FAQs: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Gender-Based Misconduct

This page is designed to assist those who have experienced gender/sex discrimination, sexual harassment or other forms of gender-based misconduct such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking.

Manhattan College is committed to maintaining a learning and work environment not impaired by sex discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual violence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and rape. Sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX as well as by College policy. Accordingly, the College expects its students, employees and other members of the College community to conduct themselves responsibly and in accordance with College policy.

For information about the College’s policy on sex discrimination, sexual harassment, gender-based misconduct and related complaint procedures please see relevant sections of the student handbook or the employee handbook.

What is gender-based misconduct?

Gender-based misconduct encompasses a broad range of behaviors including gender discrimination that may or may not be sexual in nature. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence such as domestic, dating violence and stalking are other types of gender-based misconduct. Gender-based misconduct can be perpetrated by men or women and can occur between people of the same or different sex.

Examples of gender-based misconduct include pressure to date or engage in a romantic or intimate relationship, unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging; inappropriate remarks about a person’s gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation; inappropriate sexual innuendo or humor; unnecessary or unwelcome references to parts of the body; and pressure for or forced sexual activities.

What do I do if I am the victim of gender-based misconduct?

Immediately report these situations to one of the individuals listed in Who to Contact on Campus. These individuals will explain your options, walk you through the complaint process, and help you get the academic, medical, and/or emotional support you may need.

If I think I have been the victim of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or a sexual assault, should I report it to the College?

Yes. The College can help stop the conduct, prevent it from happening again, and help you get the services and support you need. You can also file a complaint at the same time with the police.

How do I report misconduct to the College?

Contact the Title IX coordinator, one of the deputy coordinators, or the Public Safety office and they can help you through the process. Someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

You should report misconduct as soon as possible and preserve any evidence that may help the College understand what happened. Evidence in these situations can include text messages, Facebook or Twitter posts, Instagram pictures, emails and clothing.

Read a detailed description of reporting procedures.

If I report misconduct to the College, do I also have to go to the police?

No. You do not have to go to the police, but you have the right to do so. If you would like to go to the police the local NYPD precinct is the 50th Precinct and it is located at 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463. You can also call the NYPD’s 50th Precinct at (718) 543-5700. If you would like, someone from the College can accompany you to the police station.

In some cases, where there has been a clear violation of the law or Public Safety is at risk, the College may independently contact local law enforcement.

What happens after I report conduct to the College?

The Title IX coordinator will start an investigation. The Title IX coordinator or one of the deputy coordinators will contact you to arrange for an in-person meeting to gather more information. The College will also interview the alleged perpetrator and any witnesses. After a fact-gathering phase, if warranted, matters may proceed to a hearing at the College where a hearing officer will review all evidence and information and determine whether misconduct occurred. Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken if a violation is found. Both parties will be informed of the outcome and of their right to appeal that outcome.

Read a detailed description of the complaint and hearing procedures. 

Will my reports to the College be confidential?

The College appreciates the sensitive nature of these situations and the importance of respecting individuals’ privacy and requests for confidentiality.

Because the College is obligated to fully investigate all complaints/reports of sexual harassment and gender-based misconduct, the College cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality in all cases. However, the College will only share information with appropriate individuals when absolutely necessary for the protection and well-being of those involved or to fully understand what happened.

What other resources are available?

The College has several different types of resources for students, employees, staff and other members of the College community. The Title IX coordinator can also help identify additional resources if necessary.

See a list of resources.

If I do make a formal report, will I have to face the person I’m accusing of misconduct?

No. The College will not require that you see or speak to the accused as part of the College investigation or disciplinary process.

What if someone retaliates against me for making a complaint or telling the College what happened?

Title IX and the College strictly prohibit retaliation. The College will not tolerate retaliation in any form or by any member of the College community. Any member of the College community who attempts to interfere with, threaten, discriminate against, or harass an individual participating in an investigation (such as a complainant, respondent, bystander, witness, or investigator) will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.

What if I’m not sure what happened?

If you are not sure if misconduct occurred it is still okay to contact the Title IX coordinator or one of her listed designees. They can help you figure out and understand what may have happened and give you advice moving forward.

However, anyone who knowingly makes a false, malicious, or frivolous report of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other type of gender-based misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action.

What should I do if I think I’ve experienced or witnessed retaliation?

If you believe you have encountered retaliation you should notify Vicki Cowan, the Title IX coordinator. 

Read a more detailed discussion of retaliation and related reporting procedures. 

What if I have the same classes, work schedule, or live in the same residence hall as the perpetrator?

There are several possible interim measures available in these situations. The College can help arrange for the changing of class schedules, housing arrangements, and/or work arrangements to eliminate or minimize the contact an individual has with his/her alleged attacker. During an investigation, all parties should avoid contact with each other. In some cases, the alleged attacker may be removed from certain classes, a residence hall, or campus pending the outcome of the case. The College will strive to minimize the impact that any interim measure has on the victim.

How long will Manhattan College’s investigation and resolution process take?

The College will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based misconduct and will work diligently to reach a conclusion. Generally the process takes 60 days to complete. Because each case is different, and some cases take longer depending on the details of the case, it is difficult to give an exact timeline. However, each party will be given an estimated timeline at the start of an investigation and will be updated throughout the process on the progress of an investigation and on any changes to the timeline.

Do I have to be able to prove that I have been the victim of sex-based misconduct in order to get help?

No. Manhattan College does not place the burden of proving that misconduct did or did not occur on any one party. The College will investigate all claims and review evidence according to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This means that after concluding an investigation, the College will review all available information from each party to determine whether there is enough information to determine that it is more likely than not that a violation of College policy has occurred.

The Title IX coordinator can help identify academic, emotional and medical supports for all parties throughout this process and even after its conclusion.

Can I make a report about someone with whom I have been in a relationship?

Yes. The nature of your relationship with the accused does not impact your right to report misconduct.

Intimate partner misconduct such as domestic violence, dating violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking is prohibited by the College and you are encouraged promptly to report such conduct to the Title IX coordinator or one of the deputy coordinators. The Title IX coordinator can help identify safe methods and resources to deal with intimate partner violence.

What if the misconduct, such as sexual harassment, involves a staff or faculty member?

All students, staff, employees and other third parties are encouraged to report misconduct involving staff or faculty to Vicki Cowan, the Title IX coordinator. Ms. Cowan will coordinate with the Public Safety department and others as may be necessary to deal with faculty, staff, and administrator issues.

What should I do if I witness conduct that might amount to sexual assault, violence or misconduct?

If it is possible and safe to do so, you are encouraged to help those who are in, or who may be in, potentially dangerous or harmful situations.

If you suspect someone has been victimized by a sexual offense, assault or violence, it is important to reach out to the Title IX coordinator or any of the other listed individuals.

If someone is in immediate danger you should call 911 or the College Public Safety office at (718) 862-7333 for assistance.

Am I required to intervene in a potentially violent situation?

No. You should only do so if it is safe for both you and the victim.

Who should I contact with questions about the policies and procedures in this FAQ?

The best source of information is the Title IX coordinator, Vicki Cowan, or any of the other listed individuals. Or for information about the College’s policy on sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and gender-based misconduct and related complaint procedures please see relevant sections of the student handbook or the employee handbook.