Wagner College's Statement on Sexual Misconduct
Wagner College strives to create a respectful, safe, and non-threatening environment for its
students. The campus community is dedicated to the safety of students and healthy relationships.
When an incident of sexual misconduct is reported, the College will provide a consistent, caring,
and timely response. This policy describes how the College investigates and responds to
reports of student sexual misconduct. It also identifies prohibited behavior, provides guidance
and relevant resources to students who have been involved in incidents of this nature, and lists
College prevention efforts. Complaints against College employees should be made to the Director
of Human Resources.
Wagner College urges those who believe they have been the victim of an act(s) of sexual misconduct
to pursue all options available relative to resolving the matter (use this Sexual Misconduct Fact Sheet
as a guide). This includes filing a police report, a discipline complaint, and other options noted below.
A student who has questions, concerns, or who needs assistance relative to this policy
should contact the Dean of Campus Life Office and speak with the Sexual Misconduct
Response Coordinator or another Dean during normal business hours at 718-390-3423, or
by contacting the Residential Education Supervisor On-Call during evening and weekend
hours, accessible through any residence hall front desk or through a Public Safety officer
accessible through the Main Gate at 718-390-3148.
- Policy & Definitions
The College prohibits sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual assault, sexual harassment,
sexual discrimination, sexual abuse, and other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct. Criminal,
civil, and College disciplinary processes will be available to a student complainant and enforced
against a person found to have engaged in the prohibited behavior.
The College is committed toprocedures that provide fair and prompt investigation and resolution
of reports of sexual misconduct, and is committed to educating the campus community
about the importance of responding to all forms of sexual misconduct. Emphasis is placed on the
rights, responsibilities, needs and privacy of the student complainant, as well as the rights of the
respondent. The College also adheres to all federal, state and local requirements for intervention
and crime reporting related to sexual misconduct.
Definitions of Sexual Misconduct and Consent
Sexual misconduct is defined as any attempt or actual unwanted sexual contact, physical or
nonphysical, in the absence of clear and voluntary consent. Consent is informed, and freely and
actively given. Consent is communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that
indicate willingness by all of the involved parties to engage in the same sexual activity, at the
same time, and in the same way.
Clear and open communication is an essential element to conveying and understanding consent.
Any person who contemplates initiating any form of sexual activity is strongly encouraged to
talk with all involved parties before engaging in such activity. While it is the responsibility of
the initiator of a specific sexual activity to obtain consent, individuals should communicate as
clearly and verbally as possible with all parties about what they do and do not want.
Consent cannot be freely given if the person’s ability to understand and give consent is impaired.
Examples of those who are impaired and therefore cannot give consent include:
• any person who is incapacitated due to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs;
• any person who is unconscious or for any reason is physically incapacitated;
• any person who is mentally impaired;
• any person less than 17 years old;
• any person who has experienced the explicit or implicit use of force, coercion, threats,
Ideally, consent is given verbally. However, consent (or lack of consent) may also be expressed
through gestures, body language, and/or attitude. For example, active reciprocation could express
consent and pushing someone away, or simply moving away, could express lack of consent.
Silence does not equal consent.
Consent to one form of sexual activity does not necessarily imply consent to other forms of
sexual activity. Consent may be given for specific activities and not for others.
Any party has the right to change their mind and withdraw consent at any time.
A prior sexual history between the participants does not constitute consent.
A person’s ability to freely give consent may be jeopardized if the initiator is in a position of
power over the person. Examples might include if the initiator is a faculty member or supervisor
of the person.
Examples of sexual assault/misconduct include, but are not limited to:
• Any sexual penetration, however slight, with any body part or object without consent.
• Any intentional sexual touching with any body part or object without consent.
• Taking non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include,
but are not limited to non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity, going beyond
the boundaries of consent (such as knowingly allowing another to watch otherwise
consensual sexual activity without the participants knowledge) and engaging in non-consensual
• The exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in
Additionally, any form of harassment, including sexual harassment or harassment based
on perceived or actual identities is prohibited. Sexual harassment includes:
• An unwanted sexual advance or request for sexual favor.
• Sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, insults, humor and jokes about sex or genderspecific
traits, sexual propositions, threats.
• Suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, obscene gestures.
• Physical touching: pinching, brushing the body, coerced sexual intercourse, assault.
Wagner College takes all incidents seriously and has a responsibility to address any form of
sexual misconduct that is reported. An individual may report an incident to the Dean of Campus
Life Office, the Office of Residential Education, or the Office of Public Safety. When sexual misconduct
involves criminal behavior, students are strongly encouraged to report the incident to
the New York Police Department by dialing 911 or by visiting the120th Precinct at 78 Richmond
Terrace in Staten Island. Reporting such incidents to the NYPD can be done with the assistance
of a Wagner College staff member. Students are encouraged to utilize Sexual Misconduct Response
Coordinator or the Public Safety staff to assist in this process.
While it is the final prerogative of the complainant to make decisions regarding a course of action,
Wagner College strongly encourages complainant’s to make a full report in order to ensure that all
resources can be made available, as well as to maintain the widest range of options through which
to pursue action. Students are also encouraged to report incidents of or share information about
sexual misconduct as soon as possible after the incident. Although there is no time limit on initiating
a report of an incident with the College, it should be noted that the College may ultimately
be limited in the action it can take if significant time has elapsed between the occurrence of the
incident and the date of reporting
How to Report an incident of Sexual Misconduct
An individual who wishes to file a complaint of any type of sexual misconduct involving a
student is encouraged to report the complaint to the Dean of Campus Life Office, the Office
of Residential Education, or the Office of Public Safety. If there are any questions or concerns
about such filing, the Dean of Campus Life Office should be contacted. Below is information
about how to report an incident of sexual misconduct.
If the respondent is a Wagner College student, students are urged to file a written complaint of
sexual misconduct. To begin the process, the complainant should contact or visit the Dean of
Campus Life Office in Union 221, the Office of Residential Education in Towers Hall B3, or the
Office of Public Safety in House 4. Students can pursue a disciplinary complaint with the College
without pursuing criminal charges.
Specifically, students wanting information regarding sexual misconduct are encouraged to speak
with Sara Klein, Dean of Campus Life and Engagement, who serves as the College’s Sexual
Misconduct Response Coordinator. The role of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator
is to discuss on- and off-campus resources for survivors, and to provide support to survivors as
they make decisions regarding their personal wellness and reporting to College personnel and
Once a report is filed, both the complainant and the respondent will be advised of their rights
as well as resources and support that the College can provide throughout the process. Both the
complainant and the respondent have the same opportunity for access to information that will be
used at a disciplinary hearing. Both parties are also entitled to appeal the outcome of a case in
accordance with the College’s appeal process. Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint
in a timely fashion. In most cases, complaints will be resolved within 60 days of being reported.
Students who are involved in an incident that has occurred off-campus can either contact the law
enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of where the incident took place by dialing 911, or they
may contact the Dean of Campus Life Office, the Office of Residential Education, or the Office
of Public Safety, all of whom can assist the student with filing a report with the appropriate law
Any person may file a complaint against a student who they believe has violated the College’s
Community Standards. The complaint must be prepared in writing, signed, and submitted to the
Dean of Campus Life Office, the Office of Residential Education, or the Office of Public Safety.
All complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.
Once a complaint is filed, there will be an impartial investigation conducted as quickly as possible
by the Dean of Campus Life and Leadership or designee and the Director of Public Safety.
If a determination is made that an alleged violation of the College’s Com-munity Standards may
have occurred, the College will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the student.
Individuals who file complaints will be informed of all steps the College may take to address the
initial incident, as well as prevent recurrence of the misconduct from taking place in the future.
