Bill of Rights

STUDENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS

The State University of New York and Upstate Medical University are committed to providing options, support and assistance to victims/survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking to ensure that they can continue to participate in College/University-wide and campus programs, activities, and employment.  All victims/survivors of these crimes and violations, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status or criminal conviction, have the following rights, regardless of whether the crime or violation occurs on campus, off campus, or while studying abroad:

All students 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 from 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 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 institutional representatives as practicable and not to be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
  • Be free from retaliation by the institution, the accused and/or 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;
  • Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the Upstate Medical University.

Options in Brief:

Victims/survivors have many options that can be pursued simultaneously, including one or more of the following:

  • Receive resources, such as counseling and medical attention;
  • Confidentially or anonymously disclose a crime or violation (for detailed information on confidentiality and privacy, visit:  http://www.upstate.edu/universitypolice/students_faculty/anonymous.php
  • Make a report to:
    • An employee with the authority to address complaints, including the Title IX Coordinator, a Student Affairs Employee, or a Human Resources Employee;
    • University Police;
    • Local Law Enforcement; and/or
    • Family Court or Civil Court

Sexual Violence Response Policy

In accordance with the Students’ Bill of Rights, reporting individuals shall have the right to pursue more than one of the options below at the same time, or to choose not to participate in any of the options below:

Reporting:

o SurvJustice:  http://survjustice.org/our-services/civil-rights-complaints/ External Icon;

o Legal Momentum:  https://www.legalmomentum.org/ External Icon;

o NYSCASA:  http://nyscasa.org/responding External Icon;

o NYSCADV:  http://www.nyscadv.org/ External Icon;

o Pandora’s Project:  http://www.pandys.org/lgbtsurvivors.html External Icon;

o GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project:  http://www.glbtqdvp.org/ External Icon

o RAINN:  https://www.rainn.org/get-help External Icon; and

o Safe Horizons: http://www.safehorizon.org/ External Icon.

Note:  These hotlines are for crisis intervention, resources, and referrals, and are not reporting mechanisms, meaning that disclosure on a call to a hotline does not provide any information to the campus. Reporting individuals are encouraged to additionally contact a campus confidential or private resource so that the campus can take appropriate action in these cases.

  • To disclose the incident to one of the following college officials who can offer privacy and can provide information about remedies, accommodations, evidence preservation, and how to obtain resources.  Those officials will also provide the information contained in the Students’ Bill of Rights, including the right to choose when and where to report, to be protected by the institution from retaliation, and to receive assistance and resources from the institution. The college officials will disclose that they are private and not confidential resources, and they may still be required by law and college policy to inform one or more college officials about the incident, including but not limited to the Title IX Coordinator). They will notify reporting individuals that the criminal just process uses different standards of proof and evidence than internal procedures, and questions about the penal law or the criminal process should be directed to law enforcement or district attorney:

o Title IX Coordinator at 711 Jacobsen Hall, 464-5234, ODAA@upstate.edu;

o Student Affairs, 1225 Weiskotten Hall, 464-4816; and

o University Police, Building 49, 464-4000

  • To file a criminal complaint with University Police and/or with local law enforcement and/or state police:

o University Police, Building 49, 464-4000

o Syracuse City Police, Emergency, 911; Abused Persons Unit, 435-3016

o State police 24-hour hotline to report sexual assault on a NY college campus:  1-844-845-7269

  • To receive assistance in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court.
  • To file a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, and/or talk to the Title IX Coordinator for information and assistance. Reports will be investigated in accordance with Upstate Medical University policy and the reporting individual’s identity shall remain private at all times if said reporting individual wishes to maintain privacy. If a reporting individual wishes to keep his/her identity anonymous, he or she may contact the Title IX Coordinator at 711 Jacobsen Hall, 464-5234, ODAA@upstate.edu;
  • When the accused is an employee, a reporting individual may also report the incident to the Upstate Medical University, Office of Human Resources, or may request that one of the above referenced confidential or private employees assist in reporting to Human Resources. Disciplinary proceedings will be conducted in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements. When the accused is an employee of an affiliated entity or vendor of the university, university officials will, at the request of the reporting individual, assist in reporting to the appropriate office of the vendor or affiliated entity and, if the response of the vendor or affiliated entity is not sufficient, assist in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and university policy.

