Bias/Hate-Related Incidents

Bias/Hate-Related Incidents
New York State Hate Crimes Act of 2000
Statement of College Policy and Practices

Hartwick College informs incoming students and new employees about bias/hate-related crime and prevention measures through programs that include workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and orientation sessions as well as printed or web-based materials. The purpose of these programs and information resources is to disseminate information about bias/hate-related crime, promote discussion, encourage reporting of incidents of such crime, and facilitate prevention. The information the College presents includes:

Definition of Bias/Hate-Related Incidents
Applicable Laws, Ordinances and Regulations
Penalties for Commission of Bias/Hate-Related Crimes
Identifying and Reporting Bias/Hate-Related Crime

Availability of Counseling and Other Support Services for the Victims of Bias/Hate Related Crime
Nature of and Common Circumstances Concerning Bias/Hate Related Crime on College Campuses
Methods the College Employs to Advise and Update Students about Security Procedures
Personnel and Support Contacts

Definition of Bias/Hate-Related Incidents
Federal, state, and local law define bias/hate crimes as any criminal offense or attempted criminal offense that one could reasonably conclude is motivated, in whole or in part, by the perpetrator's bias or attitude against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics. Such characteristics include age, ancestry or ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, height or weight, immigration or citizenship status, marital status, race, religion or religious practices, or sexual orientation.

Applicable Laws, Ordinances and Regulations
A person commits a bias or hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense and either:

  • intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, or
  • intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.

The laws on and penalties for the commission of bias/hate-related crimes, are codified in article 485 of the New York State penal law.

Penalties for Commission of Bias/Hate-Related Crimes
When a person is convicted of a bias or hate crime, the crime shall be deemed to be a higher category than the specified offense the defendant committed. Specific penalties and terms of imprisonment can be viewed in article 485 of the New York State penal law. Should the victim pursue judicial action through the College, College procedures for adjudication and disciplinary sanctions will apply in addition to any penalties imposed by local, state, or federal law.

Identifying and Reporting Bias/Hate-Related Crime
Members of the College community should notify the Office of Campus Safety (ext . 0 or 911) immediately of all incidents of bias/hate-related crime so that protection—including police protection—can be provided if needed. When the accused is a Hartwick College student, the victim should file a report with Hartwick Campus Safety; when the accused is a College employee, the victim should file a report with the Hartwick College Office of Human Resources. A report may also be filed with any of the on-campus designated personnel (see below). These individuals can provide students and employees an opportunity to explore, in a private, one-on-one discussion, the full range of legal, medical, and counseling options available to them, both on campus and in the Oneonta community.

Victims may file formal charges with the police. If desired, Hartwick’s Office of Campus Safety will provide students and employees with information to help them with that decision. Campus safety officers or representatives of the College are available to accompany the victim to the police station to file formal charges. The College has no control over criminal investigations and criminal processes.

Students and employees may pursue a College judicial hearing by filing formal charges with the College, whether or not they pursue the case via formal charges through the New York State criminal system.

Students and employees who believe they have been victims of bias/hate-related crime may file formal charges with the Hartwick judicial system if the alleged perpetrator is an enrolled student. Although there is no time limit on the filing of formal charges with the College, a prompt formal charge is likely to result in a more satisfactory investigation.

Should a student or employee witness a bias/hate-related incident, s/he may provide a valuable resource to the College in reconstructing the incident so that an appropriate response can be made or investigation completed. The College values the willingness of witnesses to step forward and assist College authorities in the investigation of such matters.

Availability of Counseling and Other Support Services for the Victims of Bias/Hate Related Crime
Hartwick College Counseling Services and Health Services are available to all students free of charge. All consultations are fully confidential, and counseling is available whether or not you decide to report an incident of bias/hate- related crime. For employees, the Office of Human Resources staff is available.

Nature of and Common Circumstances Concerning Bias/Hate Related Crime on College Campuses
Such crimes can involve racial epithets, disparate treatment based on racially or gender-related assumptions, sexually discriminatory behaviors in terms of "hostile environment" (sexual harassment), and intolerance toward openly gay students (in language and action). The categories include:

  • faculty/staff-to-student incidents;
  • faculty-to-faculty, staff-to-staff incidents; and
  • student-to-student cases.

Methods the College Employs to Advise and Update Students about Security Procedures
Safety orientations are conducted each year for first-year students during New Student Orientation and for all students at meetings held in each residence hall. In addition, numerous educational and awareness programs are sponsored throughout the year by student affairs staff members, and student clubs and organizations. The offices of Campus Safety, Student Affairs, and the President issue safety alerts when appropriate with information provided in a timely fashion to all members of the College community. These alerts may be transmitted via the College network, voice mail system, video network, and posted flyers.

Personnel and Support Contacts
Matters related to bias/hate crimes may be addressed to:

  • The Office of Campus Safety, Dewar Hall, 607-431-4111 or x0 or x 911
  • The Office of Student Affairs, Dewar Hall, 607-431-4500
  • The Office of Human Resources, Shineman Chapel House, 607-431-4319
  • The College’s Ombudsperson, Michael Haehnel, Clark Hall, 607-431-4164
  • The Office of the President, Bresee Hall, 607-431-4990

Resources available include:

  • Counseling Services, Perrella Wellness Center, 607-431-4420
  • Health Center, Perrella Wellness Center, 607-431-4120
  • Chaplaincy Services, Dewar Hall, 607-431-4505
  • International Student Advisor (Emily Quackenbush), Center for Interdependence, Yager Hall, 607-431-4423
  • Director of Pluralism Programs (Harry Matthews), Office of Academic Affairs, Bresee Hall, 607-431-4428
  • Residence Advisors and Directors (varies by residence hall)
  • Employee Assistance Program (available to faculty and staff only); Andy Miller (The Standard Insurance Company), 866-687-8580

Portions of this policy were adapted from Skidmore College, Hilbert College, and Cornell University.