Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response

Updated July 2020

Sexual Violence

What it is;

what St. Lawrence says about it; and what you can do to prevent it.

Our Process: Simplified    

If the University receives a formal complaint of sexual misconduct, with equal options and access for both parties, we:

  • Assist with safety and medical needs first.
  • Understand the requests of the person making the complaint: Informal Resolution or Formal Investigation and Adjudication with live hearing.
  • Provide support services (academic and student life) as possible.
  • Consider supportive measures such as change of residence, “no contact” orders as appropriate.
  • Maintain neutrality and offer equitable process to both people.
  • Discuss, if requested by Complainant, a non-judgmental Informal Resolution and the terms, with the Respondent.
  • Investigate, if requested and/or University determines need, to the extent possible, always in a private, compassionate setting. During the investigation, the parties will meet, one-on-one, with investigators.
  • Provide, if requested, an Advisor for the purposes of conducting cross-examination at the live hearing.
  • Provide access to investigation materials to both parties and when the Investigation Report is complete, provide all materials to the Review Board.
  • Plan for a live hearing with parties present in separate spaces if requested.
  • Notify both people of outcomes.
  • Provide for appeal on specific criteria.

Table of Contents    

Introduction

Terms to Know

Reporting Resources: Confidential or Responsible  Administrator

Immediate Safety and Support

To Seek Medical Care

What to Do Within the First 24  Hours

After-Care

Common Responses to Sexual Assault

University Responses Options and  Procedures

Student Rights

What is ‘Consent’?

Sexual Misconduct Violations

University Category Sexual Misconduct Violations

Risk Reduction and Sexual Respect

Flow Chart of Decision Points

Introduction            

MEMBERS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE COMMUNITY—students, employees, and guests— should expect to be free from sexual violence, behavior that is inherently abusive of the humanity that each of us brings to the campus community. Sexual misconduct is against University policy and will not be tolerated at St. Lawrence.

  • Sexual misconduct includes any sexual act perpetrated against someone’s will and includes, rape, nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. This type of conduct may involve victims who do not consent or who are unable to consent.
  • When accused students are found to have violated this policy, proportionate sanctions will be imposed. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated. The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.
  • While there are a number of laws and regulations that mandate how universities handle allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, it is impossible to set forth every scenario that could be a violation of this policy.
  • Ultimately, the University has the discretion to determine whether or not the policy has been violated and impose appropriate sanctions.

“An educational community should be the model of equity, civility and inclusiveness. I hope that
St. Lawrence University can be an exemplar of these attributes. Every Laurentian counts in the fight against sexual violence and relationship violence on  campus.”

— p r e s i d e n t  w i l l i a m   l .  f o x

 

Terms to know          

Adjudicators: The three people on the Review Board who make the decision whether there is sufficient evidence to find someone charged as Responsible for the actions that are alleged.

Advisor of Choice: Individuals may choose an Advisor of Choice (including an attorney). If either party does not have an Advisor of Choice at the hearing, the University will make available an Advisor of the University’s choice, without charge, for the limited purpose

of conducting cross-examination in the live hearing. The Advisor of Choice may be the Support Person, as well, but only one person will be allowed to accompany each party to the live hearing.

Affirmative Consent: (see Page 19)

Confidential Resource: Trained campus and community resources who must retain your confidentiality, unless there is imminent harm to self or others. Confiding in these resources is NOT reporting to the University.

Confidential Response: A complainant may seek assistance from on-campus or external resources with whom confidential discussions may be held, without report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, unless the complaint describes a narrative of imminent harm to self or others.

Formal Complaint: A complaint must be made in writing and signed by the complainant in order to initiate the University’s grievance process of an investigation and adjudication. The complainant may then choose to have supportive measures provided only, to request an Informal Resolution and the terms proposed, or to request a Formal Investigation.

Informal Resolution: Once a Formal, written report is made to the Title IX Coordinator, the University, through the Title IX Coordinator or designee, may offer options to the person making the complaint. The person can then express preference for an Informal Resolution, describing wishes such as change of residence, change of schedule, no-contact order, or other requests. Then the University explains the charge to the accused and describes the conditions. This is a non-judgmental discussion; the University is not determining whether the charge has enough evidence for a decision of responsibility. If the charged person also agrees to the terms proposed, the conditions are documented and the case is permanently closed. If the charged person does not agree, then the University returns to the person making the complaint and offers these options:

  • Investigation, leading to a decision by the Review Board and sanction if the charged person is found Responsible, or no sanction if evidence is not sufficient to reach Preponderance of Evidence standard.
  • Suspend decision at this time, and decide at a later date whether to request a Formal Investigation or to request the University take no action.
  • Request the University take no action and close the case permanently.

