Sexual Misconduct

Title IX

Hobart and William Smith Colleges do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family relationship, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, veteran status, or age in the educational programs and activities that they operate. This grievance procedure applies to all operations subject to the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Although it is often perceived as a law that applies only to athletics, Title IX is much broader and protects all students, employees, and visitors to campus from gender discrimination.

The Title IX Coordinator is knowledgeable about and will provide information on all options for complaint resolution. The coordinator reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs and is responsible for oversight of Hobart and William Smith’s Title IX efforts including, but not limited to:

  • Coordination of the colleges’ effort to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements as it relates to Title IX laws and regulations
  • Facilitating education and training campus-wide on sexual discrimination and sexual misconduct
  • Coordination and execution of the colleges’ response and investigation of complaints pursuant to Title IX including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct

When should I contact the Title IX Coordinator?

Any member of Hobart and William Smith Colleges who has concerns about sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct is encouraged to seek assistance from the Title IX Coordinator.

Contact the Title IX Coordinator if you:

  • Would like more information to understand your options when you have experienced sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct.
  • Need help and information of how to handle a situation that you were indirectly involved in.
  • Wish to file a formal or informal complaint under the sexual misconduct policy.
  • Need guidance on possible informal remedies or administrative measures to
    de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation.
  • Have questions about Hobart and William Smith’s policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, intimate partner, or relationship violence.

No Retaliation Policy

Retaliation against a person for making a report under this policy, for filing a complaint, for supporting a party to a complaint or for participating in an investigation of a complaint is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Retaliation is any action taken in consequence or retribution for making a complaint or participating in a complaint. Retaliation is a serious offense that can lead to disciplinary action and/or sanctions independent of the merits of the original misconduct allegation.


The Title IX Coordinator will keep your conversations as private as possible, but some information about incidents of sexual misconduct must be shared with the Vice President of Student Affairs and other relevant administrators if the Colleges need to take action for community safety. In all situations, the requests of the person(s) initiating the conversation are given full consideration before any decisions are made.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

The phrase sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, describes varying extremes of discrimination and wrongdoing based on one’s gender, sexuality, and/or sexual orientation. Any sexual contact or activity that occurs without the informed consent of any individual involved is considered sexual misconduct.

The Sexual Misconduct policy includes:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Sexual Exploitation
  3. Non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse

Effective Consent: Consenting persons must act freely, voluntarily, and have knowledge of the act involved. Consent will not be implied by silence, passivity, or from a state of intoxication or unconsciousness.

Consent requires the following conditions:

  1. All parties are fully conscious.
  2. All parties are equally free to act.
  3. All parties have positively and clearly communicated their intent.

Parties need to be conscious and aware of their actions: Persons who have sexual activity with someone whom they know to be – or should know to be-mentally or physically incapacitated. This includes being substantially impaired by alcohol or other drug use or unconscious.

Parties are equally free to act: Both parties must be able to make decisions to be sexually intimate without coercion. Any party has the right to revoke their consent at any time during the sexual contact. This can be done through active communication that there is a desire to stop the activity. A verbal “no” (even if it seems indecisive) or resistance (even if it seems passive) is a lack of consent.

If you would like to fully review our Community Standards policy on Sexual Misconduct, you can review the information here and go to pages 7 – 20.

How can I help my friend?

If you notice a change in a friend and are concerned that they may have experienced sexual harassment or a sexual assault there are many ways you can be a resource.


Talk to your friend privately and let them know you have noticed a change in their behavior and that you are there to support them. If your friend chooses to tell you about their experience, this person has made the choice based on trust. You must be supportive, non-judgmental, and listen. The sexual assault was not their fault.


The most supportive thing that you can do for a friend is believe them. Take the information seriously, but remember that it is not your job to assess the situation or investigate the facts.


HWS has many support resources available for your friend. As a concerned friend, you can speak with HWS administrators to gain more information, but you should provide your friend with their resources. For assistance, please see the “important phone numbers” section in this brochure.

Support and Medical Services

If you would like to seek private support services immediately after an assault or later, there are several support networks available to you.

The Title IX Coordinator can provide support in housing accommodations, judicial advocacy, medical assistance, and any other accommodations to help you heal physically and emotionally.

