Title IX

FAQs

FAQs for Faculty, Coaches, Administrators

  • What are my obligations?

    In general, most College employees do not have legally protected confidentiality. Under Title IX, a College is required to take immediate and corrective action if a Responsible Employee knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about sexual misconduct, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking.

    A Responsible Employee includes any employee who:

    • Has the authority to take action to redress the harassment;
    • Has the duty to report to appropriate school officials sexual harassment or any other misconduct by students or employees; or
    • A student could reasonably believe has the authority or responsibility to take action.

    Using this lens, employees with supervisory and leadership responsibilities on campus are considered Responsible Employees. This includes, for example, faculty, coaches, administrators, Resident Directors, and Resident Advisers. If you are unsure of your obligation to report, speak with your director, Dean, manager, or supervisor.

    If you become aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct that involves a student member of the Union College community, you must promptly inform the Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Kelley ((518) 388-6865)/kelleym2@union.edu) or the Director of Campus Safety, Chris Hayen ((518) 388-6911), of the situation, share whatever information you have learned, and strive to follow the guidance provided below.

    • Be open about your obligation to share what you have learned with the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Campus Safety. The person you are talking with may be concerned about the loss of confidentiality and/or control. You can offer assurances that College officials are mindful of these concerns and, except in cases of serious threat to the complainant or campus community, they will not take action or share information without the complainant’s knowledge and consent. The information you share will be treated as confidentially as possible.
    • The Title IX Coordinator or the Campus Safety Director may need to consult with other administrators including the Vice President of Student Affairs.
    • The Vice President of Student Affairs may need to take action in the interest of safety, but in planning any response the wishes of the complainant are given full consideration.
  • What if I have questions about an account of sexual misconduct?

    Feel free to call the Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct, or the Director of Counseling Services. Any one of these administrators can answer questions, identify options, and help the discussion go smoothly.

  • General strategies to keep in mind
    • Recognize that the person talking with you is likely in need of support as well as information.
    • Listen attentively and non-judgmentally.
    • Take note of any information shared with you but do not push for details.
    • If you are talking with a potential complainant, do what you can to let that person make decisions about what happens next while being mindful of the requirement to report any alleged incident.
    • Affirm that Union College takes sexual misconduct very seriously and that the College policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports an incident of sexual misconduct.
    • You can describe the available resources and options on this Sexual Assault Resource website and on a helpful brochure found at the right. Resources and options include:
    • Union College's Sexual Assault Support 24-Hour Hotline (518) 388-6600 provides strictly confidential professional counseling and/or medical services.
    • Anyone wishing to file a complaint can go directly to the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Safety, or the Dean of Students Office. All of these persons will coordinate with one another as necessary. People can go to wherever they feel most comfortable.
    • There are internal disciplinary procedures for sexual misconduct, as well as the option for criminal investigation with the Schenectady Police Department or the New York State Police. Criminal and disciplinary options can be pursued simultaneously.
    • There are accommodations, called Interim Measures, for persons who have experienced sexual misconduct and steps the Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students Office can take to minimize the impact of an incident and to provide a safe educational environment. Accommodations include, but are not limited to, no-contact orders and changes to academic and/or living arrangements.
    • You can also alert the person to the Complainant’s Bill of Rights contained in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • What details do I need to provide to the Title IX Coordinator?

    You must share whatever information has been shared with you including the names of any individuals involved, the details of the incident, and the Complainant’s wishes regarding next steps.

  • What kinds of sexual misconduct do I need to report? 

    You need to report any incident that might fall within Union College’s definition of sexual misconduct including: sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or stalking. For more details see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

  • What happens after I file a report?

    The Title IX Team, which includes the Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Conduct, and the Director of Campus Safety, will assess the information you have provided and, with input from other College officials, will take appropriate action. If your report includes names or other identifying details, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to anyone experiencing sexual misconduct to make sure they have access to accommodations, support, and options for taking action. The Title IX Coordinator will not contact any individuals accused of committing sexual misconduct until a complaint has been filed or an investigation has been initiated.

