Members of the college community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Glen Oaks Community College adheres to a zero tolerance policy for gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.
The College Sexual Misconduct Policy shall apply to conduct that occurs on college premises, at college- sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the college community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. All reports of sexual misconduct will be handled by the Assistant Dean of Students:
Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Assistant Dean of Students shall decide whether the Student Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, in his/her sole discretion.
Expectations of Physical Sexual Conduct
The expectations of our community regarding sexual conduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you want sexually and what you don’t. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence–without actions demonstrating permission–cannot be assumed to show consent.
Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex.
Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex.
Because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent in question, sober sex is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “no.”
Expectations of Consensual Relationships
There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as teacher and student, supervisor and employee). These relationships may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. The relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Furthermore, circumstances may change, and conduct that was previously welcome may become unwelcome. Even when both parties have consented at the outset to a romantic or sexual involvement, this past consent may not remove grounds for a later charge of a violation. The college does not wish to interfere with private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of the college. For the personal protection of members of this community, relationships in which power differentials are inherent (for example, supervisors and those over whom they have direct responsibility; teachers and students) are generally discouraged. Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party are unethical. Therefore, persons with direct supervisory or evaluative responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring those relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor, and will likely result in the necessity to remove the employee from the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities, or shift the student out of being supervised or evaluated by someone with whom they have established a consensual relationship. While no relationships are prohibited by this policy, failure to self-report such relationships to a supervisor as required can result in disciplinary action for an employee.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Examples include but are not limited to: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. This includes the attempt to commit any of these acts.
Examples include: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another person touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. This includes the attempt to commit any of these acts.
Examples include: vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. This includes the attempt to commit any of these acts.
Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a student toward another student that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program or activities.
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward a faculty/staff member by a student that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it substantially interferes with employment or living conditions or deprives the individual of employment access or benefits.
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward a student by a faculty/staff member that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it substantially interferes with student employment or living conditions or deprives the individual of employment access, benefits, or grades. Sexual Harassment by a faculty/staff member will be referred to the human resources department.
Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me; I’ll do what you want.”).
Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
Retaliation is the act of harassing or bothering the complainant during or after an informal or formal investigation. Retaliation may be by the charge individual or by another individual doing so on their behalf. Retaliation will not be tolerated and may result in severe sanctions or an additional charge.
To Report Confidentially
If one desires that details of the incident be kept confidential, they should speak with a private counselor, members of the clergy and chaplains, or off-campus rape crisis resources who can maintain confidentiality. The college recommends contacting Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services at 1-800-828-2023 (crisis line).
Reporting to those who can likely maintain the privacy of what you share
You can seek advice from certain resources that are not required to tell anyone else your private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause for fear for your safety, or the safety of others. If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. They will be able to tell you, and help you make decisions about who can help you best.
Personally identifiable information will be shared in the event that the incident reveals a need to protect you or other members of the community. If personally identifiable information is shared, it will only be shared as necessary with as few people as possible, and all efforts will be made to protect your privacy.
Formal reporting options
You are encouraged to submit a Report A Concerns Form. You may also speak to officials of the institution to make formal reports of incidents (deans or other administrators with supervisory responsibilities, campus security, and human resources). The college considers these people to be “responsible employees.” Notice to them is official notice to the institution. You have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct to be taken seriously by the institution when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures. Formal reporting means that only people who need to know will be told and information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, student activities staff, human resources staff, academic advisors, advisors to student organizations and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident
(using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.
Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations
Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that college administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The college will make every effort to ensure that a victim’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. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same
as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.
The Assistant Dean of Students is designated to process all formal complaints. The Assistant Dean of Students may designate an investigator to review the case. A formal complaint can be made in person or orally to an appropriate official, but the college strongly encourages submission of complaints regarding sexual misconduct through the Report A Concerns Form. The college also reserves the right to act as complainant.
The report should clearly and concisely describe the alleged incident(s), when and where it occurred, and the desired remedy sought. The report should contain the name and all contact information for the complainant. Any supporting documentation and evidence should be referenced within the body of the formal complaint. Additionally, the initiator of a formal complaint should submit any supporting materials in writing as quickly as is practicable.
The complainant’s supporting documentation should clearly demonstrate all informal efforts, if any, to resolve the issue(s) with the person involved and the person’s supervisor. This includes names, dates and times of attempted or actual contact along with a description of the discussion and the manner of communication made in the course of each effort. If contacting the person involved and/or the supervisor is impracticable, the complainant should state the reasons why. There is not a requirement that any informal actions take place.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Assistant Dean of Students will:
Prior to the beginning of the formal investigation, the investigator may review all information in order to:
Once the pre-investigation is completed and it is determined there is reasonable cause to charge the student, the formal investigation process will begin.
At the conclusion of the formal investigation, the investigator will determine if the accused student is responsible for the alleged violation and assign appropriate sanctions.
