TITLE IX: Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment

By Mary Morton, affirmative action officer, Office of the President

December 16, 2013

Learn about…

  • Your rights and responsibilities
  • What support and resources are available
  • How to report a Title IX concern 

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments provides federal civil rights that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities such as: Admissions or financial aid, courses and other educational activities, educational support services, employment, training, advancement and so more…Title IX states that “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.” 

Title IX on a College Campus

The protection of Title IX extends to sexual harassment, sexual assault or violence that impairs or interferes with access to equitable educational and employment opportunities. Title IX is applicable to all members of the college community, including students, individuals doing business with the college, those utilizing college facilities and those who engage in volunteer activities or work activities in connection with Empire State College. 

Title IX requires the college to implement current policies, coordinate training and resources and ensure effective and timely responses to complaints of sexual violence, misconduct, discrimination or harassment. The Title IX coordinator or another designated deputy works to gather information regarding concerns/complaints and provides resources that might be helpful to the party(ies) concerned and works with appropriate offices to ensure that the complainant, respondents and witnesses are treated equitably and that respectful and timely communication occurs. 

What to Report?

The college is committed to ensuring a community that is safe for all who study, work and visit here. We understand it can be difficult to discuss, but notification to one of the many campus resources is critical to fulfilling our commitment to you. Sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct or violence can take many forms, including any sexual contact that lacks mutual consent. Harassment may take the form of stalking or the distribution, display or discussion of any written, graphic, visual or auditory material that is sexual in nature and has the purpose of threatening, intimidating or interfering with a person or person’s ability to study or work would constitute violations of college policy, and state and federal laws, and should be reported immediately. Retaliation against anyone who reports in good faith or participates in the investigative process is prohibited and may be subject to sanctions as determined by the college. Additional information on the expectations of conduct, prohibited conduct or the Title IX reporting process can be found in the college handbook, or at www.esc.edu/affirmative-actionoffice/title-ix

Raising Awareness and Reducing Risk

Trusting your instincts and applying common sense are important to being and feeling safe. No one has the right to harass, sexually assault, physically or psychologically abuse or stalk you. Here are some strategies to help reduce the risk.

  • You have a right to set and change limits!
  • Say “No.” Say if firmly, without apologizing
  • Understand another’s right to set and change limits (No means no. Do not negotiate the limit …respect the limit)
  • Try to park or walk in well-lighted, well-traveled areas, and avoid short cuts through dark, isolated areas
  • Walk or travel with others when possible
  • Be mindful of, or reduce the consumption of alcohol
  • Always have a safe transportation plan to get home  

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted or are in immediate danger, call the police at 911 immediately, and follow up with the college later. 

Need Help?

For additional information, questions or to report concerns or violations under Title IX, contact: 

Mary Morton, Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator

518-587-2100, ext. 2265 or Mary.Morton@esc.edu

Office of the President, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-4390 

Patricia Myers, Director of Collegewide Student Services/Title IX Deputy

518-587-2100, ext. 2201 or Patricia.Myers@esc.edu

Collegewide Student Services, 1 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-4309 

Thomas Vumbaco, Director of Campus Safety/Title IX Deputy

518-587-2100, ext. 2800 or Thomas.Vumbaco@esc.edu

Office of Safety and Security, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-4390 

Additional information can be found at: www.esc.edu/affirmative-action-office/title-ix

External Services

  • Local Police Department, dial 911
  • NYS Department of Health www.health.ny.gov/prevention/sexual_violence/what_to_do.htm
        • English: 800-942-6906, 800-818-0656 (TTY)
        • Spanish: 800-942-6908, 800-780-7660 (TTY)
  • New York City: 800-621-HOPE (4673) or dial 311, 866-604-5350 (TTY)
  • NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence; NYS Hotline: 800-942-6906

We'd like your opinion on how we can improve the effectiveness of our policies and procedures that address sexual misconduct. To share your suggestions and/or feedback, make an appointment with Mary Morton, affirmative action officer/Title IX coordinator at 518-587-2100, ext. 2265, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, or send via email to mary.morton@esc.edu.

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Special Announcement

Empire State College will be closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, and on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2014. The college will be minimally staffed on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24, on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26 and 27, and on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30 and 31. Please check with your local center to find out if services for students will be available on those days.

Did You Know

Students can chat live with the Center for Distance Learning Office of Academic Support via Blackboard Collaborate. Click here for more information and a schedule of availability.

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Article Contributors

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Hope Ferguson

Mary Morton

AmyRuth Tobol

Aimee Woznick

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