Frequently Asked Questions
What is gender-based misconduct?Gender-based misconduct includes any misconduct (on the basis of sex or gender) that occurs in Bard’s education program and activities. The umbrella term covers a broad range of nonconsensual conduct and activity, including: gender and sex-based discrimination, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, and intimate partner violence.
Bard College prohibits gender-based misconduct and is committed to providing learning and working environments in which all individuals feel safe and are free to develop intellectually, professionally, and socially.
For definitions of gender-based misconduct, please see the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.
What are my rights as an individual who makes a complaint of gender-based misconduct?Reporter's Rights
- You have the right to make a report to Bard College security, local law enforcement, and/or state police, or choose not to report.
- You have the right to report the incident to your institution, Bard College.
- You have the right to be protected by the College from retaliation for reporting an incident.
- You have the right to receive assistance and resources from the College.
What are my rights as a student who makes a complaint of gender-based misconduct?Student’ Bill of Rights
All students have the right to:
- Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
- Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault taken seriously; Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;
- Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
- Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
- Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
- Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
- Be protected against retaliation by the College, any student, the accused and/or the Respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the College;
- Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
- Be accompanied by an Advisor of Choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or Respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process, including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
- Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the College.
What is the difference between confidential resources and private resources?A confidential resource is one who is not obligated to share information regarding a report of gender-based misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator, unless involved parties are at risk of being harmed.
Confidential resources include: Counselors, Student Health Services Staff, and Chaplains.
A private resource is one who must relay information about a report of gender-based misconduct directly to the Title IX Coordinator.
Most Bard College faculty and staff are private resources and have an obligation to share reports of gender-based misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator. Information provided to a nonconfidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX Coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution. Bard offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain privacy to the greatest extent possible.
Who are Responsible Employees at Bard College, and what does this mean?Under Bard’s Gender-Misconduct Policy, all faculty and staff are designated as Responsible Employees. This includes: administrators, staff, faculty, professional staff members, safety and security officers and peer counselors.
Responsible Employees are obligated to report all allegations of sexual misconduct, including all relevant details, to the Title IX Coordinator. Reports can be made via email at [email protected] or [email protected], by phone at 845-758-7542, or in person at Sottery Hall, Room 107. Managers and supervisors at Bard College are accountable for enforcing the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and ensuring that the proper reporting procedures are being followed.
Responsible employees should inform any reporting individual that they have an obligation to share the information with the Title IX Coordinator and let the individual know that they that can provide privacy, not confidentiality; they should also explain the option of speaking with a confidential resources.
If I don’t want to be involved in a formal investigation, are there other options?Yes, even if you don’t want a formal investigation, you can still access supportive measures through the Title IX Coordinator. In addition to filing a formal complaint and proceeding with a formal grievance process and investigation, there are also options for alternate and informal resolutions.
What kind of supportive measures are available? How do I access them?Following a report of gender-based misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator can assist with providing interim measures and accommodations. These supportive measures may be available even in situations where a formal complaint is not filed. Such measures include, but are not limited to: changes in campus housing, changes to academic or work schedules, academic support and assistance, access to counseling and support services, work accommodations, and no contact orders, as well as other services and supports.
What is an informal resolution process?The informal resolution process is voluntary and can be requested by either party. It may include: mediation, restorative justice practices, or other dispute resolution mechanisms, as deemed appropriate. For an informal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint a facilitator that is free from any conflict to lead the process. Throughout this process, the facilitator remains impartial and would be responsible for drafting an informal resolution agreement between the parties, if there is one. In order to move forward with an informal resolution, all parties would have to agree to the terms of the informal resolution process and/or agreement.
Should I always preserve evidence? If so, how can I do that?The College encourages individuals to preserve all evidence relating to any report of gender-based misconduct.
Evidence may be important for many reasons including for an investigation, for a criminal investigation or prosecution, or to obtain an Order of Protection or an equivalent protective or restraining order. Examples of evidence may include: text messages, emails, social media communications, phone records, photographs, tickets, receipts, documents, clothing, bedding, and medical information. It is best practice to save evidence at the time of the incident so the opportunity is not lost.
Even if the reporting individual has chosen not to make complaint, they nevertheless should consider preserving evidence and/or speaking with security, law enforcement, or the Title IX Coordinator regarding the preservation of evidence in the event that the evidence becomes useful and/or necessary at a later date.
What is a SAFE Exam, and how can it be accessed?Individuals who have experienced a recent sexual assault or act of physical violence are encouraged to seek medical care. In addition, individuals should consider seeking a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (“SAFE Exam”) at a local hospital, which includes assessment and treatment of injury, addressing concerns of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and collection of evidence. SAFE Exams are free and free transportation can be arranged by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, Security, other College administrators, or BRAVE.
Individuals may undergo a SAFE Exam without making a report to law enforcement. It is important to not bathe, wash, douche, smoke, change clothing, or brush one’s teeth prior to the examination. If possible, it is also best to not take fluids or use the bathroom before the examination. For purposes of evidence collection, the SAFE Exam should be conducted within 96 hours of an incident. If individuals do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers can still treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections. BRAVE counselors (845-758-7777; ask for BRAVE) and the Rape/Sexual Assault Hotline (845-452-7272) can assist with access to this free medical examination and be an advocate to provide support and accompany you to the hospital. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator, Security, and other College administrators can assist with accessing a SAFE Exam.
Responsible Employee FAQs
As a Responsible Employee, how do I report a gender-based misconduct disclosure?Please contact the Title IX Coordinator at 845-758-7542 or [email protected] to relay all reports. Please provide all information pertaining to the report, including names, descriptions, dates, and locations, to the extent available.
Can I still report even if my information is incomplete or my source is anonymous?Even if you do not have a complete report of gender-based misconduct, you must still contact the Title IX Coordinator and share the information that you have. Please call 845-758-7542 or email [email protected].
If I don't believe the allegation that is being reported, should I still contact the Title IX Coordinator?Yes, you must share all reports of gender-based misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator.
What happens after I share a report with the Title IX Coordinator?The Title IX Coordinator will contact the reporting individual to provide information regarding their rights, reporting options, and resources. The Title IX Coordinator will also ask to meet with the reporting individual to review their options, rights, and the resources available to them. Speaking with the Title IX Coordinator is voluntary and a reporting individual may have an advisor of their choice present during any meeting with the Title IX Coordinator. For more information, please see the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.
If the person making a report wants to speak with a confidential resource, where can I direct them?There are several on- and off-campus options for speaking to someone confidentially. Please see the Reporting section of our site for full a list of these resources.
What if a student or employee discloses an incident before I have let them know about my reporting responsibilities?You will need to let them know that you are unable to keep the reported information confidential and that you are required to relay the report to the Title IX Coordinator. Please assure them that their privacy will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and that the Title IX Coordinator is available to answer any questions they may have regarding their rights, reporting options, and the resources available to them.
What should I do if I am unsure of whether I am obligated to report something?If you have any questions about your reporting responsibilities please contact the Title IX Coordinator at 845-758-7542 or [email protected].