  • Once I have filed my report, do I have other responsibilities?
    • No. Once you have filed a report, your reporting obligations are complete. You should preserve any notes you may have taken or give them to the Title IX Coordinator.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will provide updates to the Complainant and Respondent. You may continue to talk with the person who shared the information with you. Please keep the Title IX Coordinator updated if you learn new details or if the situation evolves.
  • Will the Title IX Coordinator update me on what happens?
    • No, due to the need to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
    • However, you may be involved in some of the next steps; e.g. helping to arrange an accommodation, speaking with a fact-finder, or even serving as the complainant’s adviser if the person seeks your assistance.
  • Who do I contact if I have a question or concern regarding Union College's policy on sexual misconduct or this guidance and FAQ document?

    You may contact the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Melissa Kelley at (518) 388-6865 or at kelleym2@union.edu.

FAQs for Complainants

Union College is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment.  When sexual misconduct occurs and is brought to the attention of the College, steps will be taken to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.  Within the College’s processes, the person making the allegation is called the Complainant and the person responding to the allegation is called the Respondent.  Additionally, any student acting in good faith who discloses any incident of sexual misconduct will not be subject to the College’s Code of Conduct for violations of the Alcohol and Drug Use Policy occurring at or near the time of the commission of the sexual misconduct incident

  • WHAT DO I DO AFTER I HAVE FILED A COMPLAINT OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?

    After submitting the Complaint Form, you must complete the Complainant Statement.  The Complainant Statement is a full account of the allegation.  This form must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.

    You may wish to seek confidential support.  For students, the Counseling Center as well as the medical staff at Wicker Wellness Center can provide confidential services to you.  Please call: (518) 388-6161 to make an appointment with a Counselor or (518) 388-6120 to make an appointment with a medical provider.

    For faculty, employees, or staff, Union College provides an EAP program that can provide resources and guidance for accessing resources in the community.  A call to the EAP program is confidential, 1 (800) 828-6025. 

    The Title IX Coordinator can also provide additional resources both on and off campus if needed or visit the resources page for more information.

  • CAN I HAVE SOMEONE SUPPORT ME THROUGH THIS PROCESS?

    Both the Respondent and the Complainant are permitted to have an Adviser of their choice.  The Title IX Coordinator can explain the process for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct and provide guidance for choosing an adviser. An adviser is any individual selected by the Complainant or Respondent, including retained legal counsel. Only one Adviser is permitted and whomever is chosen must sign the Limited Disclosure/Non-Retaliation Acknowledgement.  The Complainant or Respondent may elect to have the Adviser attend sessions with the Investigators, meetings with the Title IX Coordinator or other Administrators, and/or appearances before an Adjudication Panel. The adviser is permitted to provide the Complainant or Respondent with advice during these meetings at appropriate times when the Complainant or Respondent being advised is not answering questions. The adviser is not allowed to argue for, advocate for, or present the case for the Respondent or Complainant or directly address the Investigators, Administrators, or Panel. The Complainant, Respondent, and their respective Advisers may ask the Title IX Coordinator questions.  The College reserves the right to remove or dismiss Advisers from meetings who become disruptive, who do not abide by the restrictions, or who intentionally delay the investigation or adjudication process.

  • CAN I FILE CHARGES ON CAMPUS AND OFF CAMPUS?

    Yes, the Complainant has the right to pursue both on campus and off campus resolution of a complaint as well as civil and/or criminal resolution.  It is up to the Complainant to decide how they want to proceed.  The College’s processes will move forward regardless of any criminal or civil legal action taken regarding the same incident.  The Title IX Coordinator can provide information about pursuing off campus resolution, including the involvement of local or State Police agencies.  To contact the Schenectady Police Department, call: (518) 382-5200 and to reach the New York State Police Sexual Assault Resource Line, call: 1 (844) 845-7269.

  • WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BE THINKING ABOUT AS THIS PROCESS MOVES FORWARD?

    The College prohibits retaliation in any way against an individual or group who has reported an allegation of sexual misconduct or who has participated in the conduct process in response to an allegation. Retaliation includes adverse actions, defined as conduct that threatens, intimidates, harasses, coerces or in any other way seeks to discourage a reasonable person from participating in the conduct process. Retaliation can be committed by or against any individual or group of individuals, not just a respondent or complainant.

    The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting prohibited conduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.

    Additionally, Union College affords rights to parties involved in sexual misconduct cases.  Please review the Sexual Misconduct Policy for a complete list of rights as well as information about prohibited conduct and the associated grievance process.

