The New School is committed to creating and sustaining an open, healthy, and safe university environment, one unhampered by discrimination, in which students, faculty, and staff can study and work. Consistent with this commitment and in keeping with federal and state law requirements, it is the policy of the university that sexual assault and sexual exploitation will not be tolerated. Non-consensual sexual conduct and other forms of sexual violence can be traumatizing and detrimental to a person's learning experience and overall health and has no place in our community. The New School will take any and all action needed to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that violates this standard of conduct. Due diligence will be applied to ensure proper and expeditious disciplinary review processes and the delivery of any appropriate resulting action. The university will make every effort to provide assistance and support to victims of sexual assault in a thorough, consistent, and sensitive manner.
Sexual Assault is a serious problem on college campuses throughout the country. To counteract this problem, the university provides educational and preventive programs, resources for individuals dealing with sexual assault, and accessible methods of complaint resolution.
The university defines sexual assault in the following way:
Non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual contact, which includes any non-consensual oral, anal, or genital penetration with any object, by an individual or group upon an individual or group, without consent. It also includes any intentional sexual touching (intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice), with any object, by an individual or group upon an individual or group, without consent.
Sexual exploitation, including instances in which a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual assault offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to: prostituting another student; non-consensual video- or audiotaping or photographing of sexual activity; unauthorized posting or distribution of materials involving the sexual activity of another person(s); going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as voyeurism or secretly watching others); tampering with birth control or condoms; and knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection such as HIV to another student.
This definition includes conduct that may be considered criminal under the New York State Penal Code. New York State Law contains the following legal provisions defining the crimes related to sexual assault, which can be viewed at the following website: ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article130.htm.
The university defines consent in the following way:
The presence of consent involves explicit communications and mutual approval for the act in which the parties are/were involved. A sexual encounter is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in sexual activity. Consent can be revoked at any time for any reason. Consent is active, not passive: Lack of resistance, physical or verbal, does not imply consent, nor does silence, in and of itself, imply consent. Consent must be given for every act and for every time that the act occurs, regardless of history, past behaviors, or reputation. In order to give effective consent in New York State, one must be of legal age (17).
Consent cannot be procured by use of pressure, manipulation, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, substances and/or force, nor can it be given if an individual is mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, mental disability, sleep, and/or involuntary physical restraint. Intoxication does not excuse behavior that violates this policy.
Students are encouraged to speak to staff at the university to file a report of sexual assault. Students have the right to expect that incidents of sexual assault will be taken seriously by the university when reported and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures.
To file a report, a New School employee, whether staff or faculty, should report the sexual assault to the Senior Vice President for Human Resources or to the Office of the General Counsel.
A student should file a report of sexual assault to any of these university offices:
Once a report is filed, the university official receiving the report or another appropriate official will provide the following information:
There may be circumstances in which the university must take immediate action to protect the university community prior to a formal hearing. Actions such as interim suspension and/or removal from housing may be deemed necessary by a senior university official.
After reporting sexual assault, a student may request the following:
If after filing a report a student expresses reluctance or unwillingness to proceed, the university, in accordance with the belief that a victim of sexual assault should be given this right, may comply with this request after appropriate investigation, as long as doing so maintains the health and safety of the university community.
The Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life is the University's Title IX Coordinator.
The university encourages the reporting of code of conduct violations and crimes. Victims are sometimes hesitant to report to university officials out of a fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. To encourage reporting, the university pursues a policy of offering victims of sexual assault limited immunity from policy violations related to the incident; this also extends to students who offer help and assistance to others in need. While violations cannot be completely overlooked, the university will provide educational options (e.g., utilizing university support resources) rather than punishment in such cases.
When a report is filed, every effort will be made to protect a student's privacy, and sharing of information will be on a need-to-know basis only. If a student seeks to make a confidential disclosure, this can be made to a medical or mental health professional, as protected by law, either on campus at Student Health Services or off campus (see resource section at end of this policy).
For the purposes of this Policy, the student making the complaint of sexual assault will be referred to as "the accuser" and the student alleged to have committed the assault will be referred to as "the accused." Complaints will be investigated and processed expeditiously.
Complaints of sexual assault will be reviewed under the Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures (PDF) and handled as a Level II Review. Under Section III.B.3 (e) of the Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures, if the accused accepts responsibility for the alleged violations, the accused may waive the disciplinary review by the Disciplinary Review Panel. The Senior Vice President for Student Services or his/her designee will then determine sanctions, if applicable.
If the accused does not accept responsibility or accepts responsibility but does not waive his/her right to a disciplinary review by the Disciplinary Review Panel, the Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life will convene the panel. Panelists are selected by recommendation by the Faculty Senate, the University Student Senate, the Provost, and the Senior Vice President for Student Services. Members of the panel will be trained prior to panel hearings on sexual assault, its impact, and other information appropriate to this type of panel hearing. The Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life facilitates the hearing but does not weigh in on determining responsibility or sanctions.
