Title IX Policies
Policy for Confidential Disclosure
Westchester Community College shall ensure that reporting individuals have the following:
- Information regarding privileged and confidential resources they may contact regarding domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault;
- Information about counselors and advocates they may contact regarding domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault;
- A plain language explanation of confidentiality which shall, at a minimum, include the following provision:
- “Even Westchester Community 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 for the Title IX Coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution.”
- Information about how the institution shall weigh a request for confidentiality and respond to such a request. Such information shall, at a minimum, include that if a reporting individual discloses an incident to an institution employee who is responsible for responding to or reporting domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault but wishes to maintain confidentiality or does not consent to the institution’s request to initiate an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator must weigh the request against the institution’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of its community. The institution shall assist with academic, housing, transportation, employment, and other reasonable and available accommodations regardless of reporting choices;
- Information about public awareness and advocacy events, including guarantees that if an individual discloses information through a public awareness event such as candlelight vigils, protests, or other public event, the institution is not obligated to begin an investigation based on such information. However, if the institution determines that an investigation is required, it shall notify the reporting individual and take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist them. The institution may use the information provided at such an event to inform its efforts for additional education and prevention efforts;
- The College will take proactive steps, such as training or awareness efforts, to combat domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault in a general way that does not identify those who disclose or the information disclosed.
- Information about existing and available methods to anonymously disclose including, but not limited to information on relevant confidential hotlines provided by New York state agencies and not-for-profit entities;
- Information regarding institutional crime reporting including, but not limited to:
reports of certain crimes occurring in specific geographic locations that shall be included in the institution’s annual security report pursuant to the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), in an anonymized manner that identifies neither the specifics of the crime nor the identity of the reporting individual; that the institution is obligated to issue timely warnings of crimes enumerated in the Clery Act occurring within relevant geography that represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees, except in those circumstances where issuing such a warning may compromise current law enforcement efforts or when the warning itself could potentially identify the reporting individual; that a reporting individual shall not be identified in a timely warning; that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, allows institutions to share information with parents when i. there is a health or safety emergency, or
when the student is a dependent on either parent’s prior year federal income tax return; and that generally, the institution shall not share information about a report of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault with parents without the permission of the reporting individual.
Policy for the review of no contact order:
Both the accused or respondent and the reporting individual shall, upon request and consistent with institution policies and procedures, be afforded a prompt review, reasonable under the circumstances, of the need for and terms of a no contact order, including potential modification, and shall be allowed to submit evidence in support of his or her request. Institutions may establish an appropriate schedule for the accused and respondents to access applicable institution buildings and property at a time when such buildings and property are not being accessed by the reporting individual. (Section 6444 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy for MOU:
For resources or services the College cannot provide, to the extent practicable, Westchester Community College shall enter into memoranda of understanding, agreements or collaborative partnerships with existing community-based organizations, including rape-crisis centers and domestic violence shelters and assistance organizations, to refer students for assistance or make services available to students, including counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and legal assistance, which may also include resources and services for the respondent. In addition, the College shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that students have access to a sexual assault forensic examination by entering into memoranda of understanding or agreements with at least one local health care facility to provide such a service.
Policy for review of an interim suspension:
Both the accused or respondent and the reporting individual shall, upon request and consistent with the institution’s policies and procedures, be afforded a prompt review, reasonable under the circumstances, of the need for and terms of an interim suspension, including potential modification, and shall be allowed to submit evidence in support of his or her request. (Section 6444 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy for review of interim measures/accommodations:
Both the accused or respondent and the reporting individual shall, upon request and consistent with the institution’s policies and procedures, be afforded a prompt review, reasonable under the circumstances, of the need for and terms of any such interim measure and accommodation that directly affects him or her, and shall be allowed to submit evidence in support of his or her request. (Section 6444 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy for transcript notations:
For crimes of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII), institutions shall make a notation on the transcript of students found responsible after a conduct process that they were “suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or “expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For the respondent who withdraws from the institution while such conduct charges are pending, and declines to complete the disciplinary process, institutions shall make a notation on the transcript of such students that they “withdrew with conduct charges pending.” Each institution shall publish a policy on transcript notations and appeals seeking removal of a transcript notation for a suspension, provided that such notation shall not be removed prior to one year after conclusion of the suspension, while notations for expulsion shall not be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed. (Section 6444(6) NYS Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy/instructions on how parties can review the case file.
In student disciplinary proceedings involving domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, con-consensual sexualy activity or sexual assault, the campus will allow parties to review available evidence held by the campus in accordance with college. Parties can also present available evidence as appropriate under campus policies.
Student Onboarding and Ongoing Education.
The College will provide a comprehensive student onboarding and ongoing education campaign to educate members of the institution’s community about domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault, in compliance with applicable federal laws, including the Clery Act as amended by the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization of 2013, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f). Included in this campaign shall be a requirement that all new first-year and transfer students shall, during the course of their onboarding to their respective institution, receive training on the following topics, using a method and manner appropriate to the institutional culture of each institution:
- The institution prohibits sexual and interpersonal violence and will offer resources to any victims and survivors of such violence while taking administrative and conduct action regarding any accused individual within the jurisdiction of the institution;
- Relevant definitions including, but not limited to, the definitions of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, confidentiality, privacy, and consent;
- Policies apply equally to all students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
- The role of the Title IX Coordinator, university police or campus security, and other relevant offices that address domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault prevention and response;
- Awareness of violence, its impact on victims and survivors and their friends and family, and its long-term impact;
- Bystander intervention and the importance of taking action to prevent violence when one can safely do so;
- Risk assessment and reduction including, but not limited to, steps that potential victims, perpetrators, and bystanders can take to lower the incidence of violations, which may contain information about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, including underage drinking and binge drinking, involuntary consumption of incapacitating drugs and the danger of mislabeled drugs and alcohol, the importance of communication with trusted friends and family whether on campus or off campus, and the availability of institution officials who can answer general or specific questions about risk reduction; and
- Consequences and sanctions for individuals who commit these crimes and code of conduct violations.
The College will regularly assess programs and policies established to determine effectiveness and relevance for students. (Section 6447 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy on General and Specific Training in Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Sexual Assault.
The College will provide training general and specific training in domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault prevention and shall conduct a campaign that complies with the Violence Against Women Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), to educate the student population. They shall, as appropriate, provide or expand specific training to include groups such as international students, students that are also employees, leaders and officers of registered or recognized student organizations, and online and distance education students. They shall also provide specific training to members of groups that the institution identifies as high-risk populations. (Section 6447 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy on Training Requirement for Athletes and Student Leaders.
The College shall require that each student leader and officer of student organizations recognized by or registered with the institution, as well as those seeking recognition by the institution, complete training on domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault prevention prior to receiving recognition or registration, and each institution shall require that each student athlete complete training on domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault prevention prior to participating in intercollegiate athletic competition. (Section 6447 Education Law Article 129-B)
Policy for Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty.
“The health and safety of every student at Westchester Community College is of utmost importance. Westchester Community College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Westchester Community College strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to Westchester Community College’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to Westchester Community College’s code of conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.” (Section 6442 Education Law Article 129-B)
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit an institution’s ability to provide amnesty in additional circumstances.