NYS Education Law, Article 129-B
Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking Prevention and Response Policies and Procedures
In July 2015, N.Y. S. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Enough is Enough” law. This legislation is intended to communicate and provide definitions, require education and training, and articulate policies and procedures aimed at addressing sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking prevention and response. Five Towns College has adopted and implemented the regulations under Article 129-B of the Education Law, as required.. Regularly throughout each semester, education and training about this law will be offered on campus. Please take the time to learn and become educated to help prevent these acts from happening.
• As a general statement, Five Towns College does not tolerate acts of harassment or sexual assault and will discipline perpetrators as provided by institutional policy, state, and federal law. Thus, sexual harassment or sexual assault, as defined herein, and as stated in Article 129-B and Title IX, is, in any form, unacceptable behavior. Click here for the Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.
• Affirmative Consent, as defined in Article 129-B, 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 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 does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
• 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 ad/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 Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.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.
• 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 must stop.
• Students, faculty and staff are required to act and conduct themselves with mutual respect for all members of the College community so the campus is a safe and secure work and academic environment. Any reports of conduct deviating from the expectations under this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and vigilantly.
• Sexual harassment, in part, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, oral or written communications or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This type of behavior by any member of the college community is in direct violation of College policy, is unacceptable, and must be reported. Students found to have engaged in such conduct shall be dismissed from the College and/or other appropriate action will be taken.
• Members of the College community are advised that confidential resources are available from the Five Towns College Counseling Center and from off-campus Crisis Hotlines available 24/7 and referenced under 24/7 Resources: Where to Get Help. All other communications with College Administrators, Public Safety Officers, faculty or other personnel are afforded as much privacy as is practicable as provided under local, state and federal law.
Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty Policy
The health and safety of every student at Five Towns College is of utmost importance. Five Towns 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. Five Towns 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 Five Towns College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to Five Towns College 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.
Further, depending on the facts of any incident, the College may provide amnesty in additional circumstances. (Article 129-B, section 6442)
Evidentiary Standards in Disciplinary, Grievance, N.Y.S. Education Law, Article 129-B, Title IX
of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Federal/State Penal Codes
• Students should be apprised of the different standards applied to the evidence submitted in various instances by the appropriate judicial bodies when making decisions.
• For complaints, charges, or incidents that fall under the Five Towns College Code of Conduct and may be general discipline or grievance matters, the preponderance of the evidence standard is applied or a more likely than not standard based on the evidence submitted.
• For complaints, misconduct, or reports that may fall under the Five Towns College Code of Conduct and may be deemed to be either sexual harassment, sexual assault or any type of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and/or sexual assault, the standard applied is a preponderance of the evidence standard.
• For criminal conduct, violent crimes etc. subject to the Penal Codes, a beyond the reasonable doubt will be applied by the local, state or federal governing body but this is outside the scope of Five Towns College.
• Further, students are advised that in some instances should certain conduct be deemed to be a violation of the Code of Conduct and be treated as a disciplinary matter, that will occur separately from any other proceeding being investigated as either a Title IX, Article 129-B violation and/or as a criminal matter subject to investigation by police or other investigation outside of the institution’s disciplinary scope.