Maria College is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all its students and employees. All forms of non-consensual sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. The college will take action under Title IX including an investigation, action to stop this behavior and immediate support for person(s) involved.
Sexual Harassment/Gender Discrimination
The United States Equal Employment Commission, Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, as amended, and recent court decisions have defined sexual harassment of employees or students at the College as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, or physical and other sexual abuse disguised as humor, obscene gestures and physical aggression, such as unnecessary touching, pinching, or fondling of the body.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which for employees is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, of 1964 and under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for students. The New York State Human Rights Law also prohibits sex discrimination.
Sexual harassment offenders may be subject to disciplinary action which may include but is not limited or oral or written warnings, demotion, transfer, suspension, or dismissal for cause. No faculty or staff member, applicant for employment, student or member of the public may be subject to restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal for seeking information about sexual harassment, filing a sexual harassment complaint or serving as a witness. It is also policy of the College that willful, false accusations of sexual harassment shall not be condoned.
Criminal classifications for sexual assault crimes in New York State. It is a sex crime to engaged in any sexual contact with a person who does not consent, or to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or sexual abuse if it accomplished by forcible compulsion. New York State law defines these acts as crimes if any of them are engaged in with a person is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.
Rape in the first degree occurs when a person engages in nonconsensual sexual intercourse with another by physical force, coercion or threat or with person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physical helpless. Sexual intercourse is defined as vaginal penetration. Rape in the first degree is a class B felony. Rape in the second degree is a class D felony. Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.
Date or Acquaintance Rape
The most common form of sexual assault on college campuses is date/acquaintance rape. Date rape occurs when your date forces you to have unwanted sexual activity. This may include touching, penetration, forcing you to touch him/her, or being forced to pose for sexually explicit photos. While date rape involves sexual activity, it is used as a means to gain power and control. If you find yourself in a situation that is making you uncomfortable, listen to your instincts. Go to a safe place.
Sodomy in the first degree occurs when a person engages in nonconsensual deviate sexual intercourse with a person by physical force, coercion, threat or with a physically helpless person. Deviate sexual intercourse is defined as oral or anal sexual contact Sodomy in the first degree is a class B felony. Related offenses are sodomy in the second degree; a class D felony. Sodomy in the third degree is a class E felony.
Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree occurs when a person inserts a foreign object into the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum of another person by physical force, coercion, or threat, or does so to a person who is physically helpless. It is a class B felony. Aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree occurs when a person inserts a finger into the vagina, urethra or penis of another person by physical force, coercion or threat, or does so to a person who is physical helpless; a class C felony. Sexual abuse in the first degree occurs when a person subjects another person to nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, coercion, or threat, or when the other person is physically helpless. Sexual contact is defined as any touching that is sexual in nature and/or another person’s intimate parts, whether directly or through clothing. Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony. Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor. Sexual misconduct is a class A misdemeanor. (Source: New York Penal Law Article 130).
Relationship violence can be defined as repeated behaviors such as threats, verbal abuse and physical assaults, involving adults who are in an intimate dating relationship. Relationship violence typically refers to two adults who are not married, and not living together.
Criminal activity is the repeated following and harassing of another person. Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. For example sending flowers, writing love notes, and waiting for someone outside her place of work are actions that on their own are not criminal. When these actions are coupled with an intent to instill fear or injury, however, they may constitute a pattern of behavior that is illegal. Though anti-stalking laws are gender neutral, most stalkers are men and most victims are women.
When is Sexual Activity Considered, “ok”?
Informed consent is freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion, or if the non-initiating partner is incapacitated. Consent for one sexual act is not consent for another act of sex.
Consent can be established if the following four conditions are present (Berkowitz, 2002).
1) Both participants are fully conscious;
2) Both participants are equally free to act;
3) Both parties have clearly communicated their willingness/permission; and
4) Both parties are positive and sincere in their desires.
Incapacitated sex is when one party is incapable of making a rational sexual decision. Examples include intoxication, date rape drug, or other drugs, or the result- of an illness. Intoxication on the part of the initiator is not an excuse for engaging in forced sexual behavior. This is a violation of Maria College Student Code of Contact and New York State Law.
What Should I Do If I am a Victim of Sexual Misconduct?
1) Go to a safe place. A friend or a family member’s home.
2) Call the Rape Crisis 24 hour hotline: 518-447-7716.
3) Seek medical help. Do not shower, douche or change your clothing. This will be used as evidence if you pursue action with the Police Department.
4) Report the incident to the Title IX coordinator: Ann Reis, 518-869-2598.
5) Seek counseling. Professional counseling is available through Maria Student Services Counseling Department: Teri Reinhardt at 518- 861-2559 or Deb Corrigan at 518-861-2550; both are located in Marian Hall, Room 100.
6) You may also wish to file a report with Maria Security located in the Maria College Main Building or with the Albany Police Department: 518-462-8039.
7) If you wish to file a complaint with Maria’s Title IX and the perpetrator is part of the Maria College Community, an investigation for disciplinary action will take place.
8) Tell your story soon to avoid forgetting details. Write out these details because they may be used later in a court of law.
9) Surround yourself with the people who care.
Ways to Protect Yourself
1) Be aware of your surroundings. Trust your instincts. Stay alert.
2) Limit your alcohol intake, if you drink, and hold your drink in your hands the entire night.
3) Avoid walking alone. Ask Maria Security to walk you to your car. Note: Maria Security is located in the Main Building lobby.
4) Call someone you trust and let them know the time you are leaving the campus and the time you are expected home.
5) Avoid meeting in secluded places.
6) Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking or drugging.
7) Express your expectations and limits before you get yourself in a sexual encounter.
The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to address sexual misconduct complaints on behalf of the college.
Contact: Ann Reis, Title IX Coordinator, 518-861-2598.
IMMUNITY FROM CAMPUS CONDUCT PROCESS.
Maria College encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct. Students may not want to make a report for fear they will receive disciplinary action. A student who seeks assistance for themselves or another student WILL NOT be subject to disciplinary action.
Students should report any criminal or related incidents on campus to the Business Manager, Room 100A in the Main Building, (518) 438-3111 and/or summon help from the Albany police by dialing 911. The Director of the Evening Division and Weekend College is available at the Registrar’s Office in the Main Building, Room 100, (518) 438-3111, after 4:30pm on weekdays and on weekends when the college is in session.
Students who would like an escort to their automobiles in the college parking lot should request this from the Security Guard located in each building. When Maria is officially closed, students need permission from the Business Office to enter campus buildings.
If you would like to view campus crime statistics for Maria College, visit http://ope.ed.gov/security. This is a link to reported criminal offenses for more than 6,000 colleges and universities in the United States.
New York State Sex Offenders Registry
The administration of Maria College would like students to be aware of the Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, enacted in the legislature on October 28, 2000, and effective on October 28, 2002. The act relates to sex offenders on college campuses.
The law requires institutions of higher education to issue a communiqué advising the campus community where such important information may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders to provide notice, under state law, to each institution of higher education in the state where the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.
The New York State Registry can be accessed at http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/index.htm.
For information on sex offenders in Albany County, contact the Albany Police Department at (518) 438-4000 or visit http://www.communitynotification.com/ny/albany.