Office of Title IX Programs & Compliance
Stacey Pierce, Title IX Coordinator
(315) 781-3922/ Mon. - Fri.: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
(315) 781-3000 after hours and weekends for a member of the Title IX team

The Counseling Center for Student Wellness works very closely with our students to provide free confidential emotional and psychological support. They are available to meet with you on a short-term or long-term basis. Additionally, you can contact our Chaplain, Lesley Adams, for confidential support.

Counseling Center for Student Wellness
(315) 781-3388 / Mon. - Fri.: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Maria Saavedra-Finger, Sexual Assault Response Psychologist

24 hour on-call counselor available through contacting Campus Safety at (315) 781-3000. You do not need to provide your name when you contact Campus Safety, simply ask for the Counselor on-call and they will connect you.

Lesley Adams, Chaplain (315) 781-3671

Hubbs Health Center or Hospital Services can assist you with any confidential medical care you need. If you need any financial assistance with medical services, you can speak with the Title IX Coordinator regarding confidential financial coverage.

Hubbs Health Center
(315) 781 - 3600/ Mon. - Fri.: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm, Sun.: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

F.F. Thompson Hospital Specialized Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, at (585) 396 - 6000

Reporting Options

You are welcome to report in a variety of ways that suite your comfort level after you experience sexual harassment or a sexual assault. The options below are available to tailor to your comfort level and HWS will support your decisions and privacy as you decide how you want to respond.

1. Report to Campus Administrator

If you report to a campus administrator, this does not mean a formal judicial process will happen. Reporting to an administrator puts this information on record. The administrator will report to the Title IX Coordinator and the Vice President of Student Affairs. All information is provided to campus officials on a need to know basis. Your privacy and safety is our main concern. Based on the conversation you have, the Title IX Coordinator may want to follow up with the other party involved to ensure that members of the HWS community are safe. You will be notified about this process before action is taken. This does not mean your name will be provided to the respondent. You can remain anonymous.

2. Report to Campus Safety

Reporting to Campus Safety logs this incident and puts it on record. Reporting to a Campus Safety officer does not mean a formal judicial process will occur. Your privacy and safety is our main concern and we will speak with you before any action is taken. Campus Safety will notify the Title IX Coordinator and the Vice President of Student Affairs. After you speak with Campus Safety, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to you to discuss your options and any services you may need.

3. Report to Geneva Police Department

You can bypass the campus procedures and report only to GPD if you wish. The Colleges are here to support you in the process and are happy to assist if this is an option you would like to pursue. The Title IX Coordinator is available if you need assistance or support.

Hearing Procedures

The Student Sexual Grievance Panel will consist of a panel of HWS community members that have been effectively trained to hear Sexual Grievance cases. The panel meets individually with the complainant, the responder, and any witnesses that provide pertinent information to your complaint. During the hearing you will only be in the room with the panel and a support person if you choose to invite them in with you. More specific and detailed information is provided to you before the hearing. You have the opportunity to request different panel members if you feel there is a conflict of interest or you are uncomfortable with anybody that might be in the room.

Important numbers/contact information


Robb Flowers, Vice President for Student Affairs, (315) 781-3900

Campus Safety, (315) 781-3000
Campus Safety officers are here to help! Officers can make contact with the Title IX Coordinator, on-call staff, Geneva Police, or medical personnel.

Residential Education Staff, Area Coordinators or RAs, (315) 781-3880 or contact Campus Safety at (315) 781-3000

Hobart Deans, (315) 781-3300

William Smith Deans, (315) 781-3467


Counseling Center for Student Wellness, (315) 781 3388
Mon. - Fri.: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Maria Saavedra-Finger, Sexual Assault Response Psychologist
24 hour on-call counselor available through contacting Campus Safety

Hubbs Health Center, (315) 781 - 3600
Mon. - Fri.: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm, Sun.: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Lesley Adams, Chaplain, (315) 781-3671


Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, (315) 781-1093, (800) 247-7273

F.F. Thompson Hospital Specialized Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, (585) 396-6000

Geneva Police Department Emergencies: 911, Non-emergency: (315) 789-1111

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.