Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
Resources and Information
 

Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy

I. Notice of Non-Discrimination

This policy addresses all forms of sexual and gender-based discrimination, including sexual assault and harassment. Skidmore College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational, co-curricular, athletic, or other programs or in the context of admissions or employment. Sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that provides that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Skidmore College, as an educational community, will promptly and equitably respond to all reports of sexual and gender-based misconduct in order to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects on any individual or the community.

Inquiries or complaints about the application of Title IX may be directed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator and/or to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Skidmore College’s Title IX Coordinator oversees compliance with all aspects of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct policy. The Title IX Coordinator reports directly to the President of the College. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. Anyone wishing to make a report relating to discrimination or harassment should report to the appropriate individuals, listed below.

On-Campus
Joel Aure
Title IX Coordinator
Palamountain 434
815 North Broadway 
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-580-5708
jaure@skidmore.edu

Complaints Involving Students as Accused
Sarah Green
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Case Center 219
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-580-5022
sgreen4@skidmore.edu

Complaints Involving Staff or Faculty as Accused
Saytra Green
Assistant Director for Employment, Compliance, and Workforce Diversity
Barrett Center
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518-580-8413
sgreen3@skidmore.edu

Off Campus
Office of Civil Rights
New York Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education 32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500
Telephone: 646-428-3900
FAX: 646-428-3843
TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.NewYork@ed.gov

Anonymous Reporting
Additionally, anonymous reports can be made using the online reporting form, found here.

 

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II. Skidmore College Statement of Sexual Values

Skidmore College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that reflects and promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect. Members of the Skidmore community have the right to be free from all forms of abuse, assault, harassment, and coercive conduct, including sexual and gender-based misconduct, as defined in this policy. Skidmore College considers sexual and gender- based misconduct to be one of the most serious violations of the values and standards of the College. Unwelcome sexual contact of any form is a violation of students’ personal integrity and their right to a safe environment and therefore violates Skidmore’s values. Skidmore College will not tolerate sexual or gender-based misconduct in any form. Sexual and gender-based misconduct is also prohibited by federal regulations. In accordance with Title IX, Skidmore College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its programs and activities.

Skidmore recognizes that part of students’ development at the College may include learning and understanding themselves as sexual individuals. Skidmore also respects and upholds the principle that not all students choose to explore their sexual nature or sexuality.

Skidmore therefore aims to provide an environment that is comfortable and respectful for all students and their choices regarding sex and their sexuality. Understanding and applying this policy to the behavior and behavioral expectations of all members of the community helps to ensure Skidmore’s goal of being a safe, open community regarding sexuality. Failure to comply with this policy may result in a complaint of sexual and gender-based misconduct.

Skidmore College strives to promote an environment where mutual respect, communication, cultural competency, understanding, and awareness are the basis for any sexual behavior or activity. Mutual respect and communication are keys to maintaining each student’s personal integrity when engaging in sexual behavior.

Community Expectations

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III. Scope of this Policy

All members of the Skidmore College community have an obligation to act responsibly in the realm of sexuality, gender, and relationships; to recognize and challenge any sexual and gender-based misconduct; and to adhere to College policies and local, state, and federal law. This policy applies to conduct occurring on Skidmore College property or at College-sanctioned events or programs that take place off campus, including study abroad and internship programs. This policy also applies to off- campus conduct that is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on any member of the Skidmore College community or Skidmore College.

This policy informs the Skidmore community of our values and outlines violations involving sexual and gender-based misconduct. This policy identifies an individual’s rights, options, and resources, and describes actions individuals may take if they experience an incident of sexual and gender-based misconduct, or are accused of sexual and gender-based misconduct.

Sexual and gender-based misconduct can be committed by any member of the Skidmore College community, including students, staff, and faculty. The College has jurisdiction to take disciplinary action against a Responding Individual who is a current student or employee. There are specific policies and procedures for resolving a report of sexual or gender-based misconduct against a student, staff, or faculty Responding Individual:

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IV. Statement of Privacy and Confidentiality

All College employees (faculty, staff, administrator), with the exception of the Counseling Center and Health Services – who are confidential sources and Victim Advocates who can protect anonymity – are expected to immediately report actual or suspected discrimination, harassment, or sexual and gender- based misconduct to appropriate officials.

Skidmore College is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a report under this policy. Skidmore also is committed to providing assistance to help Reporting Individuals make informed choices. With any report under this policy, Skidmore will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy interests of the individuals involved in a manner consistent with the need for a careful assessment of the allegation and reasonable steps available to eliminate the reported conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

Privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under this policy.

Privacy: Privacy generally means that information related to a report of misconduct will be shared with a limited circle of individuals who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, investigation, resolution of the report, and related issues. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process. Even Skidmore offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain reporting individuals’ privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information provided to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or designee to investigate and/or seek a resolution.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality means that information shared by an individual with designated campus or community professionals cannot be revealed to any other individual without express permission of the individual, or as otherwise permitted by law. Those campus and community professionals include medical providers, mental health providers, and ordained clergy, all of whom normally have privileged confidentiality that is recognized by the law. These individuals are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless (i) given permission to do so by the person who disclosed the information; (ii) there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others; (iii) the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor under the age of 18; or (iv) as otherwise required or permitted by law or court order. While not confidential, Skidmore has also designated Victim Advocates who can protect the anonymity of reporting individuals.

Non-Confidential/Not Private: Any other College employee who is not designated as a confidential resource under this policy is required to share a report of sexual and gender-based misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will conduct an initial assessment of the conduct, the Reporting Individual’s desired course of action, and the necessity for any interim remedies or accommodations to protect the safety of the Reporting Individual or the community. The goal is to eliminate any hostile environment.

All College proceedings are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Clery Act, Title IX, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), other state and local laws, and College policy. No information shall be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law and College policy.

