Confidential resources include Hazen Student Health/Counseling Center; RESTORE sexual assault services; and Willow Domestic Violence Center (relationship violence and stalking). Information you provide to a confidential resource will not be disclosed (unless there’s a threat of harm to self or others).
Contact information for these confidential resources is:
- Hazen Student Health/Counseling: (585) 395-2414. Indicate you need immediate assistance by saying your situation is “high priority.”
- 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.
A student doesn’t have to request that the university take any action in order to receive support. Options for support include:
- No Contact Order: The Title IX Coordinator can issue a No Contact Order between students, which prohibits contact/communication between them, but is not disciplinary.
- 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.
- Change in residential housing: A student may choose to be moved. In limited circumstances, SUNY Brockport may require the accused student to move.
- 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 8:00pm – 2:00am.
- Academic Success Center: Tutoring and academic support services are available to all students. If a student is struggling with their courses because of a situation related to sexual violence, we encourage them to take advantage of the available services.
- 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.
- Other: There might be other circumstances in which the Title IX Coordinator/university may be able to help.
The university is always able to provide support to the student affected by the behavior.
If the accused person is a student, then the affected student will have the ability to proceed with an investigation at SUNY Brockport, and if the accused student attends a different university, the affected student may be able to request an investigation at that institution, if within the United States. The process followed will either be based upon the Title IX Grievance Policy or the Code of Student Conduct, depending on the allegations and location of the misconduct.
If the accused person is a university employee, the university will be able to conduct an investigation through the Office of Human Resources. The process followed will either be based upon the Title IX Grievance Policy, the Employee Discrimination Complaint Procedure, or both, depending on the allegations and location of the misconduct.
The affected 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.
The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the affected student to let them know that they have a right to request a Student Conduct or Title IX Grievance investigation, make a police report, be free from retaliation, and receive support from the university. The student may meet with the Title IX Coordinator and/or a RESTORE advocate to decide whether they want to take any action. The affected student is almost always in “the driver’s seat.”
While there may be instances where the university moves forward with an investigation against another student, despite the affected student’s wishes, in most cases, the university respects the student’s wishes.
Exceptions to when a Student Conduct investigation may be started, despite the affected student’s wishes, include: 1) If the person accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender; 2) If the incident is an escalation of behavior; 3) If there is an increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence; 4) If the accused used a weapon or force; 5) If the affected student is a minor; 5) If there’s a pattern of perpetration by a particular group or at a given location.
If the alleged misconduct falls within the Title IX Grievance Policy, the university may choose to conduct an investigation, despite the affected student’s wishes, in cases where there is sufficient evidence to move forward without the student’s participation, or where the accused may pose a continued risk to the affected student or the university community.
If the accused is an employee, the Office of Human Resources will likely need to conduct an investigation.
You have a right to have an advocate present. RESTORE Sexual Assault Services is a partner agency with the university, and has an advocate who works with SUNY Brockport students. The RESTORE advocate maintains regular office hours at Hazen Hall. The advocate will help explain what to expect if you make a criminal report and support you through that process, including attending court with you.
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.”
Under the Title IX regulations, the definition of sexual harassment is:
- Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the educational institution’s education program or activity;
- Sexual assault (rape and unwanted sexual contact);
- “Quid pro quo” in situations where an SUNY Brockport employee abuses their authority by conditioning a student’s educational benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Dating violence;
- Domestic violence; and
If you would like the university to conduct an investigation, you have the right to have an advisor with you at all meetings. The RESTORE advocate usually fills this role. Two investigators will be assigned, who will talk to you and take your statement, ask you for witness names, and any documentary evidence (including text and social media messages and videos) you might have. The investigators will talk to the person accused (“respondent”) and will follow the same process with them. 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 you 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 or Title IX Grievance Policy 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 the Code of Student Conduct, Title IX Grievance Policy, or both, were violated.
All hearings are virtual, held over Zoom. The hearing is closed, meaning that only the parties, advisors, the 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 and answer questions, then leave the meeting. A hearing officer or board will ask you, the respondent, and witnesses some questions.
The process is different, depending on whether the Title IX Grievance Policy or the Code of Student Conduct procedures are followed. If the Title IX Grievance Policy is followed, then advisors of the parties will be able to directly cross-examine the other party and witnesses. If the Code of Student Conduct process is followed, then the hearing officer/board will ask all questions that one party has for the other party and witnesses.
Both parties have the right not to participate in an investigation and/or hearing, but the failure to participate does not affect the evidence that the hearing officer/board may consider (the “admissibility” of the evidence). The decision not to participate may impact the outcome, however.
Both parties are provided with a memorandum decision within fifteen business days of the hearing and both have a right to appeal.
If the complainant (the student affected by the sexual harassment) makes a complaint which falls under Title IX (both the definition and jurisdiction), and requests an investigation, the university must follow the Title IX Grievance Policy.
WHEN THE MATTER IS INVESTIGATED AND A HEARING IS HELD UNDER THE TITLE IX GRIEVANCE POLICY, THE FOLLOWING WILL APPLY:
- Under the Title IX Grievance Policy, the complainant will need to file and sign a formal complaint.
- The Title IX Coordinator will send both parties a notice that sets forth all of the allegations made against the respondent, in detail, so that the respondent fully understands what is alleged, before being interviewed.
- Both the complainant and respondent will be able to review a draft of the investigative report and evidence (even evidence that the university will not rely upon when making a determination) before the report is finalized, and provide a rebuttal.
- Both parties are required to have an advisor at hearings, and the advisor will ask questions directly to (cross-examine) the other party and to witnesses.
If, however, the alleged misconduct does not fall within the definition or jurisdiction of sexual harassment under Title IX, then the university will follow the Code of Student Conduct procedures.
WHEN THE MATTER IS INVESTIGATED AND/OR A HEARING IS HELD UNDER THE CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT, THE FOLLOWING WILL APPLY:
- A “formal” and signed complaint is not needed before the university begins an investigation.
- The respondent will be provided information about the allegations, but will not be provided with the complainant’s full written statement before being interviewed. The respondent will have a full opportunity to respond to all allegations, however, and will be provided with the complainant’s written statement following completion of the interview.
- The parties will not have an opportunity to review a draft of the investigative report or to submit a rebuttal before it is finalized.
- The parties will have an opportunity to review all of the evidence before a hearing, but will not have an opportunity to submit a rebuttal.
- Both parties are encouraged to have an advisor present at all meetings and during a hearing, but are not required to have advisors at any step of the process.
- All questioning of the parties and witnesses is by the hearing officer/board. The parties have right the to ask questions, but all questions are submitted to the hearing officer to be asked.