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Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Prohibition Policy

Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors, and guests) may not be subjected to sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against.  The College is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of sexual misconduct including sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination, and ensures timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints. It is the intention of the College to take appropriate action to end the misconduct, prevent its reoccurrence and address its effect. 

Responsibility to Report

All members of the College Community are required to report, at the time they become aware of, concerns expressed to them by an alleged victim of sexual harassment / gender discrimination, whether direct or third party, to the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator.


Certain college employees, such as the Affirmative Action Officer, Title IX Coordinator, managers, supervisors, and other designated employees have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, sexual violence and/or harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. An individual’s request regarding the confidentiality of reports of sexual misconduct will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the College’s legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from violence and harassment and the due process rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although the College will comply with requests for confidentiality to the extent possible.

Sexual Violence Response Procedures

In accordance with the Students’ Bill of Rights, the College has developed sexual violence response procedures published in the College Catalog and on the website in accordance with federal and state laws.

Informal Complaint Resolution Procedure

If an employee or student feels that he/she has been a victim of any form of sexual misconduct / sexual harassment / gender discrimination, the incident(s) may be addressed informally with the alleged harasser, the Affirmative Action Officer, or Title IX Coordinator. These discussions will be handled in a professional and confidential manner. If appropriate, an attempt will be made to resolve the problem through informal procedures.  Mediation will not be permitted for allegations of sexual assault.  

Formal Grievance Procedure

If a complaint is filed with the Affirmative Action Officer or Title IX Coordinator and an informal inquiry indicates that a charge is unlikely to be resolved informally, or an attempt at informal resolution is unsuccessful, then the College may institute more formal procedures.


Threats or other forms of intimidation and retaliation against a complainant or any other party reporting or acting pursuant to this policy are violations of this policy, and constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

False Statement

Complaints of sexual misconduct including but not limited to sexual violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination cannot always be substantiated. Lack of corroborating evidence should not discourage complainants from seeking relief through the procedures outlined above. However, charges found to have been intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for truth will subject complainants to disciplinary action.

Prevention Through Education and Information

The College offers to new students and employees educational programs to promote the awareness of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, which shall include primary prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and new employees, as well as ongoing prevention and awareness programs for students and employees. 

Specifically, these education and informational programs include, but are not be limited to, the following subjects:

  1. the definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in its jurisdiction;
  2. a statement that the institution prohibits these offenses;
  3. the applicable state laws, ordinances, and regulations regarding sex offenses;
  4. the penalties under state law for commission of sex offenses as well as on-campus disciplinary sanctions for the same;
  5. the procedures in effect at the College for dealing with sex offenses;
  6. the definition of consent in reference to sexual activity;
  7. information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior;
  8. strategies intended to stop domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking before it occurs through the changing of social norms and other approaches;
  9. safe and positive options for bystander intervention;

   10. the availability of counseling and other support services for the victims of sex offenses on campus and off-campus;

   11. the nature of and common circumstances relating to sex offenses on campuses; and

   12. the methods the College employs to advise and to update the campus about security procedures;

   13. the role of the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Security and other offices that address sex offenses.

The College has developed a Student Onboarding and Ongoing Education Guide for student training.


Sexual Assault:  Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Sexual assault may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate and/or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals not known to one another.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, sexual activities such as: forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, fondling, oral sexual contact, attempted rape, and/or a sexual act where the individual is incapacitated.

Sexual Harassment:  Sexually harassing behavior includes unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, which is sexually offensive. Sexually offensive conduct may include sexual flirtations or touching, verbal abuse of a suggestive nature, graphic  or suggestive comments about  an individual’s dress or body, use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual, the display in the work place of sexually suggestive objects or pictures. According to current federal, state and SUNY guidelines, sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1.  Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or of a student’s evaluation;

2.  Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or student evaluations affecting such individual; or

3.  Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s (employee or student) performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexually-based harassment can include interactions in person, by phone, electronic messages and photos, written words or images such as graffiti and social media postings.

A single isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a pattern of incidents for a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. 

Sexual harassment will be distinguished from behavior which, even though unpleasant or disconcerting, is appropriate to the carrying out of instructional, advisory, or supervisory responsibilities. Instructional responsibilities, in particular, require appropriate latitude for pedagogical decisions concerning the topics discussed and methods used to draw students into discussion and full participation.

Sexual Exploitation:  When an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, for his/her own benefit; or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited; and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Gender-Based Harassment:  Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment including harassment based upon an individual’s perceived or actual gender identity or sexual orientation, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

College personnel shall not on the basis of a person’s gender, sexual orientation or gender identity:

1. Treat one person differently from another in determining whether such person satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of such aid, benefit, or service;

2.  Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner;

3.  Subject any person to separate or different rules or behavior, sanctions, or other treatment;

4.  Otherwise limit any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.

Stalking:  Stalking is the unwanted pursuit of another person. It includes repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person, whether that person is a total stranger, slight acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else.

Consent:  Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by 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.

Seeking and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any other sexual act.

Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness, being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or otherwise unable to consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.

Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. Persons under the age of 17 cannot consent. When consent is withdrawn or cannot be given, sexual activity must stop.


Questions regarding the application of this policy may be directed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator and/or Affirmative Action Officer. Inquiries may also be directed to the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights1, _______.

The Board of Trustees directs the President to develop such procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.


1The current address, telephone number and email for the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer, and the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights should be provided as part of policy distribution.

United States  Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, 32 Old Slip 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005-2500; Tel. (646) 428-3900; Email


Revised June 2017 (Res. #142-17)