Formal Investigation and Adjudication: Once a Formal, written report is made to the Title IX Coordinator, the University, through the Title IX Coordinator or designee, may offer options to the person making the complaint. The person can request a Formal Investigation and Adjudication, which involve two trained investigators who will interview both parties, interview relevant witnesses, and gather evidence such as photographs, videos, emails, text messages, Facebook posts, or any other material sources relevant to the allegation(s). Both parties may review materials gathered during investigation before the Investigation Report is finalized. The investigators then prepare a report, both parties may read and respond in writing to the report, before sharing with adjudicators who comprise the Sexual Misconduct Review Board; they decide whether there is a Preponderance of Evidence and if they believe there is, what the proportionate sanction should be. If someone charged is found Responsible, that person may appeal on limited grounds. Those grounds are procedural irregularity that affected the outcome, evidence not reasonably available during the investigation that could affect the outcome, bias on the part of anyone involved in the proceedings, or inappropriateness of sanction imposed or not imposed. Formal Investigations and Review Board processes are completed as expeditiously as possible.

No-Contact Order: A directive from the University that the people involved in a case either temporarily or permanently have no deliberate interaction with one another, nor may anyone on their behalf.

Preponderance of Evidence: The standard of proof used by the Review Board to determine whether an alleged violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy occurred. This standard evaluates whether it is “more likely than not” that the respondent engaged in the conduct charged.

Responsible: The term used when the Review Board determines there is a preponderance of evidence to support a finding of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Responsible Administrator: Employees who have an obligation to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator if they hear about or are aware of sexual misconduct and to take action based on those reports They can also assist students by directing them to appropriate resources.

Review Board (RB): Three individuals chosen from a team of trained individuals; they read the Investigation Report, conduct the live hearing that includes opportunities for both parties to make statements, to be questioned, and to be cross-examined. If a party or witness declines to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, the RB will not rely on any statements of that party/witness in reaching a decision regarding responsibility.

The Review Board then determines if there is a preponderance of evidence to support a finding of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and if so, the Review Board imposes the sanction.

Supportive Measures: Supportive measures are intended to restore or preserve, to the extent practicable, equal access to the University’s educational programs and activities and protect the safety of all parties without unreasonably burdening the other party or parties. As required by federal regulation, these supportive measures must be non- disciplinary and non-punitive to the parties. If a Complainant does not wish to file a formal complaint and initiate an investigation and Formal Adjudication, the Complainant will, nevertheless, be entitled to receive supportive measures.

Support Person: Individuals may choose a support person to be involved during the investigation only. The support person may not speak for or represent the persons. The University will not communicate directly with support people. Support Person Guidelines are provided. The Support Person does not attend the live hearing nor participate in cross-examination.

Transcript Notation: As required by New York law, all colleges and universities in New York are required to denote certain conduct outcomes on academic transcripts of students found in to have engaged in conduct that constitutes crimes of violence (including but not limited to sexual assault) as defined in the Clery Act. Required transcript notations, as appropriate to the circumstances, are:

“Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” “Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” “Withdrew with conduct charges pending”

Suspension and expulsion transcript notations are applied at the conclusion of the conduct proceedings and appeals processes. If a student withdraws with charges pending, but conduct proceedings are nonetheless completed, any final transcript notation will be based on the outcome of those proceedings. (Pending completion of those proceedings, the transcript will carry the above withdrawal notation.)

Transcript notations for a student suspended are required by law to remain on the transcript for a period of at least one year following completion of the suspension. By University policy, a withdrawal notation will remain on a transcript for at least one year following the withdrawal. (By law, expulsion notations are not subject to removal.) Subject to these minimum periods, a student may request to have a suspension/withdrawal transcript notation removed by submitting a petition in writing to the Title IX Coordinator, who will share the request with the Deans of Academic Affairs and Student Life. The Deans will make all decisions about notation removal. For full information.

Witness: Someone who may have seen an incident or who may have had real-time interactions with either the person making the charge or the person charged, interactions (discussion, text or email messages and more) that will help the University understand the narrative as accurately as possible.

