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SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, AND STALKING POLICY

Effective Date:

May 8, 2017

Policy Number:

VIII – 8

Supersedes:

Not Applicable.

Issuing Authority:

Board of Trustees

Responsible Officer:

Title IX Coordinator

Applicability:

 

All Canisius College community members, including students, employees, volunteers, visitors, and contractors.

History:

 Revised August 14, 2020 and October 13, 2020


PURPOSE

The purpose of this Policy is to address the College’s responsibilities under Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX”), its implementing regulations at 34 CFR Part 106[1], the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), and New York Education Law Article 129-B (commonly referred to as the “Enough is Enough” law) by providing the Canisius College community with a clearly articulated set of behavioral standards, common understandings of definitions and key concepts, and descriptions of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking. [1]

POLICY

Canisius College will not tolerate any form of Sexual Misconduct (which includes Sexual or Gender-Based Discrimination or Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Exploitation), Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking (hereinafter “Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct”).  These forms of misconduct are prohibited by the College, and may also violate federal and state law.  In addition, the College strictly prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in the enforcement of this Policy or other College conduct-related policies.  Reporting or filing a Formal Complaint of a violation of College policy, or participating in the investigation and resolution of such a complaint, cannot be retaliated against by affecting a student’s grades, class selection, residence life status or any other matter pertaining to student status or, in the case of employees, an individual’s employment status, compensation, or work assignments.

The College also seeks to prevent Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct by providing:

  1. Educational programs and campaigns to promote the awareness and prevention of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, including primary prevention, bystander education. and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees, as well as ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees;
  2. Assistance and support, including procedures sensitive to individuals who have reported or been the subject of reports alleging Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct;
  3. Amnesty from violations of the College’s alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of an incident alleged to constitute Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct for bystanders or individuals acting in good faith who disclose such an incident to College officials or law enforcement; and
  4. A process for the prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of Formal Complaints of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, which includes appropriate disciplinary sanctions for those found to have committed such offenses, as well as the imposition of remedial actions to address and remedy the effects of such offenses.

Canisius College is committed to stopping incidents of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, preventing their recurrence, and addressing and remedying the effects of such misconduct within the College community.  It makes this Policy and accompanying information readily available to all students, employees, and other members of the College community. 

Violations of this Policy may result in the imposition of sanctions, up to and including termination of employment in the case of employees, or expulsion in the case of students (see Sanctions).

How does the Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct Policy impact other campus disciplinary policies?

In recent years, Title IX cases have become a short-hand for any campus disciplinary process involving sex discrimination, including those arising from sexual harassment and sexual assault. But under the Final Rule, the College must narrow both the geographic scope of its authority to act under Title IX, and the types of sexual harassment that it must investigate and adjudicate pursuant to its Title IX process. Only incidents falling within the Final Rule’s definition of sexual harassment (see Definitions section) and only those allegedly arising within the United States will be investigated and, if appropriate, brought to a live hearing through the grievance process defined below. Note: other College policies may authorize investigations into, and sanctions for, misconduct falling within the scope of those other policies.  

In this regard, Canisius College remains committed to addressing any violations of its policies, even those alleged acts of misconduct falling outside the scope of this Policy of the Title IX Final Rule. Specifically, the College also maintains a corresponding Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy to address reports of unlawful discrimination or harassment that fall outside the scope of the Title IX Final Rule.  This Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policy may be accessed here (click here).  Moreover, in compliance with New York State law, the College also has adopted a Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy (click here) that specifically addresses sexual harassment against employees, applicants for employment, interns, and non-employees providing services in the workplace pursuant to a contract with the College or any of their employees, regardless of immigration status.  Finally, the College reserves the right to proceed under the Student Community Standards (click here) or applicable faculty and staff disciplinary policies in all instances where such proceedings, in its sole discretion, are deemed appropriate.

The elements established in this Policy are not transferable to any other policy of the College for any violation of the Community Standards, employment policies, or any other alleged policy violation, except misconduct violations as defined in this Policy. This Policy also does not set a precedent for proceedings or enforcement actions under other policies or processes of the College, and may not be relied upon to establish or expand any right or procedural benefit under any other policy or process.



