Policy Statement

Hunter Business School is committed to providing a safe and healthy educational and employment environment that encourages and fosters appropriate conduct in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and are free from unlawful sexual discrimination, as well as all other unlawful discrimination.

This policy applies to all forms of unlawful sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. Hunter expects that all interpersonal relationships and interactions, especially those of an intimate nature, will be based upon mutual respect, open communication, and clear consent and that all members of our school community will assist in creating an environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. These standards apply equally to everyone regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of any of the individuals involved.

This policy applies to all members of our school community including students, employees (including faculty, administrators, and staff), and third parties (including guests, visitors, vendors, and contractors) and to all conduct committed in connection with any Hunter Business School program. This policy also applies to any incident that may adversely impact an employee’s work and/or a student’s or other person’s participation in the school’s educational or other programs and activities.

Hunter Business School is committed to promptly and equitably addressing and resolving all reports of unlawful discrimination and harassment. We will promptly respond to complaints of discrimination or harassment so as to end the conduct, prevent its reccurrence, remedy any effects of the conduct on any individual or the school community, and eliminate any hostile environment. Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to sanctions as set forth below.

Neither the school nor the Title IX coordinator will retaliate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or any other applicable law. Retaliation against an individual because the individual filed a complaint alleging violation of Title IX or any other applicable law; participated in a Title IX investigation, hearing, or proceeding in any way; or advocated for others’ rights pursuant to Title IX or any other applicable law is also prohibited.

Definitions

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Complainant is the person alleged to have been subjected to conduct that violates this policy.

Respondent is the person accused of engaging in conduct in violation of this policy.

Sexual discrimination is conduct based on an individual’s sex that excludes that individual from participation; denies that individual benefits; treats that individual differently; or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in/of a program or activity. Sexual discrimination includes all forms of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that denies or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational or work environment at the school. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to sexual activity. Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to

  • Submission to conduct made either explicitly or implicitly, such as a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in other school activities
  • Submission to or rejection of conduct used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting the individual (e.g., an instructor insisting that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade)
  • Conduct that has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment,
    such as
    • A student repeatedly sending sexually oriented jokes around on an email list, and even when asked to stop, causes the recipient to avoid the sender on campus
    • Explicit sexual pictures displayed in the instructor’s office or a computer monitor in a public space

Other unlawful discrimination is defined as treating an individual or individuals less favorably or differently because of their actual or perceived protected characteristics including race, color, creed, national origin, religion, disability, age, pregnancy, ancestry, military or veteran status, marital or partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other legally protected status. Discrimination for purposes of this policy also includes unlawful harassment based upon any of these protected statuses or characteristics.

Sexual assault is nonconsensual, intentional, physical contact of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome physical contact with a person’s genitals, anus, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts, including touching directly or through clothing. Sexual assault occurs when the act is committed by physical force, violence, threat or intimidation, ignoring the objections of another person, or by causing another person’s intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol and/or taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, helplessness, or other inability to consent. This includes conduct covered by the New York State penal law. Examples of sexual assault include rape, penetration, and fondling.

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the victim’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because of an intellectual or other disability that prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). It includes, among other things, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Many types of sexual violence include nonconsensual sexual contact, but this is not a necessary component. Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, other students, or third parties. All acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

Sexual misconduct includes a range of conduct including, but not limited to, all types of sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and sexual violence.

Domestic violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by someone who is or has cohabited with the student as a spouse, by someone with whom the victim shares a child in common, by others to whom the student is related by consanguinity (blood) or affinity (marriage), or by unrelated persons who are (or have been in the past) continually living in the same household.

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of the relationship is determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and/or the frequency of interaction between the involved persons.

Stalking is a course of unwelcome conduct directed at a specific person who would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes, but is not limited to, cyberstalking (using the internet or other electronic means to harass someone) or repeatedly following a person or appearing at the person’s home, workplace, or classroom without a legitimate purpose, and/or leaving or sending unwanted messages.

