“Title IX” refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, a federal civil rights law. It prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs or activities that receive federal funding. In addition, New York State Education Law 129-B (“Enough is Enough), prohibits the same type of misconduct.
Students/employees may report sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, pregnancy discrimination, and other discrimination based upon sex or gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity to the Title IX Office.
No. That is not the Title IX Coordinator’s role. The Title IX Coordinator’s role is one that ensures due process and equity to all of the students involved; the Title IX Coordinator is not an advocate for either the reporting student or the accused student.
If SUNY Brockport has reason to believe that a student’s health or safety is at risk, it will communicate with the student’s emergency contact. Otherwise, the university may only talk to a student’s parents or guardians about a situation concerning sexual violence, stalking, etc., if the student has signed an authorization giving consent. If no authorization is signed, the university may only discuss its process and is prohibited from talking about any particular situation to parents/guardians.
The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the student who made the disclosure of sex discrimination (sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, etc.) to offer support and explain their rights. If the accused person is a student, then the reporting student has the right to request a SUNY Brockport Student Conduct investigation. The reporting student also has the right to make a police report, be free from retaliation, and receive support from the university. Although there are a few exceptions, it is the reporting student who is usually able to decide whether they want to take any action.
If the accused is an employee, the Office of Human Resources will likely need to conduct an investigation.
The university is always able to provide support and resources to students.
The reporting student has the right to request a Student Conduct investigation, if the person accused is a student. If the accused person is a university employee, the university will be able to conduct an investigation through the Office of Human Resources.
The reporting student has the ability to file a police report with the appropriate law enforcement agency and proceed with criminal charges, regardless of whether the accused is a student or an employee, and regardless of where the situation occurred.
Confidential resources for SUNY Brockport students who are affected by sexual and interpersonal violence include Hazen Student Health/Counseling Center; RESTORE sexual assault services; and Willow Domestic Violence Center (relationship violence and stalking).
Contact information for these confidential resources is:
- Hazen Student Health/Counseling: (585) 395-2414.
- RESTORE Sexual Assault Services: RESTORE advocate Sarah Link works with SUNY Brockport students: (585) 210-3005; or 24/7 RESTORE Hotline: (585) 546- 2777.
- Willow Domestic Violence Center: 24/7 hotline: (585) 222-SAFE (7233)
SUNY developed a great resource that provides both on and off campus resources, depending upon your location.
Counselors and health care professionals at Hazen Center for Integrated Care are confidential. Information shared with a confidential resource will not be disclosed.
- Hazen Student Health/Counseling: (585) 395-2414.
Regardless of whether the university takes any action, both the reporting student and student accused are able to receive the following support:
- No Contact Order: The Title IX Coordinator can issue a No Contact Order between students, which prohibits contact between them, but is not disciplinary.
- Academic Accommodation: The university may be able to assist a student by requesting extensions from faculty, assisting a student in taking an “Incomplete,” withdrawing, or taking a leave, etc.
- Faculty Notice: A notice to faculty can be issued that states the student is experiencing a stressful situation; the letter is issued from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, not the Title IX Coordinator, and these letters are issued for a variety of reasons (illness, a death in the family, etc.).
- Alternate work schedules: If the students work together on campus, the Title IX Coordinator can arrange alternative work schedules.
- SAFE Ride: Students may use SAFE Ride to request that a University Police Student Patrol escort them from one location to another on campus. Contact (585) 395-SAFE between the hours of 8 pm – 2 am.
- Other: There might be other circumstances in which the Title IX Coordinator/university may be able to help.
If SUNY Brockport conducts an investigation, both the reporting student and the accused student have the right to have an advisor present at all meetings. The role of an advisor is to provide emotional support and help the student prepare for meetings with investigators, as well as the hearing. Students may choose an advisor who is faculty or staff or someone not affiliated with the university, like an attorney.
Two investigators will be assigned and will talk to the reporting student (complainant), take their statement, ask for witness names, and request any documentary evidence (including text and social media messages and videos). The investigators will also talk to the accused student (respondent) and follow the same process. Both students will have the ability to respond to the other student’s statement and be given access to gathered evidence. The investigators are neutral and will not make any findings. When the investigation is completed (it usually takes several weeks, and investigators may need to meet with students more than once to ask some follow up questions), the investigators will write a report and may recommend a hearing.
The standard of evidence for any Student Conduct related hearing is preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not”). If a hearing is held, the hearing officer or hearing board will review the case and make a determination about whether it is more likely than not that SUNY Brockport policy was violated.
All hearings are virtual, held over Zoom. The hearing is closed, meaning that only the parties, advisors, Title IX Coordinator, and the hearing officer or board are allowed to be present throughout the hearing. If a witness appears, they will do so only to give their statement, answer questions, then leave the meeting. A hearing officer or board will ask the complainant, respondent, and witnesses some questions. Advisors for each student will be able to ask questions of the other party.
Both parties are provided with a written decision within fifteen business days of the hearing and both have a right to appeal.
If no Student Conduct investigation is conducted, it is possible the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the accused student to have a discussion about the reported situation and/or to enter a No Contact Order, which is usually entered against both students. If no investigation is conducted, then the university will not take the accused student’s statement, nor will it take the reporting student’s statement, other than the initial report or disclosure that was made.
After a report is made, and if the university does not conduct an investigation, it is possible that the person accused may never be contacted or made aware that a report was made. SUNY Brockport tracks this information, however, to help identify patterns and to comply with state and federal laws.
It is the reporting student’s decision to make a police report and file criminal charges. When a criminal complaint is made, the police conduct an investigation and may refer the matter to the District Attorney’s Office to determine if there is enough evidence to support a violation of New York State Penal Law and to press charges. The standard of evidence in a criminal matter is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”