General Rules of Application

Effective Date

This Title IX Grievance Policy will become effective on August 14, 2020, and will only apply to: (a) Formal Complaints of sexual harassment as defined in this Policy brought on or after August 14, 2020; and (b) Complaints brought prior to August 14, 2020, if the hearing of that case is not complete by that date.[2]

Revocation by Operation of Law

Should any portion of the Title IX Final Rule, 85 Fed. Reg. 30026 (May 19, 2020), be stayed or held invalid by a court of law in a ruling governing this jurisdiction, or should the Title IX Final Rule be withdrawn or modified, this Policy, or the invalidated elements of this Policy, will be deemed revoked as of the publication date of the opinion or order, for any aspect of the process not complete by the date of that opinion or order. Should this Policy be revoked in this manner, any proceedings not concluded under this Policy shall be investigated and adjudicated under the College’s existing Student Community Standards, the Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policy, the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy, or other College disciplinary policies as may be applicable and in the manner deemed, in the College’s sole discretion, to be most appropriate.

DEFINITIONS/APPLICATION OF DEFINED TERMS

All forms of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct are prohibited by College policy.  For purposes of this Policy, Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct is defined to include the following (as well as including attempts to commit, or aiding or inciting others to commit, one or more of these prohibited acts):

Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct (occasionally referenced also as Misconduct) - an umbrella term that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation and coercion.

Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” and “stalking,” as those offenses are defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(10), 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(8), and 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(30), respectively.

Note: acts of misconduct that do not meet one or more of these criteria may still be prohibited under the Student Community Standards, the Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policy, the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy, or other College disciplinary policies as may be applicable.

Sexual Assault means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sex Offenses – Forcible: Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that persons will; or not forcibly or against the persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

  1. Forcible Rape - The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that persons will; or not forcibly or against that persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including but not limited to incapacitation caused by excessive intoxication due to drug or alcohol consumption). 
  2. Forcible Sodomy- Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that persons will; or not forcibly against that persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
  3. Sexual Assault With An Object- The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that persons will; or not forcibly against the persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
  4. Forcible Fondling - The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that persons will; or not forcibly or against that persons will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary mental incapacity.

Sex Offenses - Non forcible Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse.

  1. Incest- Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. 
  2. Statutory Rape- Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Domestic Violence - felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Dating Violence - violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Stalking - engaging in a course of conduct (e.g., repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating another by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media, or any other action, device or method) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (b) suffer other emotional distress.

Sexual Exploitation - an act or omission to act that involves a member of the Canisius College community taking non-consensual, unjust, humiliating, or abusive sexual or gender-based advantage of another, either for the individual’s own advantage or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited.  Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to the following:

  • Creating pictures, movies, web cam, tape recording, graphic written narrative or other means of memorializing sexual behavior or a state of undress of another person without the other’s knowledge and consent;
  • Sharing items described in paragraph (1) above, beyond the boundaries of consent where consent was given.  For example, showing a picture to friends or posting it to a social media site where consent to view that image was given for oneself only;
  • Observing or facilitating observation by others of sexual behavior or a state of undress of another person without the knowledge and/or consent of that person;
  • “Peeping Tom”/Voyeuristic behaviors;
  • Engaging in sexual behavior with knowledge of an illness or disease (HIV or STD) that could be transmitted by the behavior;
  • Encouraging others to engage in sexual behavior in exchange for money;
  • Surreptitiously providing drugs (including so-called “date-rape” drugs such as Rohypnol or GHB), or alcohol to a person for the purpose of sexual exploitation; and
  • Causing another person to be exposed to pornographic material without the person’s advance knowledge or consent.

Coercion - coercion is the improper use of pressure to compel another person to initiate or continue sexual activity against his/her will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats and extortion. Examples of coercion include threatening to disclose personal information such as one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity.

Note: The above definitions will be utilized in determining whether an incident of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Sexual Exploitation or Coercion in violation of College Policy by the preponderance of the evidence standard has occurred (and not to determine whether a crime has been committed). The above definitions will also be utilized by the College for Clery Act Reporting purposes. Note: Nothing in this Policy will preclude persons believing themselves to be the victims of a crime from reporting that alleged crime to law enforcement, or from pursuing criminal charges.

