Wagner College strives to create a respectful, safe, healthy, and non-threatening environment for its students, staff, and faculty. Wagner College prohibits any and all discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity, marital status, civil union status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, or unfavorable discharge from military service in regard to the administration of educational programs, admission of students, employment actions, athletics or other sponsored activities. In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the College prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence, as well as retaliation for asserting such claims of discrimination. 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 sexual misconduct. It also identifies prohibited behavior, provides guidance and relevant resources to members of the Wagner College community who have been involved in incidents of this nature, and lists College prevention efforts.
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. Employees of the College who become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct should contact the Director of Human Resources if the situation involves a College employee, or the Dean of Campus Life Office if students are involved.
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 (Dean Sara Klein) 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. Students should use the Sexual Misconduct Fact Sheet as a guide.
Complaints by or against College employees (faculty, administration, and staff) should be made to Tania Rossini, Director of Human Resources and the College's Title IX Coordinator, at 718-390-3280.
Sexual misconduct is defined as any attempted 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, and/or intimidation.
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. Click here to view a quick and easy-to-understand flow chart that summarizes the concept of consent.
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 voyeurism.
- The exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises.
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 gender specific 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.
A student 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 (Sara Klein, Dean of Campus Life and Engagement) or the Public Safety staff to assist in this process.
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 and meet with the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (Sara Klein, Dean of Campus Life and Engagement), 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 with the New York Police Department – these are two separate processes.
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 local authorities.
While it is the final prerogative of the complainant to make decisions regarding a course of action, Wagner College strongly encourages complainants 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.
Any individual who believes he/she has been discriminated against in violation of Title IX, including sexual harassment or gender discrimination, or who has witnessed discrimination against another, may file a complaint or obtain information and assistance regarding the College's policies and processes from any of the College's Title IX Coordinators (see the full listing of Title IX Coordinators on this website).
Upon receipt of a report, the College’s Title IX Coordinator (the Director of Human Resources) will conduct an initial Title IX assessment. The assessment will consider the nature of the report, the safety of the individual and of the campus community. If the assessment indicates any risk of harm to an individual, the Title IX Coordinator with the Director of Public Safety may take the necessary steps to address those risks.
The Process for Students
The College is committed to procedures 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.
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. A parent or 3rd party may not file a report on behalf of a survivor of sexual misconduct. Should the College receive notice of an alleged violation of the sexual misconduct policy by a 3rd party, the College will make every effort to contact the alleged survivor to determine if that individual would like to file a formal complaint. Additionally, support and resources will be offered to the student survivor.
Once a report is filed, the complainant must give verbal consent to the Dean of Campus Life Office to move forward with any on-campus process. The Dean's Office reserves the right to issue a No Communication Order between the involved students even if the complainant does not request or consent as a measure to deter the respondent from retaliation. If and when a No Communication Order is issued, all of the involved students will be informed of the Order in person and will also be emailed a copy for their records. 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. 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 Community Standards may have occurred, the College will initiate disciplinary proceedings against the student.
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 enforcement agency. 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.
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 Community Standards section of the Student Handbook for a complete list of rights for both parties). Also, both the complainant and respondent shall be informed in writing of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary 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 for mediation. 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.
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 information that 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 the Student Handbook for additional information.
Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history will not be provided to the respondent 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 Student Handbook). Counseling and/or support is also available to both students through the College’s Center for Health and Wellness.
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 adverse 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 persons:
- Center for Health and Wellness Staff
- Personal Health Care Provider
- Personal Attorney
- Religious/Spiritual Counselor
Support for Student Survivors
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 if a student wishes to pursue this option. 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 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 in the Student Handbook 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.
The Process for Administration and Staff
This policy applies to all Wagner College employees. The College has the authority to address misconduct that takes place on College premises, any College sponsored events, activities, trips that may occur off campus.
Following the initial assessment after receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator may refer the matter for investigation. The investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts. The investigation will be thorough, impartial, and fair, and all individuals will be treated with appropriate sensitivity and respect. The individual(s) conducting the investigation shall have specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual discrimination, misconduct and harassment. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will prepare a report setting forth the facts gathered, which will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator. Should the investigation find that there is sufficient indications of a violation of Title IX, the disciplinary process that would follow would be determined by the relationship of the respondent (faculty, staff, administrator) to the College. Each process is guided by the same principles of fairness and respect for all parties.
Once an employee complains or ‘expresses a concern’ to anyone in management—or management otherwise becomes aware of the complaint, the College has the legal duty to investigate. The College reserves the right to take appropriate action in such circumstances, even in cases when the complainant is reluctant to proceed. Because a charge of sexual misconduct is, by its nature, injurious to reputation, the investigator will make every reasonable effort to handle the proceedings as discreetly as possible, sharing information only with those who need to know. Nonetheless it must be understood that while there may be times when concerns may be addressed without having to reveal the complainant’s identity to the alleged harasser, this is not possible in every case. Some situations require the disclosure of the complainant's identity in order to fully investigate the matter and/or to enable the accused harasser the ability to fully respond to the allegations against him or her.
Any member of the College community who attempts to interfere, restrain, coerce, discriminate against or harass any individual responsibly reporting a claim of sexual misconduct shall be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.
While the College seeks to resolve all Title IX claims in 60 days, circumstances may arise that require the extension of said time frame. Such circumstances may include the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved and their accessibility, school breaks or vacation, or other unforeseen circumstances.
The Process for Faculty
Both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights regard sexual harassment and sexual violence as a form of sex discrimination and, therefore, as an unlawful discriminatory practice.
Colleges and universities have a moral obligation to develop policies that protect students and employees from sexual harassment and any other forms of sexual misconduct. Effective policies can help shield higher education institutions from potential liability, as well as address legitimate faculty and student concerns.