Consent represents the foundation of respectful intimate relationships. Hunter Business School strongly encourages its population to communicate—openly and honestly—about actions, wishes, and intentions when it comes to sexual behavior, and to do so BEFORE engaging in intimate conduct. It is always the responsibility of the individual initiating sexual contact to ensure that consent is present before acting and is present during sexual activity.

Consent consists of words or overt actions by a person clearly indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with another, at the time of the act. Consent can be given only by someone who acts freely, voluntarily, and with knowledge of the fact and nature of the sexual act involved. Consent is a mutually understood freely given “yes,” not the absence of “no.” Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Consent is NOT present when an individual is incapacitated, voluntarily or involuntarily, due to age, physical condition (lack of sleep, lack of consciousness, alcohol, drugs), or disability that impairs the individual’s ability to provide consent.

Consent cannot be inferred from consent to another form of contact or sexual activity; a prior or current sexual, romantic, or marital relationship; silence or lack of resistance; or prior sexual activity with another individual or other individuals. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Retaliation is adverse action against another person for reporting a violation or for participating in any way in the investigation or hearing process. Retaliation includes harassment and intimidation, including but not limited to, violence, threats of violence, property destruction, adverse educational or employment consequences, or bullying.

Questions, Contacts, and Complaints

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, or if you wish to file a complaint pursuant to this policy, you may contact

Lisa Lye
Title IX Coordinator
Hunter Business School
3601 Hempstead Turnpike, Unit 19
Levittown, New York 11756
516.796.1000, Ext. 119
LLye@HunterBusinessSchool.edu

You may also file a complaint with

U. S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights (New York Office)
32 Old Slip, 26th Floor
New York, New York 10005
646.428.3800
OCR.NewYork@ed.gov

Complaint Procedure

Hunter Business School takes complaints of sexual and other unlawful discrimination—including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence—very seriously. The school encourages students, employees, and third parties who have experienced or know of an incident of sexual or other unlawful discrimination—including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence—to speak with the Title IX coordinator about what happened so that the school can respond appropriately.

If any employee of this school experiences, observes, or learns of an incident of unlawful discrimination, the employee must immediately report the incident to the Title IX coordinator.

There is no time limit for reporting discrimination. However, allegations should be reported as promptly as possible, as a delay in making the report may make it more difficult for the school to investigate allegations. The school strongly encourages all individuals to seek assistance from a medical provider and/or local law enforcement authority immediately after an incident of sexual violence.

Reports can be made by telephone, email, or in person as listed below.

Reports by students may be made to the Title IX coordinator, his/her instructor, the program chair of the student’s field of study, the student’s faculty mentor, or the director of education.

Reports by employees may be made to the Title IX coordinator, his or her supervisor, or the campus director.

Reports by third parties may be made to the Title IX coordinator or the campus director.

Hunter Business School’s Levittown employees may contact the officers below at 3601 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown, New York 11756, 516.796.1000.

Ramon Martinez, Vice-President, School Director
Weedens E. Blanchard, Director of Education
Rosanne Romano, Medical Assistant Program Director
James Fetter, Computer Technician Networking Specialist Chairperson
Maria L. Bune-Fitzpatrick, Practical Nursing Chairperson

Hunter Business School’s Medford employees may contact the officers below at 3247 Route 112, Medford, New York 11763, 631.736.7360.

Annette Jao, Vice-President, School Director
Chuck Copt, Director of Education
Rosanne Romano, Medical Assistant Program Director
Betty Lynn DeMott, Computer Technician Networking Specialist Chairperson
Rosemarie Cann, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Chairperson

The individual making the report is encouraged to provide as much detailed information as possible so as to allow the school to investigate the report and respond appropriately. The school may be limited in its ability to investigate if insufficient information is provided.

Students making a report may ask to remain anonymous or that a complaint not be pursued, and the school will weigh that request against its obligation to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for the community. Upon receipt of a report, the school will immediately consider and implement appropriate interim measures to ensure the victim can continue his or her education and work free of ongoing sexual discrimination or other unlawful discrimination.