Aiding or Facilitating Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct – acts promoting, aiding, facilitating or encouraging the commission of any sexual or gender-based misbehavior prohibited under this Policy or any other College policy are also prohibited by and sanctionable under this Policy.

Intimidation – acts which include explicit or implicit threats to commit one or more acts that constitute sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation or coercion.  Acts of Intimidation are prohibited by and sanctionable under this Policy.

Retaliation - No member of the College community or other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy, Title IX, or its implementing regulations at 34 CFR Part 106, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy.  Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for Code of Conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or Formal Complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy, Title IX, or 34 CFR Part 106, will also be considered retaliation by the College.

Special Circumstances:

  1. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment, or in the legitimate exercise of academic freedom in pursuit of bona fide scholarly activities, does not constitute retaliation.
  2. The College’s charging an individual with an alleged conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding does not constitute retaliation, provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility or the absence of responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.

.


Other Definitions and Application of Additional Defined Terms Under this Policy

Actual Knowledge- written or oral notice of allegations of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, as defined in this Policy, given to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, or to the College’s President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Business and Finance Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Compliance, Director of Athletics or Director of Public Safety, constituting the officials of the College who have the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College, shall constitute actual knowledge of the College with respect to the facts reported to them. No report of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct made to any other College employee shall constitute notice to the College, even if those other employees have an obligation to report Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, or to inform a student about how to report Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct.  Even if those other employees have been trained to make such reports or advise students as to how to report, that training also does not qualify the individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College, or receive actual notice on behalf of the College.

Awareness Programs - community-wide or audience specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent sexual or gender-based misconduct, promote safety, and reduce potential injuries due to alleged Policy violations.

Bystander - person who observes conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is or may be in violation of rules or policies of the College, but is not an Impacted Party or otherwise directly impacted by the conduct or the incident.  

Bystander Intervention - safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or sexual exploitation. Bystander intervention includes:

  1. Recognizing situations of potential harm; and
  2. Understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking actions to intervene.

College Community or Campus Community - broad terms that refer to all employees, students, visitors, volunteers, contractors and others in connection with College-sanctioned activities, programs on or off-campus, including study/travel abroad, internship programs.

College Representatives - Public Safety staff; Student Affairs professionals; Resident Assistants and Hall Directors; coaches, trainers and Athletics staff; Club and organization advisors; individuals designated as Campus Security Authorities for Clery Act compliance purposes; faculty and staff who are not Confidential Resources.  All College Representatives are required to promptly report to the Title IX Coordinator upon receipt of any information regarding an alleged act of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct.  However, information regarding Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct shared with College Representatives who are not one of the specified employees in the Actual Knowledge provision, above, shall not constitute notice to the College.

Complainant means an individual who is alleged to have been the subject of or impacted by Misconduct that could constitute Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, and who has filed a Formal Complaint seeking to have that Misconduct investigated under this Policy. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the College’s education programs or activities.

Confidential Resources – these persons include the College’s Sexual Assault Liaison at the Student Health Center, other Student Health Center professionals, members of the College’s mental health counseling staff, priests or members of religious orders employed or affiliated with the College and acting in their role as clergy, external crisis counselors, external victim support services and external healthcare providers.  These persons may not communicate reports of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct except in extreme cases where there is an immediate threat of serious physical harm or death, or serious risk of abuse of a minor.  These Confidential Resources therefore can be consulted by Reporters with reasonable assurance that the discussions will be maintained in confidence, absent explicit authorization from the Reporter to release confidential information disclosed by that Reporter.

Consent - Individuals must have affirmative consent before engaging in any 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 and signal 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 also does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 

While not required by state or federal law, Canisius strongly recommends that individuals explicitly ask for and receive verbal consent before engaging in sexual activity, because this Policy requires that the party claiming affirmative consent must be able to establish such consent by a preponderance of the credible evidence in any subsequent proceedings.

In addition:

  • Consent to any Sexual Act, or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party, does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
  • Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. 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.  In this regard, a state of inebriation, intoxication or being “buzzed” will not vitiate consent unless the person, due to extreme intoxication, is incapable of knowingly choosing to participate in sexual activity—i.e., incapacitated by drug or alcohol use.
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
  • When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity (including all Sexual Contact) must stop.

