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Title IX Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

As required by Title IX and Title VII and other federal and state laws, The College of Westchester does not discriminate against students or employees on the basis of sex/gender in its educational programs and activities. The College of Westchester further prohibits students, employees and third parties from engaging in sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as those terms are defined below. Any attempt to engage in prohibited conduct may itself constitute a violation of this policy. Any actions knowingly taken to aid, facilitate or encourage another to engage in prohibited conduct and any actions taken for the purpose of interfering in the investigation of an allegation of prohibited conduct shall constitute a violation of this policy. Anyone found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the procedures below. The College is committed to provide those who feel that they have been subjected to conduct in violation of this policy with mechanisms for seeking redress and resources for support. Accordingly, the College of Westchester prohibits retaliation against any person for complaining of a violation of this policy or for participating in any investigation or proceedings related to an alleged violation.

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All members of the College community are prohibited from engaging in sexual harassment and retaliating against individuals based on their participation in a sexual harassment investigation. When they learn about incidents of sexual harassment, College employees who are supervisors must take prompt remedial action to respond to any concerns including referring the matter to relevant internal options.

Community members are protected from sexual misconduct regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, immigration status, citizenship status or national origin, or any other protected characteristic.

Title IX Grievance Policy

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits any person in the United States from being discriminated against on the basis of sex in seeking access to any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education, which enforces Title IX, has long defined the meaning of Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination broadly to include various forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence that interfere with a student’s ability to equally access our educational programs and opportunities.

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.
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 of Westchester must narrow both the geographic scope of its authority to act under Title IX and the types of “sexual harassment” that it must subject to its Title IX investigation and adjudication process. Only incidents falling within the Final Rule’s definition of sexual harassment will be investigated and, if appropriate, brought to a live hearing through the Title IX Grievance Policy.

Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (that follows outside of the scope of the Title IX Final Rule)

The College of Westchester remains committed to addressing any violations of its policies, even those not meeting the narrow standards defined under the Title IX Final Rule. Specifically, our campus has a Code of Conduct that defines certain behavior as a violation of campus policy and a separate Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct that addresses the types of sex-based offenses constituting a violation of campus policy, and the procedures for investigating and adjudicating those sex-based offenses.

To the extent that alleged misconduct falls outside the Title IX Grievance Policy, or misconduct falling outside the Title IX Grievance Policy is discovered in the course of investigating covered Title IX misconduct, the institution retains authority to investigate and adjudicate the allegations under the policies and procedures defined within the Policy Against Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment Not Covered by Title IX and Code of Conduct, as applicable, through a separate grievance proceeding.

Inquiries regarding the application of The College of Westchester’s Title IX Policy should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Janna Gullery 325 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY.

Janna Gullery: jgullery@cw.edu

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating The College of Westchester’s efforts to comply with Title IX, overseeing the College’s responses to reports of Title IX violations, and identifying and addressing any pattern or systemic problems.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator is Anna Bravo, Manager of Administrative Services/Human Resources, 325 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606, 914-831-0353, abravo@cw.edu. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will oversee investigations involving employees, and will provide updates to the Title IX Coordinator.

All students/employees have the right to:
• Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
• Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
• Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;
• Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
• Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
• Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
• Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
• Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accused and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution;
• Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
• Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
• Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution. Response to Reports:
• Notify university police or campus security, local law enforcement and/or the State Police;
• Have emergency access to a Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate official trained in interviewing victims of sexual assault who shall be available upon first instance of disclosure by reporting individual to provide information regarding options to proceed, and, where applicable, the importance of preserving evidence and obtaining a sexual assault forensic examination, and detailing that the criminal justice process utilizes different standards of proof and evidence. The official shall also explain whether he or she is authorized to offer the reporting individual confidentiality or privacy and shall inform the reporting individual of other reporting options;
• Confidentially disclose the incident to institution representatives, who may offer confidentiality and can assist in obtaining services;
• Disclose confidentially the incident and obtain services from the state or local government;
• File a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking and the right to consult the Title IX Coordinator and other appropriate institution representatives for information and assistance. Reports shall be investigated in accordance with the institution policy and a reporting individual’s identity shall remain private at all time if said reporting individual wishes to maintain privacy;
• Disclose the incident, if the accused is an employee of the institution, to the institution’s human resources authority;
• Receive assistance from appropriate institution initiating legal proceedings in family or civil court; and
• Withdraw a compliant or involvement from the institution process at any time.