Reporting resources      

Confidential and/or Official
 

If you wish to report confidentially

Your identity will not be revealed to University officials (nor will the University be able to act on your report):

On-Campus Confidential Resources

  • Diana B. Torrey ’82 Health and Counseling Center (315-229-5392) (for St. Lawrence University students only)

  • Chaplain’s Office (315-229-5256) (for St. Lawrence University students only)

  • St. Lawrence University Advocates Program, www.stlawu.edu/advocatesand Sexual Violence Advocates Hotline (in the academic year only) (315-244-5466)

Off-Campus Confidential Resources

  • Renewal House (315-379-9845) (for all)   Note: Off-campus “safe housing” and Family Court Orders of Protection may be facilitated through Renewal House.
  • Reachout 24/7 Crisis Hotline (315-265-2422) (for all)
  • NYS Crime Victims’ Board (800-247-8035) (for all)
  • Employee Assistance Program (800-327-2255) (for SLU employees)
  • AIDS Community Resources (315-386-4493) (for all)
  • Planned Parenthood of NNY (315-386-8821) (for all)
  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital (315-265-3300) (for all)

If you wish to report officially or with other questions:

Contact one of the following employees who must report information they hear directly or indirectly to the Title IX Coordinator, who will reach out and offer a guide to next steps. (see pages 14-17 and inside back cover).

On-Campus Responsible Administrators

  • Hagi Bradley, VP and Dean of Students, ebradley@stlawu.edu (315-229-5311), Sullivan Student Center
  • Patrick Gagnon, Assistant Vice President, Safety & Security and Emergency Management and Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator, pgagnon@stlawu.edu (315-229-5609), Torrey Health Center
  • Rance Davis, Associate Dean of Student Life, rdavis@stlawu.edu (315-229-5551), Sullivan Student Center
  • Karl Schonberg, VP and Dean of Academic Affairs, kschonberg@stlawu.edu (315-229-5993), Vilas 103
  • Evelyn Jennings, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, ejennings@stlawu.edu (315-229-5993), Vilas 103
  • Colleen Manley, Director of Human Resources for Employee Relations, cmanley@stlawu.edu (315-229-5988), Vilas G2
  • Debra Mousaw, Director of Human Resources for Employee Benefits and Interim Title IX Coordinator, dmousaw@stlawu.edu (315-229-5597), Vilas G1
  • Bob Durocher, Athletic Director and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, (315-229-5870), Augsbury Center
  • Ashlee Downing-Duke, Associate Director of Student Activities & Leadership and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (315-229-5135) adowning@stlawu.edu
  • John Robert O'Connor, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, joconnor@stlawu.edu (315-229-5757), Sullivan Student Center 225
  • Roxanne Cliff, Assistant Director of Security and Safety, rcliff@stlawu.edu (315-229-5555), Torrey Health Center, 76 Park Street, rear entrance
  • Christopher Marquart, Assistant Dean and Director of Residence Life, cmarquart@stlawu.edu (315-229-5250), Sullivan Student Center 231
  • All Security Officers, (315-229-5555), Torrey Health Center, 76 Park Street, rear entrance, (Available 24 hours/day)

If you seek a trusted conversation partner: if an employee is not listed as a Responsible Administrator and not designated a Confidential Employee, you may talk with that person and expect that person to assist you however you wish to be assisted.

Law Enforcement Official Resources

You have the right to file a report with local law enforcement, the Canton Police Department (315-386-4561 or 911) or the New York State Police Sexual Assault Hotline (844-845-7269). University Safety and Security can assist you in contacting law enforcement.

If you are the survivor of sexual violence:

Immediate safety and support

Go to a safe place—your own room, a friend’s room, or anywhere you will feel safe. Also, call someone you trust. No matter how late it is, you should not be alone.

To discuss confidentially

  • If you wish to maintain your confidentiality at this point, call a close friend, your roommate, or an Advocate (315-244-5466). Advocates are St. Lawrence University students committed to providing a safe and confidential resource for individuals in need of support and information around sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence and other personal violations. They are available 24/7.
  • You can also contact a counselor. Counselors are confidential resources who can help you sort through your immediate needs, provide emotional support, and help you to connect with other emergency resources. All members of the counseling staff have training and experience with individuals in crisis. There is always a counselor on call through Safety and Security,(315-229-5555). Simply say “I need a counselor on call.” You don't need to disclose the nature of your emergency; provide a phone number at which you can be reached.
  • See all Confidential Resources cited on page 8.