Amnesty for Sexual Misconduct Complainants and Witnesses

Hunter Business School encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct. We recognize that individuals who have been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for their own conduct.

An individual who in good faith reports sexual misconduct either as a complainant or a witness will not be subject to disciplinary action for his/her own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not, and do not, place the health or safety of any other person at risk.

Amnesty will not be extended for any violations of Hunter’s policies other than alcohol and/or drug use. Amnesty does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities.

Reporting to Local Law Enforcement

The school encourages complainants who believe they have been subjected to criminal sexual misconduct to pursue their complaints both through the school’s complaint resolution process and through local law enforcement. The school will provide complainants with information concerning their options and rights and, upon request by the complainants, will assist them in making reports to local law enforcement.

The decision to file a complaint with local law enforcement is entirely the complainant’s choice. Reporting to law enforcement is not necessary for a complainant to receive counseling or other supportive services or for the school to proceed with an investigation.

It may, however, be necessary for the school to briefly suspend the fact-finding aspect of a Title IX investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering evidence. The school will promptly resume its investigation as soon as it is notified by law enforcement that it has completed the evidence gathering process, or within 10 days, whichever is sooner.

The school will proactively implement appropriate interim steps during law enforcement’s investigation period to provide for the safety of the complainant and the school community and the avoidance of retaliation.

Interim Measures During the School’s or Local Law Enforcement’s Investigation

The school will take steps to ensure equal access to its programs and activities and to protect the complainant as necessary prior to the final determination of the complaint. The school will take these steps promptly once it has notice of the allegation and will provide the complainant with periodic updates on the status of its investigation.

The complainant will be notified of his/her options to avoid contact with the respondent and to change academic and/or other activities or situations as appropriate.

The school will make a sexual violence complainant aware of any available resources and the right to report a crime to local law enforcement. Interim measures may also include those such as providing support services to the complainant, a change of schedule or classes, rescheduling of exams or assignments, issuance of a no-contact directive (parties have no contact with one another), providing an escort, or assistance finding a counselor or community resources.

The specific interim measures implemented and the process for doing so will be specific to each case after considering factors such as the need expressed by the complainant; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on the complainant; whether the complainant and respondent share the same job location, classroom, etc.; and whether other measures have been implemented to protect the complainant (e.g., order of protection). Implemented interim measures will not disproportionately impact the complainant.

Confidentiality

Every effort will be made to protect the privacy of all individuals involved in an investigation of a discrimination or harassment complaint. Information about complaints or inquiries and investigations will be maintained by the school in confidence to the greatest extent possible. However, Hunter Business School cannot guarantee complete confidentiality and will notify the complainant when confidentiality cannot be ensured. The school will share information about allegations only with those who need to know.

If a complainant does not wish for his/her name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not wish a formal resolution to be pursued, the complainant may make a request to the Title IX Coordinator to comply with these wishes which will be honored as long as the safety of the school community and compliance with applicable law are maintained.

In cases where the complainant requests confidentiality and the circumstances allow the school to honor that request, the school will offer interim support and remedies to the complainant and the school community but will not otherwise pursue formal action.

Confidential Community Advice and Counseling Resources

The following community resources are available to discuss incidents and issues regarding sexual misconduct on a confidential basis. These organizations can advise individuals about resources, services, and options available.