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V. Terminology

Reporting Individual: A Reporting Individual is usually an individual filing a complaint of a violation of the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct policy. In some cases (e.g., cases in which a person involved in an incident of alleged sexual and/or gender-based misconduct does not wish to participate in the process but the College decides that the alleged misconduct needs to be investigated), Skidmore College may serve as the Reporting Individual. In these cases, the College may extend the full rights of the Reporting Individual as defined in this policy to affected parties as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Responding Student: A Responding Student is a student alleged to have violated the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.

Victim Advocate: As part of their positions at Skidmore College, these individuals work to support and assist victims of sexual and gender-based misconduct. Students who have experienced sexual and gender-based misconduct can seek help from Victim Advocates knowing that those staff members will not report identifying details about the incident. This status is not legally protected in the same way that disclosures to mental health, health care providers, or college chaplains are.

Trained Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor (SGBM Advisor): The SGBM Advisor is a Skidmore Community staff or faculty member appointed by the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs who is trained to support the Reporting Individual or Responding Student. A current list of trained SGBM Advisors is maintained online.

Advisor of Choice: Both the Reporting Individual and Responding Student may elect to be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing to any meetings (including any Adjudication Panel review), conferences, and interviews pertaining to the investigation or adjudication of an SGBM complaint. In these instances, the advisor’s role is limited to observing, consulting with, and providing support to the Reporting Individual or Responding Student.

An Advisor of Choice may not speak or communicate on behalf of the Reporting Individual or Responding Student. This includes but is not limited to in-person meetings, phone conversations, email, or any other forms of electronic or written communication.

The Reporting Individual and Responding Student have the right to consult with and engage an attorney as their Advisor of Choice at their own expense. As with any Advisor of Choice, an attorney may be present at any investigative or adjudicative meetings, including the Adjudication Panel, when applicable. However, an attorney, as with any Advisor of Choice, will not be permitted to speak or communicate on behalf of the student they are representing as described in the paragraph above.

Additionally, once the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Investigator, or relevant personnel has knowledge that either the Reporting Individual or Responding Student has engaged an attorney as their formal Advisor of Choice, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will inform the other party and the College’s attorney in that regard.

Any Advisor of Choice who fails to comply with this policy may be asked to leave any such meeting or conversation and is expected to comply with this request. Continued failure to adhere to this policy may result in the Advisor of Choice no longer being allowed to participate in this role.

Witness: A person or bystander who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy. Witnesses must have observed the conduct in question or have information directly relevant to the incident (i.e. first told, etc.) and cannot be called solely to speak about an individual’s character.

Investigator: The individual(s) charged with investigating a complaint of sexual or gender-based misconduct. The Investigator(s) will typically be members of Campus Safety, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, the Assistant Director of Student Conduct, and/or external investigators designated by the College. Investigators attend, at a minimum, annual Title IX investigator training.

Conduct Administrator (CA): The Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Residential Life and Student Conduct or designee who oversees the adjudication process. The CA cannot be an individual who served in the capacity of investigator for the complaint and is not a decision maker in the adjudication process.

Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Adjudication Panel: The decision about whether there has been a violation of the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy will be made by a panel of three faculty and/or staff members. The Panel will be drawn from a pool of staff and faculty who receive specific training regarding the dynamics of sexual and gender-based misconduct, the factors relevant to a determination of credibility, the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information, the manner of deliberation, and the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard, as well as the College’s policies and procedures. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student will have the opportunity to state whether there are those they feel should not participate in the panel review due to bias or any other reason that would prevent them from making a fair assessment of the information. The final decision on any such requests for recusal will be made by the Conduct Administrator.

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VI. Student Bill of Rights

Under the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, all students have the right to:

  1. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
  2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
  3. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;
  4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
  5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
  6. Be free from any suggestion that the Reporting Individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
  7. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
  8. Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused and/or the Responding Student, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution;
  9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
  10. Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a Reporting Individual, accused, or Responding Student throughout the conduct process including during all meetings and panels related to such process; and
  11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or conduct process of the institution.

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VII. Prohibited Conduct

Sexual and gender-based misconduct is a broad term encompassing any sexual behavior or gender- based misconduct that was committed without affirmative consent. Sexual and gender-based misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors. The following descriptions represent sexual behaviors and gender-based misconduct that violate Skidmore’s community standards and values of respect, civility, and personal integrity. These behaviors are serious violations and represent a threat to the safety of the Skidmore Community.

Because SGBM often involves multiple violations of affirmative consent, it is the policy of Skidmore College to hold individuals accountable for all acts that violate this policy. This practice can mean that multiple violations of the SGBM policy are possible within a single incident.

1) Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome action, language or visual representation of a sexual nature that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or that creates a hostile working, educational, or living environment.

A form of sexual harassment (quid pro quo) exists when employment or academic benefits are offered in exchange for submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo sexual harassment also exists in those instances when rejection of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature results in adverse educational or employment action, or the threat of such adverse action, or limits or denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities.

A second form of sexual harassment (hostile work environment) exists when an individual is subjected to unwelcome discriminatory conduct because of his/her sex or gender that is either severe or pervasive, alters the work or educational conditions of the individual, and creates an abusive environment. 

Sexual harassment:

Sexual harassment also includes gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression or hostility based on gender, sexuality or sex- or gender-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include:

Physical conduct:

Verbal conduct:

Visual conduct:

Written conduct:

Quid pro quo conduct:

The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” is based on a reasonable person standard, considering all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:

2) Sexual Assault

Any nonconsensual sexual act prohibited by federal, tribal, or New York State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to affirmatively consent.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, sexual penetration and sexual touching, disrobing and/or exposure as defined below:

 

3) Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit or from the advantage or benefit of anyone else. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: non-consensual recording (by any means) of sexual activity or nudity without the knowledge and fully informed consent of all parties involved, and voyeurism.

