Sexual Misconduct Policy - Introduction

Institutional Values and Community Expectations

It is the policy of Union College, in keeping with efforts to establish an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional community are respected, to view sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking of students as unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated. This policy includes all forms of sexual discrimination including sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking by employees, students, or third parties.

Recognizing its responsibility to uphold the tenets inherent in this policy, the College thus establishes the following procedures and guidelines designed to educate and inform students relative to: (1) the rights of the complainant and the respondent; (2) the definition of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking; and (3) procedures for filing and resolving related complaints.

Union College encourages the prompt reporting of any incident of sexual misconduct to the College and to local law enforcement (for reporting options, including confidential resources see sections V below “Resources” and VI below “Reporting”). Upon receipt of a report, the College will take prompt and effective action by: providing interim remedies and support for individuals who make a report or seek assistance under this policy (referred to as the “complainant”); conducting a review of the conduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; addressing the safety of individuals and the campus community; and, as warranted, pursuing resolution through informal measures or formal disciplinary action against the accused individual (referred to in this policy as the “respondent”). The policy provides specific procedures for investigation and resolution based on the role of respondent (student, staff or faculty).

All Union College community members are strongly encouraged to report information regarding any incident of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking directly to the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Team. The College cannot take appropriate action unless an incident of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking is reported to a “Responsible Employee” of the College (see definition below of a Responsible Employee in Section III.C below).

The Title IX Team includes: the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct, the Director of Campus Safety, and a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Retaliation against any person or group who makes a complaint, cooperates with an investigation, or participates in a grievance procedure is a violation of College policy. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation, which may result in disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of discrimination and/or harassment.

Union College encourages all members of our community to participate in the process of creating a safe, welcoming and respectful environment on campus. In particular, the College expects that all its community members will take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention when safe to do so, enlisting the assistance of friends, contacting Campus Safety, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who chose to exercise this positive moral obligation will be supported by the College and protected from retaliation.

The College provides a number of rights to complainants in accusations of misconduct and to those accused of sexual misconduct including, but not limited to a Bill of Rights for both the complainant and the respondent.