  1. The Safe Center LI
    15 Grumman Road West
    Suite 1000
    Bethpage, NY 11714
    516.465.4700
    24-Hour Hotline
  2. NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline
    Alfred E. Smith Building
    80 South Swan Street, 11th Floor
    Albany, NY 12210
    800.942.6906
  3. Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk
    185 Oval Drive
    Central Islip, NY 11722
    631.360.3730
    24-Hour Hotline
  4. National Sexual Assault Hotline
    1220 L Street NW
    Suite 505
    Washington, DC 20005
    800.656.4673
  5. Nassau County Sexual Assault Hotline
    250 Fulton Avenue
    3rd Floor
    Hempstead, NY 11550
    516.572.0700
    24-Hour Hotline
  6. New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    28 Essex Street
    Albany, NY 12206
    800.942.6906
  7. L.I. Against Domestic Violence
    320 Carleton Avenue
    Central Islip, NY 11722
    24-Hour Hotline

Response to Complaint

Initial Assessment

The Title IX Coordinator will conduct an intake meeting with the complainant as soon as possible after receiving a report or complaint. The following topics will be addressed during that meeting, as appropriate.

  • Immediate physical safety and emotional well-being needs
  • Notice to the complainant of the right to contact local law enforcement and seek medical treatment, and the importance of preservation of evidence
  • Notice to the complainant of the right to be assisted by individuals at the school in contacting local law enforcement
  • Offer to the complainant of information about available resources and the range of interim measures and remedies, regardless of whether or not the complainant files a formal complaint with the school or local law enforcement
  • Overview of the procedural options and process
  • Rights during the investigation process
  • Notice of the school’s Notice of Nondiscrimination, including the prohibition against harassment and retaliation

Information about these topics will be provided to the complainant in writing during or following the meeting.

In addition, during the intake meeting, the complainant will be interviewed to understand the key facts upon which the report is based to appropriately assess how the school will proceed.

Informal Resolution Process

If an informal resolution is pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will attempt to facilitate a resolution that is agreeable to all parties. Pursuant to the informal process, the school will only conduct a fact-finding investigation to the extent useful to resolve the conflict and as is necessary to protect the interests of the parties, the school, and the school community.

The informal resolution mechanism will only be used if the parties voluntarily agree to do so. The parties will be notified that any party to the complaint has the right to discontinue the informal process and request a formal investigation at any time. The school also has the discretion to initiate a formal investigation at any time. At no time will the complainant be required to resolve the problem directly with the respondent.

Any informal resolution must adequately address the concerns of the complainant, as well as the rights of the respondent and the overall intent of the school, to stop, remedy, and prevent policy violations. The Title IX Coordinator will make a recommended resolution that may include responses such as counseling or education, a requirement for behavioral changes, a written warning, or other disciplinary actions, including termination of employment or expulsion from school, as set forth in the Sanctions section below.

If all parties to the complaint and the school agree in writing to the recommended resolution within seven business days, then the case will be deemed resolved. If all parties do not agree in writing to the recommended resolution, then the complaint will be referred to the formal process.

Formal Complaint Process

The school will complete a prompt, thorough, adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation. The investigation will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or one or more investigators appointed by the Title IX Coordinator. If the Title IX Coordinator has a conflict of interest, she will so notify the school president who will appoint another investigator to handle the matter.

Likewise, if either the complainant or the respondent believes the investigator has a conflict of interest, she must immediately notify the school president, who may appoint another investigator to handle the matter.

The investigator will interview the complainant, the respondent, and/or other witnesses and may request additional information from any of these individuals or the school. The complainant and respondent will have an opportunity to advise the investigator of any witness(es) each believes should be interviewed and/or other evidence that they believe should be reviewed by the investigator and may submit evidence to the investigator during the investigation.

The investigator may also interview witnesses and review evidence not suggested by a party. Any party may be represented by counsel during the investigation or any other step under this procedure. All parties will have an equal opportunity to have counsel present and any restrictions on counsel’s ability to speak or otherwise participate will be applied equally to all parties.

The school will endeavor to complete the investigation process within 20 business days of the initiation of the complaint or the referral of the complaint from the informal process. If more time will be required, the investigator will so advise the parties.

Within five business days of completion of any investigation, Hunter Business School will notify both parties in writing about the findings of the investigation. The allegations will be determined using the preponderance of evidence standard, i.e., whether it is likelier than not that the allegation has merit.

