Student Handbook

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Community Expectations | Effective Consent | Prohibited Conduct | Confidentiality | Reporting SourcesSpecial Procedures | The Hearing | Resources |

 

Skidmore College Statement of Sexual Values

Skidmore College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that reflects and promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect. Members of the Skidmore community have the right to be free from all forms of abuse, assault, harassment, and coercive conduct, including sexual misconduct, as defined in this policy. Skidmore College considers sexual misconduct to be one of the most serious violations of the values and standards of the College. Unwelcome sexual contact of any form is a violation of students’ personal integrity and their right to a safe environment and therefore violates Skidmore’s values. Skidmore College will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form. All members of the Skidmore College community have an obligation to act responsibly in the realm of sexuality and to recognize and challenge any sexual misconduct.

This policy informs the Skidmore community of our values and outlines violations of a sexual nature. This policy identifies a student’s rights, options, and resources, and describes actions individuals may take if they experience an incident of sexual misconduct, or are accused of sexual misconduct. 

Skidmore recognizes that part of students’ development at the College may include learning and understanding themselves as sexual individuals. Skidmore also respects and upholds the principle that not all students choose to explore their sexual nature or sexuality.

Skidmore therefore aims to provide an environment that is comfortable and respectful for all students and their choices regarding sex and their sexuality. Understanding and applying thispolicy to the behavior and behavioral expectations of all members of the community helps toensure Skidmore’s goal of being a safe, open community regarding sexuality. Failure to complywith this policy may result in a complaint of sexual misconduct.

Skidmore College strives to promote an environment where mutual respect, communication, cultural competency, understanding, and awareness are the basis for any sexual behavior or activity. Mutual respect and communication are keys to maintaining each student’s personal integrity when engaging in sexual behavior.

Community Expectations

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Effective Consent is the basis of this policy because effective consent maintains the value that all persons have the right to feel respected, acknowledged, and safe during sexual activity.

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PROHIBITED CONDUCT

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any sexual behavior that was committed without effective consent. Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors. The following descriptions represent sexual behaviors that violate Skidmore’s community standards and values of respect, civility, and personal integrity. These behaviors are serious violations and represent a threat to the safety of the Skidmore Community.

1. Sexual Penetration:

2. Sexual Touching, Disrobing and/or Exposure:

3. Sexual Misconduct by Incapacity:

4. Sexual Harassment:

Allegations against students (including full-time students who are employees) will be resolved according to the procedures in this policy.

To learn more about Skidmore’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures refer to the Student Handbook.

5. Sexual Exploitation:

6. Attempted Act:

7. Retaliation:

 

IF YOU BELIEVE THAT AN INCIDENT OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT HAS OCCURRED:

A person who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct should seek help, support, and information immediately. There are many sources for information, assistance and support. If you have experienced an incident of a sexual misconduct you should consider the following immediate actions:

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Statement of Confidentiality

With respect to any report of sexual misconduct or any complaint of sexual misconduct, Skidmore College will endeavor to maintain the confidentiality of the matter and all individuals involved to the extent permitted by law. Skidmore College will balance the needs of individuals involved with its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community at large. In all cases, Skidmore College will respect the privacy and dignity of all individuals involved.

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Reporting Sources

Skidmore College is committed to creating an environment in which students who have experienced an incident of sexual misconduct are encouraged to come forward and make a report. Members of the Skidmore community are strongly encouraged to seek support and information from available reporting sources. Immediate reporting is essential for the protection of students. All sources will provide the reporting student with information about obtaining support, resources, and the process associated with making a report or a formal complaint with the college and/or with a law enforcement agency.

Reporting may help you to gain some control over the situation and make informed decisions using information provided by the reporting source. Your prompt reporting will not only benefit and support you, but will also help the College in maintaining a safe community.

1. Confidential Reporting Sources:

Confidential reporting sources are those individuals who, by law, are obligated to maintain confidentiality of the disclosure of sexual misconduct. These individuals are not required to re-disclose information shared with them other than in very extreme and unusual circumstances involving evidence of a serious and imminent threat to the individual making the report or to an identifiable third party. Confidential Reporting Sources include:

2. College Reporting Sources:

College Reporting Sources are individuals who are trained to provide students with information and assist with obtaining information and support from available resources at the College and in the Saratoga Springs community. College Reporting Sources will also provide students with information about the process associated with making a report or a formal complaint with the College or with a law enforcement agency. Although these reporting sources will endeavor to maintain the privacy of the matter and the individuals involved, they may be required to disclose necessary information that is disclosed to them to other College officials. In some circumstances, College Reporting Sources may also be responsible for initiating an investigation of the alleged sexual misconduct. College Reporting Sources include:

3. Other Resources:

Other college resources are individuals who can assist with obtaining campus resources, information and support about available resources at the College. Although these college resources will endeavor to maintain the privacy of the matter and the individuals involved, they may be required to disclose necessary information that is disclosed to them to other College officials. The following are Campus Resources include:

In addition, a Title IX complaint can be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Definitions of Participants:

Support Person:The complainant and the respondent may each bring a support person to the hearing. The support person is an ally who provides comfort and helps the complainant or respondent. The support person may be any member of the Skidmore community (student, faculty, or staff).