 

4) Intimate-Partner Violence

Also referred to as dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence, intimate-partner violence includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior.

Intimate-partner violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse. Intimate-partner violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one’s self, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Intimate-partner violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations, and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.

Individuals who are victims of Domestic Violence in New York may seek a civil Order of Protection through Family Court. Criminal Orders of Protection may be issued if criminal charges are filed and an arrest is made. For more information, refer to Section 9 of this policy and/or see the New York State Law.

5) Stalking

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person or persons that would cause a reasonable individual to fear for their own or someone else’s safety and/or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking has occurred when any person engages in two or more separate acts that involve unwanted attention and/or contact. Examples include, but are not limited to, acts such as: repeated and unwanted phone calls, texts or emails, following or watching from a distance, spying on an individuals’ contacts, schedule or personally identifying or locating information, and/or damaging or threatening to damage personal property, pets, or any person.

Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, which is a form of stalking utilizing any type of electronic or social media to pursue, harass, threaten or make unwelcome contact with another person.

6) Attempted Act

Attempts to commit sexual or gender-based misconduct are also prohibited under this policy, as is aiding the commission of sexual misconduct as an accomplice.

7) Retaliation

Retaliation is any act or attempted act which would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in any activity protected under this policy such as reporting SGBM, seeking services, receiving protective measures and accommodations, and/or participating in an investigation or SGBM resolution process.

All individuals and groups who are members of the Skidmore community are prohibited from engaging in retaliation. Retaliation can take many forms, such as threats, intimidation, pressuring, continued abuse, violence or other forms of harm towards others. It can occur in various modes, including in person and through electronic communication. Retaliation includes maliciously and purposefully interfering with, threatening or damaging the academic or professional career and/or reputation of any individual involved in the reporting, investigation, and resolution of SGBM under this policy.

Individuals who provide information about SGBM in good faith, even if that information is later determined to not be accurate, are not engaging in retaliation.


Note on other Code of Social Conduct Violations

After reviewing the incident, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee and Conduct Administrator will determine whether other Code of Social Conduct charges in addition to the SGBM charges of Prohibited Conduct should be applied. This will be reflected in the formal complaint and will be provided to both the Reporting Individual and Responding Student.

Furthermore, the Conduct Administrator in accordance with the policies of the Office of Residential Life may determine that Code of Social Conduct charges should be applied to other parties as well.

If any Code of Conduct charges are addressed in and added to the formal complaint during the investigation, both parties will be notified and will have an opportunity to address them as well as the original charges prior to the Adjudication Phase. Subsequent or unrelated allegations involving the Reporting Individual and Responding Student will be addressed separately under the appropriate policy.

 

A: Policy Expectations with Respect to Consensual Relationships

As an educational community, Skidmore College stands by principles of fairness, equal opportunity, and non-discrimination. These principles take on special meaning in the relationship between students and members of the faculty, staff, or others in an advising or evaluative relationship. Specifically, all students have the right to be treated fairly, held to the same requirements and standards, and afforded equal opportunities based on their individual accomplishments. All employees are expected to maintain professional relationships with all College students; to act in accordance with standards of professional conduct; and to avoid conflict of interest, favoritism, bias, or creation of a hostile environment for any student of the College.

Sexual relationships between faculty and staff members and students are fraught with the potential for exploitation. The respect and trust accorded a professor by a student, as well as the actual or apparent authority of the professor, make voluntary consent by the student suspect. Even when both parties have in fact consented, the development of a sexual relationship renders both the faculty member and the College vulnerable to subsequent allegations of harassment.

  1. Policy on Consensual Sexual Relationships with Current Students
    Sexual relationships, whether consensual or not, between College employees and their students (those whom they currently teach, advise, supervise, coach, evaluate, or hold authority over in any way) violate the integrity of the College’s educational community and constitute grounds for disciplinary action up to and including separation from the College.
  2. Policy on Consensual Sexual Relationships with Students When There Is No Formal Authority over the Student
    Even if a College employee does not currently hold a position of authority over a student, any sexual relationship between an employee and a student of the College potentially jeopardizes the integrity of the academic or living environment of the Skidmore community. The College, therefore, discourages in the strongest possible terms any sexual relationship between an employee and any student of the College.  In the event that any such relationship is found to undermine the trust, respect, and fairness that are essential to the success of Skidmore’s educational mission, the College will take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College.

B: Affirmative Consent

Affirmative consent is the basis of this policy because affirmative consent maintains the value that all persons have the right to feel respected, acknowledged, and safe during sexual activity. Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

C: Use of Alcohol or Other Drugs

In general, the College considers sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs to be risky behavior. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. It is especially important, therefore, that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of the other individual’s intoxication or impairment, the prudent course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact or activity.

The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether a Responding Student should have been aware of the extent and amount of the ingestion of alcohol or drugs by the Reporting Individual or of the extent to which the use of alcohol or drugs impacted a Reporting Individual’s ability to give consent. For example, an individual who is in a blackout may appear to act normally and be giving consent, but may not actually have conscious awareness, the ability to consent, or later recall the events in question. In determining whether consent has been given, the College will consider both: the extent to which a Reporting Individual affirmatively gives words or actions indicating a willingness to engage in sexual activity; and, whether the Responding Student was aware – or reasonably should have known – of the Reporting Individual’s level of alcohol consumption and/or level of impairment.

Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence, and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain affirmative consent.

D: Capacity to Give Consent 

Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs that a person may be approaching incapacitation may include slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, odor of alcohol, combativeness, or emotional volatility.

Evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects an individual’s:

In other words, a person may be considered unable to give affirmative consent due to incapacitation if the person cannot understand who, what, where, when, why, or how, with respect to the sexual interaction.

Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether a Responding Student should have been aware of the Reporting Individual’s incapacitation based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of impairment when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person in the Responding Student’s position.

An individual who engages in sexual activity with someone the individual knows or reasonably should know is incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about whether to engage in sexual activity is in violation of this policy.

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VIII. Options for Support and Reporting

Skidmore College is committed to creating an environment in which individuals who have experienced an incident of sexual and gender-based misconduct are encouraged to come forward and make a report. Members of the Skidmore community are strongly encouraged to seek support and information from available reporting sources. Immediate reporting is essential for the protection of students. All sources will provide the Reporting Individual with information about obtaining support, resources, and the process associated with making a report or a formal complaint with the College and/or with a law enforcement agency.

The College will endeavor to respect the wishes of the Reporting Individual regarding how and if to move forward; however, in some circumstances, the College will have to move forward. Under these circumstances, the College will weigh the request for confidentiality or that no further action be taken against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, any potential threats to community safety, the respective ages and positions of the Reporting Individual and the Responding Student, whether there have been other complaints against the Responding Student, and the Responding Student’s right to receive information under applicable law.

Reporting the incident may help the Reporting Individual to gain some control over the situation and make informed decisions using information provided by the reporting source. Prompt reporting will not only benefit and support Reporting Individuals, but will also help the College in maintaining a safe community.

All students shall have the right to emergency access to the Title IX Coordinator or other trained official who shall be available upon the first instance of disclosure by a Reporting Individual to provide information regarding options to proceed and, where applicable, the importance of preserving evidence and obtaining a sexual assault forensic examination as soon as possible, as well as other pertinent information.

If the accused is an employee of the College, the Reporting Individual shall have the right to report the incident to the College’s Human Resources Department or may request that a confidential or private employee assist in reporting to the appropriate human resources authority.

Reporting Individuals have the right to receive assistance from appropriate institution representatives in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court.

1. To Speak with someone Confidentially

Confidential resources are those individuals who, by law and/or college policy, are obligated to maintain confidentiality of the disclosure of sexual or gender-based misconduct. These individuals are not required to re-disclose information shared with them other than in very extreme and unusual circumstances involving evidence of a serious and imminent threat to the individual making the report or to an identifiable third party. Confidential resources include:

2. Anonymous Reporting Sources

Anonymous reporting sources have been deemed confidential by the College but are still required to report statistical information to the Title IX Coordinator.

3. Private Reporting Sources

Reporting Individuals may speak with a Private Reporting Source if they are considering filing a formal report or complaint. Private Reporting Sources are individuals who are trained to provide students with information and assist with obtaining information and support from available resources at the College and in the Saratoga Springs community. Private Reporting Sources will also provide students with information about the process associated with making a report or a formal complaint with the College or with a law enforcement agency. Although these reporting sources will endeavor to maintain the privacy of the matter and the individuals involved, they are required to disclose necessary information that is disclosed to them to the Title IX Coordinator. In some circumstances, Private Reporting Sources may also be responsible for initiating an investigation of the alleged sexual or gender-based misconduct. Private Reporting Sources include:

4. Non-Confidential/Not Private Resources

Other college resources are individuals who can assist with obtaining campus resources, information and support about available resources at the College. Faculty and Staff members falling under this category are often referred to as Responsible Employees throughout federal mandates. Although these college resources will endeavor to maintain the privacy of the matter and the individuals involved, they are required to share what is disclosed to them to the Title IX Coordinator. Non-Confidential/Not Private Campus Resources include:

In addition, a Title IX complaint can be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (contact information available in the “Notice of Non-Discrimination” at the beginning of this policy).

 

Accommodations and Interim Measures

Regardless of whether the Reporting Individual wishes to pursue a Formal Report or Complaint, the College will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably possible under the circumstances to support and protect the parties involved and protect the College community. This may include taking appropriate interim measures before the final outcome of the investigation and/or adjudication, including interim suspension of the Responding Student. Interim measures are available at the request of either the Reporting Individual or Responding Student. Additionally, the College may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of all parties, the broader College community, and/or the integrity of the process.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take immediate and responsive action to enforce a previously implemented measure. Additional interim measures include, but are not limited to:

Any other remedy that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this policy.

Additionally, if a Reporting Individual does not wish to file a formal complaint with the College, they can request a negotiated accommodation, such as a No Communication Agreement.

Upon request, an individual may also seek a prompt review of the need for and/or terms of any other interim measure and accommodation that directly affects them, by submitting a written request for review to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee, providing the basis for that request and any evidence in support.

No Contact Directives

A No Contact Directive (NCD) is a written document prohibiting a student from contacting, by any means, a specific individual in the Skidmore community.  

Requirements of the No Contact Directive (NCD)

A student against whom a NCD is issued is required to:

The terms of the NCD remain in place until the directive expires, or the terms are modified.  While a NCD is in place, both the student against whom it is issued and the student protected by it, have the right to request that the document be reviewed and modifications be made.  Reviews will be conducted promptly, and modifications to NCDs will be made as needed.  Requests must be submitted, in writing, to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee and need to include the basis for the request and any evidence in support of the request.

Intentional violation of a No Contact Directive is grounds for conduct charges. All reported potential violations will be investigated and adjudicated under the Failure to Comply section of the Code of Social Conduct in the Student Handbook.

No Contact Directives are only enforceable by the College and only apply when the party against whom the No Contact Directive is issued is a member of the Skidmore community. Any student subject to a No Contact Directive (NCD) issued by the College is required to comply with the directive both on and off Skidmore College property.

