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Title IX Disciplinary Action
Where there is probable cause to believe the College’s regulations prohibiting sexual misconduct have been violated, the College will pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels. This discipline includes the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the College.
An individual charged with sexual misconduct will be subject to college disciplinary procedures, whether or not prosecution under New York State Criminal Statutes is pending.
The College will make every effort to be responsive and sensitive to the victims of these serious crimes. Protection of the victim and prevention of continued trauma is the College’s priority. When the victim and the accused live in the same residence hall, an immediate hearing with the College Judicial Officer will be held to determine the need for modifying the living arrangements. Assistance for any other personal or academic concerns will be reviewed and options provided.
During the disciplinary process, the victim’s rights are:
- To provide a written statement with personally-identifiable information redacted in lieu of appearing before the Hearing Board as a witness or be permitted to give testimony from a remote location.
- To have a person or persons of the victim’s choice accompany the victim throughout the disciplinary hearing.
- To remain present during the entire proceeding.
- As established in State criminal codes, to be assured that his/her irrelevant past sexual history will not be discussed during the hearing.
- To make a “victim impact statement” and to suggest an appropriate penalty if the accused is found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
- To be informed immediately of the outcome of the hearing.
- During the disciplinary process, the rights of the “accused” are as described under Section 15.6, Article VI: Adjudication and/or Section 15.9, Article IX: Procedures for Judicial Hearings.
- To have access to all statements and documents provided to the accused in a judicial hearing.
- To have the right to an appeal.
If the case goes before a campus Judicial Board, refer to the Student Handbook, Section 15.9, Article IX: Procedures for Judicial Hearing for more information.
In Title IX judicial hearings:
- The burden of proof in cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence is “preponderance of the evidence.” This test asks whether it is “more likely than not” that the sexual harassment or sexual violence occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the accused must be found responsible.
- Any rights or processes offered to an accused must also be offered to a complainant. For example, the right to appeal, right to representation or an advisor, and a right to call witnesses must all be offered equally, if at all.
- The complainant has the right to request alternative arrangements where the complainant does not want to be in the same room as the accused during the hearing. These alternative arrangements must be consistent with the rights of the accused. Accordingly, alternative arrangements must enable both parties and the Judicial Board to hear each other.
- The accused and complainant, in cases involving sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, may not directly question or cross-examine each other. Instead, both will be given the opportunity to present written questions to the Judicial Board Chair, who will be responsible for asking the questions. Further, the Chair reserves the right to rephrase or disseminate questions of a hostile of inflammatory nature.
- Retaliation against a person who files a Title IX complaint, serves as a witness, or assists, or participates in any manner is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary sanctions. Participants who experience retaliation should contact Stacey Basford, Title IX Coordinator/Affirmative Action Officer, French Hall 225B, (315) 386-7048, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Student complainants in sexual violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome, essential findings, and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, in a way consistent with federal and state law. The complainant and accused shall be notified concurrently in writing within five business days of the hearing.
- The right to appeal on particular grounds (i.e. the finding is not supported by the evidence, the sanction is substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation, due process was violated, new evidence is available), if offered to either party, must be equally accessible to the complainant and the accused.
- After receiving notice of the Judicial Board’s decision, either party can request an appeal within four business days for the following reasons: (1) A procedural defect in the process had a significant effect on the outcome; and/or (2) the discovery of new information which was unknown or unavailable at the time of the hearing and would have a significant effect on the outcome. The non-requesting party will receive notice of the appeal and may submit either his/her own appeal or a written response to the requesting party’s appeal within four business days, which the appeals officer will consider. Appeals should be directed to the appropriate vice president of the College (or his/her designee) as identified by the Title IX Coordinator. The decision of the appeals officer is final within the campus judicial system.