To seek medical care      

If you may be injured, and/or if you would like to collect possible evidence of an assault, you may seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel physical pain, you may have internal injuries that cannot be immediately seen or felt. We encourage you to get medical attention even if you do not want to have evidence collected. Confidential pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and/or testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses are services available at Torrey Health Center.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

  • A sexual trauma exam (or "Rape Kit") should be done immediately following an experience of sexual trauma, because certain kinds of evidence collection, including rape drug testing, are time-sensitive. A sexual trauma exam is conducted by a SANE, or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who is a professional with special training in working with individuals who may have experienced sexual trauma. A SANE can care for injuries, test for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy, and collect evidence (if requested). You do not have to be certain that you were sexually assaulted to request a SANE exam or any other kind of medical or emotional care. A SANE exam rape kit must be done at Canton- Potsdam Hospital, which has the legal facilities necessary. SANE exams are free of charge. The evidence from a sexual trauma exam, however, is not processed by authorities unless criminal charges are filed with the police.
  • Considering a SANE exam. Even if you are not sure about reporting your experience or pressing charges, you may wish to preserve the option of reporting later by having evidence collected. Evidence will be held for six months at the New York State Forensics Lab while you decide whether to press charges with local authorities. If you decide later than 24 hours to report the incident, it will generally not be possible to collect sexual assault exam evidence at that time (although some evidence, such as visible bruising, may still be possible to record).
  • Arranging to meet with a SANE. If you need to meet with a SANE while Torrey Health and Counseling Center is open, please call Torrey at 315-229-5392, and the staff will arrange to connect you with the SANE as soon as possible. If you need to meet with a SANE after hours, the SANE is generally on call and may be able to meet you at the Health Center. Campus Safety and Security staff will transport you to Canton- Potsdam Hospital and will not require you to disclose the reason you're seeking care.
  • Before a medical exam, try to preserve the evidence. Resist the urge to cleanse yourself before you seek treatment. It may be difficult to keep from washing yourself, but if you do you may destroy evidence that could be useful should you decide to report the experience. Do not wash, change clothes, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, or brush your hair. Bring a change of clothing with you to the exam, since your clothes may be collected as evidence.
  • For many LGBTQIA people, the critical questions about treatment options are followed immediately by concerns about social stigma. The all-important question of “Will I be healthy?” is compounded by an additional slew of worries. New questions such as “Should I come out to my doctor?” “Will I be safe if I do?” “Will my chosen family be welcome?” and “Will I be offered the information I need to know to take care of my relationship, my sexuality, my fertility, and my family?” are thrust into the forefront. St. Lawrence is sensitive to these concerns.

What to do within the first 24 hours

All of the options listed on the previous pages are available to you (although some evidence may be more difficult to collect, depending on which option you choose).

  • Talk with someone who can share information and help you to figure out what you need. People and organizations that serve as resources can be found on page 8. Choose whichever resources feel most useful to you. Remember that there is no “correct” path for responding or reacting to sexual trauma—whatever works best for you is a good option.

Are there any needs that should be taken care of immediately?

  • Enhancing your sense of safety: Temporary No Contact Orders restricting encounters and communication between you and the other individual(s) can be secured through the associate dean of student life. If you are not comfortable sharing the details of your experience with either of these parties, a member of our counseling or medical staff, both of whom are confidential resources, can assist you. It is also possible to arrange for temporary or permanent room changes, class changes, etc.; again, a confidential resource can help you with this.
  • Academic extensions: The associate dean of student life can provide dean's excuses for academic extensions or missed classes.

After-care                   

It is important to care for yourself after a sexual assault, and after any event you have experienced as sexually violating.

What should I consider doing that I might not have thought of?

  • Be patient with yourself. The healing process takes time and includes your physical, emotional, and psychological health.
  • Don’t neglect your physical health and well-being. Getting adequate sleep, using exercise for stress relief and eating well can advance your healing process. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to a health professional; sleep is essential for self-care.
  • Try not to let others make decisions for you. It is important that you re-establish a sense of control over your choices.
  • Seek support from a counselor, so that you may express your thoughts and feelings in a neutral setting where you do not feel that you have to protect the listener, worry about how the other person is feeling, or risk judgment.
  • Don’t look for simple answers to explain what happened.
  • Know your rights and how to get the support you need.
  • Try to do things you enjoy; give yourself permission to have positive experiences.
  • Some people find it useful to keep a journal, to write stories or poems, or to express themselves through drawings. Use any outlet that feels helpful to explore your emotions.