Definitions of Corollary Terms Relevant to Consent:

Sexual Activity— shall mean a “Sexual Act” and “Sexual Contact,” as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 2246(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 2246(3), respectively.  Specific definitions of those terms are:

Sexual Act—means (a) contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; (b) contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; (c) the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or (d) the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Sexual Contact—means the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Day - a “day” under this Policy is a business day, unless otherwise specified.

Disclosure - information provided by a Reporter about an incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct to a confidential on or off-campus resource.

Educational Program or Activity -includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the Subject of a Report, and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.  The locations at which Educational Activities occur will include any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.

Employee - any member of the faculty, administration, or staff employed by the College, on either a full or part-time basis, at the time that a Report of a violation of this Policy is made.  Solely for purposes of this definition, the term “Employee of the College” does not include students who are employed by the College through a work-study, graduate assistantship, grant in aid or similar program.

Enough is Enough Legislation - means New York Education Law Article 129-B.  (See N.Y. Educ. L. §§ 6439-6449).

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) – a federal law, entitled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which as amended dictates the privacy and confidentiality to be afforded to student education records.

Formal Complaint - means a document filed by a Complainant with the Title IX Office at the College, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging acts of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct against a Respondent, and requesting that the College investigate such allegations.  At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the College (i.e., be a current student or employee [including current students or employees on leave] at the College, a person who has applied to become a student or employee at the College, or a person otherwise participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the College.  A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator in this Policy and by any additional method designated by the College. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the College) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a party.

Impacted Party is a person allegedly impacted by an alleged act of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct.  This term can represent, as an example, the person on whose behalf a third-person Reporter has made a report, or about whom the third-person Reporter is referring when describing an alleged victim of Misconduct.

Investigator(s) - the person(s) tasked with investigating a report.  All Investigators shall receive annual training regarding such issues as the laws governing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation; Title IX and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR Part 106; the  VAWA/Campus SaVE Act (as defined below); Enough is Enough; as well as other related state and federal laws prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation based on gender or sex, including Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct as defined in this Policy; student and witness privacy rights; and FERPA. The Investigator shall not be within the administrative control or authority of any Respondent who is a College Employee, or otherwise has (or creates the appearance of having) a conflict of interest.

Ongoing Prevention & Awareness Campaigns - programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills for addressing Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.

Party means a Reporter, Complainant, Subject or Respondent.  Parties mean a Reporter and Subject, or a Complainant and Respondent.

Personally Identifiable Information or “PII” - That term, defined in FERPA, will for purposes of this Policy include a student’s name, the name of a student’s parent(s) or other family member(s); the address of a student or a student’s family; a student’s social security number, student number, biometric record or other direct identifiers; indirect identifiers, such as a student’s date of birth, place of birth, or mother’s maiden name; other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student and that would allow a reasonable person in the College community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty.  Personally Identifiable Information also will be deemed to include information requested by a person whom the College reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates, as well as any other types or sorts of information that may be deemed by the College to constitute PII.

Policy—this Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct (Title IX) Policy.

Preponderance of Evidence - the required standard for determining a violation under this Policy, with respect to all Respondents. Those individuals charged with rendering a decision of a Policy violation must be convinced, based on the entirety of the credible information provided, that a Policy violation was more likely to have occurred than to not have occurred in order to find a Respondent responsible for violating this Policy.

Primary Prevention Programs - programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe direction.

Proceeding - all activities related to a non-criminal resolution of an institutional disciplinary report, including, but not limited to, fact finding investigations, formal or informal meetings or mediation sessions, and hearings. The term Proceeding does not include communications and meetings between officials and Reporters or Subjects concerning accommodations or supportive measures to be provided to a person.

Relevant Evidence and Questions - refers to any questions and evidence that tends to make an allegation of sexual or gender-based misconduct more or less likely to be true. “Relevant” evidence and questions do not include the following types of evidence and questions, which are deemed “irrelevant” at all stages of the Policy Proceedings:

  1. Evidence and questions about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior unless:
    1. They are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or
    2. They concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent, as authorized by 34 C.F.R. § 106.45(6)(i).
  2. Evidence and questions that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally-recognized privilege such as attorney-client, priest-penitent or physician-patient.
  3. Any party’s medical, psychological, and similar records unless the party has given voluntary, written consent, as provided in 85 Fed. Reg. 30026, 30294 (May 19, 2020).

