Sexual Violence Policy | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Sexual Violence Policy

Board of Trustees Policy No. 3015:
Sexual Violence Response Policy (approved 5.18.15)

  Mohawk Valley Community College does not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or any form of sexual violence.  The College is committed to providing options, support and assistance to victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking to ensure that they can continue to participate in MVCC-wide and campus programs, activities, and employment.


  In accordance with the Students’ Bill of Rights, reporting individuals shall have the right to pursue more than one of the options below at the same time, or to choose not to participate in any of the options below:

I - Reporting:

    • To disclose confidentially the incident to one of the following college officials,
       who by law may maintain confidentiality, and can assist in obtaining services:
        o Counseling Office, Utica Campus,
           Student Services Center, (315) 792-5326
        o Counseling Office, Rome Campus,
           Plumley Complex A30, (315) 334-7709
    • To disclose confidentially the incident and obtain services from the New York
       State, New York City or county hotlines:
       www.opdv.ny.gov/help/dvhotlines.html. Additional disclosure and assistance
       options are catalogued by the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
       and presented in several languages: http://www.opdv.ny.gov/help/index.html
       (or by calling 1-800-942-6906), and assistance can also be obtained through:
    • For local assistance contact the YWCA Mohawk Valley Domestic and Sexual
       Violence 24 Hour Hotline (315) 797-7740.
    • Legal Momentum: https://www.legalmomentum.org/;
    • NYSCASA: http://nyscasa.org/
    • NYSCADV: http://www.nyscadv.org/;
    • Pandora’s Project: http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html;
    • GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project: http://www.glbtqdvp.org/; and
    • RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/get-help.
    • Safe Horizons: http://www.safehorizon.org/.

  NOTE: These hotlines are for crisis intervention, resources, and referrals, and are not reporting mechanisms, meaning that disclosure on a call to a hotline does not provide any information to the campus. Reporting individuals are encouraged to additionally contact a campus confidential or private resource so that the campus can take appropriate action in these cases).

Privacy versus Confidentiality:

  College offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary to investigate and/or seek a resolution and to notify a Title IX Coordinator or designee, who is responsible under the law for tracking patterns and spotting systemic issues. The College will limit the disclosure as much as possible, even if the Title IX Coordinator determines that the request for confidentiality cannot be honored.

  To disclose the incident to one of the following college officials who can offer privacy and can provide information about remedies, accommodations, evidence preservation, and how to obtain resources. Those officials will also provide the information contained in the Students’ Bill of Rights, including the right to choose when and where to report, to be protected by the institution from retaliation, and to receive assistance and resources from the institution.  These college officials will disclose that they are private and not confidential resources, and they may still be required by law and college policy to inform one or more college officials about the incident, including but not limited to the Title IX Coordinators. They will notify reporting individuals that the criminal just process uses different standards of proof and evidence than internal procedures, and questions about the penal law or the criminal process should be directed to law enforcement or district attorney:

    • An employee with the authority to address complaints, including the
       Title IX Coordinators:
    • Executive Director of Human Resources,
       Academic Building Room 113, (315) 792-5636
    • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students,
       Payne Hall, Room 347, (315) 792-5324
    • Public Safety:
        • Department of Public Safety
            • Utica Campus, Room 109, (315) 792-5566 or by dialing '5777'
               from any on campus emergency red phone
            • Rome Campus, Room 119, 315-334-3559
  To file a criminal complaint with MVCC’s Department of Public Safety and/or with local law enforcement and/or state police:
    • Department of Public Safety
        • Utica Campus, Room 109, (315) 792-5566 or by dialing '5777'
           from any on campus emergency red phone
        • Rome Campus, Room 119, 315-334-3559
    • Local law enforcement; and/or
        • Utica Police Department, 413 Oriskany St W, Utica, NY  (315) 735-3301
        • Rome Police Department, 301 N James St #1, Rome, NY (315) 339-7780
        • State Police 24-hour hotline to report sexual assault on a
          NY college campus: 1-844-845-7269.
  To receive assistance by in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court:
    • Family Court or Civil Court
        • Utica – 411 Oriskany Street, Utica, NY (315) 266-4600
        • Rome - 100 West Court Street, Rome, NY (315)337-6440

  To file a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, and/or talk to a Title IX Coordinators for information and assistance. Reports will be investigated in accordance with College policy and the reporting individual’s identity shall remain private at all times if said reporting individual wishes to maintain privacy.

    • Executive Director of Human Resources,
       Academic Building Room 113, (315) 792-5636
    • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students,
       Payne Hall, Room 347, (315) 792-5324

  • When the accused is an employee, a reporting individual may also report the incident to a Title IX Coordinator.  Disciplinary proceedings, as required after an investigation, will be conducted in accordance with Human Resources and the applicable collective bargaining agreements.
  • When the accused is an employee of an affiliated entity or vendor of the college, college officials will, at the request of the reporting individual, assist in reporting to the appropriate office of the vendor or affiliated entity and, if the response of the vendor or affiliated entity is not sufficient, assist in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and college policy.
  • You may withdraw your complaint or involvement from the College’s process at any time.
  • College representatives shall provide reporting individual with the following: “You have the right to make a report to the Department of Public Safety, local law enforcement, and/or State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to your institution; to be protected by the institution from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your institution.”

II - Other Resources:

    • To obtain effective intervention services.
        o Counseling
            • Counseling Office,
               Utica Campus, Student Services Center, (315) 792-5326
            • Counseling Office,
               Rome Campus, Plumley Complex A30, (315) 334-7709
        o Student Health Center:
            • Utica Campus,
               Alumni College Center, Room 104, (315) 792-5452
            • Rome Campus,
               Student Services, Plumley Building, Room A30, (315) 334-7709
  Sexual contact can transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and may result in pregnancy. Testing for STIs and emergency contraception is available.

