Reporting Procedures for the University
Students who believe they have experienced a sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, or domestic or dating violence are strongly encouraged to report these situations to the University. There are several options, but please report to the Department of Public Safety immediately if you feel you are in any way in danger or need emergency assistance. Other options include the following:
• Confidential Resources: Students may confidentially explore the situation and options available with a clinical counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services, a pastoral counselor in Campus Ministry, and/or a medical provider in University Health Services without filing an official complaint.
• Internal Reporting: Students can make a formal complaint to the dean of students, the Department of Public Safety, and/or the Title IX coordinator, and the University will investigate the complaint internally.
• External Reporting: Students have every right to report the situation to the New York Police Department or the Harrison Police Department (in Westchester). If a student chooses to make such a report, a member of the University staff will be available to accompany the student throughout the process.
If the student reports to any faculty or staff member other than a clinical counselor in Counseling and Psychological Services, a pastoral counselor in Campus Ministry, or a medical provider in University Health Services, an incident report will be written and an administrative support person (ASP) will be assigned to both the complainant and the respondent. The ASP is a trained member of the University’s staff and will ...
- carefully explain all support resources available to the student, including information on medical, counseling and mental health, rape advocacy, and legal assistance;
- arrange for any assistance the complainant or respondent may need;
- accompany the student to relevant interviews, meetings, and proceedings as desired and as permitted by outside entities;
- explain the investigation and conduct processes;
- review the University’s formal reporting procedures and possible sanctions;
- review the formal reporting procedures of the local police agency;
- provide documents relevant to the investigation and conduct processes;
- provide options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations if so requested, and if such changes are reasonably available.
In a sexual offense case, the complainant may notify the Department of Public Safety whether or not they go to the hospital for a rape examination. The complainant should refrain from washing, using the toilet, and changing clothes in order to preserve evidence prior to a medical examination. However, in the event that the complainant decides to file criminal charges, a hospital visit is recommended in order to collect evidence through a rape examination. Staff will be available to accompany students to medical care.
Personal information about the complainant and respondent and other records will remain confidential insofar as such confidentiality does not interfere with the University’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where appropriate.
It is generally the complainant’s decision whether to file a complaint or to continue with any form of resolution. Confidentiality will be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where appropriate. For additional information regarding confidentiality, please see “Requests for Confidentiality” in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures section of the Student Handbook.
If a complainant elects to initiate a formal complaint against another student or group of students, an incident report from the Department of Public Safety is filed with the dean of students. Such a complaint would be handled in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures and the Student Conduct System as listed in the Student Handbook. The dean of students on the campus where the respondent is enrolled conducts the student conduct process; however, if the complainant is enrolled at another campus, the complainant is typically interviewed on their own campus.
When the respondent is determined by the dean of students to present a continuing threat to the health or safety of the community, the respondent may be suspended on an interim basis pending the outcome of the student conduct process. Both the respondent and the complainant may request a review of the need for and terms of the interim suspension, including potential modification, and will be allowed to submit information in support of their request.
A No-Contact Restriction will be put in place between the complainant and the respondent. The dean of students or the dean’s designee will issue verbally or in writing a directive restricting contact between the complainant and the respondent. This includes but is not limited to telephonic, electronic, text, written, or direct verbal contact, and also prohibits a student from passing messages via other individuals. A student who wishes to report a violation of a No-Contact Restriction can contact the issuing office during business hours or the Department of Public Safety or administrative support person at any time. In sexual misconduct situations, if the respondent and the complainant observe each other in a public place, it shall be the responsibility of the respondent to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the complainant. Students who violate a No-Contact Restriction are subject to student conduct sanctions.
In addition, if the respondent and the complainant live in the same residence hall or in close proximity to one another, the respondent may be asked to relocate pending the outcome of the student conduct process. Also, if the respondent and complainant are in class(es) together, it is possible that the respondent may be asked to leave that class pending the outcome of the student conduct process.
Both the respondent and the complainant may request a review of the need for and terms of the No-Contact Restriction, including potential modification, and will be allowed to submit information in support of their request.
After the initial report and once the University’s conduct process begins, complainants and respondents will be accompanied by the ASP (who cannot actively participate), and the complainant or respondent may also be accompanied by one advisor of their choice who may assist, advise, and support the student throughout the conduct process and be present for related meetings or proceedings but cannot actively participate. The choice of whether or not to invite an advisor is solely that of the student(s) involved. An advisor may not participate in the conduct process in any other capacity in reference to the same incident, including, but not limited to,
serving as a witness, co-complainant, or co-respondent.
The dean of students must be advised in writing that an advisor will be present at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting or proceeding. This notification must include ...
- The full name and title of the advisor of choice
- Contact information for the advisor of choice (phone, email, and mailing address)
The complainant/respondent is encouraged to provide the contact information of the dean of students to the advisor of choice in advance of the meeting or proceeding. The dean of students will answer any questions that the advisor may have about the process and the advisor’s role in it. In circumstances calling for an expedited hearing, the dean of students may shorten the required notification time period.
If the advisor is an attorney, this must be disclosed to the University in advance. The University reserves the right to have its own legal counsel present during the conduct process.
If any advisor’s conduct is not consistent with these guidelines, he or she may be excluded from the conduct process. The availability of an advisor to attend a conduct meeting, interview, or hearing shall not unreasonably interfere with or delay the proceedings.
Possible sanctions for students found in violation of sexual offense, stalking, or domestic or dating violence policies range up to and include suspension or expulsion from the University. Depending on the actual policy violation, the possible sanctions include (but are not limited to) a disciplinary reprimand, residence hall probation, student life probation, suspension or expulsion from University housing, University disciplinary probation, and suspension or expulsion from the University.
In a case where there is an allegation of a sexual offense, stalking, or domestic or dating violence that constitutes a violation of the University Code of Conduct, both the complainant and the respondent will be simultaneously informed in writing of the final outcome of a student conduct investigation.
In a sexual offense, stalking, or domestic or dating violence case, the complainant and the respondent may file an appeal before a panel. Appeals must be presented in writing to the senior vice president for student affairs within 48 hours of notification of the sanction(s) imposed. All appeals will be conducted in a fair, impartial, and equitable manner by decision maker(s) free of any conflict of interest. The respondent and complainant can file a written appeal based upon (1) a material procedural error that could significantly impact the outcome of a case; (2) a claim that the sanction is substantially disproportionate to the finding(s); or (3) material relevant evidence that was previously unavailable that could significantly impact the outcome of a case. All respondents and complainants will be notified in writing of any appeal and the final outcome post-appeal. Please see the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures section of the Student Handbook for additional information regarding the student conduct appeal process.
The student conduct process for sexual offense, stalking, or domestic or dating violence situations will take no more than 60 days. Some cases are handled more rapidly while others can take longer depending on the details of the case, the time of year, and other factors. Fordham works to expedite these matters. If the process will take longer than 60 days, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing as to the delay and the reason for the delay.
As of October 5, 2015, per New York state’s 129-B (“Enough is Enough”) law, for crimes of violence, including but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act, a notation will be placed on the transcript of students found responsible after a conduct process. It will be noted that they were “suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or “expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For a respondent who withdraws from Fordham while conduct charges are pending and declines to complete the conduct process, a notation will be placed on the transcript that the student “withdrew with conduct charges pending.” For more information, see the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures section of the Student Handbook.
Please refer to the Student Handbook for more information regarding the University student conduct process.