- When should I report a complaint?
- Who else can I report incidents of sexual discrimination, assault, violence or harassment?
- What happens once I report a Title IX complaint?
- What is the difference between informal and formal resolution?
- Can I also seek assistance from external agencies?
- Is my complaint confidential?
- What happens if someone else reports an incident and indicates me as a victim? Am I required to file a formal charge?
- I am uncomfortable reporting a claim because I am afraid of retaliation.
When should I report a complaint?
The College is committed to ensuring a community that is safe for all who study, live, work and visit here. Immediate notification to one of the many listed resources (see below) is critical to fulfilling our commitment to you. We understand that sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct or violence may be difficult to report but immediate reporting allows for the best possible efforts to support victims, and to investigate and address the claim. Delays in reporting may limit the type or effectiveness of responses from the College, law enforcement and external resources. Delays may impact physical evidence and access to witnesses that may assist us in investigating and responding to your claim.
Sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct or violence can take many forms, including any sexual contact that lacks mutual consent. Harassment may take the form of stalking or the distribution, the display or discussion of any written, graphic, visual or auditory material that is sexual in nature and has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating or interfering with a person or person’s ability to study or work would constitute violations of College policy, NYS State and/or Federal law and should be reported immediately.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted or are in immediate danger, call University Police immediately at 845-257-2222.
Additional information on the expectation of conduct or prohibited conduct can be found in the Student Handbook, Collective Bargaining Agreements, SUNY Discrimination Complaint Procedure, HR website, Compliance & Title IX website and the SUNY New Paltz website. Educational programming on these standards of conduct will be provided as appropriate; however, it is the responsibility of every student and employee to be aware of these policies.
Who else can I report incidents of sexual discrimination, assault, violence or harassment?
If you are a STUDENT, you are encouraged to seek out any of the following resources to report such incidents.
» Community Resource Form [PDF]
If you are an EMPLOYEE, you are encouraged to report concerns or claims to your supervisor or Human Resources.
*Members of these departments are trained to gather information on your complaint. These offices must provide notice of your complaint to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.
What happens once I report a Title IX complaint?
The Coordinator or designated deputy coordinator will work with you to gather information on your complaint and provide some resources that may be helpful to you. You are not expected to make decisions about moving forward with your complaint at that time. In fact, we encourage you to return (or we will reach out) in a day or two to once again review all of your options and decide on a course of action. Please note that in cases of rape or sexual assault, you will be advised that the timing of medical attention is very important to preserving your future legal rights with external law enforcement agencies. There are certain immediate steps we can take to help you feel safer and we will work with you to provide and coordinate the right options for your circumstances. You may change your mind about participating in this process at any time.
If you choose to move forward, the Title IX Coordinator will work with appropriate offices to ensure that you (the complainant), respondents and witnesses are treated equitably throughout the process and that respectful and timely communication occurs.
What is the difference between informal and formal resolution?
Whenever possible, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the complainant and alleged offender to find an informal resolution (please note that OCR does not recommend informal resolution as an option in cases of rape/sexual assault). The goal is to acknowledge behavior and risk of behavior, to raise awareness and prevent future occurrences. Both parties must be willing to engage in facilitated discussions or mediation. Either party may, at any time, change their mind about participating in the informal resolution process.
If either party withdraws or if an informal resolution cannot be reached, then the Title IX Coordinator can guide you through the formal resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator will work closely with Student Affairs (for student claims) or Human Resources (in claims involving an employee) to determine the timing of an investigation, interviewing of witnesses and review of the evidence. Evidence is reviewed based on a standard of preponderance of the evidence; that means that the evidence gathered shows that the claim is more likely than not to have occurred. Findings and/or recommendations will be issued and if a violation is found, disciplinary action or sanctions as prescribed by policy or law will be imposed. The role of the Title IX Coordinator is to ensure equity for all parties, to serve as a resource for the adjudication processes and to bring forth timely communication and resolution.
Information on the judicial proceeding process can be found in the Student Handbook http://www.newpaltz.edu/studentaffairs/regulations.html
Information on the disciplinary process for employees can be found on the Human Resources website at http://www.newpaltz.edu/hr/policies.html
Can I also seek assistance from external agencies?
Yes. The College takes Title IX claims very seriously and will take appropriate steps to assist the victim and provide a timely response. You may elect our internal process while maintaining your right to pursue options with external law enforcement agencies, which may include local law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The New York State Division of Human Rights, or the United States Department of Educations’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The College can continue its investigative process as long as it does not conflict with the jurisdiction of these outside agencies. The Title IX Coordinator can provide you with information on accessing these external resources.
Is my complaint confidential?
We understand how difficult it can be to come forward with a concern or claim. We encourage candid and honest participation in our process so that we can identify the right options and correct course of action. The College will make every effort to keep the confidentiality of any person(s) reporting a claim and when possible will keep the identity of an unwilling victim or witness confidential. However, we cannot guarantee unqualified confidentiality as we must also balance the safety of other members in our community. If we determine that there is the threat of imminent harm to an individual or to the community, information may need to be shared and then only with appropriate individuals. Complainants will be advised if information pertaining to a claim is shared with individuals outside of the College’s investigative process.
There are certain individuals who, under the law and under specific circumstances, are bound by rules of confidentiality. If you choose to report a claim to any of the college resources listed, you may ask whether your conversation with them is privileged under the law.
What happens if someone else reports an incident and indicates me as a victim? Am I required to file a formal charge?
Again, any and all incidents reported are taken seriously and will be investigated and addressed in a timely fashion and with sensitivity to confidentiality. The Title IX Coordinator or designated investigator will reach out to an individual upon a third-party report that the individual may have been a victim of sexual assault, violence, harassment or discrimination.
The purpose of reaching out to the individual is to provide guidance as to the processes and support resources available. However, no individual will be forced to file a claim or otherwise participate in the college’s investigative process. Unwilling victims or witnesses will be asked to sign an acknowledgement if they do not wish to engage in any resolution process. Even if you decline to engage in any resolution process, you can return to the Title IX Coordinator at a later time. In the interim, you are encouraged to seek support and assistance from any of the listed campus resources.
PLEASE NOTE: The College as well as external law enforcement may be limited in their ability to fully investigate or resolve a complaint if the victim is unwilling to engage in the investigative process. Likewise, delays in formally reporting a complaint can limit the type or effectiveness of our response. More broadly, delays in reporting can prevent the College from understanding if a pattern of risk or behavior is developing. The College must take steps to end or otherwise address the behavior that violates policy or law. Every effort will be made to keep the identity of an unwillingly victim or witness confidential in taking steps to protect the larger community.
I am uncomfortable reporting a claim because I am afraid of retaliation.
The College’s ability to address and respond to claims is dependent on the honest and willing engagement of participants in the process. Any person who in good faith and belief of the facts, reports an incident of sexual harassment, misconduct, violence or discrimination or participates in the investigative process may expect respectful treatment and equitable access to the resources and process of the Office of Compliance and Campus Climate. Retaliation against anyone who reports in good faith or participates in the investigative process is prohibited and may be viewed as harassment itself and may be subject to sanctions as determined by the College.
We are here to provide you with information and support so that you can make an informed decision. Our hope is to raise awareness of behavior and risk of behavior and help to keep all community members safe. If you have any questions about Title IX, Title VII or need help understanding resources available to you please contact Tanhena Pacheco Dunn at x3172 or email at email@example.com.