Title IX: Sexual Violence Response Policy
At Tompkins Cortland we encourage all to report incidents of sexual violence, and other forms of harassment and discrimination, so that we have the opportunity to respond in a way that diminishes the likelihood that this behavior will be repeated.
When anyone experiences sexual violence, our priority is to get them to safety and then provide the resources needed to comfort, support and prevent further violation.
Victims/survivors have the right to pursue any or all of the options below at the same time, or to choose none of these options. However, we strongly encourage anyone who has experienced sexual violence to get support and not deal with it alone.
- If you are currently still in danger call 911. If you are on campus, campus police will be sent. Off campus the appropriate law enforcement agency will come.
- Speaking to someone you trust, a family member, a friend or a Tompkins Cortland staff member, can be an important step. We encourage you to take that step and want you to be aware of reporting requirements of various staff members on campus. Any of the following will provide information about resources and will assist in accessing those resources.
- Title IX: Overview
- Title IX: Definitions
- Title IX: How to Report
- Title IX: Grievance Policy: 2020 Regulations
- Title IX: Procedures
- Title IX: Confidentiality
- Title IX: Climate Survey Results
- Title IX: Resources
- Title IX: Awareness and Training
- Title IX: Sexual Violence Response Policy
In accordance with the Students’ Bill of Rights, reporting individuals shall have the right to pursue more than one of the options below at the same time, or to choose not to participate in any of the options below:
- To disclose confidentially the incident to one of the following college officials, who by law may maintain confidentiality, and can assist in obtaining services.
Licensed counselors will not report any information to the College without the student’s consent. Our licensed counselors are in the Health and Wellness Services Center, room 122. Registered nurses in the Health Center must also maintain strictest confidentiality. Health Center, room 118A. You can talk to any of the above staff members and then decide whether you want them to help you report the incident through one of the options below.
Confidential reporting can also be done off campus. Locally we have:
- The Advocacy Center, 607 277-3203 or 607 277-5000 for the hotline or
- Aid to Victims of Violence, 607 756-6363 or 800 336-9622
- For many additional national and statewide websites and hotlines, see the SUNY policy statement.
Anonymous Reporting – Non-Licensed Counselors and other individuals that work in the counseling center are additional resource people with whom you can talk. They will not reveal any personally identifying information to the College without the student’s consent. However, these individuals must report the nature, date, time, and general location of the incident to a Title IX Coordinator.
Report online anonymously.
Conversations are kept as confidential as possible, but limited information about incidents of sexual misconduct must be shared with relevant administrators and a Title IX Coordinator so that the College can take action if necessary for reasons of safety. In planning any response, the wishes of the person are given full consideration. However, the College may determine in some instances that it must investigate. The reporting individual will be notified if such a decision is made. Here is a scoring rubric used by the Title IX Coordinators in making that determination. Whenever possible, the reporting individual is notified in person. If the reporting individual is not available for an in person discussion, they will be notified by the College’s official email.
Online reporting is available.
- To disclose confidentially the incident and obtain services from the New York State, New York City or county hotlines:
Additional disclosure and assistance options are catalogued by the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and presented in several languages: https://opdv.ny.gov (or by calling 1-800-942-6906), and assistance can also be obtained through:
- Legal Momentum: https://www.legalmomentum.org/;
- NYSCASA: http://nyscasa.org/responding;
- NYSCADV: http://www.nyscadv.org/;
- Pandora’s Project: http://www.pandys.org/;
- GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project: https://www.bwjp.org/resource-center/resource-results/glbtq-domestic-violence-project.html;
- RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/get-help
- Safe Horizons: http://www.safehorizon.org/
(note that these hotlines are for crisis intervention, resources, and referrals, and are not reporting mechanisms, meaning that disclosure on a call to a hotline does not provide any information to the campus. Reporting individuals are encouraged to additionally contact a campus confidential or private resource so that the campus can take appropriate action in these cases).