  Within 96 hours of an assault, you can get a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (commonly referred to as a rape kit) at a hospital. While there should be no charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off campus and, in some cases, insurance may be billed for services. You are encouraged to let hospital personnel know if you do not want your insurance policyholder to be notified about your access to these services. The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating reporters for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information may be found here:  http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/crimevictims.html, or by calling 1-800-247-8035. Options are explained here: https://ovs.ny.gov/help-crime-victims.

  To best preserve evidence, reporters should avoid showering, washing, changing clothes, combing hair, drinking, eating, or doing anything to alter physical appearance until after a physical exam has been completed.

III - Protection and Accommodations:

  • When the accused is a student, to have the college issue a “No Contact Order,” consistent with college policy and procedure, meaning that continuing to contact the protected individual is a violation of college policy subject to additional conduct charges; if the accused and a protected person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person. Both the accused/respondent and reporting individual may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of a No Contact Order, consistent with College policy. Parties may submit evidence in support of their request.
  • The campus will promptly review existing no contact orders at a party’s request, including requests to modify the terms of or discontinue the order. The parties can submit evidence to support their requests. If the campus finds it appropriate, it can even make a schedule for parties who seek to use the same facilities without running afoul of the no contact order.
  • To have assistance from the Department of Public Safety or other College officials in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court, including but not limited to obtaining an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order.
  • To receive a copy of the Order of Protection or equivalent and have an opportunity to meet or speak with a college official who can explain the order and answer questions about it,  including information from the Order about the accused’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person(s); that burden does not rest on the protected person(s).
  • To an explanation of the consequences for violating these orders, including but not limited to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension.
  • To have assistance from the Department of Public Safety in effecting an arrest when an individual violates an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order within the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Safety or, if outside of the jurisdiction or the Department of Public Safety does not have arresting powers to call on and assist local law enforcement in effecting an arrest for violating such an order.
  • When the accused is a student and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to have the accused subject to interim suspension pending the outcome of a conduct process. Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of an interim suspension.
  • The campus will promptly review existing interim suspensions at a party’s request, including requests to modify the terms or discontinue it. Parties can submit evidence to support their request.
  • When the accused is not a student but is a member of the college community and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to subject the accused to interim measures in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, employee handbooks, and College policies and rules.
  • When the accused is not a member of the college community, to have assistance from the Department of Public Safety or other college officials in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and College policy.
  • To obtain reasonable and available interim measures and accommodations that effect a change in academic, housing, employment, transportation, or other applicable arrangements in order to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, and avoid an ongoing hostile environment. Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of any interim measures and accommodations that directly affect them. While reporting individuals may request accommodations through any of the offices referenced in this policy, a Title IX Coordinator can serve as a point to assist with these measures:

    • Executive Director of Human Resources,
       Academic Building Room 113, (315) 792-5636
    • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students,
       Payne Hall, Room 347, (315) 792-5324

  The campus will promptly review existing interim measures and accommodations at the request of the party who is affected by that interim measure or accommodation. The parties can submit evidence to support their request.

IV- Student Conduct Process:

  • To request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused. Conduct proceedings are governed by the procedures set forth in the College’s Title IX/VAWA Conduct Process as well as federal and New York State law, including the due process provisions of the United States and New York State Constitutions.
  • Throughout conduct proceedings, the respondent and the reporting individual will have:
  • The same opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice who may assist and advise the parties throughout the conduct process and any related hearings or meetings. Participation of the advisor in any proceeding is governed by federal law and the Title IX/VAWA Conduct Process;
  • The right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have their complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the respondent, including the right to a presumption that the respondent is “not responsible” until a finding of responsibility is made, and other issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
  • The right to an investigation and process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard) and is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest.
  • The right to receive advance written or electronic notice of the date, time, and location of any meeting or hearing they are required to or are eligible to attend. Accused individuals will also be told the factual allegations concerning the violation, a reference to the specific code of conduct provisions alleged to have been violated, and possible sanctions.
  • The right to have a conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than ten (10) days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
  • The right to offer evidence during an investigation and to review available relevant evidence in the case file (or otherwise held by the College).
  • The right to present evidence and testimony at a hearing, where appropriate.
  • In student disciplinary proceedings involving domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual violence, the campus will allow parties to review available evidence held by the campus in accordance with College policy. Parties can also present available evidence as appropriate under campus policies.
  • The right to a range of options for providing testimony via alternative arrangements, including telephone/videoconferencing or testifying with a room partition.
  • The right to exclude prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the conduct process or their own mental health diagnosis or treatment from admittance in college disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction.
  • The right to ask questions of the decision maker and via the decision maker indirectly request responses from other parties and any other witnesses present.
  • The right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the decision maker is deliberating on appropriate sanctions.
  • The right to simultaneous (among the parties) written or electronic notification of the outcome of a conduct proceeding, including the decision, any sanctions, and the rationale for the decision and any sanctions.
  • The right to written or electronic notice about the sanction(s) that may be imposed on the accused based upon the outcome of the conduct proceeding. For students found responsible for sexual assault,  the available sanctions are suspension with additional requirements and expulsion/dismissal.
  • Access to one level of appeal of a determination before a panel, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest.
  • The right to have access to a full and fair record  of a student conduct hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained for at least five years.
  • The right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct hearing.
  • The right to have all information obtained during the course of the conduct or judicial process be protected from public release until the appeals panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law.
  • Campuses must make a notation on the transcripts of students found responsible for crimes of violence. This is in line with the 2004 memo from Chancellor King saying the same thing. The notations are for suspension, expulsion, or withdrawal with charges pending.

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