Report—information about an alleged incident of sexual harassment provided by a Reporter to the Title IX Coordinator, or a non-confidential College employee.  Note:  a Report is not a Formal Complaint, and does not in and of itself, trigger an investigation or any adjudicatory process under this Policy.  The Reporter providing a Report also may ask that his/her identity not be disclosed, may decline to disclose the identity of the Subject allegedly committing a Policy violation, or any factual details of the alleged violation.

Reporter—an individual who makes a Report concerning regarding possible Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, or a person who claims to have experienced an incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct but  who has not yet filed a Formal Complaint with the College under this Policy.  Note: a Reporter need not be an Impacted Party (e.g., a person who claims to have personally experienced the incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct being reported).

Respondent—an individual who is alleged in a Formal Complaint to be responsible for behavior constituting Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct.

Result—any initial, interim or final decision by any official, panel or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the College. The Result must include, where appropriate, a description of sanctions imposed by the College, if any. Notwithstanding any provision of FERPA, the Result reported under this Policy must also include the rationale for the Result and for the sanctions assessed, if any.

Risk Reduction—options designed to decrease occurrences of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct, encourage bystander intervention and action, and increase empowerment for persons in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that may facilitate misconduct.

Student—any individual who, at the time of the alleged Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct and the making of a Disclosure or Report to the College, is: (1) admitted as a student to the College and has been moved to “deposited” status; (2) an enrolled student; (3) a student between academic terms or on a Leave of Absence (regarding whom the College has a reasonable expectation of their return); and/or (4) a graduate awaiting a degree. Solely for purposes of this definition, the term “Employee of the College” does not include students who are employed by the College through a work-study, graduate assistantship, or similar program.  Note: the limitations imposed on the ability to pursue Proceedings under this Policy based upon the definition of a Student does not necessarily impact the availability of disciplinary proceedings under other College policies.

Subject—an individual about whom a Report concerning regarding possible Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct has been made, but who is not a Respondent named in a Formal Complaint that has been filed with the College under this Policy.

Supportive Measures—means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a Reporter, a Complainant, a Subject or a Respondent. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures. The College will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.

Third Party—any guest of or visitor to the College; an alumnus or alumna at the time a Formal Complaint first is filed; a volunteer; or a contractor, consultant, or vendor doing business or providing services to the College.  

Title IX—means Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., which is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities.

VAWA - means the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (which amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crimes Statistics Act, commonly known as the Clery Act).  VAWA is codified in pertinent part at 20 U.S.C. 1092(f), under its Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act) provisions.

PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO THE CANISIUS COLLEGE SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT POLICY

I.     Scope and Jurisdiction

A.          Scope of Policy

The College’s Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy applies to all Canisius College Students[3], Employees and “Third Parties”, regardless of an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction, or any other status protected by law.  Upon receiving Actual Knowledge of an incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct, the College will respond promptly and in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent to Reports or Formal Complaints received from any individual, whether or not affiliated with Canisius, that a College Student, Employee, or Third Party has violated this Policy.

The College’s prohibition against Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct applies to incidents of any such alleged Misconduct, and any retaliation associated with it, occurring within a Canisius College Educational Program or Activity against a person in the United States. 

If the College determines that a Formal Complaint of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct does not meet the definition of that term under this Policy, or did not occur in a College education program or activity against a person in the United States, the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the Formal Complaint.  The College, however, reserves the right to address any alleged misbehavior under its Community Standards, the Faculty Handbook, staff disciplinary policies, or other College policy as may be applicable.

B.           Period of Limitations

There is no specific period of time, after an incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct is alleged to have occurred, within which a Report or Formal Complaint must be made.  The College, however, strongly encourages timely reporting and the filing of a Formal Complaint in order to trigger a prompt investigation that can preserve evidence for a potential Proceeding under this Policy, or any alternate process the Complainant may seek to pursue.  Delays in reporting or filing a Formal Complaint may limit the College’s ability to investigate or respond fully or comprehensively.

