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Sexual Assault Procedures & Polices

SUNY College at Old Westbury is committed to maintaining an environment in which students, faculty, staff and visitors can work together free from all forms of harassment, exploitation and intimidation. Sexual harassment is any unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance or sexually explicit derogatory statement made by someone in the classroom or workplace that is offensive or that causes the recipient discomfort or humiliation or that interferes with the recipient's education or job performance. Sexual harassment is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of SUNY College at Old Westbury campus policy. The College strongly condemns sexual harassment in any form, sexual assault, rape and any other conduct that constitutes a criminal offense. The College will take action as needed to discourage, prevent and correct any behavior that violates this standard of conduct.

SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFINITIONS
1. RAPE is forcing or coercing someone to have sexual intercourse. Rape most often involves the use of threat of force, violence or immediate and unlawful bodily injury. The perpetrator does not need to use a weapon or produce physical harm; threat of force itself is sufficient to categorize the act as rape.
RAPE also occurs when the victim is incapable of giving legal consent because the victim is:

  • less than 17 years of age;
  • mentally incapacitated;
  • physically helpless, including drug or alcohol consumption;
  • mentally "incompetent";
  • asleep.

2. ACQUAINTANCE RAPE (or DATE RAPE) is sexual intercourse undertaken by a friend, date or acquaintance without consent. Acquaintance Rape includes sexual intercourse that occurs through force, as a result of threats, physical restraint or physical violence, or without consent.

3. SEXUAL ABUSE is forcing or coercing a man or woman to engage in any sexual contact other than intercourse under the circumstances mentioned above.

4. SODOMY is forcing or coercing a man or woman to engage in any deviate sexual contacts under the circumstances mentioned above.

5. SEXUAL HARASSMENT is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other sexually degrading verbal or physical conduct.


DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Where there is probable cause to believe the college's regulations prohibiting sexual misconduct have been violated, the college will expedite strong disciplinary action through its own channels. This discipline includes the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the college.

An individual charged with sexual misconduct will be subject to college disciplinary procedures, whether or not prosecution under New York State Criminal Statutes is pending. The college will make every effort to be responsive and sensitive to the victims of these serious crimes. Protection of the victim and prevention of continued trauma is the college's priority. When the victim and the accused live in the same residence
hall, an immediate hearing with the College Judicial Officer will be held to determine the need for modifying the living arrangements.

Assistance for any other personal or academic concerns will be reviewed and options provided. During the disciplinary process, the victim's rights are:

  1. To have a person or persons of the victim's choice accompany the victim throughout
    the disciplinary hearing.
  2. To remain present during the entire proceeding.
  3. As established in state criminal codes, to be assured that his/her irrelevant past sexual
    history will not be discussed during the hearing.
  4. To make a "victim impact statement" and to suggest an appropriate penalty if the
    accused is found in violation of the code.
  5. To be informed immediately of the outcome of the hearing.

During the disciplinary process, the rights of the "accused" are as described under the Due Process Procedure of the College Judicial System.

INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE
If you believe you have been sexually assaulted in any way, you should seek assistance from the University Police Department at 516-876-3333 or ext. 3333 from any phone on campus, the Office of Counseling Services at ext. 3149, the Office of Student Health Services at ext. 3150 or the Office of Student Affairs at ext. 3175. If there is any possibility that you will report the crime to the University Police Department, do not destroy any evidence and secure all clothing worn at the time of the incident. All students may seek support and guidance from the Office of Counseling Services while resident students may also seek out their resident assistant or resident director.

The University Police are available to assist students as well. University Police Officers hold the well-being of all in our campus community as their primary concern. They have been trained to treat members of the community with respect and sensitivity. Each officer will ensure that those coming to them are promptly taken to medical professionals and will direct them to support services on campus.

SEXUAL ASSAULT NURSE EXAMINER (S.A.N.E.) Program
The University Police Department is a proud participant in Nassau County's S.A.N.E.(Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program. This is a federally funded pilot program currently being implemented by the Nassau County Police Department. The purpose of the S.A.N.E. Program is to provide more humane and sensitive treatment to victims of violent sexual assault, while assuring improved evidence collection and victim/witness interviewing. In this program, adult victims of sexual assault are brought to a S.A.N.E. Center (currently at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset) and seen by a S.A.N.E. nurse, who has been trained extensively in forensics as they relate to sexual assault, and in the varying degrees of trauma that such victims endure. The nurse conducts the medical examination, collects the evidence, and makes the victim aware of support services. This program has been successful in reducing trauma to the victim and in keeping the victim involved with the criminal justice process.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Educational programs to promote awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and sex offenses are presented to the campus community. University Police and Student Affairs staff provide programs in the Residence Halls. The University Police and Student Health Services give lectures and hold forum styled discussions on Sexual Crimes periodically throughout the academic year. The Office of Counseling Services, in conjunction with the Student Government Association and the Department of Psychology, annually co-sponsors "Did You Get My Yes?" each year, a program which focuses on men and women forming positive partnerships in an effort to reduce interpersonal violence.


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