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Discrimination and Harassment

SUNY Canton does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs.

20.1 Grievance Procedure

Any student who believes they have been discriminated against on the basis of the factors noted above may file a complaint with the College’s Affirmative Action Officer within 90 calendar days following the alleged discriminatory act, or 90 days after a final grade is received, if that date is later. References, information and advice, as well as forms for filing a grievance are available from the Affirmative Action Officer.

The College encourages swift and appropriate resolution of any discrimination complaint. Discrimination complaints are filed under the SUNY Complaint Procedure for the Review of Allegations of Illegal Discrimination. Once a complaint has been filed, the College’s Affirmative Action Officer conducts an initial review and attempts to resolve the complaint. If satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the grievant may seek further review by an ad hoc tripartite committee. Following its review, the committee will submit its opinion to the President for action. If not satisfied with the President’s response, the grievant may wish to file a complaint with the appropriate State or Federal agency. The grievant may opt for external agency review at any time. Information about external complaint procedures is available from the Affirmative Action Officer.

20.2 Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is considered an unlawful employment practice under Section
703, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bans discrimination on the basis of sex. These regulations protect all employees of both genders, as well as students. SUNY policy extends this protection to any students, applicants or other non-employees subjected to such treatment by its faculty or staff. Sexual harassment is defined as: “Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo) the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation... when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment”.

Such activities will not be condoned or tolerated by the College. Supervisors and managers at all organizational levels have been directed to take strong corrective action to end any questionable activities which come to their attention.

If you feel that you have been sexually harassed, you may file a complaint under the SUNY Discrimination Complaint Procedure. If you decide to file a complaint, there is legal protection against retaliation. Information and assistance in filing a complaint is available from the Affirmative Action Office.

20.3 Hate Crimes and the Law

It is a State University of New York at Canton University Police commitment to protect all members of the SUNY Canton community by preventing and prosecuting bias or hate crimes that occur within the campus’s jurisdiction.

Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias or attitude against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics, such as their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Hate/bias crimes have received renewed attention in recent years, particularly since the passage of the Federal Hate/ Bias Crime Reporting Act of 1990 and the New York State Hate Crimes Act of 2000 (Penal Law Article 485). Copies of the New York law are available from the University Police Department.

Penalties for bias-related crimes are very serious and range from fines to imprisonment for lengthy periods, depending on the nature of the underlying criminal offense, the use of violence or previous convictions of the offender. Perpetrators who are students will also be subject to campus disciplinary procedures where sanctions including dismissal are possible.

In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, State University of New York at Canton University Police also assist in addressing bias-related activities that do not rise to the level of a crime. These activities, referred to as bias incidents and defined by the University as acts of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation directed at a member or group with the Canton community based on national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, or marital status, may be addressed through the State University’s discrimination complaint procedure or the campus conduct code. Bias incidents can be reported to University Police as well as to any college official.

If you are a victim of, or witness to, a bias crime on campus, report it to University Police by calling (315)386-7777 in an emergency, by using an Emergency Blue Light, or stopping at the University Police office. University Police will investigate and follow the appropriate adjudication procedures.

Victims of bias crime or bias incidents can avail themselves of counseling and support services from the campus by contacting the Counseling Center at (315)386-7314 or Office of Diversity at (315)386-7128.

For general information on the State University of New York at Canton security procedures, see our website, handbook, Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act, or call University Police at (315)386-7777.

More information about bias-related and bias crimes, including up-to-date statistics on bias crimes is available from University Police at (315)386-7777.

20.4 Sexual Assault

The State University of New York at Canton has programs in place to protect all members of the SUNY Canton community from sexual assault, including programs for prevention and prosecution of these crimes that occur within the jurisdiction of SUNY Canton University Police. Additional information may be found in SUNY Canton’s Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act Annual Report/ Sexual Assault Prevention which may be found on the college’s homepage at www. canton.edu and in Section 20.7 - Title IX Rights.

