AAMI’s STANDARD OPERATING POLICY FOR REPORTING INCIDENTS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
A. Individuals who report incidents of sexual misconduct will be advised of certain rights, including, but not limited to, their right to notify campus security and/or local law enforcement, their rights regarding reporting to confidential institution representatives, and their right to consult the institution’s Title IX Coordinator and other institution representatives for assistance and information.
“Privacy” may be offered by any employee of AAMI, as such individuals are unable to offer confidentiality under the law (employees are required to report known incidents of sexual assault, or other crimes, so they are not confidential resources), they shall not disclose information learned from a reporting individual or bystander to a crime or incident more than necessary to comply with this and other applicable laws, including informing appropriate institution officials.
- At the first instance a “Reporting Individual” discloses an incident of sexual misconduct to a representative AAMI, the Reporting Individual is to be presented a uniform statement of his or her rights to report or not report the incident, to be protected from retaliation, and to receive assistance and resources from the institution.
- a. Such Statement should state: “You have the right to report or not report the incident of sexual misconduct. You have the right to be protected from retaliation. You have the right to receive assistance and resources from the institution.” It is recommended that this statement be placed on a reporting form of the incident submitted by the reporting individual. Such form is to be developed by the Title IX Coordinator.
- “Reporting individual” shall encompass the terms victim, survivor, complainant, claimant, witness with victim status, and any other term used by an institution to reference an individual who brings forth a report of a violation.
- “Bystander” shall mean a person who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of rules or policies of an institution.
- a. A bystander is an individual who witnesses or learns of violence or impending violence, but is not directly impacted as a victim or survivor of this violence.
- b. Bystanders do not have equivalent rights under federal or state law as a “reporting individual” (victim) who is directly impacted by the violence.
- c. A bystander does not become a “reporting individual” when they bring forth a report. They remain a bystander.
- AAMI will provide reporting Individuals with emergency access to a Title IX coordinator or other school representative who, among other things, is trained in interviewing victims. (AAMI will maintain records of such training.)
- AAMI will provide Reporting Individuals with access to mental and physical health resources and information, including information on sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault forensic examinations, and resources available through the New York State Office of Victim Services.
- a. Such informational services are available at the New York State Department of Health Website under Rape Crisis and Sexual Violence Prevention Program Resources: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/sexual_violence/resources.htm
- b. AAMI has a Memorandum of Understanding with local community organizations to provide mental and physical health resources such as, but not limited to, rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, such as Mount Sinai Hospital. In addition, AAMI has a Memorandum of Understanding with Mount Sinai hospital to provide sexual assault examinations.
- Where the accused or respondent is a student, AAMI will consider the issuance of a “No Contact Order” in accordance with the institution’s policies and procedures.
- AAMI will also provide assistance in obtaining an order of protection, or equivalent. AAMI will not bring or offer actions on behalf of reporting individuals, provide or pay for attorneys, or provide direct support. AAMI serves only as a resource to students in “initiating” these proceedings.
- If the accused or respondent is a student determined to present a continuing threat to the health and safety of the institute community, AAMI will impose an interim suspension on such student pending the outcome of a judicial or conduct proceeding consistent with New York Article 129-B and its institution’s policy and procedures.
- a. Both parties will be afforded the right to request a review of the institution’s decision regarding a No Contact Order or interim suspension, and AAMI will allow either party to submit evidence in support of this request.
- AAMI will ensure that all students are afforded certain rights before, during, and after a higher education institution’s conduct or judicial proceeding.
- Once a report of sexual misconduct has been made by a reporting student, AAMI will provide notice to the accused describing the date, time, location, factual allegations, and potential sanctions associated with the alleged violation.
- a. Both parties will also be provided with reasonable notice of any and all meetings that require their attendance, an opportunity to offer evidence during an investigation and hearing, where appropriate, a full and fair record of any such hearing (e.g., a transcript or recording), and written notice of the findings of fact, decision, and sanction(s), if any. Such written notice will also include the rationale for the decision and sanction(s).
- AAMI will provide both parties equally with at least one level of appeal, before a panel, of a determination in a sexual misconduct proceeding.
- All parties involved the institution’s proceeding to investigate sexual misconduct will be informed that they may exclude information about their prior sexual history with persons other than the other party, and during the phase of the institution’s disciplinary process that determines responsibility, the parties will be informed that they may exclude from evidence their own mental health diagnosis and/or treatment. Past findings of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking may, however, will be considered in the sanctioning phase.
B. AAMI will conduct biennial anonymous campus climate assessments to ascertain general awareness and knowledge of the provisions of Article 129-B and publish the results of such assessments on its website, including, but not limited to:
- The role of the institution’s Title IX coordinator,
- How and where to report sexual misconduct,
- The definition of affirmative consent, and utilization of the institution’s policies and procedures addressing sexual misconduct.
Such assessment, in form and content, will be developed by the Title IX coordinator.
C. AAMI implements a student onboarding and ongoing education plan through its Student Orientation Program to educate the campus community about sexual misconduct. This plan among other things, educates students about general awareness of sexual misconduct, consequences of violations of the institution’s policies, the role of the institution in preventing and investigating such incidents, and the importance of bystander intervention. It is the responsibility of the Director of Admissions to include this education a part of Student Orientation.
- In addition to the Student Orientation training, AAMI provides training to all students, including, but not limited to, first-year, transfer, international, online, and distance education students, leaders and officers of student organizations recognized or seeking recognition from the institution, and student-athletes. It is the responsibility of the Director of Admissions to provide and make this training available.
- AAMI will also provide specific training to members of groups it identifies as high-risk populations.
- a. With respect to leaders and officers of student organizations and student-athletes, such training is a prerequisite to their participation in a student organization and/or intercollegiate athletic competition.
D. By July 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, AAMI is required to file with the New York State Education Department a certificate of compliance. In addition, by July 1, 2016, and once every ten years thereafter, coinciding with the filing required by Article 129-A of the New York Education Law, AAMI is required to file a copy of all written rules and policies they have adopted in accordance with Article 129-B.
E. Effective July 7, 2016, higher AAMI is required to annually report to the Education Department specific data regarding reports of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Article 129-B directs the Education Department created a reporting mechanism through which higher education institutions can provide such information. It is the responsibility of the Registrar to report such information.