If the Respondent is no longer a Student or Employee at the time the Formal Complaint is first filed, the College may be limited in its ability to take disciplinary action against the Respondent if such action ultimately would be deemed appropriate, but it will still seek to provide Supportive Measures for the Complainant, and will evaluate whether the misconduct alleged may be investigated and evaluated under other College policies.


C.          Coordination with the College’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy

Other forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on race, religion, disability, or any other non-gender related protected characteristics are addressed by the College’s Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policy (click here).  Moreover, in compliance with New York State law, the College has adopted a Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy that specifically addresses sexual harassment against employees, applicants for employment, interns and non-employees providing services in the workplace pursuant to a contract with the College or any of their employees, regardless of immigration status.  Formal Complaints filed under this Policy not alleging misconduct constituting Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct may be investigated and addressed, where appropriate, pursuant to the College’s Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Policy, its Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy, or other applicable College policies.

Individuals with questions about which College policy applies in a specific instance may contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator, who has sole discretion to determine the process that will be employed by the College in such circumstances.

D.          Academic Freedom

The Board of Trustees of Canisius College has accepted and endorsed as its own a definition of academic freedom, published by the AAUP and AAC, as set forth in the Faculty Handbook. That definition of academic freedom is incorporated herein by reference.  Conduct claimed to constitute acts of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct in violation of this Policy must be interpreted in light of relevant academic freedom principles, so as to protect a faculty member’s right to teach, research and publish freely. The College does not intend that this Policy will be used to address the normal differences of opinion that may arise in the academic setting and are part of bona fide pedagogical activity.

E.           Student Bill of Rights

Under relevant provisions of New York law, 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 via a Formal Complaint, and participate in an investigation or grievance hearing, and/or a criminal justice process, free from pressure by the College;
  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 College courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
  6. Be free from any suggestion that the Complainant is at fault when violations are reported to have been committed, or from the suggestion that the Complainant should have acted in a different manner to avoid such violations;
  7. Describe the incident to as few College representatives as practicable. and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
  8. If the Complainant, to be protected from retaliation by the College, any student, the Respondent, and/or the Respondent’s friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the College, and if the Respondent, to be protected from retaliation by the College, any student, the Complainant, and/or the Complainant’s friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the College;
  9. Have 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 Complainant, or a Respondent, throughout the investigation or grievance hearing process, including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
  11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative or grievance hearing process of the College, or of the criminal justice process.

II. Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the overall Title IX implementation for Canisius College and coordinating compliance with all areas and departments covered under Title IX regulations.  If a Report is received by the Title IX Office, the Title IX Coordinator will attempt to meet with the Complainant (if known) or Reporter to explain the available options, the process used to investigate if a Formal Complaint is filed, and any available Supportive Measures.  

The Title IX Coordinator shall be informed promptly of all non-confidential Reports made to any College Representative, as well as all Formal Complaints raising claims of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct.

The Canisius College Title IX Coordinator is:

Kathleen Brucato

Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator

Frisch Hall 006

716-888-3781
farleyk@canisius.edu

Concerns or questions about the College’s application of Title IX, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Clery Act; and the New York State Enough is Enough Law may be addressed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

In addition, concerns may be raised with the United States Department of Education, Clery Act Compliance Division, or the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at OCR@ed.gov or (800) 421-3481.

III. Resources for Immediate Help

A member of the campus community who claims to have been sexually assaulted or claims to have been the victim of an incident of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct has the right to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, to Canisius Public Safety, to other College Representatives, to local law enforcement, and/or to State Police, as well as the right to choose not to report the incident; to be protected by the College from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from the College.

A member of the campus community who claims to have been sexually assaulted or to have been the victim of an incident of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct has the right to confidentiality, to the extent reasonably possible under the circumstances, and the right to receive support from Confidential Resources.  Even Canisius Representatives—who are obliged to report the disclosure of allegations of Sexual or Gender-based Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator and thus cannot promise or guarantee confidentiality—will strive to maintain the privacy of the Reporter and other related information when requested to do so. The information provided to a College Representative will be relayed as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator to be in a position to take appropriate steps to assure the safety and security of the Campus Community and, where requested, to seek a resolution of the matter.