Common responses to sexual assault

Although each person is unique and there is no standard or correct response to sexual assault, there are some feelings and reactions that most sexual assault survivors experience. The emotional trauma caused by a sexual assault can be severe and long- lasting. They may occur immediately, or you may have a delayed reaction weeks or months later. Sometimes the feelings seem to go away for a while and then come back again. Certain situations, such as seeing the assailant or speaking to an investigator, may intensify the symptoms or cause them to reoccur after a period during which you had been feeling better.

Common natural responses to sexual assault may include:

  • Fear and anxiety: feeling unsafe, nervous, fear of the situation or the place linked with the assault, compulsive behavior
  • Shock and disbelief: numb, unemotional, surreal feelings
  • Helplessness, depression: feeling powerless, overwhelmed, unable to make choices, self-hatred
  • Anger: fury, desire to retaliate against assailant
  • Shame and embarrassment: feeling “bad,” feeling that everyone will “know”
  • Self-blame or guilt: feeling at fault, responsible for the attack
  • Flashbacks: being preoccupied with the attack, remembering and reliving the assault
  • Isolation: feeling alone or that no one else can relate to your experience
  • Physical responses: difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, headaches, listlessness

Survivors sometimes also experience an impulse to protect their alleged assailant, which may influence their decisions to report the assault or to seek care for themselves. Survivors who are members of underrepresented identity groups may feel especially conflicted  about reporting an assault when a member of their group is the alleged assailant; they may feel anxious about perceived group loyalty or compromising the reputation of that group. These normal responses can be lessened when you seek support from any of the resources listed on page 8.

In addition, we know that LGBTQIA persons, and particularly transgender persons, face significant barriers to equal, consistent, high-quality health care. From instances of humiliation and degradation to outright refusals to provide care, many institutions—consciously or not—have made it very difficult for transgender people to receive respectful, knowledgeable treatment. We are committed to regularly training our community and encouraging our local health care providers to be trained as well.

We are socialized to see sexual assault as a crime against women, not men. Because of this, many men have a hard time understanding that sexual assault is a crime that is motivated by the wish for power and control, and can happen to anyone, and by anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Although many reactions to sexual assault are shared by survivors of all genders, there may be some additional responses that are different for survivors who identify as male. Men may experience concerns about what being sexually assaulted means to their sexuality or masculinity. There is a myth in our culture that only gay men rape other men, that men cannot be raped by women, or that only gay men are raped. This is not true: sexual assault has no boundaries. It is important to know that strong or weak, outgoing or shy, gay, straight, transgender or bisexual, you have done nothing that has caused or justified being assaulted. The responsibility lies with the assailant.

University responses, options and procedures

Formal Complaint with Campus Officials

You have the right to report sexual misconduct and receive supportive measures under the University’s Nondiscrimination, Discriminatory Harassment & Sexual and Interpersonal

Misconduct Policies. You also have the option to file a formal complaint, which may result in an investigation and adjudication by the University, with action taken as warranted. Details about the University’s investigation and adjudication procedures can be found here.

To pursue an formal complaint, you must file a written statement with the Interim Title IX Coordinator.
  • Debra Mousaw, Director of Human Resources for Employee Benefits and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, dmousaw@stlawu.edu (315-229-5597), Vilas G1
These individuals can assist you with the process:

On-Campus Responsible Administrators

  • Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, hbradley@stlawu.edu, (315-229-5311), Sullivan Student Center
  • Patrick Gagnon, Assistant Vice President, Safety & Security and Emergency Management and Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator, pgagnon@stlawu.edu (315-229-5609), Torrey Health Center
  • Rance Davis, Associate Dean of Student Life, rdavis@stlawu.edu, (315-229-5551), Sullivan Student Center
  • Karl Schonberg, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Karl Schonberg, kschonberg@stlawu.edu (315-229-5993), Vilas 103
  • Evelyn Jennings, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, ejennings@stlawu.edu (315-229-5993), Vilas 103
  • Colleen Manley, Director of Human Resources for Employee Relations, cmanley@stlawu.edu (315-229-5988), Vilas G2
  • Bob Durocher, Athletic Director and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, bdur@stlawu.edu (315-229-5870), Augsbury Center
  • Ashlee Downing-Duke, Associate Director of Student Activities & Leadership and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, adowning@stlawu.edu (315-229-5135) SC 224
  • Roxanne Cliff, Assistant Director of Security and Safety, rcliff@stlawu.edu (315-229-5555), Torrey Health Center, 76 Park Street, rear entrance
  • Christopher Marquart, Assistant Dean and Director of Residence Life, cmarquart@stlawu.edu (315-229-5250), Sullivan Student Center 231
  • John Robert O'Connor, Assistant Dean and Director of Student Activities and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, joconnor@stlawu.edu (315-229-5757), Sullivan Student Center 225
  • All Security Officers, (315-229-5555), Torrey Health Center, 76 Park Street, rear entrance, (Available 24 hours/day)
  •  