Violations of a No Contact Directive should be reported to Campus Safety.  Although the College encourages individuals to report violations of a NCD promptly, safety is always the top priority.  Whenever a student is off campus and believes that their safety is at risk, that student should call 911 immediately.  Whenever a student is on campus and believes that their safety is at risk, that student should call Campus Safety at 518-580-5566.

On-Campus Violations:

Off-Campus Violations:

Determination

In determining whether a NCD violation has occurred, the Office of Residential Life will consider multiple factors, including but not limited to:

Any reported alleged violation of a NCD will be investigated promptly.  Students who fail to comply with the terms of a NCD may be found in violation of the Code of Social Conduct under Failure to Comply.  Additionally, depending on the nature, severity, and frequency of the alleged NCD violation as well as other potential relevant factors, the College reserves the right to apply additional violations under the Code of Social Conduct or the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.  These may include but are not limited to Retaliation, Stalking, Attempted Act, and other Prohibited Conduct. Any such alleged violation will be addressed consistent with the appropriate college policy.

College Imposed Interim Suspension or Leave

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IX. Filing a Formal Report

Reporting to the College

If the Responding Student is a currently enrolled student, any person who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination may file a formal report with the Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The Reporting Individual works with the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee to submit a statement and explore options for proceeding through the process.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

It is the Reporting Individual’s decision whether or not to file a criminal report. The College encourages Reporting Individuals to seek out the support system that feels most appropriate and helpful. It is the policy of Skidmore College, and the Saratoga Springs Police Department, to not issue citations or take disciplinary action against victims who are under the legal drinking age or under the influence of illegal substances who report an assault.

In the event an individual chooses to report to law enforcement, they may do so on their own or request assistance from Campus Safety. Saratoga Springs police can come to campus to take a statement and ensure that the Reporting Individual is physically safe. The police will also interview the Reporting Individual about what happened. The interview is conducted in private, but the Reporting Individual can request to have a friend or another supportive person accompany them if they wish. The police will get as much information as possible about the incident and investigate the case further.

Once an investigation is completed, the police refer the case to the District Attorney’s office. The District Attorney’s office decides whether or not the case will be prosecuted by considering factors such as the amount of evidence available to prove the charge(s) in court. If the District Attorney decides not to prosecute, this does not mean that the District Attorney doesn’t believe that an assault occurred. It means that based on past experience, the District Attorney does not believe that there is sufficient evidence to successfully prosecute the case.

To report to local law enforcement, Reporting Individuals should contact the Saratoga Springs Police Department at 518-584-1800.

Individuals should contact the Saratoga Springs Police Department at 518-584-1800.

Violation of Law and College Discipline

Because sexual and gender-based misconduct may constitute both a violation of College policy and criminal activity, the College encourages persons to report alleged sexual and gender-based misconduct promptly to Skidmore Campus Safety or local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence.

Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual or gender-based misconduct has occurred under the College’s policy. In other words, conduct may constitute sexual or gender-based misconduct under the College policy even if it is not a crime or law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute.

The filing of a report of sexual and gender-based misconduct with the College is independent of any criminal investigation or proceedings (except that the College’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators gather evidence), and the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation and take interim measures to protect the Reporting Individual and the College community as necessary

Timely Warning
If a report of sexual or gender-based misconduct discloses a serious or continuing threat to the Skidmore community, the College may issue a campus wide timely warning (which can take the form of campus flyers and/or an email to campus community) to protect the health or safety of the community. The College will make every effort to ensure that a Reporting Individual’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

At no time will the College release the name of the Reporting Individual to the general public without the express consent of the Reporting Individual. The release of the Responding Student’s name to the general public is guided by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the CLERY Act.

All College proceedings are conducted in compliance with the requirements of FERPA, the CLERY Act, Title IX, New York’s Enough Is Enough law, and other state and federal laws. No information shall be released from such proceedings except as required or permitted by law and College policy.

       Order of protection

Reporting individuals have the right to be assisted by Campus Safety or other official reporting resources in obtaining a court ordered order of protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order. An order of protection can only be issued by a judge if a criminal complaint is made.

If the institution receives an order of protection, a copy of the order will be shared with the Reporting Individual or Responding Student. Either party will have an opportunity to meet or speak with an institution representative, or other appropriate individual, who can explain the order and answer questions about it, including information from the order about the Responding Student’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person or persons. Consequences for violating these orders may include, but are not limited, to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension.

In the event of a violation of the order of protection, Reporting Individuals may receive assistance from Campus Safety in contacting local law enforcement and affecting an arrest.

Additional Information on Obtaining an Order of Protection:

An Order of Protection is a legal document in which a Judge orders someone to follow specific conditions of behavior – that is, tells someone things that they must or must not do.

Police can make immediate arrests if they have good reason to believe those conditions have been violated. The point of a Temporary Order of Protection is to maintain peace and provide protection until all the facts have been gathered and the case is heard in Court. The Order remains in effect as written until it is changed or terminated by the Court.

There are generally two types of Orders of Protection, Family Court Order and Criminal Court Order. For more information, please see https://www.nycourts.gov/faq/orderofprotection.shtml#q1

Note: Representatives from Wellspring may assist members of the Skidmore community in obtaining orders of protection from Family Court. Likewise, Campus Safety will assist community members with obtaining orders from the Criminal Court via the police.

Orders of Protection are enforceable on campus and in other jurisdictions, including out of state. This becomes particularly important if the requesting party anticipates problems when they are home or elsewhere during class breaks. Most orders are entered into a nationwide database so police will be able to confirm the existence of an order, even if you don’t have a hardcopy with you. More information on the NYS Order of Protection Alert System can be found here: https://oop.nyalert.gov/OOP/Default.aspx.