The respondent and the complainant are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present
during a campus disciplinary proceeding (an Initial Conference or a Community Standards
Review Board Panel), as well as a right to appeal the outcome (see the Com-munity Standards
for a complete list of rights for both parties). Also, both the complain-ant and the accused shall
be informed in writing of the outcome of any institutional disci-plinary proceeding regarding an
alleged violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
In all cases, any information available to the Review Panel or Hearing Officer will be considered.
A preponderance of the evidence standard will be used to determine if the student is
responsible for the alleged violation or not. Cases involving sexual misconduct are not eligible
Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint in a timely fashion. In most cases, complaints
will be resolved within 60 days of being reported.
False or Malicious Complaints
The use of this policy for false or malicious purposes is strictly prohibited. Anyone who brings
forth false or malicious allegations of sexual misconduct against another member of the College
community may be subject to disciplinary action. An individual who brings a reasonable charge
of sexual misconduct in good faith, even if it may be erroneous, will not be subject to discipline.
This policy applies to all Wagner College students. Students are defined as individuals who have
been accepted to the Wagner College, or who are registered for the current semester at Wagner
College on a full- or part-time basis, excluding the summer term. Student status continues until
an individual graduates, is academically or disciplinary separated from the College.
Wagner College has the authority to address misconduct that takes place on College premises,
as well as off-campus conduct when the behavior may have or has had an ad-verse impact upon
the College community. The jurisdiction of this policy also applies to College-sponsored events,
activities, trips, etc., which may occur off campus. The College, at its discretion, may pursue
disciplinary action against a student while the student is also subject to criminal proceedings.
The College reserves this right even if criminal charges are pending, reduced, or dismissed.
The College will work to safeguard the identities and privacy of the students who report sexual
misconduct or seek assistance to the extent possible and permitted by law. However, it is important
that students understand the limits on confidentiality.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (formerly
the Campus Security Act) requires that all College officials with significant responsibility
for campus and student activities report any incident of alleged sexual misconduct, including
sexual assault. However, if the complainant does not wish to be identified, a third party report
that does not include the individual’s name must be made.
Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to their communication of information.
Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following
• Center for Health and Wellness Staff
• Personal Health Care Provider
• Personal Attorney
• Religious/Spiritual Counselor
Other College employees cannot guarantee confidentiality, but will be as discreet as possible
when sharing information with others. Information is disclosed to appropriate College officials
who have an “essential need to know” in order to carry out their College responsibilities.
Wagner College must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect
the safety and well-being of the College community. Therefore, based on the complaint, additional
action may be necessary, including but not limited to, interim suspension, banning from
specific areas of campus, housing relocation, class reassignment, No Communication Order, and
campus safety alerts. It is noted that the alert will not contain any information that identifies the
- Student Support
Interests of the Complainant
A student seeking support or advice regarding an incident of sexual misconduct should:
Contact a representative from the Dean of Campus Life Office, specifically Sara Klein, Dean
of Campus Life and Engagement, who serves as the College’s Sexual Misconduct Response
Coordinator. She can be reached at 718-390-3423 or in her office in Union 221. The Sexual
Misconduct Response Coordinator is available to serve as a student advocate, to accompany the
complainant to the hospital or when reporting the incident to the police, and to assist with the
coordination of services.
If appropriate, the student should immediately obtain medical treatment for injuries, sexually
transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. A medical exam to preserve evidence of rape must be completed
within 72 hours of a sexual assault.
The Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, along with the Office of Residential Education,
will assist the student in securing a safe place to live. If the student lives on campus, she/he
should be offered a room reassignment or change in her/his living situation. The Director of
Residential Education and/or on-call staff will be contacted in order to identify a temporary or
permanent reassignment. A reassignment request will be given highest priority.
The Interests of the Respondent
It must be recognized that the accused in a College disciplinary investigation has certain rights
as outlined within the College’s Community Standards. A presumption of responsibility of a
violation is not made as the result of any allegation(s). In the event that a student is accused of
an act(s) of sexual misconduct and a disciplinary complaint is submitted, this student will be
encouraged to seek advice from the Dean of Campus Life Office.