A.          Immediate on-Campus Help

(*Denotes privileged communication, protected and confidential by law)


Title IX Coordinator (Non-Confidential Resource):

Kathleen Brucato

Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator

Frisch Hall 006
716-888-3781

farleyk@canisius.edu 


*Sexual Assault Liaison (Student Only Confidential Resource):

Eileen Niland, MS, LMHC, NCC

Counseling Center, Bosch 105

716-888-2620


Department of Public Safety (Non-Confidential Resource):

Bosch Hall

711 (on-campus)
888-2330 (off-campus)

Public Safety personnel can be contacted 24 hours a day, or via one of the lighted outdoor emergency phones on the campus. 


*Counseling Center
(Student Only Confidential Resource)
Bosch Hall
Phone: 888-2620


*Canisius College Student Health Center (Student Only Confidential Resource)
2001 Main Street
Phone: (716) 888-2610

The above officials are available at any time, including upon the initial disclosure of an alleged Policy violation, to provide written information regarding available resources both on and off campus, reporting options, and, where applicable, the importance of preserving evidence and obtaining a sexual assault forensic exam or other medical examination as soon as possible.

B.           Immediate Off Campus Help

  1. External Law Enforcement Authorities

Any individual who has experienced an incident of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct involving potential criminal conduct has the option to report (or not report) the conduct to an external law enforcement authorities which have jurisdiction over the location where the incident occurred by calling 911.  In addition, the Buffalo Police Sex Offense Unit at 716-851-4494, or the New York State police at 1-844-845-7269, may be contacted if the incident took place locally.

If a Student chooses to report an incident to an external law enforcement authority, the Student may request assistance from the College in providing such a report.  The following individuals may be contacted for assistance in contacting law enforcement:

  • Canisius Public Safety officers;
  • the College’s Sexual Assault Liaison (Confidential Resource);
  • the College’s Counseling Center Staff (Confidential); or
  • the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

The College will comply with any Student’s request for assistance in notifying external law enforcement authorities.

     2. Medical Treatment

The College encourages individuals who have experienced a recent sexual assault or act of physical violence to visit a hospital or clinic to assess and address their medical needs.  A medical exam affords confidentiality, and can assess an individual’s injuries and provide necessary medical advice and medication.  Medical facilities can also screen for the presence of sedative drugs such as Rohypnol or GHB (date-rape drugs), as well as take steps to preserve evidence; the efforts of these providers will be of most benefit to you, as a patient, if visited immediately after the assault.

The following local medical facilities are all Confidential Resources, and information provided during a medical exam at one of these facilities will not be released or shared without the patient’s consent.  Disclosure to these Confidential Resources also will not result in the communication of confidential information to the College.

Erie County Medical Center
462 Grider St., Buffalo
(716) 898-3161

Buffalo General Hospital
100 High St., Buffalo
(716) 859-7100

Sisters of Charity Hospital


2157 Main St., Buffalo
(716) 862-1800

Women & Children’s Hospital


219 Bryant St., Buffalo
(716) 878-7408

All persons may also request that an advocate accompany them to one of these hospitals.  This may be a friend or other support person; the College will, upon request, facilitate the transportation of the advocate as well as the injured party to the hospital.

If the incident reported to the hospital is considered to be a crime, these providers will report it, without any Personal Identifying Information, to Public Safety for inclusion in the daily crime log and the College’s annual statistical report, and for issuance of any required timely warning pursuant to relevant provisions of the Clery Act.

     3. Counseling/Victim Advocacy/Support Resources

An individual reporting an act of Sexual or Gender-Based Misconduct also has the option to confidentially disclose the incident and obtain services from the following off-campus counseling/victim advocacy resources and hotlines.  Disclosure to these external resources also does not provide any information to the College.

Crisis Services
http://crisisservices.org/
(716) 834-3131

Crisis Services is staffed 24 hours a day by trained volunteers who are able to connect with professional counselors for emergency outreach.  Crisis services will send a counselor to meet individuals in the emergency room.

New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
www.opdv.ny.gov/help/dvhotlines.html
1-800-942-6906

National Sexual Assault Hotline
http://www.rainn.org/
1-800-656-4673

Pandora’s Project

http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html.

GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project

http://www.glbtqdvp.org/;

Safe Horizons

http://www.safehorizon.org/

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