 

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X.   Requesting Confidentiality/No Further Action

Requesting Confidentiality and No Further Action From the College: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond

Prior to filing a formal complaint, a Reporting Individual can request that, even though the College has received actual notice, no further action be taken by the College and that the incident remains private. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator and/or designee will review the information received and decide if that option is available. If this option is available, the incident will remain private and no action by the College will be taken. The incident will be kept on file with the Title IX Coordinator in the event that a future pattern emerges. The incident may be re-evaluated if a pattern does emerge. If the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee has enough information indicating that the College has a duty to respond to the behavior, regardless of the Reporting Individual’s participation in the process, the College may move forward with filing a formal complaint and serving as the Reporting Individual in the absence of the Reporting Individual.

In the event that a Reporting Individual does not wish to proceed with an investigation or adjudication process, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will determine, based on the available information, including any investigative report, whether the investigation or conduct proceedings should nonetheless go forward.

When weighing an individual’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the College will likely respect the Reporting Individual’s request for confidentiality.

The College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation, but its ability to do so may be limited based on the nature of the request by the Reporting Individual. The College will assess any barriers to proceeding, including retaliation, and will inform the Reporting Individual that Title IX prohibits retaliation and the College will take strong responsive action to protect the Reporting Individual. Where the College is unable to take action consistent with the request of the Reporting Individual, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will communicate with the Reporting Individual about the College’s chosen course of action, which may include the College choosing to pursue action against a Responding Student on its own behalf. Alternatively, the course of action may also include steps to limit the effects of the alleged misconduct and prevent its recurrence that do not involve formal disciplinary action against a Responding Student or revealing the identity of the Reporting Individual.

If the College determines that it cannot maintain a student’s confidentiality, the College will inform the Reporting Individual prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College’s response.

The College will remain ever mindful of the Reporting Individual’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect them from retaliation or harm and work with the student to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the Reporting Individual, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:

The College may not require a Reporting Individual to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual and gender-based misconduct campus-wide, reports of sexual and gender-based misconduct (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual and gender-based misconduct occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

If the College determines that it can respect a Reporting Individual’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the Reporting Individual. If the College honors the request for confidentiality, the Reporting Individual must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the Responding Student may be limited.

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XI. Investigation Process

Filing a Formal Complaint

If the Reporting Individual wishes to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator and/or designee will collect information from the Reporting Individual for the formal complaint. After receiving this statement, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator will take into consideration the choice/wishes of the Reporting Individual and, as needed, consult certain parties or personnel to determine how to proceed. The options for next steps include:

  1. Not enough information presented to move forward with a formal complaint.
  2. Moving forward with a formal complaint: Information collected in the formal report gives reasonable cause to believe a violation of the SGBM policy may have occurred and warrants further investigation. A full investigation will begin.

Please note that mediation or any form of informal resolution is not permitted for alleged violations of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.

Full Investigation

The Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will determine the most effective method of reviewing the concerns raised by the reported sexual or gender-based misconduct. In all cases, the College will respond to the report in a prompt, impartial, procedurally fair, and effective manner. Upon receipt of a report, the College will strive to complete the investigation and adjudication processes (excluding appeal process) within sixty (60) calendar days. Throughout the investigation process, a Reporting Individual and Responding Student may be accompanied by a trained Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor and/or an Advisor of their choosing to all meetings, investigation interviews, and/or panel reviews pertaining to the complaint.  Please keep in mind that an Advisor of Choice is not permitted to speak on behalf of the student they are supporting as described on page 9 under the definition of Advisor of Choice.

Investigation Process

An investigation into whether or not a violation of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy has occurred will begin after a formal complaint has been filed and the Reporting Individual has been informed of their rights under this policy.

The Title IX Deputy Coordinator or designee will then reach out to the Responding Student to provide them the Formal Complaint, including the date, time, location, and factual allegations concerning a violation, the investigation and adjudication process, and their rights under this policy. The Responding Student must contact the assigned Investigators to schedule the initial investigation interview within 48 hours of receiving the formal complaint. If the Responding Student fails to arrange and meet with the Investigators within the specified time frame, the complaint process will proceed in their absence.

The Reporting Individual and Responding Student will be kept informed of all developments and will be advised of the procedures that will guide the resolution of the complaint.

The purpose of the investigation is to collect information, through meeting separately with the Reporting Individual (if participating), Responding Student, and pertinent witnesses, and reviewing other relevant information. At any time during the course of an investigation, the Reporting Individual, Responding Student, or any witnesses may also provide a written statement, other supporting materials, or identify other potential witnesses, regarding the matter under review. All information gathered will be used to complete an investigation report to be used during the adjudication process. Individuals who are interviewed may provide information that the Investigators determine is irrelevant to the finding of facts and reserve the right to redact this information from the final investigation report.

The investigation report will be shared with the Reporting Individual and Responding Student once it is complete. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student each have five business days following the receipt of the report to write a response to it or pose questions to the other parties (including witnesses), if they wish to do so, before the investigation report is considered final. Written responses may also include additional information not previously included in the report that is relevant to the determination of whether or not the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy has been violated. Submitted questions will be reviewed by the Investigators and if deemed appropriate and unanswered will be asked to the other parties. Investigators will gather answers to the questions asked and responses will be included in the final investigation report. Any new information will be reviewed for relevance by the Investigators prior to becoming part of the final investigation report. Written responses and answers to questions will be included in the official materials sent forward to the Adjudication Panel for review. Once the investigation report is final, it is turned over to the Conduct Administrator to begin the adjudication process. The final investigation report is provided to the Reporting Individual, Responding Student, and the Adjudication Panel.

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XII. Adjudication Process

Standard of Evidence

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate reports of alleged sexual and gender-based misconduct under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard and that is the standard adopted by this policy. A preponderance of the evidence exists when a reasonable person, after a careful balancing of available information, would conclude that “more likely than not” a violation has occurred and the student charged is responsible for the violation.