Filing of a Formal Complaint:

If the respondent is a currently enrolled student, any person who has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct may file a formal complaint with the Title IX Deputy Coordinator (518-580-8212) on a complaint form provided by the Student Affairs Office. The complaint shall contain a concise statement of the alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and a detailed statement of the facts supporting the alleged violations. Although there is no time limit on the filing of a formal complaint with the College, the College strongly encourages a prompt filing so that a more satisfactory and complete investigation can be conducted.

Responding to a Formal Complaint:

The respondent shall receive written notification of the filing of a formal complaint, along with a copy of the formal complaint, after the complaint has been received by the Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The respondent must arrange and meet with the specified Student Conduct Officer or designee within 3 business days after receiving the complaint in order to discuss the nature of the complaint; the rights and responsibilities of the respondent; and the hearing process. The respondent shall receive a written copy of this policy at that time.

The respondent may be accompanied by a Trained Sexual Misconduct Advisor or any member (student, faculty, or staff member) of the Skidmore College community to the meeting with the Student Conduct Officer. If the respondent fails to arrange and meet with the Student Conduct Officer the complaint will either be determined by the Student Conduct Officer or referred by the Student Conduct Officer to the Hearing Board for adjudication.

Prehearing Process:

Rights of the Complainant:

Rights of the Respondent:

Rights of Both the Complainant and Respondent (Pre-, During, and Post-Hearing):

Pre-Hearing Rights

Hearing Rights

Post Hearing Rights

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Special Procedures

A. False Reports

The 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.

B. Amnesty for other violations
 
For the Complainant:
The College encourages reporting of incidents of sexual misconduct. Sometimes, complainants are hesitant to make reports because they fear that they may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. To encourage reporting of sexual misconduct incidents, the College will exercise leniency towards a complainant with respect to taking action for other violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

For the Good Samaritan:
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, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to assist another student who experienced an incident of sexual misconduct.) The College will exercise leniency towards the Good Samaritan with respect to taking action for other violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

C. Notification of Determination

The determination made after a hearing is part of the education record of the respondent, and is protected from disclosure under Federal law. However, there are two exceptions as follows:

D. Alternative Testimony Options

For complainants, alternative testimony options will be provided. Options include, placing a privacy screen in the hearing room, or other options that provide a safe space for participation while not depriving the respondent of their rights in the process. While these options are intended to help make the complainant more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the respondent.

E. Past Sexual History/Character

  1. The past sexual history or sexual character of a student will not be admissible in a Sexual Misconduct hearing.
  2. If, in the past, a respondent was found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy (“Past Violation”), the information related to the Past Violation may be considered by the Hearing Board if:
    1. The previous violation was substantially similar to the present complaint; and
    2. The previous violation indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the respondent.

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The Hearing (hearing procedure is subject to change):

    1. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator will present the formal complaint along with the information obtained through the investigative process to the Hearing Board.  The Hearing Board shall consider only the information and evidence related to the alleged violations set forth in the formal complaint.
    2. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator will present the accepted facts.
    3. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator will present the disputed facts.
    4. Board will ask the Complainant if they have any information to add.
    5. Board will ask the Respondent if they have any information to add.
    6. Board will ask either the Complainant and/or Respondent any clarifying questions.
    7. Board will, if applicable, ask the Title IX Deputy Coordinator to present sexual misconduct violations.
    8. Board will deliberate in private to decide in violation or no violation.
    9. If the Respondent is found in violation, both Complainant and Respondent are given the opportunity to make an Impact Statement prior to the rendering of sanctions.
    10. Board, if Respondent is found in violation, will render a sanction.

Guidelines for Sanctions

Sanctions preserve individual and institutional safety and integrity and, whenever possible and appropriate, help offenders to learn from their mistakes. Individuals found to be in violation of sexual misconduct offenses involving penetration will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion. Individuals found to be in repeat violation for sexual misconduct offenses will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion

The Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs (DoS/VPSA) maintains a record of all disciplinary hearings and sanctions applied, and these are admissible in subsequent student conduct proceedings involving the student(s) in question. Violations of the Honor Code may have an impact on eligibility for academic prizes and honors, eligibility to hold a student leadership position, participation and/or status in the room selection process, law school applications, security clearances, etc.  

The board may sanction students found in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy in a variety of ways. Most sanctions either restrict student activities or require the student to complete specific reparative tasks within a specific timeframe. During the period from hearing to completion of sanctions the student is on "Disciplinary Probation."  

As determined by the board or the DoS/VPSA, a student on Disciplinary Probation may not be eligible to register for the ensuing semester of study at Skidmore or pursue work at another academic institution, or participate in Skidmore room selection or in the off-campus draw. A student who violates the Honor Code while on Disciplinary Probation or fails to comply with assigned sanctions will generally receive additional, more substantial sanctions. In the case of graduating seniors, students may not receive diplomas or transcripts or participate in the graduation ceremony until completion of all sanction requirements, unless specifically permitted by the Administrative Hearing Board.

    1. public safety or disruption of the academic and educational process is a concern;
    2. the respondents demonstrate an unwillingness to take responsibility for their behavior by failing to
complete sanction-related tasks or by committing new social or academic violations;
    3. the respondent's infraction is too egregious relative to the College's academic or social value system; or       
    4. the respondent has committed multiple offenses that warrant a serious sanction.

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Important Reporting Sources Information

*indicates availability 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Off Campus Confidential Reporting Sources

*indicates availability 24 hours a day/7 days a week

Policy revision on August 2013.

This policy may be amended, in writing, by the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean's designee at any time.

 

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