Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Prohibition Policy
SUNY Jefferson
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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 assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, or gender based violence and/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, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, or gender based violence and/or discrimination, and ensures timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct and harassment complaints in accordance with the Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Response Procedures. It is the intention of the College to take appropriate action to end the misconduct, prevent its reoccurrence and address its effect. 


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 assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, or gender based violence and/or 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, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and gender based violence and/or discrimination 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. 


In accordance with the Students’ Bill of Rights, the College has developed Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Response Procedures published in the College Catalog and on the website in accordance with federal and state laws.


Student conduct issues will be resolved under the procedures described in the JCC Student Code of Conduct and referenced in the Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Response Procedures handbook.  College employee issues will be resolved under the procedures outlined in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or management/confidential employment policy.


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. 

Retaliation is unlawful and will not be tolerated.  Jefferson Community College will protect students from retaliation by the College, any student, the accused and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family, acquaintances within Jefferson Community College’s jurisdiction.  Any individual found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment and/or dismissal from Jefferson Community College.

An employee or student who feels as though someone has subjected him or her to retaliation as a result of a report or participation into the investigation of a report should contact one of the Title IX Coordinators or other senior officer immediately.


Complaints of sexual misconduct including but not limited to sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and other forms of gender based violence and/or 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.


In accordance with New York State Education Law section 129-b, the College offers to employees and new students, student leaders and officers of registered/recognized student organization, and student athletes, prior to participation in intercollegiate athletics, 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 Violence and/or Discrimination-Based Harassment:

Sexual harassment also includes gender based violence and/or discrimination-based harassment including harassment based upon an individual’s perceived or actual gender based violence and/or discrimination 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 based violence and/or discrimination, sexual orientation or gender based violence and/or discrimination 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.

Relationship Violence:

Relationship violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors that serve to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and/or emotional in nature. Intimate partner abuse can occur in relationships of the same or different gender based violence and/or discriminations; between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, or been married. Relationship violence includes both domestic violence and dating violence. Sanctions range from warning through expulsion/termination.

Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or New York family violence laws, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under New York domestic or family violence laws.

Dating Violence:

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.


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.

Affirmative 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 based violence and/or discrimination identity, or gender based violence and/or discrimination 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 Rights, 32 Old Slip 26th Floor, New York, NY 10005-2500; Tel. (646) 428-3800; Email

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

Revised June 2017 (Res. #142-17)