- To disclose the incident to one of the following college officials who can offer privacy and can provide information about remedies, accommodations, evidence preservation, and how to obtain resources. Those officials will also provide the information contained in the Students’ Bill of Rights, including the right to choose when and where to report, to be protected by the institution from retaliation, and to receive assistance and resources from the institution. These college officials will disclose that they are private and not confidential resources, and they may still be required by law and college policy to inform one or more college officials about the incident, including but not limited to the Title IX Coordinator. They will notify reporting individuals that the criminal justice process uses different standards of proof and evidence than internal procedures, and questions about the penal law or the criminal process should be directed to law enforcement or district attorney,:
Title IX Coordinators:
- Darese Doskal, Interim Dean of Student Affairs, Senior Title IX Coordinator, Room 248, 607.844.8222, Ext. 6591
- John Geer, Vice President for Human Resources, Affirmative Action Officer, Senior Title IX Coordinator, Room 219, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4440
- Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access and Equity Services, Title IX Coordinator, Room 130, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4283
- Seth Thompson, Vice President of Student Affairs, Senior Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator, Room 248, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4358
To file a criminal complaint with Campus Police and/or with local law enforcement and/or state police:
- Campus Police, room 118, 607-844-6511. Campus Police can assist you in finding appropriate agency for local law enforcement on or off campus
- State police 24-hour hotline to report sexual assault on a NY college campus: 1-844-845-7269.
Reporting individuals have the following rights:
- To receive assistance by Campus Police in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court.
- To file a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, and/or talk to the Title IX Coordinator for information and assistance. Reports will be investigated in accordance with Tompkins Cortland Community College policy and the reporting individual’s identity shall remain private at all times if said reporting individual wishes to maintain privacy. If a reporting individual wishes to keep their identity anonymous, they may call Health and Wellness Services anonymously to discuss the situation and available options with a licensed counselor.
- When the accused is an employee, a reporting individual may also report the incident to the Tompkins Cortland Community College Office of Human Resources or may request that one of the above referenced confidential or private employees assist in reporting to Human Resources. Disciplinary proceedings will be conducted in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements. When the accused is an employee of an affiliated entity or vendor of the college, college officials will, at the request of the reporting individual, assist in reporting to the appropriate office of the vendor or affiliated entity and, if the response of the vendor or affiliated entity is not sufficient, assist in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and college policy.
- You may withdraw your complaint or involvement from the Tompkins Cortland Community College process at any time.
- Tompkins Cortland Community College shall ensure that, at a minimum, at the first instance of disclosure by a reporting individual to a college representative, the following information shall be presented to the reporting individual: “You have the right to make a report to Campus Police, local law enforcement, and/or State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to the college; to be protected by the college from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your institution.”
Filing a Complaint:
Reporting an incident of sexual violence for the purpose of filing a complaint can be done in many ways. Each will maintain the privacy of the complainant to the extent possible, meaning that information will only be shared when necessary to maintain safety and legal obligations of the college. Any of the following people can provide information about supportive resources and about the processes available for filing a complaint.
- Those listed above as confidential or anonymous.
- Office of Health and Wellness Services
- Childcare Center
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility
- Office of Residence Life
- Office of Diversity and Education Support Services
- Student Activities staff
- Athletics staff and coaches
- Vice Presidents and Provost
- Title IX Coordinators:
- Seth Thompson, Student Affairs, room 229, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4358
- Carolyn Boone, Access and Equity Services, room 130, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4283
- Darese Doskal, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Senior Title IX Coordinator, room 229, 607.844.6591
- Campus Police, 607-844-6511
- Any other Tompkins Cortland employee will help you the best they can. They will offer the information that they have and can get you to someone with additional information. All employees not previously mentioned are encouraged, though not required, to share information about sexual violence with their supervisor or a Title IX Coordinator.
The Complaint Processes
File a criminal complaint with Campus Police and/or with local law enforcement:
- Campus Police, 607-844-6511
- Campus Police can direct you to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for off campus incidents
File a conduct complaint against a student
- Speak with any of the Title IX Coordinators
- It will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
File a complaint against a staff or faculty member of the college or an affiliated individual (vendor, guest, etc.)
- Speak with any of the Title IX Coordinators.
- There are formal and informal complaint processes.
These resources may be needed and are available immediately after the incident, while deciding about and/or going through the reporting process, and at any point afterward.
- Health and Wellness Services counselors, room 122, ext. 6577.
- Student Health Center, room 118A, 607-844-8222, ext. 4487. No fee for services. Sexual contact can transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and may result in pregnancy. Testing for STIs and emergency contraception are available.
- Within 96 hours of an assault, you can get a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (commonly referred to as a rape kit) at a hospital. While there should be no charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off campus and, in some cases, insurance may be billed for services. You are encouraged to let hospital personnel know if you do not want your insurance policyholder to be notified about your access to these services. The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating victims/survivors for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information may be found here: Help for Crime Victims | Office of Victim Services (ny.gov), or by calling 1800-247-8035.
