SAFE Guide >
Sexual Awareness Facts & Education (SAFE)
Vaughn College is committed to maintaining a learning environment and place of work free from sex discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual violence such as domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault and rape for all students and employees. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are prohibited by federal and state law. It is expected that students, employees and other individuals covered by these guidelines will treat one another with respect. View the College's Non-Discrimination Policy and Student Handbook.
At Vaughn College, sexual assault prevention measures are addressed through campus programs, workshops, and trainings. Information, aids, and demonstrations are provided to raise awareness of the seriousness of sexual assault and violence (including rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses). Ongoing awareness and prevention education measures are paramount and required to effectively educate our community on sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence.
What is Sexual Discrimination and Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a specific form of discrimination, which is illegal and not permitted in the College community. In general, sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests to engage in sexual conduct or sexual favors, and other severe, persistent or pervasive physical or expressive behavior of a sexual nature where:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education or employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual;
- Such unwanted severe, persistent or pervasive conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic or work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or demeaning educational or employment environment.
Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual or physical. It can be overt (e.g., in a suggestion that a person can get a higher grade by submitting to sexual advances), or it may be implied from conduct or circumstances. Sexual harassment can also consist of severe, persistent and pervasive unwelcome attempts to make an educational or professional relationship into a personal one. It may include severe, persistent or pervasive unwelcome sexual flirtation or inappropriate or derogatory language, including jokes involving individuals or classes of people, or persistent requests for dates. Sexual harassment also can be the display of offensive materials, unwelcome physical contact, or serious physical abuse (sexual assault or rape).
What is Sexual Assault, Misconduct or Violence?
The College's commitment to educating the campus community about sexual misconduct, assault or violence includes raising students' awareness about appropriate conduct and advising students on how to seek assistance in the event of an assault, and the consequences to an individual who engages in such misconduct. In addition to College penalties, there are potential criminal and civil penalties for these offenses. This issue is of such significant importance in the higher education community that the College is legally required to educate students about these matters.
It is important for members of the campus community to be aware that there can be serious legal consequences for engaging in certain types of sexual conduct. In general, sexual contact in New York state constitutes a crime if:
- A person does not consent or is not capable of giving consent;
- A person is under the age of 17 years;
- A person is incapable of understanding the sexual act; or
- A person is physically helpless or temporarily incapacitated.
For someone who is able to give consent, a court may consider that anything less than "yes" means "no." Someone who has said "no" to sexual contact does not have to prove it by resisting or risking death or serious injury. Physical force and threats constitute forcible compulsion whether they are directed at the target of the sexual advances or at someone else in order to force submission. A person may be guilty of a sex crime by participating in the offense even if he or she was not the primary actor.
Sexual assault and/or violence including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, rape, acquaintance rape and other sexual offenses are illegal and prohibited. Victims of sexual assault or violence should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinators, the office of student affairs and/or local law enforcement and seek medical attention. Perpetrators may be subjected to criminal and civil consequences in addition to College penalties.
Any actual or attempted non-consensual sexual activity, including, but not limited to, attempted intercourse, sexual touching, and certain forms of exhibitionism is considered sexual assault.
Date Rape/Acquaintance Rape
Date/acquaintance rape occurs when you are forced or manipulated into having sex against your will by someone you know, whether that person is your date, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a significant other, an acquaintance, a friend, a neighbor, a classmate, a co-worker, or a teammate. This is the most common form of sexual assault.
If a person engages in non-consensual sexual intercourse due to physical force, coercion, or threat — actual or implied — the act is considered rape, a felony in New York State. A person who is asleep, unconscious, physically helpless, or impaired due to drug or alcohol consumption, mentally incapacitated, and/or disabled, is considered unable to consent. Rape, acquaintance rape, and other sexual offenses are illegal and prohibited.
These definitions include, but are not limited to, any form of non-consensual intercourse and/or sexual activity, actual or attempted, by person(s) known or unknown to the victim. Non-consensual activity shall include, but not be limited to, situations where the victim is unable to consent because he/she is mentally incapacitated, is physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, or is unconscious.
If you believe you have encountered sexual harassment or are a victim of sexual misconduct, assault or violence we encourage you to IMMEDIATELY notify the Title IX Coordinators and local law enforcement. HOW DO I FILE A REPORT? View the College's Student Handbook.
The College recognizes the importance of confidentiality. College administrators and others responsible for implementing these policies will respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals reporting or accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence to the extent reasonably possible.
It is important to note that confidentiality does not mean that information will be kept "secret" – rather confidentiality should be understood as respect for privacy, that information will only be shared with appropriate individuals or groups when absolutely necessary for the protection and well-being of an individual or group. However, there are limits to confidentiality. Examples of situations when confidentiality cannot be maintained include circumstances when the law requires disclosure of information and when the disclosure is necessary to protect the rights of all members of the college community.
It is a violation of Vaughn College's policy to retaliate in any way against an individual or group following a notice or complaint of sexual harassment, sexual violence (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, rape and acquaintance rape, dating violence and domestic violence) or other such offenses. Any individual or group reporting sexual harassment or sexual violence is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.
Retaliation can take many forms, including attempts to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual or group. Direct or indirect retaliation involving communications via telephone, internet, social media, or other devices is prohibited.
The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate, whether committed by or against an individual or a group. This policy applies to all members of the Vaughn community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, third parties, and visitors. View the College's Non-Discrimination Policy and Student Handbook.
If you believe you have encountered a form of retaliation we encourage you to IMMEDIATELY notify the college and file a report with the Title IX Coordinators, the office of student affairs and/or local law enforcement. HOW DO I FILE A REPORT?
Vaughn College remains committed to the safety and well-being of the entire College community. It is important that we take the necessary steps to educate ourselves and the community on College policies and state and local laws related to personal safety. Additional resources such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and SAFE Resources are available for use.
Contact and location information is available below, should you have any additional questions.
Title IX Coordinator for Students
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
718-429-6600, ext. 221
Title IX Coordinator for Faculty and Staff
Mary E. Durkin
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
718-429-6600, ext. 105
Office of Counseling and Wellness
Dr. Nancy Adegoke
Director of Counseling and Wellness
718-429-6600, ext. 350
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