Administration Policy Library
Sexual Harassment, Assault and Violence Prevention Policy
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (hereafter referred to as ESF) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment which is free from all forms of harassment, discrimination, intimidation and/or violence including that of a sexual nature. Every member of the College community should be aware that ESF strongly opposes sexual harassment, assault and violence and that such behavior is prohibited by law and by the College. It is the responsibility of ESF to prevent these incidents if possible, to correct them when they occur, and to take appropriate action against behavior that is a violation of this policy. The scope of this policy applies to all students, employees, applicants in the admission or employment processes, visitors, volunteers and contractors.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination against students, as well as against employees, applicants in the admission or employment processes, visitors, volunteers and contractors, (“employees” collectively) or third parties. Sex discrimination includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence as well as domestic/dating violence and stalking.
Reason For Policy
ESF desires to provide our community with a safe learning and work environment therefore policies and procedures are set for our employees, students and third parties to adhere to. Sexual harassment, assault and/or violence will not be tolerated. Any employee, student or other individual covered by this policy who engages in behavior that would violate this policy will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action.
remedy sexual harassment, assault or violence unless the institution is aware of the situation. Any employee, student or third party who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment, assault or violence is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor or to the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment, assault and/or violence should report such behavior to a supervisor or to the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer. Resources are available to anyone at any time regarding sexual harassment, assault, violence, domestic/dating violence and stalking through the Title IX, Student Affairs, Human Resources and Counseling offices on campus. These offices will be able to provide on-campus as well as off-campus resources.
Reports of sexual harassment, assault or violence may be made verbally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is attached to this policy, and all employees are encouraged to use the complaint form. Employees who are reporting sexual harassment, assault or violence on behalf of other employees are also encouraged to use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee’s behalf. ESF also has a Bias Reporting System in which reports can be made electronically and anonymously.
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by ESF but is also prohibited by state, federal and, where applicable, local law. Aside from the internal process at ESF, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with governmental agencies that are listed in this policy and also referenced in the Discrimination Complaint Procedure.
Scope of Policy
This policy applies to:
- Others - Guests, visitors, volunteers and contractors
Web Site References
This policy: http://www.esf.edu
Policy Office: https://www.esf.edu/ide/
Human Resources: https://www.esf.edu/hr/
Vice President for Administration: http://www.esf.edu/administration/
Specific questions should be directed to the following:
|Subject||Contact||Telephone||Office or Department Email/Web Address|
|Policy Clarification and General Information Policy Development||Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer||(315) 565-3012||https://www.esf.edu/ide/|
|Policy Clarification and General Information||Director of Human Resources||(315) 470-6611||https://www.esf.edu/hr/|
|Policy Clarification and General Information||Vice Provost and Dean for Student Affairs||(315) 470-6660||https://www.esf.edu/students/dean/|
|Criminal Complaints||University Police||(315) 470-6666||https://www.esf.edu/safety|
An unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the harassment. The conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or the submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
A sexual act that is committed or attempted by another person without freely given consent of the victim or against someone who is unable to consent or refuse. This includes: forced or alcohol/drug facilitated penetration of a victim; forced or alcohol/drug facilitated incidents in which the victim was made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else; nonphysical pressured unwanted penetration; intentional sexual touching or non-contact acts of a sexual nature. Sexual violence can also occur when a perpetrator forces or coerces a victim to engage in sexual acts with a third party.
A physical sexual act or acts committed against another person without consent. Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes what is commonly known as “rape” (including what is commonly called “date rape” and “acquaintance rape”), fondling, statutory rape and incest. For statutory rape, the age of consent in New York State is 17 years old.
A pattern of behavior involving the use or attempted use of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, economic or technological abuse or any others coercive behavior committed, enabled or solicited to gain or maintain power and control over a victim by a person.
A pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is unlawful in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the New York State Human Rights Law. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, sexual harassment also is prohibited in the provision of educational services and protects students and employees from sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination and employee misconduct, as
well as a form of discrimination in the academic setting, and all employees and students
are entitled to work and learn in a campus environment that prevents sexual harassment.
All employees and students have a legal right to a workplace and a campus free from
sexual harassment, and employees and students can enforce this right by filing a complaint
internally with ESF, with a government agency or in court under federal or state anti-discrimination
laws, as detailed in the College’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure.
In accordance with applicable law, sexual harassment is generally described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic benefit; or
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision affecting the person rejecting or submitting to the conduct; or
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an affected person’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.
Sexual harassment can include physical touching, verbal comments, non-verbal conduct such as leering or inappropriate written or electronic communications or a combination of these things. Examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Seeking sexual favors or a sexual relationship in return for the promise of a favorable grade or academic opportunity;
- Conditioning an employment-related action (such as hiring, promotion, salary increase or performance appraisal) on a sexual favor or relationship; or
- Intentional and undesired physical contact, sexually explicit language or writing, lewd pictures or notes, and other forms of sexually offensive conduct by individuals in positions of authority, co-workers or student peers, that unreasonably interferes with the ability of a person to perform their employment or academic responsibilities.
- Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against or poking another person’s body;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person’s sexuality
or sexual experience, which create a hostile environment.
- Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people's ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications, such as:
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace or classroom.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual
orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity
and the status of being transgender, such as:
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person's workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual's ability to perform his or her employment or academic duties;
- Sabotaging an individual's work;
- Bullying, yelling and/or name-calling
Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, status of being transgender or gender identity of any of the persons involved. Sexual harassment is considered a form of employee and student misconduct which may lead to disciplinary action. Further, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue. Employees and students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may use the College’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure.
Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, serves as a witness or assists or participates in any manner in this procedure is unlawful, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action. Retaliation is an adverse action taken against an individual as a result of complaining about or providing information regarding unlawful discrimination or harassment, exercising a legal right and/or participating in a complaint investigation as a third-party witness. Adverse action includes being discharged, disciplined, discriminated against or otherwise subject to adverse action because the individual reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. Participants who experience retaliation should contact the campus Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer, and may file a complaint pursuant to these procedures.
Responsibilities For Reporting
All employees of ESF, including faculty and staff, are designated as Responsible Employees/Mandated Reporters and therefore must disclose all information related to discrimination, sexual assault, sexual violence and/or sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer. This will enable our campus to offer the person support, resources and options. The only exception to this policy are confidential sources, as defined by law, such as counselors.
Responsible employees at ESF, including faculty and staff, can therefore:
- Advise the individual reporting in advance that while you will make every effort to maintain privacy to the greatest extent possible, you cannot keep the incident confidential and will need to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer.
- Refer individuals to those resources designated as responsible for handling incidents,
including those resources that are confidential.
- Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer
- Title IX Deputy
- Counselor (Confidential)
- University Police
- Hospital (Confidential)
- Advocacy Center (Confidential)
- Clergy (Confidential)
- Employees or third parties individuals can accompany a person to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator or deputy, if they choose to have you as an advisor.
Supervisors are required to report harassment that is reported to them, which they observe or which they reasonable should have known about, to the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer directly. We expect all of our supervisors to model appropriate behavior. Supervisors will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected harassment, or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue as well as for engaging in retaliation.
This policy applies to all students, employees and third parties of ESF. It is written to explain and prohibit all forms of sex discrimination, including but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence.
To make a complaint against an individual regardless of their status within the College, contact the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer. ESF has distinct procedures for the investigation and resolution of cases of sex discrimination:
- For complaints against students, refer to the ESF Student Handbook
- For complaints against College employees (faculty and staff) refer to the ESF Discrimination Complaint Procedure
Prevention and Awareness
ESF provides primary prevention and awareness programming for all incoming students and new employees, as well as ongoing prevention and awareness programming for all students and employees.
These programs are comprehensive and collaborative initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking as well as to inform our employees of their responsibilities. ESF considers our unique campus when designing programs, as well as environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on individual, relationship, institutional, community, and societal levels so that we can address actual issues that may influence how or if violence is occurring within our own community and how the programs can meet our collective needs.
Primary prevention programs are those that are intended to deter sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention*, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.
Awareness programs are programs that are community-wide (anyone can access) or audience-specific (targeted towards a certain segment of our community, students, or employees specifically) that increase knowledge, share information, and promote safety.
Our awareness programs may address primary prevention specifically, but may also improve one’s own knowledge about the types of actions taken and how they can impact a campus community.
* Bystander intervention involves safe and positive options that might be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Bystander intervention includes:
- Recognizing situations of potential harm;
- Understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence;
- Overcoming barriers to intervening;
- Identifying safe and effective intervention options; and
- Taking action to intervene.
Students, employees and third parties may contact the Title IX Coordinator and Affirmative Action Officer within the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, 450 Baker Laboratory (315-565-3012)
Students may contact the Division of Student Affairs, 110 Bray Hall (315-470-6660) or ESF Counseling Services, 110A Bray Hall (315-470-4716)
Some cases of sex discrimination, including those involving sexual assault or violence, may constitute a crime(s). By filing a complaint with the College, a complaint does not forgo the right to file and pursue a criminal complaint with local law enforcement. ESF University Police (315-470-6666) can assist members of the College community with the filing of a criminal complaint.
NYS Division of Human Rights
One Fordham Plaza, Fourth floor
Bronx, NY 10458
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Title IX Coordinator/Deputies
Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
History - Policy Revision Record
Policy Issue Date: 12/3/2008
Revision: 5/5/2015, 2/23/2016, 9/20/2019