If the matter is referred to a Panel for its review, the Panel shall set to begin as soon as possible after the accused has received notice of the complaint. The accuser and the accused will have the option to appear before the panel separately. The accuser and the accused may choose not to appear before the panel and may submit a written statement to be read to the panel. At the review, the Panel hears statements from both parties, asks questions, and then makes a decision based upon whether there is a preponderance of evidence that the sexual assault occurred. Preponderance of evidence means that it is more likely than not that the facts the accuser seeks to prove are true. The Panel's recommendation will then be sent to the Senior Vice President for Student Services, who will review the recommendation of the Panel and decide on a sanction, if appropriate.
The accuser and accused party are each entitled to have a support person present during a panel hearing (an ally, friend, family member). A lawyer can be considered a support person and attend but cannot ask questions or direct the hearing process.
Past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other party in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant. All such information will be presumed irrelevant. Although previous conduct violations by the accused student are generally not admissible as information about the present alleged violation, the Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life may supply previous complaint information to the hearing panel or may consider it him/herself if s/he is hearing the complaint.
The university conduct process is founded on educational ideals that reflect the university's mission. As much as possible, the university is committed to educating students to be aware of policy, to respect others, and to be accountable for their actions. The Hearing Panel attempts to look at each situation independently and consider all variables in recommending a fair and reasonable sanction in a timely manner.
The outcome of a hearing panel is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under the federal law, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, the university observes the following legal exceptions:
The accuser and the accused have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing panel. This appeal must be received in writing within ten (10) working days of the hearing outcome. The appeal will be reviewed by the Senior Vice President for Student Services in consultation with the Provost and the dean/director of the program for which the accused is enrolled. That decision will be final. In making this determination two things should be considered as grounds for an appeal: (i) clear and specific demonstration of being denied a fair review, and (ii) flagrant discrepancy between the infraction and the imposed sanctions.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime and security policies.
The university strongly encourages students who believe that they have been sexually assaulted to report these incidents and to be aware of the following options regarding medical, legal, and psychological care.
The survivor of sexual assault has the option of going to a hospital Emergency Room for medical care. This is especially important if the survivor presents within 96 hours of the assault. To preserve the evidence, it is best not to shower, wash, douche, eat, or drink, if possible. Carry evidence in a clean paper bag. If the survivor presents post 96 hours of the assault, it is still recommended that they receive medical care, but they will not have available all the options discussed below. The survivor has the right to refuse all or any parts of the treatment/evidence collection. The medical care following a sexual assault includes the following:
It is recommended that you refer the survivor to one of the hospitals listed below. These hospitals have Rape Crisis Programs and have trained Advocates available 24 hours a day. The Advocates provide emotional support and information and help with the police reporting process.
Going to a hospital emergency room does not mean that the survivor has to report the crime to the police. The survivor can go to the emergency room and get medical attention/evidence collection and then take some time to think about reporting the crime to the police. The hospital emergency room is required to store the evidence for 30 days. If the student refuses medical care from a hospital ER, it is still encouraged that s/he seeks medical attention. You can refer the student to their private medical provider or our Medical Services, where s/he might feel more comfortable. Just note that the student will not have available all the options stated above, especially evidence collection.
The New York State Department of Health website has documents outlining evidence collection procedures (PDF) available for the public to download.
In addition to the university's student disciplinary process and those disciplinary procedures applicable to faculty and staff, the survivor has the right to pursue criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation. S/he can go to the precinct corresponding to the area where the crime occurred or call the New York Police Department Special Victims Report Line at 646.610.7273. The hotline provides the option of getting some information without having to disclose names. With that information, the survivor can then decide whether to go forward with the reporting process. The survivor should never be pressured to file a report.
Reporting a sexual assault to the police does not obligate the survivor to file criminal charges or pursue other legal action. In the case of sexual assault, however, prompt reporting and a comprehensive medical examination completed at a hospital emergency department within 96 hours of the assault will aid the legal process.
The Office of Student Support and Crisis Management, working with Campus Security, are available to provide support and advocacy with local police. The university is committed to providing full and prompt cooperation and assistance in notifying the proper law enforcement personnel if the survivor so chooses.
Survivors of sexual assault can experience a wide range of emotional reactions, and the decision to report the assault and seek help is a very personal and complex one. Survivors are encouraged to seek support as soon as they are ready. Reactions can vary and may include shock, denial, anxiety, guilt, anger, self-blame, nightmares, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, flashbacks, and depression; as a consequence, the survivor may want to seek professional assistance either on campus at Counseling Services at 80 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, or off campus at one of the local Rape Crisis Centers.
(the following accept coverage under the university sponsored
Student Health Insurance plan)
Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus LifeTom McDonald2 West 13th Street, 12th floor (Map)New York, NY firstname.lastname@example.org x3656
Director for Student Rights and ResponsibilitiesGene Puno-De Leon2 West 13th Street, 12th floor (Map)New York, NY email@example.com x3653
Preventing Sexual Harassment Training
Incident Report Form (PDF)
Code of Conduct (PDF)
Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures (PDF)
Expungement of Student Disciplinary Records (PDF)
Expungement Request Form
Computer User Responsibilities Policy
Biennial Review of Alcohol and Drug Policies (PDF)