If you are sexually or otherwise assaulted on campus:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as you can.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence; do not bathe, douche, or change your clothes.
  • Contact SUNY Canton University Police immediately (call 315-386-7777 in an emergency, or use a Blue Light emergency phone).

Remember, assaults–sexual or otherwise– are crimes; they are not the victim’s fault. Victims have the right to pursue adjudication of crimes that occur on the SUNY Canton campus through criminal courts and/or through the University’s internal disciplinary process (under the Campus Code of Conduct). SUNY Canton’s University Police are trained to assist with prosecution in both systems.

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 (especially those covered under Title IX).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Information and Support – If you are the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you may seek support services as well as the assistance described above from the Counseling Center, Campus Center 225; Davis Health Center, Campus Center 004; and University Police, Wicks Hall 027.

20.5 Workplace Violence

The State University of New York at Canton is committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning and social environment for all employees including student employees, which is free from violence.

The State University of New York at Canton has zero tolerance for violence against any member of the workforce, other persons in the workplace, or property. Any person who makes a substantial threat, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on university property shall be subject to removal from the premises as quickly as safety permits, pending the outcome of an investigation. All individuals who apply for or obtain a protective or restraining order which lists university locations as being protected areas must provide the University Police Department with a copy of the petition and declarations used to seek the order, a copy of any temporary protective or restraining order which is granted, and a copy of any protective or restraining order which is made permanent.

Violence and threats of violence include but are not limited to:

  • any act that is physically assaultive, or
  • any physical or verbal threat, behavior, or action which is interpreted by a reasonable person to carry the potential;
  • to harm or endanger the safety of others; to result in an act of aggression; or to destroy or damage property.

Established personnel and public safety procedures will serve as the mechanism for resolving situations of violence or threats of violence. Each allegation of violence or threat of violence will be taken seriously. Individuals are encouraged to report to their supervisor or University Police Department any act of violence, threats of violence, or any other behavior, which by intent, act or outcome harms another person or property.

For more detailed information and procedures outlining response to threats or violence should they occur in the workplace please refer to the SUNY Canton Policies and Procedures Manual at http://www. canton.edu/policies.

20.6 Domestic Violence

Domestic violence permeates the lives and compromises the safety of thousands of individuals each day. Domestic violence occurs within a wide spectrum of relationships, including married and formerly married couples; couples with children in common; couples who live together or have lived together, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples; and couples who are dating or who have dated in the past.

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive tactics which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, family member, or household as defined in the Family Court Act, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.

What to Look For

This information is intended to help you determine if you are a victim of domestic violence and/or dating violence and to consider ways to make yourself and your family safe.

  • Are you in danger of your partner or ex-partner doing any of the following?
  • Physically hurting you for example pushing, grabbing, slapping, hitting, choking or kicking?
  • Forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to or do sexual things you don’t want to do?
  • Threatening to hurt you, your children or someone close to you?
  • Constantly putting you down or telling you that you are worthless?
  • Stalking, checking up on you or following you?
  • Making you afraid?

Possible Indicators

Victims of Domestic Violence may seek assistance for a wide variety of problems other than violence itself. Possible indicators of domestic violence include:

  • Visible Physical Injuries
  • Stress-Related Illnesses
  • Marital or Family Problems
  • Alcohol or Other Addictions
  • Depression, Suicidal Thoughts or Attempts
  • Absenteeism, Lateness, and Leaving Work Early
  • Changes in Job Performance
  • Unusual or Excessive Number of Phone Calls
  • Disruptive Personal Visits

Domestic Violence Safety Plan

The Domestic Violence Safety Plan will be implemented to assist in mitigating domestic violence, provide assistance to victims and employees and provide reporting instructions.

