Student Handbook - Sexual Misconduct

When to Use this Policy

Complaints Against Students 

This policy applies only in those instances when a student has been subject to sexual misconduct, relationship violence or sexual harassment by another student. This policy also applies where a prospective student or other visitor to the campus (e.g., a guest of another student, an alumnus or alumna, or a member of a visiting team) complains of a Union College student’s behavior. If a student is a victim of sexual misconduct, relationship violence or sexual harassment by someone other than another student, then this policy does not apply, and the student should do the following:

Complaints Against Faculty or Staff

 If a student wishes to bring forward a complaint of sexual misconduct, relationship violence or sexual harassment against a faculty or staff member, the student should contact the Title IX Officer at 518-388-8327. 

Complaints Against Visitors or Non-Community Members

If a student wishes to bring forward a complaint of sexual misconduct, relationship violence or sexual harassment against a visitor or non-community member (e.g., an alumnus or alumna, a prospective student, a guest of a student, a member of another college’s team, a local resident) the complaint should be made to Campus Safety at x911 (518-388-6911). Visitors accused of sexual misconduct, relationship violence or sexual harassment are not entitled to a hearing of any kind. Campus Safety will investigate complaints against visitors and the College will determine the appropriate action to be taken. (For more information see “Rules of Public Order” approved by Board of Trustees of Union College and found in the Student Handbook.

On Campus and Off-Campus Behavior 

This policy applies to conduct that occurs on any part of Union’s campus or property. It also applies when students travel off-campus as part of a College activity, team, organization, or event. Additionally, Union College has the discretion to discipline student behavior that occurs off-campus, in the City, and/or during a time when the College is not in session. In making these determination, the Dean of Students considers whether the behavior impacts the campus environment (as would be the case, for example, if one student sexually assaults another student in an off-campus apartment or overseas during a semester abroad, or if a student sends another student lewd and threatening sexual emails while at home during the semester break). In understanding this aspect of Union’s expectations for student behavior, it may be helpful to think of student status as “portable” and therefore operative even when students are not on Union’s campus or property. 

Timeframe for Making a Complaint

While there is no time limit for bringing forward a complaint, the passage of time may make an incident difficult or even impossible to investigate fairly or fully and to adjudicate. Therefore, students are encouraged to make a complaint as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. Although not an ideal situation given the passage of time, a former student may make a complaint against a current student. However, the reverse is not true: the complaint of a current student against a former student is not subject to adjudication pursuant to this policy. Nevertheless, Union officials will help the complaining student to report the allegations to the appropriate off-campus authorities. 

Amnesty for Drug or Alcohol Possession and Consumption Violations

The College strongly encourages students to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students.  Therefore, students who report information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct involving students will not be disciplined by the College for any violation of the College’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they might have engaged in connection with the reported incident.