Special Procedures

A. False Reports

The College will not tolerate false allegations of incidents of sexual and gender-based misconduct.

Complaints made in good faith that are found not to constitute harassment or discrimination will not be considered false allegations. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.  Any individual who knowingly, maliciously, or frivolously makes a false allegation of sexual and gender-based misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion. Similarly, any party or witness who is later proven to have intentionally given false information during the course of an investigation or conduct process may be subject to disciplinary action.

B. Amnesty for Reporting Individual(s)/Witnesses/Bystanders

The health and safety of every student at Skidmore College is of utmost importance. Skidmore recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence – including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault, or the alleged incident of sexual and gender-based misconduct – occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct.  Skidmore College strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or sexual and gender-based misconduct to reporting resources listed above. A bystander acting in good faith or a Reporting Individual acting in good faith who discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or sexual and gender-based misconduct to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to Skidmore College Code of Conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, or incident of sexual and gender-based misconduct.

C. Alternative Participation Options

Reporting Individuals or Responding Students may request alternative participation options during the commenting period of the panel. Options include placing a privacy screen in the panel review room, or other options that provide a safe space for participation while not depriving the Responding Student of their rights in the process. While these options are intended to help make all parties more comfortable in participating in this process, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the Responding Student.

 D. Sexual History/Character, Past Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Violations, and Past Conduct Violations

      1. The Investigator and the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Adjudication Panel will not consider information concerning the sexual/romantic history or sexual character of either the Reporting Individual or the Responding Student, except:
        1. From either the Reporting Individual or the Responding Student regarding their shared sexual history. If either offers such information, the other will have the right to respond; or
        2. Information regarding the Responding Student’s sexual history that shows a pattern of behavior by the Responding Student. In order to be relevant, the Investigators will strive to gather a description of the similar behavior, a summary of the relevance of the described behavior, and a brief explanation of why this information was not previously investigated and/or the status of the investigation. Whether certain conduct constitutes “similar behavior” is within the discretion of the Adjudication Panel.
      2. If, in the past, a Responding Student was found to have violated the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy (“Past Violation”), the information related to the Past Violation may be shared by the Conduct Administrator and considered by the Adjudication Panel prior to determining responsibility and sanctions, if:
        1. The previous violation was substantially similar to the present complaint; and
        2. The previous violation indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the Responding Student.
      3. Other violations of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy that were not substantially similar or other student misconduct (ex. Alcohol and other drug violations) may be shared by the Conduct Administrator after the Panel has determined responsibility but prior to determining sanctions.

Adjudication Procedures

The Conduct Administrator shall assemble a Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Adjudication Panel of three trained members of Skidmore’s staff or faculty to review sexual and gender-based misconduct cases. Gender diversity will be ensured in panel composition. The pool of trained Adjudication Panel Members are staff members who are appointed by the DoS/VPSA and/or the faculty members who serve on the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) and are appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) to serve in over-lapping two-year terms. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student have a right to petition that any member of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Adjudication Panel be removed on the basis of knowledge of the participants in the case that may impair – or may be perceived to impair – their ability to review and determine a case impartially. Panel members are also encouraged to remove themselves from a panel if they have knowledge of the participants in the case that may impair – or may be perceived to impair – their ability to review and determine a case impartially, and to recuse themselves if their participation might compromise the integrity of the adjudication process.

The Adjudication Panel will deliberate in private to review the investigation report. The Panel will start its deliberations by reading the statements gathered by the Investigator(s) and the investigation report, along with the responses to the report (if any) from the Reporting Individual and Responding Student. After discussion, the Panel will decide whether there are additional questions that need to be asked. If so, the Conduct Administrator will go back to the parties to ask those questions. Any additional information collected will be submitted to the Reporting Individual and Responding Student before the panel commenting session.

Following the initial review by the Adjudication Panel, the Responding Student and Reporting Individual will be informed in writing of the date and time of the panel review and commenting session. Any scheduling requests must be submitted to the Conduct Administrator to be resolved no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of the commenting session.

The Responding Student and Reporting Individual may be accompanied by one advisor of their choosing and one Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor. The Advisor and Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor are present to act as counselors and to support the Responding Student and Reporting Individual, and to provide advice on procedural matters. The Advisor and Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor do not have speaking privileges during the Adjudication Panel review. A panel review will not be cancelled or postponed in the event a scheduled Advisor and/or Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor does not attend. If the scheduled Advisor and/or Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor is not able to attend, the Reporting Individual/Responding Student is advised to arrange for a substitute. The Responding Student and Reporting Individual must notify the Conduct Administrator of any Advisor and Sexual and/or Gender-Based Misconduct Advisor attending the panel 24-hours prior to the panel review.

Any portion of the panel review not considered private deliberation will be audio-recorded, including the commenting session. A digital file will be made available upon request to the Reporting Individual and/or Responding Student in order to prepare a written appeal.

During the Adjudication Panel review, the Reporting Individual and Responding Student are invited to address the Panel during a 30-minute commenting session. The commenting session can be used to direct the Panel to review specific sections of the investigation report. The commenting session will not allow for any impact statements to be made. The Panel will not ask any questions during this phase, as all questions have been asked by the Investigators and answered by the appropriate parties. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student then leave the room and the Panel by unanimous decision will determine whether or not the Responding Student violated the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and/or Code of Social Conduct violation as alleged in the formal complaint by finding either: “in violation” or “no violation” using the standard of evidence described above. If the Responding Student or Reporting Individual fails to appear at the panel, the panel will move forward in their absence.

If the Panel renders a determination of no violation, the Panel adjourns. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student have the right to appeal this determination. If either party submitted an impact statement, the Conduct Administrator will contact them to pick up the unread statements and they will not remain a part of the case information.