Once an individual is found responsible, the investigator will determine sanctioning based on the following criteria:
Once the outcome letter is complete each party will have a chance to appeal.
In most circumstances, the college will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in this handbook as if those attempts had been completed.
College as Complainant
As necessary, the college reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.
Glen Oaks Community College will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. 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.
Immunity for Victims and Witnesses
The college community encourages the reporting of Student Code of Conduct violations, especially sexual misconduct. Sometimes, victims or witnesses are hesitant to report to college officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations, such as underage drinking that occurred at the time of the incident. It is in the best interest of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to college officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know. To encourage reporting, the college pursues a policy of offering victims of sexual misconduct and witnesses to sexual misconduct limited immunity from being charged for policy violations related to the sexual misconduct incident. While violations cannot be completely overlooked, the college will provide educational rather than punitive responses, in such cases.
The welfare of students in our community is of paramount importance. At times, students on and off-campus may need assistance. The college encourages students to offer help and assistance to others in need. Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance to others for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for example, as student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to help take a sexual misconduct victim to get help). The college pursues a policy of partial immunity for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the college will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.
In regards to the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Glen Oaks Community College will not contact parents unless it is determined to be absolutely necessary. The college reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The college may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is a non-dependent, the college will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and health and/or safety risk. The college also reserves the right to designate which college officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Notification of Outcomes
The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. However, the college observes the legal exceptions as follows:
Past Sexual History/Character
The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other party in the investigation or hearing unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the Investigator. All such information sought to be admitted will be presumed irrelevant, and any request to overcome this presumption by the parties must be included in the complaint/response or a subsequent written request, and must be reviewed in advance of the hearing by the Assistant Dean of Students. While previous conduct violations by the accused student are not generally admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Student Conduct Administrator may supply previous complaint information to the investigators, the conduct board, or may consider it him/herself if s/he is hearing the complaint, only if:
Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From 11:00pm until 3:00am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. He keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a “hand job” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never had done it but for Bill’s incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it, she could have left.
Bill is responsible for violating the college Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that a college hearing board would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable. Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Consent is not effective when forced. Sex without effective consent is sexual misconduct.
Adam comes to Beth’s dorm room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Adam and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Adam and Beth are alone. They hit it off, and are soon becoming more intimate. They start to make out. Adam verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth. Beth, who was abused by a baby-sitter when she was five, and has not had any sexual relations since, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Adam takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses her, and begins to have intercourse with her, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Adam to stop, but cannot. Beth is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse. Is this a policy violation?
Adam would be held responsible in this scenario for Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse. It is the duty of the sexual initiator, Adam, to make sure that he has mutually understandable consent to engage in sex. Though consent need not be verbal, it is the clearest form of consent. Here, Adam had no verbal or non-verbal mutually understandable indication from Beth that she consented to sexual intercourse. Of course, wherever possible, students should attempt to be as clear as possible as to whether or not sexual contact is desired, but students must be aware that for psychological reasons, or because of alcohol or drug use, one’s partner may not be in a position to provide as clear an indication as the policy requires. As the policy makes clear, consent must be actively, not passively, given.
Kevin and Amy are at a party. Kevin is not sure how much Amy has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Amy to her room, and Amy comes on to Kevin, initiating sexual activity. Kevin asks her if she is really up to this, and Amy says yes. Clothes go flying, and they end up in Amy’s bed. Suddenly, Amy runs for the bathroom. When she returns, her face is pale, and Kevin thinks she may have thrown up. Amy gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that Amy seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks Amy may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him. When Kevin runs into Amy the next day, he thanks her for the wild night. Amy remembers nothing, and decides to make a complaint to the Dean.
This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy. Kevin should have known that Amy was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex. Even if Amy seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that Amy had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Kevin thought Amy was physically ill, and that she passed out during sex. Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of Amy in her condition. This is not the level of respectful conduct expected of students.
The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the college’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused student may lead to conduct action by the college.
In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain college administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the college, Assistant Dean of Students, Human Resources, Security). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a conduct officer of the college and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police may be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution may legally be required to notifying law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
Whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the college’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. College officials may directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student or if the college determines it is absolutely necessary, in a life-threatening situation, or if an accused student has signed the permission form which allows such communication.
Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the college does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.
Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the college’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different college officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.
DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Student Conduct Administrator who can explain the college’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor or seek other community assistance.
Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). A licensed professional counselor or limited licensed psychologist may accompany you to the hospital when possible. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.
For the victim: the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.
No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the college’s response, but whenever possible the college will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the college does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused student’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused student.
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s sexual misconduct policy, you should review the materials in this document and perhaps discuss your situation with a responsible college employee.
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim- blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. Below, suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:
In campus hearings, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burdens of proof” are not applicable, but the college never assumes a student is in violation of college policy. Campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.
The college reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the college reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The college will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.