Both the complainant and the respondent are entitled to the same opportunity for access to informationthat will be used at the hearing, to present relevant witnesses and other information,
and to have a Wagner Support Person present during the hearing. See the Community Standards
Review Board section of this Handbook for additional information.
Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history
will not be provided to the accused and is not admissible at any disciplinary proceeding. Both
parties have the right to appeal (a complete list of rights can be found in the Code of Conduct).
Counseling and/or support is also available to both students through the College’s Center for
Health and Wellness.
The Dean of Campus Life Office will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student for the
students’ prohibited use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of an act
of sexual misconduct. Please see the Medical Consideration policy for additional information.
Students are encouraged to express their feelings in a responsible manner regarding incidents of
sexual harassment. Any member of the College community who attempts to interfere, restrain, coerce,
discriminate against, or harass (whether overtly or covertly) any individual responsibly pursuing
a complaint of sexual misconduct will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.
- Education & Prevention
Wagner College is committed to education and increasing awareness of students, faculty, and
staff about preventing incidents of sexual misconduct/assault. The Dean of Campus Life Office
is responsible for coordinating the College’s sexual misconduct/assault education and prevention
program in collaboration with the Center for Health and Wellness, which coordinates the
Peer Education Program.
Education and prevention resources provided include:
• The Dean of Campus Life Office, the Office of Residential Education, and the Center
for Health and Wellness distribute sexual misconduct/assault prevention materials and
• The staff members in the Division of Campus Life and in Public Safety, including
the undergraduate Resident Assistants, are trained in sexual assault response and
• The Red Riding Hood Project is a non-profit organization with a chapter on the Wagner
College campus that exists to create a community that can provide security, awareness,
and empowerment to women by advocating for policy change, providing resources, and
basically giving women the power, voice and kick-ass abilities to protect themselves and
their fellow sisters.
• Healthy Relationships Peer Education group, which offers an educational sexual assault
prevention workshop free of charge to anyone in the Wagner community.
• Educational programming is conducted within the Wagner College residential communities.
• Two annual student-run events that address issues of sexual assault are the Vagina Monologues
and Take Back the Night.
- Resources & Services
There are campus and community resources and services available to students even if College
or criminal reports are not made. The College strongly encourages students to seek assistance to
care for themselves emotionally and physically through confidential crisis intervention, health
care, and counseling. As students tend to their health, they should keep in mind that medical
examinations are time-sensitive and are critical in pre-serving evidence of sexual misconduct,
including sexual assault, so that options can be considered at a later time.
Title IX Coordinator
Tania Rossini, Director of Human Resources
Phone: 718-390-3280 Office Location: House 4 (above Public Safety)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Ruta Shah-Gordon, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life & Internationalization
Phone: 718-390-3181 Office Location: Union, 3rd Floor
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Sara Klein, Dean of Campus Life and Engagement
Phone: 718-390-3423 Office Location: Union 221
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Peg Hefferan, Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator
Phone: 718-390-3431 Office Location: Spiro Sports Center, 2nd Floor
Wagner College Resources & Services
• Dean of Campus Life Office: 718-390-3423
• Office of Residential Education: 718-390-3420
• Public Safety Office: 718-390-3148 or 718-390-3165
• Center for Health and Wellness: 718-390-3158
• Office of Human Resources: 718-390-3187
Local Resources & Services
• Safe Horizon: 1-855-234-1042 (M-F, regular business hours); 1-800-621-4673 (24/hr hotline for clients in crisis)
• Rape and Sexual Assault 24 Hour Hotline: 212-227-3000
• Sex Crimes 24 Hour Hotline: 212-267-7273
• New York Police Department, 120th Precinct: 718-876-8500
• Richmond Medical Center: 718-818-6132
• Staten Island University Hospital: 718-226-9000
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