Empire State College is committed to maintaining a safe environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from all exploitation and intimidation. The college will not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault or any other form of nonconsensual sexual activity to include dating violence, domestic violence and/or stalking.
It is essential that students who are sexually assaulted receive support and medical treatment as soon as possible. This document outlines the policies and procedures that will allow members of the college community to be effective at referring victims of assault to medical, psychological and legal resources. The college’s Student Code of Conduct provides additional information for students.
This policy reflects SUNY’s Policies on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response and is in compliance with NYS law, chapter 75 of the laws of 2015.
Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given in 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, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The health and safety of every student at the State University of New York and its state-operated and community colleges is of utmost importance. Empire State College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, at the time that violence, including, but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault, may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Empire State College strongly encourages students to report incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to college officials. A bystander or reporting individual acting in good faith, who discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to Empire State 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 at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
The State University of New York and Empire State College are 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 collegewide and campus programs, activities and employment. All victims/survivors of these crimes and violations, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, 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:
In accordance with the 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:
III. Protection and Accommodations:
IV. Student Conduct Process:
The State University of New York and Empire State College want students to get the information and support they need, regardless of whether they move forward with a report of sexual violence to college officials, or to police. Students are encouraged to talk with someone about something they have observed or experienced, even if they are unsure that the behavior constitutes sexual violence. A conversation where questions can be answered is far superior to keeping something to yourself. Confidentiality varies, and this document is aimed at helping you understand how confidentiality applies to different resources that may be available to you.
Individuals who are confidential resources will not report crimes to law enforcement or college officials without the victims permission, except for extreme circumstances, such as a health and/or safety emergency. At Empire State College, a confidential service includes an off-campus professional counseling service:
Talk One-2-One, at www.studenttalkone2one.com or 800-756-3124. This is a free, confidential, third-party, certified confidential counseling service.
Off-campus options to disclose sexual violence confidentially include*:
Privacy Versus Confidentiality:
Even Empire State College offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution. Empire State College will limit the disclosure as much as possible, even if the Title IX coordinator determines that the request for confidentiality cannot be honored.
Requesting Confidentiality: How Empire State College Will Weigh the Request and Respond
If an incident is disclosed to an Empire State 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 college’s request to initiate an investigation, the Title IX coordinator must weigh the request against their obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of our community, including the reporting individual.
The college will assist in making academic, employment and other reasonable and available accommodations, regardless of the reporting individuals reporting choices. While reporting individuals may request accommodations through various college offices, the following office serves as a primary point of contact to assist with these measures:
Title IX coordinator: 325 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013-1005, Telephone: (646) 230-1293
The college may take proactive steps, such as training or awareness efforts, to combat sexual violence in a general way that does not identify the reporting individual or the situation they disclosed.
The college may seek consent from reporting individual prior to conducting an investigation. The reporting individual 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. Honoring such request may limit the college’s ability to meaningfully investigate and pursue action against an accused individual. If the college determines that an investigation is required, the reporting individual will be notified and immediate action will be taken, as necessary, to provide protection and assistance.
When a reporting individual discloses an incident to someone who is responsible for responding to or reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment, but wish to maintain confidentiality, Empire State College will consider many factors to determine whether to proceed despite that request. These factors include, but are not limited to:
If the college determines that it must move forward with an investigation, the reporting individual will be notified and the college will take immediate action, as necessary, to protect and assist him or her.
Public Awareness/Advocacy Events:
If an individual discloses a situation through a public awareness event, such as “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests through a student organization or other event or forum, or other public event, the college is not obligated to begin an investigation. Empire State College may use the information provided to inform the need for additional education and prevention efforts.
Institutional Crime Reporting
Reports of certain crimes occurring in certain geographic locations will be included anonymously in the college Clery Act Annual Security Report that neither identifies the specifics of the crime or the identity of the reporting individual. Contact information:
Empire State College is obligated to issue timely warnings of Clery Act crimes occurring within relevant geography that represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees (subject to exceptions when potentially compromising law enforcement efforts and when the warning itself could potentially identify the reporting individual or victim/survivor). A reporting individual will never be identified in a timely warning.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allows institutions to share information with parents when (1) there is a health or safety emergency, or (2) when the student is a dependent on either parent’s prior year federal income tax return. Generally, SUNY Empire will not share information about a report of sexual violence with parents without the permission of the reporting individual.
Refer to the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures
SUNY Policies on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response; December 1, 2014
Governor Cuomo Announces SUNY Adopts Comprehensive System-wide Uniform Sexual Assault Policy; December 2, 2014
No Contact Order PolicyStudent Conduct Policy and Procedures