Frequently Asked Questions for Complainants
What is Title IX?
“Title IX” refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, a civil rights law. It prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding.
What types of situations are reported to the Title IX Office?
Students/employees may report sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, pregnancy discrimination, and other discrimination based upon sex or gender, to the Title IX Office.
If I tell an RA/RD/faculty that I was sexually assaulted, why do they have to tell the Title IX Coordinator?
“Responsible employees” are people who are supervisors, faculty, and employees who regularly interact with students. They’re required by law to report sex/gender discrimination, relationship violence, and stalking to the Title IX Coordinator so the College may offer resources to the student; help the student understand what their rights are; and explain what the Student Conduct investigation/hearing process is, if the student requests an investigation. In addition, by tracking this information, the College may be able to identify patterns and trends to help promote campus safety.
Will my parents be notified?
If the College has reason to believe that a student’s health or safety is at risk, it would communicate with the student’s emergency contact. Otherwise, the College 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 College may only discuss its process and is prohibited from talking about any particular situation to parents/guardians.
Who can I talk to confidentially about my situation?
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 as follows:
- Hazen Student Health/Counseling: (585) 395-2414; Walk-in hours are from 8 - 11 am on Monday – Friday.
- RESTORE Sexual Assault Services: Nicole Posluszny (B124 Seymour Union): (585) 210-8532; 24/7 RESTORE Hotline: (585) 546-2777.
- Willow Domestic Violence Center: 24/7 hotline: (585) 222-7233.
SUNY developed a great resource that provides both on and off campus resources, depending upon your location.
What other types of resources and support are available? If I don’t want to take any action against the other person, is the College able to do anything to help me?
A student doesn’t have to request that the College take any action in order to receive support. Support options include:
- No Contact Order: The Title IX Coordinator can issue a No Contact Order between students, which prohibits contact 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 not issued by 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, the College may require the accused party (respondent) to move.
- SAFE Ride: Students may use SAFE Ride to request an escort/ride from University Police Student Patrols to a location on campus. Contact (585) 395-SAFE between the hours of 8 pm – 2 am.
- 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.
- Course Withdrawal/re-assignment: The College may be able to assist a student with withdrawing from a class/scheduling a different section.
- Other: There might be other circumstances in which the Title IX Coordinator/College may be able to help.
Can the College help if something happened off campus?
The College is always able to provide support to the student impacted by the behavior. If the respondent is a student, then the complainant (impacted individual) will have the ability to proceed with a Student Conduct investigation at SUNY Brockport, and if the respondent attends a different university, the complainant may be able to request a Student Conduct investigation at that institution, if within the United States.
If the respondent is a College employee, the College will be able to conduct an investigation through the Office of Human Resources.
The complainant has the ability to file a police report with the appropriate law enforcement agency and proceed with criminal charges, regardless of whether the respondent is a student or an employee, and regardless of where the situation occurred.
What happens after the Title IX Coordinator is notified?
The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the complainant to let them know that they have a right to request a Student Conduct investigation, make a police report, be free from retaliation, and receive support from the College. The student may meet with the Title IX Coordinator and/or a RESTORE advocate to decide whether they want to take any action. The complainant should be in “the driver’s seat.”
Exceptions to when a Student Conduct investigation may be started, despite the complainant’s wishes, include:
- If the respondent has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender
- If the incident is an escalation of behavior
- If the respondent used a weapon
- If the complainant is a minor
- If there’s a pattern of perpetration by a particular group or at a given location.
In addition, if the respondent is an employee, the Office of Human Resources will likely need to conduct an investigation.
What happens if I make a police report?
You have a right to have an advocate present. RESTORE Sexual Assault Services is a partner agency with the College, and has an advocate on campus who keeps regular hours a few days a week at the Center for Select Respect, which is located at B124 Seymour Union, in the lower level. The RESTORE advocate will help explain what to expect if you make a criminal report and will 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.”
What if I want an investigation through Student Conduct?
If you would like the College 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) you might have. The investigators will talk to the 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 talk to you to ask some follow up questions), the investigators will write a report and may recommend a Student Conduct hearing.
The standard of evidence for any Student Conduct hearing is preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not”). If a hearing is held, the hearing officer or hearing board members will review the case and make a determination whether it is more likely than not that the Code of Student Conduct was violated.
A hearing officer will be appointed, and the hearing officer (or board) will ask you, the respondent, and witnesses some questions. You and the respondent will be separated by a partition or you may choose to appear by video. The hearing is closed, meaning that only the parties and the hearing officer (and 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 they will leave.
Both parties are provided with an outcome letter within 10 business days of the hearing and both have a right to appeal.