- Local hospitals include:
- Cayuga Medical Center. Within 96 hours of an assault, you can get a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (commonly referred to as a rape kit) at a hospital. SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) nurses are available. While there should be no charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off campus. *Hospitals bill the state for all sexual assault examinations. Personal insurance is not billed.
- Cortland Memorial Hospital. Emergency medical service available. *Hospitals bill the state for all sexual assault examinations. Personal insurance is not billed.
- To best preserve evidence, victims/survivors should avoid showering, washing, changing clothes, combing hair, drinking, eating, or doing anything to alter physical appearance until after a physical exam has been completed.
PROTECTION AND ACCOMMODATIONS
- When the accused is a student, the college can issue a “Cease and Desist Order,” forbidding contact with the protected individual. Any violation is subject to additional conduct charges; if the accused and a protected person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person.
- Assistance from Campus Police or other college officials is available for obtaining an Order of Protection.
- You may receive a copy of the Order of Protection and have a college official explain the order and answer questions about it, including information about the accused’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person (that burden does not rest on the protected person) and an explanation of the consequences for violating these orders, including but not limited to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension.
- Campus Police will effect an arrest when an individual violates an Order of Protection within the jurisdiction of Campus Police or, if outside of the jurisdiction will call on and assist local law enforcement in effecting an arrest for violating such an order.
- When the accused is a student and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, the accused is subject to interim suspension pending the outcome of a conduct process.
- When the accused is not a student but is a member of the college community and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to subject the accused to interim measures in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, employee handbooks, and Tompkins Cortland Community College policies and rules.
- When the accused is not a member of the college community, he/she will receive a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and college policy.
- Reasonable and available interim measures and accommodations will be provided including a change in academic, housing, employment, transportation, or other applicable arrangements in order to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, and avoid an ongoing hostile environment. While victims/survivors may request accommodations through any of the offices referenced in this policy, the following office can serve as a point to assist with these measures: Vice President for Student Services, room 229, 607-844-8222, ext. 4244.
STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS
• Reporting individuals have a right to request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused. Conduct proceedings are governed by the procedures set forth in the Tompkins Cortland Community College student handbook as well as federal and New York State law, including the due process provisions of the United States and New York State Constitutions.
• Throughout conduct proceedings, the respondent and the reporting individual will have:
- the same opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice who may assist and advise the parties throughout the conduct process and any related hearings or meetings. Participation of the advisor in any proceeding is governed by federal law and the Student Code of Conduct. any issues going through the 2020 Title IX Regulation process will require that advisors cross examine both parties;
- the right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have their complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the respondent, including the right to a presumption that the respondent is “not responsible” until a finding of responsibility is made, and other issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
- the right to an investigation and process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard) and is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest.
- the right to receive advance written or electronic notice of the date, time, and location of any meeting or hearing they are required to or are eligible to attend. Accused individuals will also be told the factual allegations concerning the violation, a reference to the specific code of conduct provisions alleged to have been violated, and possible sanctions.
- the right to have a conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than 10 days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
- the right to offer evidence during an investigation and to review available relevant evidence in the case file (or otherwise held by Tompkins Cortland Community College).
- the right to present evidence and testimony at a hearing, where appropriate.
- the right to a range of options for providing testimony via alternative arrangements, including telephone/videoconferencing or testifying with a room partition.
- the right to exclude prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the conduct process or their own mental health diagnosis or treatment from admittance in college disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction.
- the right to ask questions of the decision maker and via the decision maker indirectly request responses from other parties and any other witnesses present.
- the right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the decision maker is deliberating on appropriate sanctions.
- the right to simultaneous (among the parties) written or electronic notification of the outcome of a conduct proceeding, including the decision, any sanctions, and the rationale for the decision and any sanctions.
- the right to written or electronic notice about the sanction(s) that may be imposed on the accused based upon the outcome of the conduct proceeding. For students found responsible for sexual assault, the available sanctions are suspension with additional requirements and expulsion/dismissal.
- access to at least one level of appeal of a determination to a panel, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest.
- the right to have access to a full and fair record of a student conduct hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained for at least five years.
- the right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct hearing.
- the right to have all information obtained during the course of the conduct process be protected from public release until the appeals panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law.
- Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, room 229, 607-844-6591