Part I – Sexual Misconduct Policy
Section 1 – Sexual Misconduct Policy Overview
A. Notice of Non-Discrimination and Policy Statement
The health, safety, and well-being of all members of Iona College (the “College”) community are the College’s primary concerns. The College will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct in its educational programs or activities. Sexual misconduct is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of prohibited behaviors of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by intimidation, coercion, threat, or force. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers, acquaintances, or people who know each other well, including those who are involved in an intimate or sexual relationship, and can be committed by anyone regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity.
This Policy sets forth the College’s process and procedures for responding to claims of sexual misconduct, including the investigation and fact-finding process, the process for resolution and the sanctions imposed for violating this Policy. If there is a violation of this Policy, the College will take steps to prevent further acts of sexual misconduct, to prevent any recurrence, and will take appropriate action to remedy the effects of sexual misconduct.
This Policy governs sexual misconduct involving College students, whether part-time or full-time, and applies to such students regardless of sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected status.
This policy applies to any allegation of sexual misconduct that occurs both off and on Iona College premises, at Iona College-sponsored programs or activities, and off-campus conduct that has a continuing effect on the Iona College community, or individual members of the community. This includes but is not limited to in person conduct as well as actions taken virtually, electronically and through social media. Limited exceptions to the scope of this policy are set forth herein.
Complaints of discrimination or harassment that do not involve sexual misconduct or when a complaint involves a College employee are governed by the Student Code of Conduct or Iona College Harassment and Discrimination Policy.
The College has a designated Title IX Coordinator2 whose primary responsibility is to coordinate the College’s compliance with this policy including overseeing the College’s response to complaints of sexual misconduct, coordinating investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems of sexual misconduct that arise during the investigation of a complaint, and assessing the effects of sexual misconduct on the campus climate. The Title IX Coordinator addresses all reports of sexual misconduct in an equitable and neutral manner.
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act/Campus Sexual Violence Act (“Campus SaVE Act”), and Article 129-B of the New York State Education Law, the College is committed to providing a safe community, free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct. The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities. Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment.
B. Information on This Policy
This Sexual Misconduct Policy is separated into four parts:
- Part I: Sexual Misconduct Policy – Umbrella Policy that sets forth common elements for both the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedure and the Title IX Grievance Procedure both of which address the types of sex-based offenses constituting a violation of campus policy, and the procedures for investigating and adjudicating those sex-based offenses.
- Part II: Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedure – sets forth procedures for investigation, hearing and appeal of sexual misconduct that do not fall within the definition of Title IX’s Final Rule.
- Part III: Title IX Grievance Procedure – sets forth procedures for investigation, hearing and appeal of matters falling within the definitions of Title IX’s Final Rule.
- Part IV: Definitions - sets forth definitions of terms used in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Parts I, II, and III.
Related Policies which are referenced herein are:
- Student Code of Conduct - defines certain behavior as a violation of campus policy.
- Harassment and Discrimination Policy to address employee behavior related to harassment and discrimination and Title IX sexual harassment.
C. Title IX Limitation
In recent years, the term “Title IX” has become a short-hand term referring to any campus disciplinary process involving sex discrimination, including those arising from sexual harassment and sexual assault. But under the government’s Final Rule1, the College hereby narrows the scope of its authority to act under Title IX and the type of “sexual harassment” that is subject to its Title IX investigation and grievance process.
To the extent that alleged misconduct falls outside the Title IX Grievance Procedure, or misconduct falling outside the Title IX Grievance Procedure is discovered in the course of investigating covered Title IX misconduct, the College retains authority to investigate and adjudicate the allegations under the policies and procedures defined within the Code of Conduct/ Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedure through a separate grievance proceeding.
All Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the College’s Title IX Coordinator by the Complainant or another College Responsible Employee, with the exception of those employees designated as confidential below.
D. Determining Jurisdiction
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator2 will determine whether the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedure or the Title IX Grievance Process should apply to the complaint. The Title IX Grievance Procedure will apply when all of the following elements are met, in the reasonable determination of the Title IX Coordinator:
- The conduct is alleged to have occurred in Iona College’s education program or activity. This includes but is not limited to in-person conduct as well as actions taken virtually, electronically and through social media.