The investigator’s findings will also include (1) any sanctions to be imposed on the respondent; (2) any individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant; and (3) any other steps that the school has taken or should take to eliminate the hostile environment or discrimination (if found to exist) or to prevent recurrence.

In a nonsexual violence case, the complainant will be notified of (1) any sanctions to be imposed on the respondent only to the extent that those sanctions directly relate to the complainant; (2) any individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant; and (3) any other steps that the school has taken or should take to eliminate the hostile environment or discrimination (if found to exist) or to prevent recurrence. The respondent will not be notified of any individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant in any type of case.

The written notification of the investigator’s findings will advise all parties of the right to appeal the those findings. A written appeal may be filed by delivering said appeal to the school director for the campus to which the complaint pertains, to the address set forth above, within seven business days of receipt of the written notification of the investigator’s findings.

The written appeal must include the appealing party’s contact information, including mailing address, phone number, and email address. The appeal will be determined by the school director, who will notify the parties in writing of the determination of the appeal within seven business days of its filing. All appeals will be determined by the school director in an impartial and unbiased manner.

Privacy Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits the school to disclose to the student complainant information about the sanction imposed upon a student who is found to have engaged in harassment when that sanction directly relates to the harassed student. This includes an order that the harasser stay away from the harassed student or that the harasser become prohibited from attending school for a period of time or transferred to another class or campus or terminated from the School.

Further, when the conduct involves a crime of violence or a nonforcible sexual offense, FERPA permits the school to disclose to the alleged victim the final results of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether the school concluded that a violation was committed.

The school may also disclose to anyone the final results of a disciplinary proceeding if it determines that a student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sexual offense, including the allegation made and that said student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies.

Sanctions

The following are examples of sanctions that may be imposed where a violation of this policy is found.

Student Sanctions

  • Warning
  • Required counseling or attendance at educational programs
  • Behavioral contract
  • Restriction of privileges
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • No contact order
  • Other actions

Employee Sanctions

  • Warning, written or verbal
  • Performance improvement plan
  • Required counseling or assessment
  • Required training or education
  • Change in duties or assignment
  • Demotion
  • Loss of pay
  • Suspension with or without pay
  • Termination

Third Parties

  • Conditions upon the individual’s presence on campus or at school events
  • No trespass and/or no contact orders
  • Other steps deemed necessary to protect the school community

Remedies Available to Complainants and Others

The remedies available include, but are not limited to,

  • making a sexual violence complainant aware of any available resources and the right to report a crime to local law enforcement
  • providing support services to the complainant
  • a change of schedule or classes
  • rescheduling of exams or assignments
  • issuance of a no-contact directive that the parties have no contact with one another
  • providing an escort or assistance finding a counselor or community resources
  • ensuring that the complainant and respondent do not share classes or other activities
  • reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the complainant to determine whether there is a causal connection
  • training or retraining school employees on the school’s responsibilities
  • developing materials on sexual violence for distribution to all students
  • conducting sexual violence prevention programs or targeted training for a group of students
  • issuing policy statements

The specific measures implemented and the process for doing so will be specific to each case.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

Neither Hunter Business School nor the Title IX Coordinator will retaliate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or any other applicable law.

Retaliation against an individual because the individual filed a complaint alleging violation of Title IX or any other applicable law; participated in a Title IX investigation, hearing, or proceeding in any way; or advocated for the rights of others pursuant to Title IX or any other applicable law is also prohibited and a violation of this policy.

Therefore, any retaliation, intimidation, threat, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual will be addressed in the most serious way by Hunter Business School. Individuals who engage in such actions are subject to disciplinary action that may include suspension or dismissal.

Anyone who is aware of possible retaliation or has other concerns regarding the response to a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct should immediately report these to the Title IX Coordinator, who will take appropriate actions to address the conduct in a prompt and appropriate manner. If an employee is aware of possible retaliation, the employee is required to report those concerns to the Title IX Coordinator.

False Complaints

Members of the school community who make false reports will be subject to disciplinary action unless such a report, even if erroneous, is made in good faith.