If you seek a trusted conversation partner: if an employee is not listed as a Responsible Administrator and not designated a Confidential Employee, you may talk with that person and expect that person to assist you however you wish to be assisted.

If the Title IX Coordinator receives a Formal report: Equitable Processes with Dignity and Seriousness

The premises of “agency” and of “equity” are fundamental. “Agency” is given to the person making the complaint to decide the pathways for University response (although there are some reasons the University must investigate an allegation, for the safety of the entire University community). “Equity” means both people involved, the person making the complaint and the person accused, have equal rights as defined by New York State law, explained on page 18.

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a report, the University will:

  • Assist with safety and medical needs as appropriate.
  • Provide support services and advise of rights, i.e., extension for academic deadlines.
  • Consider interim measures: change of residence, “no contact” orders.
  • Understand Complainant’s requests: informal resolution or formal investigation.
  • Offer equitable process to both people.
  • If investigation is selected or designated, investigate to the extent possible and provide access to materials to both parties at the appropriate time.
  • Provide investigation report to Review Board.
  • Schedule and oversee a live hearing.
  • Advise parties of their rights, including the right to have an advisor of choice at the investigation and the live hearing and to conduct cross-examination at the hearing. If a party does not have an advisor present at the hearing, the University will provide, without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of the University’s choice for the limited purpose of conducting questioning on behalf of that party.
  • Provide both parties with right of appeal for specific conditions.

Advisors of Choice

  • Individuals may choose an Advisor of Choice (including an attorney).
  • If either party does not select an Advisor of Choice, the University will make available an Advisor, at the University’s choice, without charge, for the limited purpose of cross-examination in the live hearing.
  • The Advisor of Choice may be the Support Person, as well, but only one person will be allowed to accompany each party to the live hearing.

Investigation Steps

The investigators will follow this general process:

  • Interview the complainant
  • Interview witnesses named by complainant
  • Interview respondent
  • Interview witnesses named by respondent
  • Gather evidence as they deem relevant
  • Re-interview if needed either or both parties
  • Type interviews in real time, read back, parties allowed to rephrase, add, or explain then sign the statement as accurate
  • Gather letters, interviews, evidence, timeline and policies in a shared file that both parties may access when materials are gathered.

The Title IX Coordinator:

  • Advises when investigation materials are ready to view generally within a 10-day period, usually with some notice before the period begins.
  • Provides access to investigation materials.

Complainant and Respondent:

  • Both parties may review the Investigation materials within a 10-day period and provide a written response within the same period. These statements will be included in the Investigation File.
  • Both parties may review the Investigation Report within a 10-day period and provide a written response within the same period.
  • Both parties must attend the live hearing and be willing to answer cross-examination questions. Per U.S. Department of Education guidance, if either party declines to participate in the live hearing, that person’s statements and evidence cannot be considered in the Adjudication.

Sexual Misconduct Review Board for Student Cases

  • All investigation materials, including responses, go to the Review Board.
  • The Review Board is comprised of three individuals, two of whom are SLU employees, all trained in sexual misconduct adjudication. The third person will serve as the chairperson managing the live hearing.

The Review Board will:

  • Review investigation report
  • Hear opening statements from both parties
  • Pose questions to the Investigators, to either party, to any witness.  If a party or witness declines to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, the RB will not rely on any statements of that party/witness in reaching a decision regarding responsibility.
  • Consider cross-examination questions by each party’s Advisor
  • Hear closing statements from both parties
  • Decision and sanction by Review Board
  • Appeal to Deans of Academic Affairs and Student Life on specific criteria:
  • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the hearing
  • Inappropriate sanction
  • New evidence not reasonably available at the time of the determination of responsibility or dismissal
  • Bias that affected the outcome of the matter on the part of the Title IX Coordinator, investigators or Review Board members

What do Review Boards Decide?

