Title IX Policy

Maria College is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all of its students and employees.  The College does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any nature and upon notification of possible misconduct, will promptly take action according to its Sexual Misconduct Policy, including conducting an investigation, taking action to stop the behavior, and providing immediate support for person(s) involved. 

Sexual Misconduct Reporting

Students, employees and visitors at Maria College who experience any form of sexual misconduct on or off-campus (including Maria-sponsored trips and events) are strongly encouraged to immediately report the incident by contacting any of the following: Maria College Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, campus security officer, or other responsible employee of the College; local law enforcement; and/or by calling 911.

Individuals also may anonymously report sexual misconduct by calling this hotline: (518) 514-7050.  

Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator is as follows:

Title IX Coordinator
Ann Reis
Director of Human Resources      
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Main Building
700 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
(518) 861-2598
TitleIX@mariacollege.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Victoria L. Battell, RSM
Associate VP of Student Life & Mission Integration
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Mercy Hall
700 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
(518) 861-2571
TitleIXDeputy@mariacollege.edu

The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to address sexual misconduct complaints on behalf of the College. Maria College encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct.  Anyone who seeks assistance for themselves or another person in reporting such matters will not be subject to disciplinary action or retaliation.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality may be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to College officials in a manner consistent with state and federal law.  Confidential Resources at Maria College are: 

Deb Corrigan, LCSW
Director of Counseling Services
(518) 861-2550
debc@mariacollege.edu

Teri Reinhardt, LMSW
Assistant Director of Counseling Services & Activities/Health & Wellness
(518) 861-2559
treinhardt@mariacollege.edu

Prohibited Behavior

Definitions and behavioral examples of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and other gender-based offenses that are prohibited at Maria College are:

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence acts are physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons such as, but not limited to, the Victim’s/Survivor’s age, use of drugs or alcohol or inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability. These acts include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.

Sexual assault is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as stated in the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sexual coercion is the act of using force, threats, alcohol or drugs and/or using physical, emotional or verbal pressure to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons including, but not limited to, the victim/survivor‘s age, the victim/survivor‘s use of drugs or alcohol or the victim‘s inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability.

Sexual contact includes kissing, patting, fondling, oral sex, genital touching, and any other sexual behavior that makes the victim/survivor feel uncomfortable.

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute another form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostitution, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual or other private activity, exceeding the boundaries of consent (e.g., permitting others to hide in a closet and observe consensual sexual activity, videotaping of a person using a bathroom), engaging in voyeurism, or engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of such infection.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment occurs when any of the following conditions are present:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in any aspect of a college program or activity;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, e.g. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both the subjective perspective of the person who experiences such conduct and objective standard of a reasonable person's perception of such conduct.

A single isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to establish the existence of a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. Conduct which is pervasive or persistent, even if not severe, may also create a hostile environment.

Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment:

  • May be blatant and involve an overt action, a threat or reprisal, or may be subtle and indirect, with a coercive aspect that is unstated.
  • May or may not include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
  • May be committed by anyone, regardless of gender, age, position or authority. While there is often a power differential between two persons, perhaps due to differences in age, social, educational or employment relationships, harassment can occur in any context.
  • May be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the Reporting Party has an intimate or sexual relationship.
  • May be committed by or against an individual or group.
  • May occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
  • May occur in the classroom, in the workplace, in athletic facilities, in residential settings, or in any other setting.
  • May be a one-time event or part of a pattern of behavior.
  • May be committed in the presence of others, when the parties are alone, or through the use of technology.
  • May affect the Reporting Party and or third parties who witness or observe harassment and are affected by it.

Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment as defined above may include a severe, persistent or pervasive pattern of unwelcome conduct that includes one or more of the following:

Physical conduct:

  • Unwelcome touching, sexual/physical assault, impeding, restraining, or blocking movements.
  • Unwanted sexual advances.

Verbal conduct:

  • Making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs or humor.
  • Intentionally using incorrect pronouns or an incorrect name when a person has clearly stated their preferred name and pronouns.
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
  • Objectively offensive comments of a sexual nature, including persistent or pervasive sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.

Visual conduct:

  • Leering, making sexual gestures, displaying of suggestive or demeaning objects or pictures, cartoon or posters in a public space or forum.
  • Severe, persistent, or pervasive visual displays of suggestive, erotic, or degrading images. This example should not be understood to constrain academic freedom in teaching, research, or creative activity, or to limit intellectual and or expressive rights.
  • Letters, notes or electronic communications containing comments, words, or images described above.

Quid pro quo conduct:

  • Direct propositions of a sexual nature between those for whom a power imbalance or supervisory or other authority relationship exists.
  • Offering educational or employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Making submission to sexual advances an actual or implied condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation, including subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be repeated requests for private meetings with no academic or work purpose.
  • Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.

Other Gender-Based Offenses

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who (a) has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and (b) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of these factors: length of the relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim/survivor, by a person with whom the victim/survivor shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim/survivor as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim/survivor under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim/survivor who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

When is Sexual Activity Considered, “ok”?

Affirmative Consent:

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Consent will be determined with the following principles in mind: 

  • Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
  • Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity.  Incapacitation may be caused by lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.  Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
  • When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because they lack conscious knowledge of the nature of the act (i.e., lack an understanding of the who, what, when, where, why or how of the sexual interaction) and/or is physically helpless. An individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent, if they are asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring. The use of alcohol or other drugs does not, in and of itself, negate a person's ability to give consent, but a level of intoxication can be reached, short of losing consciousness, in which a person's judgment is so impaired that they become incapacitated and thus are not capable of giving consent.

The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person, and evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and or drugs impact an individual's:

  • Decision-making ability; 
  • Awareness of consequences; 
  • Ability to make informed judgments;  or
  • Capacity to appreciate the nature and the quality of the act.

Because the use of alcohol and other drugs can have a cumulative effect over time, a person who may not have been incapacitated at the beginning of sexual activity may become incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent as the sexual activity continues.

Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether the accused or Respondent, or sober, reasonable person in that individual's position, knew or should have known, that the individual was incapacitated. If the person who wants to engage in sexual activity is too intoxicated to judge another's communications about consent, that person has an obligation to cease the activity. A person's responsibility for obtaining consent is not diminished by use of alcohol and or other drugs. Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual misconduct.

What Should I Do If I am a Victim of Sexual Misconduct?

  1. Go to a safe place, such as 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) 861-2598 or anonymously at (518) 514-7050.
  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 Coordinator an investigation 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.

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://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/.

For information on sex offenders in Albany County, contact the Albany Police Department at (518) 438-4000 or visit http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54667.