- The conduct is alleged to have occurred on or after August 14, 2020;
- The conduct is alleged to have occurred in the United States;
- The alleged conduct, if true, would constitute covered sexual harassment as defined in the Title IX Grievance Procedure; and
- Complainant is currently participating in, or attempting to participate in, the education programs or activities Iona College.
- Respondent is any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute covered sexual harassment.
The Title IX Coordinator will advise Complainant of the appropriate procedure to follow.
Section 2 - Elements in Common of Sexual Misconduct Policy and Title
IX Grievance Policy
Resources and Reporting Options
There are multiple ways to report prohibited conduct. There are also a wide range of resources for all students to provide support and guidance in response to any incident of Sexual Misconduct.
Medical Assistance and Counseling
If you or someone you know is or may be the victim of any form of Sexual Misconduct, the College strongly urges you to seek immediate assistance. This is the best way to ensure that the victim receives appropriate medical care and emotional support. Assistance is available from:
- Campus Safety (914) 633-2560.
- Local Police and Emergency Assistance - Call 911
- New Rochelle Police Department (914) 654-2300
- Local hospitals – Call 911 to obtain contact information:
- Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital
- Westchester Medical Center
- White Plains Hospital
- New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital
- Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital
- St. John’s Riverside Hospital
- Iona College Counseling Center (914) 633-2038
- New York State Office of Victim Services Toll Free Number – (800) 247-8035
- New York State Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 942-6906
- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline - (800) 656 - HOPE (4673)
- Safe Horizon Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline - (866) 689-HELP (4357)
- Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 621-HOPE (4673)
- Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project - (212) 714-1141
- The Title IX Coordinator – (914) 633-2643, firstname.lastname@example.org, (914) 633-2167 cell
- Iona College Whistleblower Hotline, Phone: (877) 472-2110; Email: email@example.com, Fax: (245) 689-3885, Website: www.lighthouse-services.com/iona
Anyone who is physically injured or sexually assaulted should consider seeking a medical examination to determine the extent of injuries. Folks may also choose to obtain a sexual assault forensic examination (i.e., rape kit) in the aftermath of a sexual assault. In instances involving physical injury or Sexual Assault, the College strongly encourages the victim to obtain a medical examination to determine the extent of injuries. A hospital, with the victim’s permission, will collect physical evidence in a sexual offense evidence collection kit. Consenting to the completion of an evidence collection kit does not obligate the victim to pursue criminal charges with the police; it is a way to preserve evidence should there be a choice to pursue criminal charges at a later time. Hospitals are required by law to preserve such evidence for a minimum of 30 days. Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) are specially equipped and trained to handle Sexual Assault and gather evidence.
Law Enforcement Notification
Complainants have the right to notify or decline to notify law enforcement. If you are the victim of Sexual Misconduct, the College strongly encourages you to promptly report the incident to the police. Contacting law enforcement will ensure the preservation of evidence and facilitate a timely investigation and response. College representatives are available to assist you in notifying law enforcement of an incident of Sexual Misconduct and in contacting law enforcement or legal service organizations to learn about these remedies. Except in instances where the victim is a minor, the College will respect a victim’s decision regarding whether or not to report an incident to local law enforcement. College representatives can also assist any Complainant in initiating a legal proceeding in family court or civil court.
A person may report an incident to either the police or the College or to both simultaneously. The filing of a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this Policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding. The College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation or to take any necessary supportive measures to protect the Complainant and the College community. However, the College may temporarily delay its investigation to enable law enforcement to gather evidence and to engage in a preliminary investigation of Sexual Misconduct matters that may also violate the state criminal code.
The College also urges victims and anyone who becomes aware of an incident of Sexual Misconduct to report the incident immediately to the College. The College is committed to providing an adequate, reliable, prompt, and impartial investigation and resolution to all allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Any incident of Sexual Misconduct reported to another College employee, with the exception of those employees designated as confidential, as set forth herein, will be reported by the employee to the Title IX Coordinator.
Each party may request a pause in the Grievance Process of up to five (5) business days for good cause (granted or denied in the sole judgment of the Title IX Coordinator) provided that the requestor provides reasonable notice and the delay does not overly inconvenience other parties.
