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