Title IX

Student policies and procedures

Title IX policy

The Title IX Policy governs all members of the Union College community for conduct defined as Title IX sexual harassment. This policy and its associated procedures will be utilized if the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct reported falls within its scope. The Title IX Policy is in compliance with Title IX of the 1972 of the Education Amendments.

TITLE IX POLICY

TITLE IX APPENDIX A: Procedures for the Resolution of Reports of Conduct by Students Within the Scope of Title IX

RESOURCE APPENDIX

TITLE IX PROCEDURE FLOWCHART

Gender-based Misconduct Policy

The Gender-based Misconduct Policy governs reports of gender-based misconduct by students as defined by state and federal law as well as conduct the Union College community has deemed inconsistent with its community standards. This policy and its associated procedures will be utilized if the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct reported falls within its scope.

GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT POLICY

PROCEDURES FOR THE RESOLUTION OF REPORTS OF GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT AGAINST STUDENTS

GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT PROCEDURE FLOWCHART

Student Bill of Rights

Under New York State Law 129-B ("Enough is Enough") all students have the right to:

1. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;

2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;

3. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;

4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;

5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;

6. Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;

7. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;

8. Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution;

9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;

10. Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and

11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.

Key terms and definitions

  • Gender-based Misconduct

    Gender-based misconduct can include acts of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation and stalking. Gender-based misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a wide-range of behaviors. The following descriptions represent behaviors and conduct that violate the college community standards and a person’s rights, dignity and integrity.

  • Title IX Sexual Harassment

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and New York state regard Sexual Harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice. Union College has adopted the following definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment in compliance with Title IX. Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

    Sexual Harassment: a. unwelcome conduct, b. determined by a reasonable person, c. to be so severe, and d. pervasive, and, e. objectively offensive, that it effectively denies a person equal access to Union College’s education program or activity.

  • 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 identity, or gender expression.

    See the full statement of affirmative consent in section IV of the Gender-based Misconduct Policy.

  • Incapacitation

    An individual who is incapacitated is not able to make rational, reasonable judgments and therefore is incapable of giving consent. Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if the individual demonstrates that they are unaware of where they are, how they got there or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Some indicators of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical movements, lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, or the inability to communicate for any reason. An individual may experience a blackout state in which they appear to be giving consent but does not actually have conscious awareness or the ability to consent. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication due to alcohol and/or drug use. The relevant standard that will be applied is whether the Respondent knew, or a sober reasonable person in the same position should have known, that the other party was incapacitated, and therefore could not consent to the sexual activity.

    The College considers sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances to be risky behavior. Alcohol and drug use impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of the consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for gender-based misconduct and does not excuse one from the responsibility to obtain consent.

FAQs for a Reporting Party

Union College is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. When gender-based 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 Reporting Party or the Complainant and the person responding to the allegation is called the Responding Party or Respondent.

  • CAN I HAVE SOMEONE SUPPORT ME THROUGH THIS PROCESS?

    Both the Reporting Party and Responding Party 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 Reporting Party or Responding Party, including retained legal counsel.

  • CAN I FILE CHARGES ON CAMPUS AND OFF CAMPUS?

    Yes, the Reporting Party 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 Reporting Party 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 Responding Party or Reporting Party.

    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.

FAQs for a Responding Party

Union College is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. When gender-based 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 Reporting Party or Complainant and the person responding to the allegation is called the Responding Party or Respondent. As a Responding Party, you are entitled to a presumption of not responsible and a complete list of rights is available in the Gender-based Misconduct Policy and Title IX Policy.

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

    Do NOT contact the Reporting Party. 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 Responding Party and the Reporting Party 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 Reporting Party or Responding Party, including retained legal counsel.

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

    Yes, the Reporting Party 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 Reporting Party 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 gender-based 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 Responding Party or Reporting Party.

    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.