For example, a request to take a five-day pause made an hour before a hearing for which multiple parties and their advisors have traveled to and prepared for shall generally not be granted, while a request for a five day pause in the middle of investigation interviews to allow a party to obtain certain documentary evidence may generally be granted.
All meetings, interviews, hearings described in the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Procedure or the Title IX Grievance Procedure will occur either in person, virtually or via telephone at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.
Notification of Rights at the Time of First Disclosure
At the first instance of disclosure by a Reporting Individual to an institution representative, the following information shall be presented to the Reporting Individual: "You have the right to make a report to Campus Safety, local law enforcement, and/or state police or choose not to report; to report the incident to your institution; to be protected by the institution from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your institution."
When the College receives a report from a student that has been the victim of Sexual Misconduct, including Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off-campus, the College will provide the Reporting Individual with a written explanation of their rights and options. The College will provide the Reporting Individual with written notification regarding existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and other services available for victims both within the College and in the community. If the Reporting Individual is not the Complainant, and the identity of the Complainant is made known to the College, the College will provide such written notification to the Complainant.
A Complainant will be advised of their right to have emergency access to an appropriate official trained in interviewing victims of Sexual Assault who shall be available upon the first instance of disclosure by a Reporting Individual to provide information regarding options to proceed, and, where applicable, the importance of preserving evidence and obtaining a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination as soon as possible, and detailing that the criminal justice process utilizes different standards of proof and evidence and that any questions about whether a specific incident violated the penal law should be addressed to law enforcement or to the district attorney. Such official shall also explain whether they are authorized to offer the Reporting Individual Confidentiality or Privacy, and shall inform the Reporting Individual of other reporting options.
The College will ensure that Complainant have information about resources including intervention, mental health counseling, and medical services, which shall include information on whether such resources are available at no cost or for a fee. The College will also provide information on sexually transmitted infections, sexual assault forensic examinations, and resources available through the NYS Office of Victim Services.
College Counseling Resources
Regardless of whether or not an official complaint of Sexual Misconduct is made, various counseling options are available from the College at the Iona College Counseling Center. Students can arrange an appointment either by calling the Counseling Center at (914) 633-2038, or by coming to the Center during walk-in hours, which is located on the second floor of Spellman Hall.
Time for Reporting
Members of the College community are encouraged to report any alleged Sexual Misconduct immediately in order to maximize the College’s ability to obtain evidence and conduct a thorough, impartial, and reliable investigation. The College’s ability to investigate and respond effectively may be reduced with the passage of time. However, reports may be made at any time without regard to how much time has elapsed since the Sexual Misconduct. The College will not allow an impending graduation to compromise resolution of a Sexual Misconduct complaint.
While the time to resolve a reported incident will vary from case to case, depending on the specific facts and circumstances, it is expected that in most cases complaints will be resolved within a reasonably prompt manner. Complainant and the Respondent will be notified in writing as the matter progresses. It is the responsibility of parties to maintain and regularly check their institutional email accounts throughout the entire procedure set forth in Parts II and III.
Privacy and Confidentiality
The College values the Privacy of its students and understands that, for many victims of Sexual Misconduct, Confidentiality is a primary concern. However, certain College employees are required by state and federal laws to share information from a report of Sexual Misconduct with the College and/or governmental agencies. Even College employees who have an obligation to report and cannot guarantee Confidentiality will maintain the Privacy of the Reporting Individual to the greatest extent possible and share information only on a need-to-know basis.
A Responsible Employee must report all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about the alleged Sexual Misconduct shared by the Reporting Individual to the Title IX Coordinator. Such information includes dates, times, locations, and names of parties and witnesses. A Responsible Employee will strive to maintain Privacy, and information reported to the Responsible Employee will be shared only with those having a need to know such information.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows a College to share information with an individual’s parents if there is a health or safety emergency or if the individual is listed as a dependent on either parent’s prior year federal tax income form. However, the College will generally not share information about a report of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault with parents without the Complainant’s permission.
The ability of College employees to maintain Confidentiality is as follows:
- Professional Counselors
A professional, licensed counselor whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to College students, including those who act in the role of providing mental health counseling under the supervision of a licensed counselor, are not required to report any information about an incident of Sexual Misconduct disclosed while acting within the scope of his/her license or certification to the Title IX Coordinator without a victim’s permission. State law requires professional counselors to report: (i) when a patient is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to the patient or to others; or (ii) if there is reasonable cause to suspect that a minor has been sexually abused.
