Office of Student Affairs

Sexual Misconduct


Utica College will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or any other form of nonconsensual sexual activity, hereafter referred to more broadly as sexual misconduct. The College will enforce this policy through internal disciplinary procedures, safety programs, and the exploration of and support for external prosecution of alleged offenders through the appropriate external judicial forums. The College supports this policy for students, faculty, and staff through its educational programs and counseling services.


All members of the Utica College community and visitors to the Utica College campus are covered under this policy.


Utica College is committed to the maintenance of an environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from exploitation and intimidation. The College will not tolerate rape, sexual assault, or other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity, hereafter referred to more broadly as sexual misconduct. This policy is intended to articulate the College’s stance on sexual misconduct, define sexual misconduct and the concept of consent, and outline the procedure followed by the College in the event that an incident of sexual misconduct occurs.


Sexual misconduct includes the following behaviors:

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any body part or object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object by a man or a woman upon a man or woman, without effective consent.

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) without informing the other person of such infection.

Definition of Effective Consent

In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear consent. Consent is sexual permission. Under this policy, “No” always means “No.” At the same time, silence, or the absence of an explicit “no,” cannot be assumed to indicate consent.

In addition, consent involves the following parameters and definitions:

• Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is less clear than explicit verbal consent.

• Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other sexual activity.

• Silence – without actions demonstrating permission – cannot be assumed to show consent.

• There is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coerced sexual activity violates this policy just as much as physically forced sex does. Coercion happens when someone unreasonably pressures someone else for sex.

• Effective consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear that he or she does not want sex, wants it to stop, or does not wish to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point is coercive.

• In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age, which is 17 in New York state.

• Persons using alcohol or other drugs are considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully comprehend the who, what, when, where, why, or how of a sexual interaction. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing.

• Someone who has sexual activity with someone whom they know to be – or should know to be – mentally or physically incapacitated (through alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout) is in violation of this policy. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of so-called “date rape” drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances (including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga and others) is prohibited, and administering any of these drugs to another for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy.


Students who believe they are a victim of sexual misconduct are encouraged to notify the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Campus Safety, or the Office of Student Affairs. Employees, faculty, or other staff who believe they are a victim of sexual misconduct are encouraged to notify the Office of Human Resources. Visitors or invitees to the Utica College campus who believe they are the victim of sexual misconduct are encouraged to contact the Office of Campus Safety. Any persons believing they are the victim of sexual misconduct has the option of notifying local law enforcement authorities, and will be assisted in doing so. The College also encourages any individual who believes s/he is the victim of sexual misconduct to report it and to take steps to preserve such evidence as may be helpful in criminal or College disciplinary procedures. Regardless of what choice is made regarding making a formal report of such an incident, support services are available to any person who believes they are a victim of sexual misconduct.

Counseling and supportive services for victims of sexual misconduct are available both on and off campus. The Academic Support Services Center is staffed by professional counselors who are trained in crisis counseling and sexual assault issues, and is open during the normal business hours of the College. To access College counselors when offices are closed, students may call either the Office of Campus Safety or the Resident Director on duty. All counseling contacts are held in confidence as permitted by law. Employees, staff, and faculty are encouraged to also seek counseling through the Employee Assistance Program. Contact the Office of Human Resources for information concerning the Employee Assistance Program.

Individuals who wish to discuss issues of sexual misconduct with counselors not connected with the College are encouraged to call Oneida County’s YWCA Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (315/797-7740) for 24 hour crisis services, some short-term counseling, and assistance in dealing with medical and law enforcement authorities.

The College will make every effort to assist victims of sexual misconduct as outlined above. In addition, the College will assist such individuals in adjusting their academic, living or work situation, if requested by the individual and if such changes are reasonably available.

Sexual misconduct is an act of violence prohibited, in separate ways, by New York state law and Utica College policy. Offenders may therefore be prosecuted under New York state criminal statues and also be subject to disciplinary action by the College. The College may choose to pursue disciplinary action while criminal action is pending, even if criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute.

Student members of the College community found to be in violation of this policy are subject to the disciplinary processes outlined in the Student Handbook and clarified in the more detailed policy to be found in offices listed below. A student who is found to have violated the College’s Code of Student Conduct may receive penalties up to and including removal from College housing and/or dismissal from the College. Pending a final judgment, the College, through its Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, reserves the right to exclude from College property any student whose presence it regards as a threat to the safety and welfare of any individual.

Staff, faculty, and employees found to be in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary actions including, but not limited to, termination. Visitors and/or invitees to the Utica College campus found to be in violation of this policy shall be prohibited from coming onto the Utica College campus.


It is the responsibility of all members of the Utica College community to be familiar with and adhere to this policy. Complaints against students will be processed through the Office of the Dean of Students; complaints against College employees will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources. Complaints involving visitors to the Utica College campus will be addressed by the Office of Campus Safety and/or the Office of Student Affairs as appropriate. Review of this policy will be coordinated through the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources, and shall be forwarded to the President’s Cabinet for review and implementation.


Enforcement of Utica College policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.

Utica College acknowledges that College policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The College therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the College (i.e. president, vice president for academic affairs, or vice president for financial affairs).


For any questions or additional information, contact the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Campus Safety, or the Office of Human Resources.

Please note that other Utica College policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.

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