Faculty Discipline (excerpt from the Faculty Handbook)
A faculty member has an obligation to fulfill his/her responsibilities to the college as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
Any faculty member may be discharged, as distinguished from not reappointed, or suspended only for the following reasons:
- serious and/or repeated misconduct
- professional incompetence
- long‑term inability, physically or emotionally, to perform his or her academic duties.
A member of the college community who wishes to bring a complaint against a faculty member which could result in possible disciplinary action should first bring the matter to the attention of the Provost. The complainant should present the complaint to the Provost as promptly as possible after the alleged event occurs. The initial discussion between the complainant and the Provost should be kept confidential with no written record.
If the complainant, after an initial meeting with the Provost, decides to proceed, the complainant should submit a written statement to the Provost. Cases involving faculty discipline are particularly sensitive and demand special attention to issues of confidentiality. Dissemination of information relating to the case should be limited, in order that the privacy of all individuals involved is safeguarded as fully as possible.
Promptly after the complaint is submitted (normally within 14 days), the Provost should initiate steps he or she deems appropriate to effect an informal resolution of the complaint acceptable to both the complainant and the respondent. This may include referring the matter to the respondent’s chair to attempt to mediate the situation.
If the matter is not disposed of by mutual agreement as a result of the mediation, the Provost should inform the faculty member of the specific allegations and circumstances and of the identity of the complainant. A written statement of the complaint should be given to both the complainant and the respondent. Efforts should be made to protect the complainant from retaliatory action by those named in the complaint. The Faculty Personnel Committee shall conduct a fact-finding inquiry into the matter.
That inquiry shall include expression of grievance by the complainant, and full disclosure in writing of the charges to the respondent. In addition, both the respondent and the complainant have a right to be heard and defend themselves against testimony by others. This includes the right to call their own witnesses of fact, and each has the right to have a faculty member accompany him/her. Based on the information collected, the FPC shall determine whether or not to recommend a formal hearing be conducted by the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee.
If the FPC recommends further action, the Provost shall review the information collected and shall meet separately with both the complainant and the respondent. The Provost shall attempt once again to mediate the matter. If mediation is unsuccessful, the Provost refers the matter to the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee for a formal trial.
The Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee shall conduct a hearing to determine the facts of the charges and make recommendations for action. The Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee shall establish rules and regulations for the conduct of the hearing; and normally not earlier than 21 days and no later than 28 days after receipt of the Provost’s request for a hearing, the Committee shall conduct the hearing. Again, both the complainant and the respondent have a right to be heard and to defend themselves against testimony by others. This includes the right to call his/her own witnesses of fact, and each has the right to have a faculty member or counsel accompany him/her. The Committee shall conduct the hearing and render its determination of the facts and a recommendation for disciplinary action.
In the highly unusual circumstances when a faculty member is suspended pending final action by the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee, he or she shall continue to be paid.
The Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee shall send its decision and the reasons for its decision in writing to the complainant and the respondent, and to the President, within thirty (30) days.
Ordinarily within twenty (20) days of receipt of the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee's decision, the President shall inform the Committee of his or her decision in writing. If the President rejects the decision of the Committee, he or she shall inform the Committee in writing of the reasons for the rejection. The President shall also inform the faculty member concerned in writing of his/her decision. If the faculty member presents a written request for a statement of reasons, the President shall inform the faculty member of the reasons in writing.
If the President rejects the decision of the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee, within twenty (20) days of receipt of the President's decision and statement of reasons, the Committee shall reconsider its decision in light of the President's reasons. The Committee shall inform the faculty member concerned of its decision on reconsideration. The Committee shall inform the faculty member of the reasons for the Committee's decisions on reconsideration if the faculty member requests a statement of reasons. A written request shall be answered in writing.
The Committee shall send its decision on reconsideration and a statement of reasons in support of its decision to the President.
After reviewing the Faculty Hearing and Appeals Committee's decision on reconsideration and the statement of reasons, the President shall inform the Committee in writing of his or her final decision and his or her reasons for the decision. The President shall inform the faculty member of the reasons for the decision if the faculty member requests a statement of reasons. A written request shall be answered in writing.
The decision of the President shall be final and binding.
Title IX Coordinators
The following administrators serve as Wagner College's Title IX Coordinators. They serve as resources for the campus about sexual misconduct education and prevention, and anyone reporting an incident of sexual misconduct may contact any of the Title IX Coordinators.
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/Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator for Students
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
Education & Prevention
Wagner College is committed to education and increasing awareness of students, faculty, and staff about preventing incidents of sexual misconduct. The Title IX Coordinators are responsible for coordinating the College’s sexual misconduct education and prevention program in collaboration with the Center for Health and Wellness, which coordinates the Peer Education Program.
Education and prevention resources and opportunities include:
- Wagner College’s Title IX Coordinators
- 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 information.
- 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 prevention.
- 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.
- The 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, faculty and staff even if College or criminal reports are not made. The College strongly encourages survivors to seek assistance to care for themselves emotionally and physically through confidential crisis intervention, health care, and counseling. Survivors should keep in mind that medical examinations are time-sensitive and critical in preserving evidence of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, so those options must be exercised as soon as possible.
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
- Circle of Six is an app that prevents violence before it happens. It helps you connect to your friends quickly so you can stay close, stay safe, and keep you connected. The app allows you to call or text a close group of confidantes with a subtle press of a button. Circle of Six is designed for college student safety and we highly recommend that Wagner students use it!
- Love is Not Abuse is an app that mimics the persistent, repetitive texting and calling typical of an emotionally abusive partner. If it reminds you of your own relationship (or a friend's), you know to get help.
- Loveisrespect.org allows you to text, chat, or call 24/7 for support.