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Title IX Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Information

Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other applicable law and policy, Mercy College prohibits sexual harassment and misconduct. Specifically, no person shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity of the College. Sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and sexual misconduct. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, asserts his or her rights under Title IX.

Sexual violence is a term with a specific legal connotation. It encompasses a broad range of behavior that includes all forms of sexual misconduct and sexual violence. Sexual violence refers to sexual acts committed against a person’s will, or where the person is incapable of giving consent because of incapacitation, unconsciousness, or any circumstance rendering one unaware that sexual activity is occurring. Under this policy, sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, cyber-stalking, bullying and cyber-bullying, aiding or facilitating the commission of a violation and retaliation.

Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.

We encourage all members of our campus community to seek support for and report all sexual misconduct directly to the Mercy College Safety and Security Department or the Title IX Coordinator.

While it is often thought of as a law that applies to athletic programs, Title IX is much broader than athletics and applies to many programs at Mercy College. While compliance with the law is everyone’s responsibility at Mercy, below is the staff member who has primary responsibility for Title IX compliance.

The College will not tolerate sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault against students, faculty, staff or visitors by College employees, other students or third parties. Sexual offenses are defined in New York State Penal Code as offenses including rape, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, forcible touching, sexual misconduct and facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. Any student, visitor or faculty or staff member who is a victim of sexual assault or a sexual offense is encouraged to report the incident to the Office of Campus Safety and Security (914-674-7225), Mercy College Title IX Coordinator (914-674-7733) and the local police at 911 and, if necessary, to seek immediate medical care. Both Campus Safety and Security and the Title IX Coordinator cannot investigate an incident as a crime unless the victim files an actual report. By reporting a crime, it does not necessarily obligate the victim to follow through with criminal prosecution.

Mercy College complaint procedure provides for a thorough, immediate, and objective investigation of all claims of sexual misconduct/relationship abuse/stalking. The College encourages all those who have experienced any form of sexual misconduct to report the incident promptly; to seek out all available campus and community resources, and pursue College conduct action and/or legal proceedings against the offender.

State Law Regarding Sexual Offenses

  1. Sexual misconduct includes sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such other person's consent
  2. Rape includes sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion or with another person who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or incapable of consent because of age, physical helplessness or other factors
  3. Criminal Sexual Acts include when a person engages in oral or anal sexual conduct by forcible compulsion or with a person who is incapable of consent because of being physically helpless, mentally disabled, incapacitated, or due to other factors, or with a person who is below a certain age.
  4. Forcible Touching occurs when a person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, touches sexual or intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person for the purpose of gratifying their sexual desire
  5. Sexual Abuse includes sexual contact with another person by forcible compulsion, or without such other person’s consent, or when the person is incapable of consent by reason on being physically helpless or below a certain age
  6. Aggravated Sexual Assault includes when a person inserts a finger or foreign object into the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum of another person, and/or causes physical injury to such person, by forcible compulsion; when the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless, mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated or other factors; when a person is below a certain age

If you are an employee who believes you have been subjected to discrimination under Title IX, including sexual harassment, or who wishes to file a complaint under Title IX, you may do so with the Title IX Coordinator. The Complaint Form may be found on the Title IX website and the Human Resources website.

The College encourages the reporting of Sexual Misconduct/Relationship Abuse/Stalking to:

  1. Department of Safety and Security (914) 674-7225
  2. Counseling Services, Dobbs Ferry Campus (914) 674-7233 and at the Bronx Campus (718) 678-8775
  3. Title IX Coordinator, Ana I. Gonzalez (914) 674-7679 agonzalez@mercy.edu or Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Jennifer Busch (914) 674-7733 jbusch@mercy.edu

Electing not to report an incident to the police will not impact the College’s investigation or grievance process under Title IX. Likewise, if a criminal complaint is filed, the police investigation or report is not determinative of whether the incident of sexual misconduct, relationship abuse or stalking violates Title IX.