Students can arrange an appointment either by calling the Counseling Center at (914) 633-2038, or by coming to the Center, which is located on the second floor of Spellman Hall. For more information on counseling, please visit the Counseling Center website.
- Pastoral Counselors:
A pastoral counselor is a person who is associated with a religious order or denomination, is recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling and is functioning within the scope of that recognition. A pastoral counselor is not required to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator without a victim’s permission.
Phone: (914) 633-2630
Risk Assessment/Threat Analysis of an Individual
If a Complainant reports an incident of Sexual Misconduct, but requests that no investigation into the incident be conducted, the College will assess whether it can honor the Complainant’s request while still providing a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the College community, including the Complainant. Title IX Coordinator will evaluate such request and will inform the Complainant that the College’s ability to respond may be limited. At all times, Respondent is presumed not to have violated the Policy. However, in the College’s discretion, the Respondent can be suspended on an interim basis pending the outcome of the final adjudication process particularly if deemed a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, and other supportive measures may be imposed including No Contact Orders, change in housing or other limitations depending upon the nature of the allegations and concern for safety of the Complainant and College community.
When determining whether the Reporting Individual’s threat to campus safety the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Whether there have been other Sexual Misconduct complaints about the same accused;
- Whether the Respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- Whether the incident represents an escalation in and unlawful conduct on behalf of the Respondent from previously noted behavior;
- Whether there is an increased risk that the Respondent will commit additional acts of violence;
- Whether the Sexual Misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- Whether the Reporting Individual’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group;
- Whether the alleged Sexual Misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
- The age of the victim; and
- Whether the College has other means to obtain relevant evidence (e.g., security cameras or personal, physical evidence.)
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate the alleged Sexual Misconduct and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action in a manner that may require the College to disclose the Complainant’s identity to the Respondent. If the College determines that an investigation is required, the College will inform the Complainant and take immediate action necessary to protect and assist the Complainant. The College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint while maintaining the Complainant’s Privacy to the greatest extent possible.
Reporting Individual/Anonymous Sources
If the College receives a report of alleged Sexual Misconduct by someone other than the Complainant (e.g., friend or roommate) or from an anonymous source, the College’s Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the Complainant of the report and inform them of the available resources and assistance.
Complainants, who report allegations that could constitute covered sexual misconduct under this policy, have the right to receive supportive measures from Iona College regardless of whether they desire to file a complaint, which may include items bulleted below as appropriate. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary and non-punitive.
- No Contact Order
The purpose of a No Contact order is to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the educational environment, or deter sexual misconduct. Mutual “No Contact” orders is non-disciplinary in nature, and the imposition of such an order is not and will not be viewed as an indication of the merits of the allegations;
The College may impose a No Contact Order between the Complainant and the Respondent, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the fact-finding and, if applicable, the adjudication.
An individual who wishes to report a violation of a No Contact Order can contact the Title IX Coordinator or Campus Safety. If the Respondent and the Complainant observe each other in a public place, it shall be the responsibility of each to follow the terms of the No Contact Order. Individuals who violate a No Contact Order are subject to disciplinary action.
- Orders of Protection
A Complainant also has the right to request the assistance of the College in acquiring an order of protection from either the Family Court or Criminal Court. Designated College staff members are available to assist in obtaining an order of protection (or, if outside New York State, an equivalent protective force or restraining order) and explain the consequences of violating such an order, including but not limited to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension. The parties are entitled to receive a copy of the order of protection or equivalent when received by the College and have an opportunity to meet with a College representative, or other appropriate individual, who can explain the order and answer questions about it, including information from the order about the Respondent’s responsibility to stay away from the protected person or persons. If the order of protection is violated, the Complainant may receive assistance from the College in calling local law enforcement to inform them of the violation.
- Student Alcohol and Drug-Use Amnesty Policy
The health and safety of every student at the College is of utmost importance. The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The College strongly encourages students to report Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault to institution officials. A Bystander acting in good faith or a Reporting Individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to The College’s Code of Conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, or Sexual Assault.