o Human Resources:  Jacobsen Hall, 464-5872,  http://www.upstate.edu/hr/intra/about/directory/laborissues.php Intranet Icon

  • You may withdraw your complaint or involvement from the Upstate Medical University process at any time.
  • Every college shall ensure that, at a minimum, at the first instance of disclosure by a reporting individual to a college representative, the following information shall be presented to the reporting individual:  “You have the right to make a report to University Police, local law enforcement, and/or State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to Upstate Medical University; to be protected by the institution from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from Upstate Medical University.”
  • Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty in Reporting Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Cases:  The health and safety of every student at the State University of New York and its State-operated and community colleges is of utmost importance.  Upstate Medical University 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 or other serious health-related emergency occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct.  Upstate Medical University strongly encourages students to report incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault and other health-related emergencies (e.g. overdose) 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 or other health-related emergencies to Upstate Medical University officials or law enforcement will not be subject to Upstate Medical University’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 or other incident.

Resources:

To obtain effective intervention services:

  • Student Counseling Services: http://www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/support/scc/index.php; 315-464-3120. There is no charge for on campus counseling for students.
  • Upstate Medical University Student Health Services: http://www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/support/health/index.php; There is no charge for On Campus Health Center services for students.   Sexual contact can transmit Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and may result in pregnancy. Testing for STIs and emergency contraception is available through the Onondaga County Health Department’s STD Center, Room 80, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse; 435-3236; http://ongov.net/health/STD.html External Icon .  There are no fees for testing or treatment.
  • Additional Resources:  Title IX Coordinator at 711 Jacobsen Hall, 464-5234, ODAA@upstate.edu;  Student Affairs, 1225 Weiskotten Hall, 464-4816;  University Police, Building 49, 464-4000
  • Within 96 hours of an assault, you can get a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (commonly referred to as a rape kit) at a hospital. While there should be no charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off campus and, in some cases, insurance may be billed for services. You are encouraged to let hospital personnel know if you do not want your insurance policyholder to be notified about your access to these services. The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating victims/survivors for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information may be found here:  http://www.ovs.ny.gov/files/ovs_rights_of_cv_booklet.pdf PDF Icon External Icon, or by calling 1-800-247-8035. Options are explained here: http://www.ovs.ny.gov/helpforcrimevictims.html External Icon.
  • To best preserve evidence, victims/survivors should avoid showering, washing, changing clothes, combing hair, drinking, eating, or doing anything to alter physical appearance until after a physical exam has been completed.

Protection and Accommodations:

  • When the accused is a student, to have the university issue a “No Contact Order,” consistent with college policy and procedure, meaning that continuing to contact the protected individual is a violation of college policy subject to additional conduct charges; if the accused and a protected person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person.  Both the accused/respondent and reporting individual may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of a No Contact Order, consistent with university policy.  Parties may submit evidence in support of their request.
  • To have assistance from University Police or other university officials in initiating legal proceedings in family court or civil court, including but not limited to obtaining an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order.
  • To receive a copy of the Order of Protection or equivalent and have an opportunity to meet or speak with a college official who can explain the order and answer questions about it, including information from the Order about the responsibility of the accused to stay away from the protected person(s); that burden does not rest on the protected person(s).
  • To an explanation of the consequences for violating these orders, including but not limited to arrest, additional conduct charges, and interim suspension.
  • To have assistance from University Police in effecting an arrest when an individual violates an Order of Protection or, if outside of New York State, an equivalent protective or restraining order within the jurisdiction of University Police or, if outside of the jurisdiction or to call on and assist local law enforcement in effecting an arrest for violating such an order.
  • When the accused is a student and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to have the accused subject to interim suspension pending the outcome of a conduct process.  Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of an interim suspension.
  • When the accused is not a student but is a member of the university community and presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the community, to subject the accused to interim measures in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, employee handbooks, and university policies and rules.
  • When the accused is not a member of the college community, to have assistance from University Police or other college officials in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and university policy.
  • To obtain reasonable and available interim measures and accommodations that effect a change in academic, housing, employment, transportation, or other applicable arrangements in order to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, and avoid an ongoing hostile environment.  Parties may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of any interim measures and accommodations that directly affect them.  While reporting individuals may request accommodations through any of the offices referenced in this policy, the Dean of Student Affairs Office can serve as a point to assist with these measures:  1225 Weiskotten Hall, 315-464-4816.