  • WHAT DOES THE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ADJUDICATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

    Union College had three distinct grievance procedures which are each dependent on the Responding party’s relationship with the College.  If the allegation is against a student of the College, Appendix A of the Sexual Misconduct Policy would apply.  If the Respondent is a faculty member of the College, see Appendix B and if the Respondent is an employee of the College, see Appendix C. If you have questions about the process at any time, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.  Depending on the nature of the complaint, an investigation or panel adjudication may not be necessary. 

    For more information and the complete grievance process, please visit the Sexual Misconduct Policy page.

FAQs for Respondents

Union College is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment.  When sexual misconduct occurs and is brought to the attention of the College, steps will be taken to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.  Within the College’s processes, the person making the allegation is called the Complainant and the person responding to the allegation is called the Respondent.  As a Respondent, you are entitled to a presumption of innocence and a complete list of rights is available in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

  • WHAT DO I DO IF I AM ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?

    Do NOT contact the Complainant.  You may wish to seek confidential support.  For students, the Counseling Center as well as the medical staff at the Wicker Wellness Center can provide confidential services to you.  Please call: (518) 388-6161 to make an appointment with a Counselor or (518) 388-6120 to make an appointment with a medical provider. 

    For faculty or staff, Union College provides an EAP program that can provide resources and guidance for accessing resources in the community.  A call to the EAP program is confidential, 1 (800) 828-6025. 

    The Title IX Coordinator can also provide additional resources both on and off campus if needed. Resources may also be found here.

  • CAN I HAVE SOMEONE SUPPORT ME THROUGH THIS PROCESS?

    Both the Respondent and the Complainant are permitted to have an Adviser of their choice.  The Title IX Coordinator can explain the conduct process for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct and provide guidance for choosing an adviser. An adviser is any individual selected by the Complainant or Respondent, including retained legal counsel. Only one Adviser is permitted and whomever is chosen must sign the Limited Disclosure/Non-Retaliation Acknowledgement.  The Complainant or Respondent may elect to have the Adviser attend sessions with the Investigators, meetings with the Title IX Coordinator or other Administrators, and/or appearances before an Adjudication Panel. The Adviser is permitted to provide the Complainant or Respondent with advice during these meetings at appropriate times when the Complainant or Respondent being advised is not answering questions. The Adviser is not allowed to argue for, advocate for, or present the case for the Respondent or Complainant or directly address the Investigators, Administrators, or Panel. The Complainant, Respondent, and their respective Advisers may ask the Title IX Coordinator questions.  The College reserves the right to remove or dismiss advisers from meetings who become disruptive, who do not abide by the restrictions, or who intentionally delay the investigation or adjudication process.

  • CAN I BE CHARGED WITH SOMETHING ON CAMPUS AND OFF CAMPUS?

    Yes, the Complainant has the right to pursue both on campus and off campus resolution of a complaint as well as civil and/or criminal resolution.  It is up to the Complainant to decide how they want to proceed.  The College’s processes will move forward regardless of any criminal or civil legal action taken regarding the same incident.  The Title IX Coordinator can provide information about pursuing off campus resolution, including the involvement of local or State Police agencies.

  • WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BE THINKING ABOUT AS THIS PROCESS MOVES FORWARD?

    The College prohibits retaliation in any way against an individual or group who has reported an allegation of sexual misconduct or who has participated in the conduct process in response to an allegation. Retaliation includes adverse actions, defined as conduct that threatens, intimidates, harasses, coerces or in any other way seeks to discourage a reasonable person from participating in the conduct process. Retaliation can be committed by or against any individual or group of individuals, not just a respondent or complainant.

    The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting prohibited conduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.

    Additionally, Union College affords rights to parties involved in sexual misconduct cases.  Please review the Sexual Misconduct Policy for a complete list of rights as well as information about prohibited conduct and the associated grievance process.

  • WHAT DOES THE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ADJUDICATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

    Union College had three distinct grievance procedures which are each dependent on the Responding party’s relationship with the College.  If the allegation is against a student of the College, Appendix A of the Sexual Misconduct Policy would apply.  If the Respondent is a faculty member of the College, see Appendix B and if the Respondent is an employee of the College, see Appendix C. If you have questions about the process at any time, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.  Depending on the nature of the complaint, an investigation or panel adjudication may not be necessary. 

    You may find more information about the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the complete grievance process here.