In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, Review Boards decide whether there was voluntary, mutual, and knowing consent provided by words or actions that provide clear willingness to engage in or participate in sexual activity.

Finding Responsibility and Potential Sanctions

Using the standard “preponderance of evidence,” the adjudicators on the Review Board or panel will decide whether it is more likely than not that the person accused is responsible for the allegation. We use the terms “responsible” or “not responsible.” Just as in the criminal justice system “not responsible” does not mean “innocent.” It means the Review Board did not find sufficient evidence to hold the accused person responsible for the allegation.

Review Boards will impose sanctions that are proportionate to the allegation, and sanctions can range from disciplinary probation, mandated counseling, suspension for various lengths of time, or expulsion (or termination of employees).

Student rights             

Defined by New York State:

All Students Have the Right To:

  1. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
  2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
  3. 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;
  4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
  5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
  6. 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;
  7. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
  8. 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;
  9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
  10. Be accompanied by an adviser 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
  11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.

What is consent?             

Affirmative consent, defined by New York State:

Sexual misconduct or contact in the absence of affirmative consent violates the University’s policies. Affirmative consent 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or  alcohol.
  3. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  4. 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.
  5. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm.
  6. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

The health and safety of every student at St. Lawrence University are of utmost importance. St. Lawrence 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. St. Lawrence 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 St. Lawrence’s officials or law enforcement will not be subject to St. Lawrence’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.

Sexual misconduct violations   

Every member of the St. Lawrence community (students, employees and visitors) must comply with our policies for respectful, nondiscriminatory behavior. There are no exceptions. Effective August 14, 2020, the University recognizes two types of sexual misconduct violations: 1) those covered by Title IX and 2) University Sexual Misconduct Violations.

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Violations: those that occur on the St. Lawrence University campus and in U.S. locations that St. Lawrence University controls and that occur during a student’s enrollment or employee’s working hours.

Sexual Harassment. “Sexual harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (commonly referred to as a “quid pro quo”);
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that is effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity (commonly referred to as a sexually or gender-based “hostile environment”).

Sexual Assault. “Sexual assault” includes any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving affirmative consent. Sexual assault consists of the following specific acts:

  • Rape—The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the affirmative consent of the victim.
  • Fondling—The touching of the private body parts (including genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks) of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Incest—Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape—Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. The statutory age of consent in New York is 17.

Dating Violence. "Dating violence’’ means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For  purposes of this Policy, verbal and/or emotional abuse will also be considered by the University to violate this Policy. For purposes of this Policy, the “intimate” relationship may be characterized as a series of sexual encounters, dating, “hooking up”, or similar interactions. Examples of abusive actions range from physical acts like hitting, shoving, or restraining to threats designed to control the victim’s behavior.

Domestic Violence. “Domestic violence” means violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person on the basis of sex that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition, Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. The term Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. The term Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. For purposes of this Policy, harm to physical, mental, or emotional health, employment status, or property of such person, a member of such person’s immediate family, or a third party with whom the person is acquainted could, in the appropriate circumstances, give rise to substantial emotional distress.

University category sexual misconduct violations

The University prohibits the following behavior in any context even if the conduct occurs off-campus or outside the United States, or if the Complainant is not participating or seeking to participate in the University’s education program or activity, or otherwise in circumstances over which the University does not have influence or control, including but not limited to during the University’s academic breaks. However, the University retains discretion to not respond to, investigate or adjudicate circumstances in which no University interest is implicated.

Sexual Harassment. “Sexual harassment” means unwelcome, offensive conduct that occurs on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, gender-stereotyping or the status of being transgender, but that does not constitute sexual harassment as a Title IX Category Violation as defined above. Sexual harassment can be verbal, written, visual, electronic or physical. The fact that a person was personally offended by a statement or incident does not alone constitute a violation. Instead, the determination is based on a “reasonable person” standard and takes into account the totality of the circumstances. The University considers the context of a communication or incident, the relationship of the individuals involved in the communication or incident, whether an incident was an isolated incident or part of a broader pattern or course of offensive conduct, the seriousness of the incident, the intent of the individual who engaged in the allegedly offensive conduct, and its effect or impact on the individual and the learning community. A “hostile environment” is created when the offensive behavior interferes with an individual’s ability to participate in the University’s programs (i.e., to work and to learn) when judged against a reasonable person standard. However, the University encourages individuals experiencing or witnessing offensive behavior to make a report as early as possible so as to have the situation corrected before it reaches the level of a hostile environment. The University reserves the right to remedy sexual harassment pursuant to this policy even if the behavior in question does not rise to the level of legally recognized or actional harassment.