  • All incidents or threats of domestic violence should be reported immediately to University Police at 315-386-7777.
  • Any person (faculty, staff or student) with an existing Order of Protection should provide University Police Department with a copy.
  • Upon request, the Chief of University Police or designee, will assist in developing a personal domestic violence safety plan which may include:
    • Procedures for alerting University Police personnel
    • Temporary or permanent relocation, on campus
    • Voluntary transfer to another campus location
    • Change of schedule, if appropriate
    • Assignment of parking space
    • Escort services
    • Change of telephone number and/ or email account

Stalking behavior is often seen in domestic violence. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories.

The definition of stalking may vary by jurisdiction but it generally refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior directed at a person to cause fear. Often it is used to gain power and control.

SUNY Canton, to the fullest extent possible will take all appropriate actions to promote safety on campus and respond effectively to the needs of victims of domestic violence and/or stalking.

The college is continually updating its education programs to promote the awareness of domestic violence, rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses.

Students should also be aware of resources on campus that can assist in cases of Domestic Violence. The Counseling Center, Health Center and University Police have staff available to assist victims of domestic violence.

For more information on domestic violence and stalking contact any of the following: On our webpage:

Or the following offices: (All 315 area code)

  • University Police 386-7777, Wicks Hall 027, 24hours/7day a week
  • Personal Counseling Center 386-7314, Miller Campus Center 225
  • Davis Health Center 386-7333, Miller Campus Center 004

Off Campus Resources:

  • Renewal House 379-9845
  • Reachout - 24/7 Crisis Hotline 265-2422

20.7 Title IX Rights

Any complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment should be directed to: Title IX Coordinator, located in the Office of Human Resources, French Hall 205, (315) 386-7013 or title9@canton.edu. Additional Title IX contacts include: Dean of Students, Miller Campus Center 229, phone (315)386-7120, title9@canton.edu or Chief of University Police, Dana Hall 210, phone (315) 386-7777 or title9@canton.edu.

The Title IX grievance procedure and complaint form can be found on the SUNY Canton website at: http://www.canton.edu/ forms/TitleiX_Emergency.pdf. A written complaint form should be completed by the complainant in a case of sexual assault and/or sexual violence to document: (1) the College employee or representative who spoke to or worked with the complainant, as well as the date; (2) which option(s) the complainant would like to pursue, including the criminal justice system, the student judicial system, both, or none; (3) that the complainant received information about resources (medical, counseling, academic) available to her/him.

The College will protect the privacy of all parties to a complaint or other report of sexual harassment and sexual violence to the extent possible. 'When the College receives complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence, it has an obligation to respond in
a way that limits the effects of the sexual harassment and sexual violence and prevents its recurrence. Information will be shared as necessary in the course of an investigation with people who need to know, such as investigators, witnesses, and the accused. If you are unsure of someone's duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. Certain staff are obligated by law to maintain confidentiality, including:

Personal Counseling Center
Miller Campus Center 225
Phone (315)386-7314

Davis Health Center
Miller Campus Center 004
Phone (315)386-7333

University Police
Dana Hall210
Phone (315)386-7777

Reachout 24/7 Crisis Hotline
Phone (315)265-2422

Renewal House
Phone (315)379-9845

Informal resolution procedures, such as mediation, are optional and may be used when the College determines that it is appropriate and the parties are in agreement about using it. Mediation may not be used in cases involving sexual violence.

If the case goes before a campus Judicial Board, refer to the Student Handbook, Sec­ tion 15.9, Article IX: Procedures for Judicial Hearings for more information regarding judicial hearings.

In Title IX judicial hearings:

  1. 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.
  2. Any rights or processes offered to an accused must also be offered to a complain­ ant. For example, the right to an appeal, right to representation or an advisor, and a right to call witnesses, must all be offered equally, if at all.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 or inflammatory nature.
  5. 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 the Title IX Coordinator, at the Office of Human Resources, French Hall 205, (315) 386-7013 or title9@canton.edu.
  6. Student complainants in sexual violence incidents have an absolute right to be in­ formed 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 or 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.