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Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Rape/Sodomy: Reporting and Resolution Process

Statement of Purpose
Confidential Contacts
Initial Reporting of Incidents
Bringing a Complaint
Informing the Alleged Offender of the Complaint
Resolving the Complaint
The Appeal Process
Rights of the Complainant and the Accused
Possible Disciplinary Sanctions

Statement of Purpose
Hartwick College does not condone and will not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or rape/sodomy in any form. When cases are reported, confidentiality, protection of the victim and prevention of further injury or continued stress are the first priority.  The College will make every reasonable effort to be responsive and sensitive to the victims of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and rape/sodomy. It is also the College's responsibility to provide a forum in which anyone involved in such a case may expect to have the issues expeditiously and carefully investigated and resolved.  Because of the traumatic nature of these cases, the College student conduct system will respond quickly to the charges and resolve the case as promptly as possible while using all reasonable efforts to ensure that the rights of all parties involved are protected.

Students should be aware that sexual offenses can and do happen on college campuses.  This includes predatory offenses, alcohol-related offenses, date rape and drug-related rape.

Confidential Contacts
If you have been raped, sexually assaulted and/or sexually harassed by a student, professor, administrator, or anyone in the Hartwick College community, there are people you can talk to about it. You can call or approach any of these individuals and tell them what happened. They will listen, explain your options, and help you to decide what you want to do. The content of your discussion will be kept strictly confidential unless such information represents a threat to health and safety of self or others.

Counseling Services – 431-4420
Perrella Wellness Center
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Counseling is available for emergencies 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while College is in session by calling campus safety from any campus phone by dialing "0", or by dialing or 431-4000 from off campus.

Health Services – 431-4120
Perrella Wellness Center
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

The decision of whether or not to report a case of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or rape/sodomy can be a difficult one, especially in the immediate aftermath of the incident.  Talking with a trained counselor can be extremely helpful in dealing with the emotional trauma and in arriving at a decision about whether or not to report the incident.  The counseling staff at Hartwick College is available to help.  All information will be held in strict confidence except as otherwise permitted by law.

Talking to a counselor does not constitute reporting the incident; however, the counselor can help you to better understand how to report the incident if you choose to do so.  Talking to a counselor and/or reporting the incident can be initiated at any time.  It does not have to be immediate and it does not depend on the collection of physical evidence. 

The Oneonta Rape Crisis Hotline (607-432-8088) is also available to all members of the campus community including students.

In the immediate aftermath of a rape or sexual assault, medical care and the collection of physical evidence are very important.  The individual should not shower, bathe, or change clothes and should be taken to the A.O. Fox Hospital emergency room (607-432-2000) or the Perrella Health Services (431-4420, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday) as soon as possible.

Initial Reporting of Incidents
Incidents should be reported to one of the following offices:

  • Office of Campus Safety -- ext. 4111, 431-4111
  • Office of Student Affairs -- ext. 4502, 431-4502
  • Office of Academic Affairs -- ext. 4400, 431-4400
  • Office of Human Resources -- ext. 4319, 431-4319
  • Oneonta Police Department -- 432-1111

Staff in these offices will treat each case with sensitivity and, to the extent reasonably possible, confidentiality.  In order for the College staff to respond effectively to an incident, it should be reported as soon as possible.

If the complainant and accused live in College housing, the vice president for student affaird or the director of residential life will promptly determine whether there is a need for modifying the living arrangements.

Bringing a Complaint
A victim may decide to press charges with the Oneonta Police Department and/or to file a formal complaint with the appropriate Hartwick College officials. This may happen after consulting with a friend or the staff of any of the offices or agencies listed above. If charges are pressed through Oneonta Police Department and the College Student Conduct System, the adjudication processes will remain separate and distinct.

Students wishing to bring a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or rape/sodomy should contact the vice president of student affairs.  The vice president or his/her designee will apprise the student of the College's policies and procedures in such cases, the rights of both parties, and the possible outcomes.  The vice president or his/her designee will request the student complete a formal written statement or accept the College report of incident as true and accurate.

Faculty members wishing to bring a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or rape/sodomy should contact the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.  The vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty or his/her designee will apprise the faculty member of the College's policies and procedures in such cases, the rights of both parties, and the possible outcomes.

Employees, other than faculty, wishing to bring a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or rape/sodomy should contact the director of human resources.  The director or his/her designee will apprise the employee of the College's policies and procedures in such cases, the rights of both parties, and the possible outcomes.

As a result of the initial discussions between the complainant and appropriate College official, the College will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into the matter as required under Title IX: Non-Discriminition and Harassment in Education Act, and will take any steps it deems appropriate to remedy the situation.  This investigation will take place regardless of whether the complainant chooses to file a formal written complaint.  The College will attempt to honor a complainant's request for anonymity, unless an effective investigation cannot be conducted without disclosure of the complainant's identity.  In any event, the College will make reasonable efforts to protect the complainant's right to be free from any retaliation in the classroom or work place for having made a complaint.

If, after the initial discussions, the complainant decides to file an official complaint, the official will instruct the complainant regarding the process for preparing a written statement.

Informing the Alleged Offender of the Complaint
Once an official complaint has been filed, the official receiving the complaint will immediately (by the end of the next business day) contact the College official with jurisdiction over the alleged offender named in the complaint and provide him or her with a copy of the formal written statement.  Every reasonable effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of all parties involved. If the alleged offender is a student, the vice president for student affairs must be notified of the complaint. If the alleged offender is a faculty member, the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty must be notified of the complaint. If the alleged offender is an employee other than a faculty member, the director of human resources must be notified of the complaint.  The director in turn will notify the appropriate vice president.