Throughout the resolution process, each party has the right to choose and consult with an advisor. The parties may be accompanied by their respective advisors at any meeting or proceeding related to the investigation and resolution of a complaint under this Policy. Except for the limited circumstances set forth in the Title IX Grievance Procedure, advisors cannot actively participate or speak on behalf of the Complainant or Respondent. The choice of whether or not to invite an advisor is solely that of the Complainant and Respondent. At the Complainant’s request or at the Respondent’s request, the Title IX Coordinator can appoint the requesting party a trained advisor for the purposes of cross examination at the hearing under the Title IX grievance policy as explained in Part III. The Title IX Coordinator must be advised in writing that an advisor will be present. This notification must include: (1) full name and title of the advisor of choice; and (2) contact information for the advisor of choice (phone, email, and address). The College reserves the right to have its own legal counsel present during the adjudication process. If any advisor’s conduct is not consistent with these guidelines or is disruptive of the process, they may be excluded from the conduct process.
The College prohibits Retaliation against any person who reports Sexual Misconduct or participates in any proceeding under this Policy, including testifying as a witness. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Reports of Retaliation will be investigated and individuals found to have engaged in Retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action independent of the sanction(s) or supportive measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of Sexual Misconduct.
Records of Investigations and Outcomes
Prior to obtaining access to any reports and evidence, the parties and their advisors must sign an agreement not to copy, photograph, record or disseminate any of the information provided, including but not limited to testimony heard or evidence obtained in the hearing or use such testimony or evidence for any purpose unrelated to the Title IX Grievance Process. Once signed, this Agreement may not be withdrawn. Violation of this Agreement will be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Records of the College
In all student cases, all information and other appropriate records will be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years from the outcome of an investigation. Transcript Policy: In accordance with Article 129-B of the New York State Education Law, if a student is found responsible through the College’s conduct process for crime(s) of violence, including, but not limited to Sexual Violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII), the College will make one of the following notations on the transcript of such student. That they were:
"suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation."; or "expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation." If a student withdraws from the College while such conduct charge(s) is pending and declines to complete the disciplinary process, the College will note on the student’s transcript "withdrew with conduct charges pending."
Sexual Assault Public Awareness Events
The College will not begin an investigation based on information that a person chooses to share during public awareness events that are designed and intended to be safe spaces for victims to share experiences. These events could include candlelight vigils, “Take Back the Night,” protests, or other public events. The College may decide, however, to use the information learned at such an event to inform its efforts for additional education and prevention efforts.
Clery Act Reporting
When reporting crimes for the purposes of Clery Act compliance, the College will not release any personally identifying information about individuals involved in the Sexual Misconduct. The Clery Act also requires the College to issue timely warnings to the College community about certain crimes that have been reported and may continue to pose a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Consistent with the Clery Act, the College will withhold the names and personally identifying information of the Reporting Individual when issuing such timely warnings.
Prevention and Awareness Education Programs
Creating a safe and respectful environment is the responsibility of all members of the College’s community. To promote and maintain this environment, the College engages in comprehensive educational programming to prevent Sexual Misconduct (including Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and Retaliation). The College provides primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and employees, and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for all students and employees. The College seeks to ensure that all programs are culturally relevant, responsive to community needs, and informed by research and assessed for value.
Inquiries regarding Title IX, Clery Act, the Campus SaVE Act and/or Article 129-B of the New York State Education Law may be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Questions concerning Title IX may also be referred to the Assistant Secretary of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education, Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-1100 or call the OCR main numbers (800) 421-3481 FREE, TDD or (800) 877-8339 FRE or email the OCR’s New York office firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 646-428-3800.
The College’s designated Interim Title IX Coordinator is:
Interim Title IX Coordinator
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle. NY 10801
Office: (914) 633 - 2643
1 On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that:
- Defines the meaning of "sexual harassment" (including forms of sex-based violence)
- Addresses how this institution must respond to reports of misconduct falling within that definition of sexual harassment, and
- Mandates a grievance process that this institution must follow to comply with the law in these specific covered cases before issuing a disciplinary sanction against a person accused of sexual harassment.
See, 85 Fed. Reg. 30026 (May 19, 2020). The full text of the Final Rule and its extensive Preamble are available here: http://bit.ly/TitleIXReg
2 For purposes of the policy, the term “Title IX Coordinator” includes designees.