The University also prohibits “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, which means “this for that” harassment. It is a violation of this policy for any person to condition any benefit on submission to sexual activity. No person should believe that any other person – no matter their position or authority – has a right to require sexual activity in exchange for any benefit or advantage; they do not.

Sexual Exploitation.  Sexual exploitation occurs when, without affirmative consent, a person takes sexual advantage of another in a manner that does not constitute another violation under this Policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostitution, acts of incest, observing or recording (whether by video, still photo or audio tape) of a sexual or other private activity (such as consensual sexual activity, undressing or showering) without the affirmative consent of all involved; taking intimate pictures of another, but then distributing the pictures to others without the photographed person’s affirmative consent; engaging in voyeurism, engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) without informing the other person of such infection; or exposing one’s genitals in non- consensual circumstances.

Sexual Assault. For purposes of the University category conduct violation, “sexual assault” is defined in the same manner as defined above but does not constitute sexual assault as a Title IX Category Violation because of the context in which it occurs (for example because the complainant was not in the United States at the time of the alleged conduct, because the complainant was not participating in or seeking to participate in the University’s education program or activity at the time of the complaint, or because the conduct did not occur in the context of the University’s education program or activity).

Dating Violence. For purposes of the University category conduct violation, “dating violence” is defined in the same manner as defined above but does not constitute dating violence as a Title IX Category Violation because of the context in which it occurs (for example because the complainant was not in the United States at the time of the alleged conduct, because the complainant was not participating in or seeking to participate in the University’s education program or activity at the time of the complaint, or because the conduct did not occur in the context of the University’s education program or activity).

Domestic Violence. For purposes of the University category conduct violation, “domestic violence” is defined in the same manner as defined above but does not constitute domestic violence as a Title IX Category Violation because of the context in which it occurs (for example because the complainant was not in the United States at the time of the alleged conduct, because the complainant was not participating in or seeking to participate in the University’s education program or activity at the time of the complaint, or because the conduct did not occur in the context of the University’s education program or activity).

Stalking. For purposes of the University category conduct violation, “stalking” is defined in the same manner as defined above but does not constitute stalking as a Title IX Category Violation because either it is not conducted on the basis of sex or because of the context in which it occurs (for example because the complainant was not in the United States at the time of the alleged conduct, because the complainant was not participating in or seeking to participate in the University’s education program or activity at the time of the complaint, or because the conduct did not occur in the context of the University’s education program or activity).

Retaliation.  Retaliation is an adverse act perpetrated to “get back” at a person because the person reported sexual misconduct, filed a complaint, or participated in an investigation or proceeding conducted pursuant to this policy. The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who files a good-faith complaint or participates in good-faith in any manner in an investigation or proceeding conducted pursuant to this policy by the University or by an external agency. An act of retaliation may be anything that would tend to discourage an individual from reporting sexual misconduct, pursuing a formal complaint, or from participating in an investigation or adjudication as a party or a witness.  A person who acts in good-faith is protected from retaliation. The fact that a statement is not determined to be proven or established following investigation and adjudication does not mean that the statement lacked good-faith; a person may provide inaccurate information believing it is accurate, which is still good-faith. If a person who makes a statement knowing that it is false, the person has acted without good-faith.

Risk reduction and sexual respect

Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may help reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:

  • If you have limits or wishes, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/ drug use and acknowledge that alcohol and/or drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or “high” person as a sexual opportunity.
  • Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

Sexual Respect

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct.

Remember: if your partner is incapacitated by drugs, alcohol or sleep, your partner cannot consent and your initiation of sexual contact is not excused. Consent can only be given if both people are clear-headed (not incapacitated by drugs or alcohol), give and receive clear verbal and non-verbal cues, and feel no coercion.

  • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about how far you can go; or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity, then you DO NOT have consent.
  • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  • Drug or alcohol use can render one incapable to give consent in sexual encounters, even if those substances were consumed knowingly.
  • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent.

Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

Flow Chart of Decision Points