Title IX for Parents & Families

You may have heard your student use the term Title IX. You may have asked yourself, doesn’t this have to do with gender equality in athletics? Well, the answer is yes, however Title IX goes beyond athletics.

Title IX

Title IX is a federal law, enforced by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, that protects all individuals at an educational institution from any form of sex and gender-based discrimination and harassment, which includes sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. All institutions that accept federal financial funding must comply with Title IX.

At Hartwick, we strive to maintain an environment for students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and visitors that is free of all forms of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct. The College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy affirms our commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational enterprise. The Policy also details prohibited conduct at the College and the internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of misconduct.

Title IX Process at Hartwick

The Title IX Coordinator ensures the College’s compliance with Title IX and the administration of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

The College’s Title IX Coordinator(s) are:
Cary Dresher: Dean of Students & Interim Title IX Coordinator 

Colleen Bunn: Director of Residential Life/Community Standards & Interim Title IX Coordinator 

Throughout the academic year, the Title IX Coordinator collaborates with campus and community organizations to sponsor events and programs for our students, faculty, and staff on issues pertaining to all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Programming topics provide education on healthy relationships, sexual wellness, bystander awareness, and sexual misconduct prevention. In addition, all students and all employees participate in annual sexual assault and harassment prevention training.

Upon receipt of a report of an alleged violation of the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will provide reasonable and appropriate supportive measures. Supportive Measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, reasonably available, and without fee or charge to both the person who alleges sexual misconduct and the person alleged to be responsible for the reported sexual misconduct.

Supportive measures are designed to eliminate hostile environments and protect all involved parties. The Title IX Coordinator will make reasonable efforts to communicate with the involved parties to ensure that all safety, emotional, and physical well-being concerns are being addressed and supported.

Supportive measures may include no-contact directives, changes in class or work schedules, changes in College-owned living arrangements, or any other supportive measures that the College deems appropriate. Likewise, the College may work with a reporting student to provide access to on-campus counseling services, provide information regarding off-campus services, increased security monitoring, additional academic support, and/or assist in obtaining medical treatment or services.

Any person subjected to sexual misconduct is offered supportive measures regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed or the impacted party participates in the investigation/grievance process.

The Title IX and Sexual Misconduct investigation and grievance process is a fair and impartial process. The Title IX Coordinator is a neutral party and ensures the rights for both the person who alleges sexual misconduct and the person alleged to be responsible for the reported sexual misconduct are upheld.

Listen – If your student chooses to disclose a traumatic experience to you, trust that they chose you for a reason. The most helpful thing you can do is listen to what they have to say. Listening can be as simple as being there as they process the situation on their own. Do not worry if you are unsure exactly what to say. It is more important to make sure they feel heard, and that they can communicate with you without fear of judgment.

Validate – Acknowledge your student’s feelings of sadness, fear, anger, or confusion. Let them know that these feelings are normal.

Refer & Support – Be engaged, but be patient. Your student should be given the space to make their own choices about what they want to do, including what resources they want to access. It can be helpful to present options and then to support them in reaching out to the appropriate resources.

Take Care of Yourself – You may be experiencing many of your own emotions and thoughts, and it is critical that you take care of yourself. This means knowing and expressing your own boundaries and limits in supporting your student and loved one and being aware of your own experiences of trauma. Seek out support services in your area if necessary.


Hartwick encourages any student that is a victim of sexual misconduct to report the incident, however, a victim of sexual misconduct is not required to report the incident.

Victims that do report, are not required to participate in any investigation or grievance process.

The Title IX Coordinator will not contact the parents or guardians of any involved party in a Title IX matter. The College is prohibited from doing so by the Family Educational and Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, parents/guardians cannot access their student’s educational records if the student is enrolled in post-secondary education, regardless of age, unless the student gives written permission to allow access to the parents/guardians through a FERPA waiver.

Parents/guardians are welcome to contact the Title IX Coordinator at any time. If a FERPA waiver has not been provided by the respective student, the Title IX Coordinator can answer general questions regarding the College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

All investigations will be conducted in a thorough and prompt manner. The grievance process can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months to complete. Parties are kept informed of the timeline and are notified should there be cause for any delays.

A victim of sexual misconduct has the right to report an incident to law enforcement, Campus Safety, and/or the College. The victim also has the right not to report an incident. A victim wishing to report to law enforcement may obtain assistance from the College when making the report. The College will not file a report of sexual misconduct to law enforcement on behalf of the student.

A Title IX investigation is a Hartwick College administrative process designed to determine if an accused party has violated a College policy and, if applicable, determine the appropriate disciplinary actions. A criminal investigation by law enforcement seeks to determine whether an individual violated criminal law. Title IX and criminal investigations are independent investigations and may occur simultaneously.

On-Campus Resources:
Title IX Coordinator: titleix@hartwick.edu
Perrella Wellness Center: Student Counseling Services: 607-431-4420
Perrella Wellness Center: Student Health Services: 607-431-4120
HEART Student Peer CounselingHEART@hartwick.edu 
Campus Safety: 607-431-4111

Off-Campus Resources:
Opportunities for Otsego: Violence Intervention Programs: 607-432-4855*
New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-942-6906
Oneonta Police Department: 607-432-1113
New York State Police: 607-432-3211
AO Fox Hospital, Oneonta: 607-432-2000*
Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown: 607-547-3456*
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE

Resources marked * can provide information about immediate local medical attention and obtaining a SANE exam. SANE exams are a means for evidence collection.

Please visit www.hartwick.edu/titleIX for more information.

Human Resources

Hartwick College
PO Box 4020, Shineman Chapel House
Oneonta, New York, 13820
Phone: 607-431-4315
Fax: 607-431-4329