If you are a student who believes you have been subjected to:

  1. Sexual harassment by College faculty or staff or
  2. Any form of gender discrimination

Under Title IX, you may report such misconduct and file a formal grievance with the Title IX Coordinator. The Complaint Form can be found on the Title IX website here.

If you are a student who believes you have been a victim of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, you may report such conduct or file a complaint under Title IX with the Title IX Coordinator and the Campus Office of Safety and Security. Complaints of student sexual misconduct are addressed by the Title IX Coordinator.

The College’s primary concern is student safety. Any other violations of the College’s Code of Conduct will be addressed separately from the sexual/relationship abuse/stalking allegation.

Students reporting incidents of sexual misconduct/relationship abuse/stalking have the opportunity to seek informal remedies or pursue a formal complaint.

Student filing complaints will meet with the Title IX Coordinator to discuss the complaint and determine which informal remedies are available.  Informal remedies include but are not limited to: the issuance of an administrative no-contact order; residence hall relocation or visitation restrictions; assignment to a different class/lab section; follow-up with the individual official regarding behavior; reminding behavior; reminding the individual of College policies on and definitions of sexual misconduct.

Informal remedies do not prevent the College from taking formal disciplinary action to ensure the safety and security of the College community. A student reporting an incident may end the informal process at any time and initiate the formal stage of the complaint process.

Allegations of sexual misconduct involving students and faculty staff are conducted by the Title IX Coordinator. Upon receipt of information that alleges a violation has taken place, the Title IX Coordinator will begin an investigation with the complainant’s consent. If, however, the complainant does not consent to an investigation, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the complainant’s request not to pursue an investigation unless the College determines that a complete investigation is necessary in order for it to respond effectively to the harassment and prevent the harassment of other students.

The Title IX Coordinator will interview all relevant parties regarding the allegation of sexual misconduct. The next steps would include:

  • Title IX Coordinator will write a summary of the information gathered during the interviews
  • All parties interviewed will be provided an opportunity to review the summary of the interview for accuracy and make corrections.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation by interviewing witnesses, including the respondent and gather additional information regarding the allegations. Both the complainant and the respondent will have the opportunity to present witnesses, impact statements and other evidence. Witnesses will be instructed that they are required to maintain confidentiality regarding the allegations
  • If it is determined that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the complaint, there will be no further action by the Coordinator
  • The complainant and respondent will be kept up to date as the status of the investigation through its conclusion
  • The Title IX Coordinator will summarize the information gathered during the investigation and make a find and may recommend a sanction. The finding will be based on preponderance of evidence. Possible outcomes as follows:
    • No Finding - no evidence was available to support any finding to pursue any further investigation
    • Not Responsible - insufficient evidence was available to support a finding of responsibility for violations of policy
    • Responsible - The evidence supports a finding of responsibility, based on the preponderance of evidence
  • If the Title IX Coordinator is unable to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence, the matter will go to a formal hearing where both parties will have the opportunity to present their version of the alleged events.

The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for oversight of the College's Title IX efforts including but not limited to:

  • Coordination of the college's efforts to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements as it relates to Title IX laws and regulations
  • Oversight of college wide education, training and outreach programming related to Title IX
  • Coordinating and Executing in a timely manner the college's response and investigation of complaints pursuant to Title IX including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct
  • Monitoring and oversight of implementation of Title IX compliance
  • Oversee the Investigation to insure prompt, thorough, objective and confidential investigations of complaints of harassment, including sexual misconduct and discrimination
  • Prepare Reports on Title IX compliance efforts and compliant activity and make recommendations for action
File a Complaint
Mercy Title IX Policy
October 16, 2015

Policy and Procedures Relating to Sexual Misconduct

What is sexual violence?

How do I know if I've been sexually assaulted?

What should I do if I think I have been sexually harassed or victimized?

If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking, will I get in trouble?

I've already gone to the police, so why do I need to go back to the Title IX Coordinator?

What if I want to remain anonymous?

Will my complaint remain confidential?