If the Panel renders a determination of “in violation”, the Panel will review any submitted impact statements and information regarding past violations prior to making sanctioning determinations.

The Panel will then recommend a sanction consistent with those specified in the Skidmore College Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.

The Panel shall have up to five business days following the 30-minute commenting session to render a decision regarding a finding or sanction.

The Conduct Administrator will notify both the Reporting Individual and Responding Student simultaneously, in writing via email, of the Panel’s decision.

The Reporting Individual and Responding Student both have the right to appeal any decision made by the Panel. Appeal procedures can be found in the section below.

The College reserves the right to extend any time periods identified in this policy and both the Reporting Individual and Responding Student will be promptly notified of any changes in the procedures.

If a sexual or gender-based misconduct case is also being heard by a civil or criminal court, the College retains the right to hear the case before, after, or during the same time as the civil or criminal case, and to implement appropriate action (such as No Contact Directives, removal from campus residence facilities, removing a student from a class or classes or interim suspension) to maintain the safety of the campus.

The campus conduct process shall be confidential to the extent possible and as allowed by law.

Notification of Determination

Appeal Process

A student involved in the conduct process as a Reporting Individual or a Responding Student may file a written appeal of the Adjudication Panel’s decision. Appeals will be considered on the following grounds:

  1. A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the process (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
  2. The discovery of new information, unavailable to the appealing party during the original panel or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction; or
  3. Sanctions are disproportionate to the nature or severity of the violation or violations, taking into account the totality of the circumstances (including the cumulative conduct record of the Responding Student, if any).

In the event that the sanction is suspension or expulsion, the decision will be automatically reviewed by the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs (DoS/VPSA). Both parties can submit written statements to be considered by the DoS/VPSA during their review process.

To File an Appeal

To Respond to an Appeal

Potential Appeal Outcomes

The appeal will be reviewed by an Appeal Panel, chaired by the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs (DoS/VPSA). The Appeal Panel members will be chosen from the same pool of trained Panel members described in the adjudication procedures above. The Reporting Individual and Responding Student have a right to petition that any member of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Adjudication Panel be removed on the basis of knowledge of the participants in the case that may impair – or may be perceived to impair – their ability to hear and determine a case impartially. Panel members are also encouraged to remove themselves from a panel if they have knowledge of the participants in the case that may impair – or may be perceived to impair – their ability to hear and determine a case impartially, and to recuse themselves if their participation might compromise the integrity of the adjudication process.

The Appeal Panel will meet in private to review all available written material, including the full investigation report, submitted impact statements, outcome letters (with written rationale), appeal statements and the digital recording of the 30-minute commenting session. After a review of all available information, the Appeal Panel may decide to:

The Appeal Panel will review the appeal and render a decision within ten business days after receiving the written appeal. The decision of the Appeal Panel is final, subject to any further proceedings ordered by the DoS/VPSA as described above.

*The timeline above may change depending on individual circumstances of the case. If there are any changes to the appeal timeline, this will be communicated by the DoS/VPSA or their designee to all parties involved.

**During the appeal process, the DoS/VPSA may implement interim restrictions for sanctions such as suspension or expulsion to allow the Responding Student to continue to take classes but protect the safety and well-being of the Reporting Individual.

Sanctions

Sanctions are designed to stop the harassing behavior, prevent its reoccurrence, and remedy the effects upon the victim and community. Sanctions preserve individual and institutional safety and integrity and, whenever possible and appropriate, help offenders repair the damage to the individual and community for which they have been found responsible. Individuals found to be in violation of sexual and gender-based misconduct offenses involving penetration will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion. Individuals found to be in repeat violation of sexual and/or gender-based misconduct offenses will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.

The Office of Residential Life maintains a record of all student misconduct and sanctions applied, and these are admissible in subsequent student conduct proceedings involving the student(s) in question. Student misconduct may have an impact on eligibility for academic prizes and honors, eligibility to hold a student leadership position, participation and/or status in the housing selection process, law school applications, security clearances, etc.

When considering appropriate sanctions for the violation, the Panel will consider the following pieces of information (in no particular order):

  1. The nature and violence of the conduct;
  2. The Responding Student’s prior discipline history;
  3. The impact of the conduct on the Reporting Individual, and their desired sanctions, if known;
  4. The impact of the conduct on the Skidmore community, its members, and/or its property;
  5. How the College has sanctioned similar incidents in the past;
  6. Whether the Responding Student has accepted responsibility; and
  7. Any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances, including the College’s values.

The sanctions available to the Adjudication Panel assign include, but are not limited to, the following:

A student who fails to comply with assigned sanctions will generally be placed on hold and may receive additional, more substantial sanctions. In the case of graduating seniors, students may not receive diplomas or transcripts or participate in the graduation ceremony until completion of all sanction requirements, unless specifically permitted by the Adjudication Panel.

Transcript Notation

For crimes of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(f)(i)(i)- (viii), Skidmore shall make a notation on the transcript of a Responding Student found responsible after a conduct process that they were “suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or “expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For the Responding Student who withdraws from Skidmore while such conduct charges are pending, and declines to complete the disciplinary process Skidmore shall make a notation on the transcript of such students that they “withdrew with conduct charges pending.” Students who are suspended after a finding of responsibility for a Code of Conduct violation may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Students/Vice President of Student Affairs requesting that the transcript notation be removed from their transcript. Such a notation may not be removed from a student’s transcript prior to one year after conclusion of the suspension. Notations for expulsion will not be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed.

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XIII. Support Services and Resources

On-Campus Resources

*indicates availability 24 hours a day/7 days a week

 

Off-Campus Confidential Reporting Sources

Off-Campus Reporting Sources

*indicates availability 24 hours a day/7 days a week

 

Policy revision on September 2017.

This policy may be amended, in writing, by Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean’s designee at any time.

 
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