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  • Sexual Assault Policy

    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.

    Definition of Sexual Assault

    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.

    Definition of Consent

    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.

    Reporting Procedures

    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:

    • Student Support and Crisis Management
      2 West 13th Street, 12th floor
      212.229.5900 x3189 or x3710
    • Student Rights and Responsibilities
      2 West 13th Street, 12th floor
      212.229.5349
    • Campus Security
      55 West 13th Street, mezzanine level
      212.229.7001 (24 hours)

    Once a report is filed, the university official receiving the report or another appropriate official will provide the following information:

    • Clear explanation of the university investigative and hearing procedures
    • Where to access medical care
    • Information about legal options
    • Where to access support services on and off campus

    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:

    • Change of on-campus housing assignment or exploration of alternative housing
    • Transfer to a different class section when available, without academic penalty
    • Determine feasibility of incompletes or leave of absence

    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.

    Removing Barriers to Reporting

    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.

    Confidentiality

    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).

    Investigative and Hearing Procedures

    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.

    The Hearing

    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.

    Sanctions Statement

    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.

    • Any student found responsible for violation of The Policy on Sexual Assault will receive a sanction ranging from warning to expulsion; depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

    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 has an absolute right to be informed of the outcome and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.
    • The university may release publicly the name, nature of the violation, and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a university policy that is a "crime of violence," including but not limited to sex offenses and assault. The university will release this information to the accuser in these offenses regardless of outcome.

    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.

    Federal Law on Sexual Assault

    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.

    • Institutions must publish an annual report disclosing campus security policies and three years worth of selected crime statistics
    • Institutions must make timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees
    • Each institution with a police or security department must have a public crime log
    • The United States Department of Education centrally collects and disseminates the crime statistics
    • Campus community sexual assault victims are assured of certain basic rights
    • Institutions must notify victims of their option to report their assault to the proper law enforcement authorities
    • Students, faculty, and staff who have questions or concerns regarding this policy or the application of this policy may contact the following university offices:
    • Student Rights and Responsibilities
      Address: 2 West 13th Street, 12th floor
      Phone: 212.229.5349
    • The Office of the General Counsel
      80 Fifth Avenue, 8th floor
      Phone: 212.229.5432

    Options for the Survivor of Sexual Assault

    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 Importance of Medical 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:

    • A physical exam to inspect any internal or external injuries
    • Evidence collection (if presenting within 96 hours of the assault)
    • Preventive treatment for sexually transmitted infections
    • Preventive treatment for HIV (if presenting within 36 hours)
    • Emergency contraception (if presenting within 72 hours)
    • Medical follow-up referrals and information

    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.

    • Beth Israel Hospital Emergency Department
      16th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues); Phone: 212.420.2840
    • St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Emergency Department
      1000 Tenth Avenue (at 59th Street); Phone: 212.523.6800

    Please Note

    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.

    Legal Options

    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.

    It is her/his decision to report unless:
    • There is suspicion or evidence of child abuse, in which case a report to Administration for Children's Services (800.635.1522) is mandated;
    • There is an injury by a deadly weapon, when medical staff only is mandated to report the crime to the police.

    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.

    Psychological Concerns

    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.

    Resources for Survivors, Allies, and Advocates

    The New School

    • Campus Security – 212.229.7001 (24 hours)
    • Student Counseling Services - 212.229.1671, option 1
    • Student Medical Services - 212.229.1671, option 2
    • After Hours Nurse Advice Line – 212.229.1671, option 1 (when counseling and medical services are closed)
    • Student Support and Crisis Management - 212.229.5900 x3189 or x3710
    • Student Rights and Responsibilities - 212.229.5900 x3656
    • Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life - 212.229.5900 x3659
    • Student Ombudsperson - 212.229.8996 x3619
    • Office of Human Resources - 212.229.5671

    New York City

    • Police and Emergencies - 911 (24 hours)
    • NYPD Special Victims Liaison Unit Report Line - 646.610.7273 (24 hours)
    • District Attorney's Offices
    • Manhattan District Attorney's Office - 212.335.9373
    • Brooklyn District Attorney's Office - 718.250.3170
    • Bronx District Attorney's Office - 718.590.2323
    • Queens District Attorney's Office - 718.286.6505
    • Staten Island District Attorney's Office - 718.876.6300

    Hotlines – 24 Hours

    • Safe Horizon: Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline - 212.227.3000
    • Safe Horizon: New York City Domestic Violence Hotline - 800.621.4673
    • NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project - 212.714.1141
    • Suicide Prevention (LifeNet) - 800.543.3638
    • New York Asian Women's Center - 212.732.5230

    Sexual Assault Advocacy and Counseling Services

    • St. Luke's-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center
      411 West 114th Street
      212.523.4728
    • Beth Israel Rape Crisis Intervention Program
      317 East 17th Street
      212.420.4054
    • Women's Rights at Work - 888.979.7765
    • New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault - 212.523.4344
    • New York State Victim Information and Notification Everyday – 888.VINE.4NY
    • New York State Crime Victim's Board - 718.923.4325

    Domestic Violence

    • St. Luke's-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center
      411 West 114th Street
      212.523.4728
    • The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
      240 West 35th Street, suite 200
      212.714.1184

    LGBTQI Resources

    • The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center
      208 West 13th Street
      212.620.7310

    HIV/AIDS Testing

    • Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center at The New School, Student Health Services
      80 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor
      212.229.1671 option 1 or 2
      Hours: Mondays, 4:00-6:00 p.m. (except university holidays)
    • New York City Department of Health
      800.TALK.HIV or 212.447.8200 (call for information: multiple testing sites)

    Local Pharmacies

    (the following accept coverage under the university sponsored
    Student Health Insurance plan)

    • Duane Reade
      24 East 14th Street (between Fifth Avenue and University Place)
      212.989.3632
    • Duane Reade (open 24 hrs.)
      378 Sixth Avenue (at Waverly Place)
      212.674.5357
    • K-Mart
      Astor Place and Fourth Avenue
      212.253.9661

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