The College official notified of such a complaint will, in turn, immediately (by the end of the next business day) inform the alleged offender of the complaint and provide him or her with a copy of the written statement. The official will apprise the accused of the College's policies and procedures in such cases, the rights of both parties, and the possible outcomes.

Resolving the Complaint
The College officials with jurisdiction over the complainant and the accused will request that the Special Hearing Board be convened within two business days after both the complainant and accused return to campus.  A Special Hearing Board will be formed to adjudicate the case. 

The Special Hearing Board will hear and deliberate the case as quickly as possible in order to determine whether or not the accused has violated the Hartwick College Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Rape/Sodomy as described in the Student Code of Conduct and Campus Policies. The board will make every reasonable effort to conduct its deliberations in such a way as to ensure that the rights of both parties are carefully protected.  All proceedings before the Special Hearing Board are closed to the public.  The hearing conducted by the board will be recorded and made available to those officials responsible for the sanctions and/or the appeal process.  The recording will be sealed in a locked file and will not be published or released to anyone unless deemed necessary by the College in the context of legal proceedings.

The decision of the board will be communicated in writing directly to the College officials who convened the board.  The accused will be found either not responsible or responsible, in which case the board may make recommendations as to the severity of the sanctions.

If the board finds that the accused has violated College policy, the official with jurisdiction over the accused, in consultation with the official receiving the formal complaint, will determine appropriate disciplinary sanctions. 

The College officials involved will notify the complainant and accused in writing within two business days of receiving the board's decision, as to the College policies, if any, determined to have been violated, the essential findings supporting any conclusion that a violation was committed, and a description of any sanctions to be imposed.

The Appeal Process
Either party has the right to appeal the decision of the Special Hearing Board or the imposed sanctions. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the president of Hartwick College within five (5) business days of the notification of the decision of the board and imposed sanctions.  The president will act upon a written appeal within a reasonable time, normally five (5) business days after receipt of the appeal.  The president will have access to all documents relating to the decision.  The president may affirm the board's decision, alter the board's decision (in respect of determinations and/or sanctions), or return the case to the board for further process.  The president or his/her designee will then notify both parties in writing as to his/her determination, or alternatively, as to his/her decision to remand the case to the board.

Rights of the Complainant and the Accused
Rights of the Complainant
The complainant's rights include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. The right to remain silent.  If the complainant decides to exercise this right, the process will continue and a decision will be made based on the remaining evidence.
  2. The right to confer with an advisor of not more than one person to be chosen by the complainant from the Hartwick College campus community (student, faculty or staff member) to help prepare information to present at the hearing.  This advisor may be present at the hearing, but only to answer questions that the complainant may have during the course of the proceedings.  The advisor may not speak at the hearing unless specifically requested to do so by the chairperson of the Special Hearing Board.  The advisor may not be called as a witness on behalf of the complainant.
  3. The right to make his/her statement without being in the presence of the accused in the hearing.
  4. The right to make a "Victim Impact Statement", which is an oral or written statement that describes the effect that the incident has had on them as an individual both emotionally and/or physically.
  5. The right not to have his/her past sexual history with person(s) other than the accused discussed during the hearing.
  6. The right to call witnesses (*other than character witnesses) to testify at the hearing.  However, the Special Hearing Board may establish a reasonable limit to the number of witnesses.
  7. The right to receive a copy of the written statement from the accused.  Such statement must be submitted to the appropriate vice president at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing.
  8. The right to read the written statements of all involved.
  9. The right to have witnesses (other than character witnesses) submit written statements.
  10. The right to withdraw a complaint at any time prior to the imposition of sanctions.
  11. The right to appeal.

Rights of the Accused
The accused's rights include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. The right to remain silent.  If the accused decides to exercise this right, the process will continue and a decision will be made based on the remaining evidence.
  2. The right to confer with an advisor of not more than one person to be chosen by the accused from the Hartwick College campus community (student, faculty or staff member) to help prepare information to present at the hearing.  This advisor may be present at the hearing, but only to answer questions that the accused might have during the course of the proceedings.  The advisor may not speak at the hearing unless specifically requested to do so by the chairperson to the Special Hearing Board.  The advisor may not be called as a witness on behalf of the accused.
  3. The right to make his/her statement without being in the presence of the complainant in the hearing.
  4. The right to be informed of the charges in writing, the time and place of the alleged offense, and his/her accuser.
  5. The right not to have his/her past sexual history with person(s) other than the complainant discussed during the hearing.
  6. The right to call witnesses (other than character witnesses) to testify at the hearing.  However, the Special Hearing Board may establish a reasonable limit to the number of witnesses.
  7. The right to receive a copy of the written statement from the complainant.  Such statement must be submitted to the appropriate vice president at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing.
  8. The right to read the written statements of all involved.
  9. The right to have witnesses (other than character witnesses) submit written statements.
  10. The right to appeal.

Possible Disciplinary Sanctions
If the accused is found to have violated College policy then the possible disciplinary sanctions include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following which may be applied immediately and may include loss of campus privileges.

Sanctions Against Students

  • A letter of censure to be placed in the student's personal file
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension from Hartwick College
  • Expulsion from Hartwick College

Sanctions Against College Employees

  • A letter of censure to be placed in the employee's file
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Suspension without pay
  • Dismissal