual assault or harassment to contact the Title IX Coordinator to share all information related to the report, including the names of the individuals involved, the specific allegations, and the date, time, and location of the incident.

To enable the Colleges to respond to all reports in a prompt and equitable manner, the Colleges encourage all individuals to directly report any incident to the Title IX Coordinator, to any member of the Title IX Team, or to any of the following:

  • Susan Lee, Title IX Coordinator: 315.781.3922
  • Campus Safety: ext. 3333 or 315.781.3333
  • William Smith Dean’s Office: 315.781.3467
  • Hobart Dean’s Office: 315.781.3300

Anonymous Reporting

Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning an incident of sexual assault or harassment, including through the Colleges’ online Bias Incident Reporting System. www.hws.edu/about/bias_reporting.aspx

Any individual may report an incident without disclosing one’s name, identifying the Complainant or Respondent or requesting any action. As with all other reports, all anonymous reports will go to Campus Safety and the Title IX Coordinator for review and appropriate response and action. Despite that the report is submitted anonymously, Campus Safety and the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate each report to determine whether any responsive action is necessary and, when warranted, will take action—including investigation and follow-up with individuals identified. The level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved directly affects the Colleges’ ability to respond or take further action.

Where there is sufficient information, the Colleges will ensure that anonymous reports are reviewed and included for compliance with the Clery Act.

Reporting Considerations

Timeliness of Report, Location of Incident

Complainants and third-party witnesses are encouraged to report sexual misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the Colleges’ ability to respond promptly and effectively. The Colleges do not, however, limit the timeframe for reporting. If the Respondent is no longer a student or employee, the Colleges may not be able to take action against the Respondent, but it will still seek to meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

An incident does not have to occur on campus to be reported to the Colleges. Off-campus conduct that has a reasonable connection to HWS meaning it is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on any member of the Colleges community or the Colleges may be covered under this Policy (e.g., sexual assault at an off-campus party).

Amnesty for Personal Use of Alcohol or Other Drugs

The health and safety of every student at the Colleges is of utmost importance. The Colleges seek to remove all barriers to reporting sexual misconduct. The Colleges recognize 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 Colleges strongly encourage students to report all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and violence to the Title IX 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 the Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement will not be subject to the Colleges’ Community Standards 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.

Statement Against Retaliation

As stated above, retaliation is a violation of Colleges’ policy. The Colleges recognize that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by or against an individual or a group, and that a Respondent or third party may also be the subject of retaliation by another individual, including the Complainant.

An individual reporting sexual assault or harassment is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is not later substantiated. Reports of retaliation should be made immediately so that they can be acted upon as quickly and completely as possible.

False Reporting

Given that a charge of sexual assault or harassment may have severe consequences, the Colleges take very seriously the validity of information provided in support of an allegation of sexual misconduct.

A Complainant who makes a report that is later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are not substantiated by an investigation.

Similarly, a Respondent or witness who is later proven to have intentionally given false information during the course of an investigation, the HWS complaint resolution process, or external judicial action may be subject to disciplinary action.

Reports Involving Minors

For information regarding reports involving minors (a person under the age of 18/17 years old or younger) see Appendix B.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.