Student Conduct/Disciplinary Process:

  • To request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused. Conduct proceedings are governed by the procedures set forth in the Code of Student Conduct in Student Handbook: http://www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/documents.php?cid=123, as well as federal and New York State law, including the due process provisions of the United States and New York State Constitutions.
  • Throughout conduct proceedings, the respondent and the reporting individual will have:
    • The same opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice who may assist and advise the parties throughout the conduct process and any related hearings or meetings. Participation of the advisor in any proceeding is governed by federal law and the Student Code of Conduct;
    • The right to a prompt response to any complaint and to have their complaint investigated and adjudicated in an impartial, timely, and thorough manner by individuals who receive annual training in conducting investigations of sexual violence, the effects of trauma, impartiality, the rights of the respondent, including the right to a presumption that the respondent is “not responsible” until a finding of responsibility is made, and other issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
    • The right to an investigation and process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard) and is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest.
    • The right to receive advance written or electronic notice of the date, time, and location of any meeting or hearing they are required to or are eligible to attend.  Accused individuals will also be told the factual allegations concerning the violation, a reference to the specific code of conduct provisions alleged to have been violated, and possible sanctions.
    • The right to have a conduct process run concurrently with a criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than 10 days except when law enforcement specifically requests and justifies a longer delay.
    • The right to offer evidence during an investigation and to review available relevant evidence in the case file (or otherwise held by the university).
    • The right to present evidence and testimony at a hearing, where appropriate.
    • The right to a range of options for providing testimony via alternative arrangements, including telephone/videoconferencing or testifying with a room partition.
    • The right to exclude prior sexual history with persons other than the other party in the conduct process or their own mental health diagnosis or treatment from admittance in college disciplinary stage that determines responsibility. Past findings may be admissible in the disciplinary stage that determines sanction.
    • The right to ask questions of the decision maker and via the decision maker indirectly request responses from other parties and any other witnesses present.
    • The right to make an impact statement during the point of the proceeding where the decision maker is deliberating on appropriate sanctions.
    • The right to simultaneous (among the parties) written or electronic notification of the outcome of a conduct proceeding, including the decision, any sanctions, and the rationale for the decision and any sanctions.
    • The right to written or electronic notice about the sanction(s) that may be imposed on the accused based upon the outcome of the conduct proceeding. For students found responsible for sexual assault, the available sanctions are suspension with additional requirements and expulsion/dismissal.
    • Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination before a panel, which may include one or more students, that is fair and impartial and does not include individuals with a conflict of interest.
    • The right to have access to a full or fair record of a student conduct hearing, which shall be preserved and maintained for a least five years.
    • The right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of a conduct hearing.
    • The right to have all information obtained during the course of the conduct or judicial process by protected from public release until the appeals panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law.

Copies of this policy or informative summaries with links or information to access the full policy shall be distributed annually to students, made available on the University’s website, and posted in campus residence, and student union or campus center.

Judicial Affairs, 1217 Weiskotten Hall, 464-4816