Info for the accused

Accused Student Guide

There is a lot of helpful information covered in this guide. It is highly encouraged that due to the amount of information in this guide that an accused student connects with a case manager with the CARE Team to go over the guide so they can ask questions and get support throughout the process if they are interested. 

Note about terms: The CARE Team recognizes that there are a number of terms and labels that an individual might use who has been impacted by an allegation related to an interpersonal concern or violence. Some of the common other terms that can be used in addition to or as an alternative for accused include, alleged, respondent, perpetrator, and defendant. The CARE Team encourages individuals to use whichever term or terms feel right for them.

Table of Content 

Common Services the CARE Team Offers Accused Students

How to Contact A Case Manager: 

Location: UUW 207A (just down the hall from Visions in the Union) 

Email: dos@binghamton.edu 

Phone: 607-777-2804

Common services provided by a case manager for an accused student include: 

  • Case managers can provide private space for an accused student to talk about their situation to a non-judgmental listener.
  • Reminder: The CARE Team is private, not confidential. If a student would like to be connected to confidential resources the CARE Team can help with that. 
  • Case managers can walk a student through the Student Conduct process so they understand what to expect in each part of the process.
  • A case manager can attend meetings with a student.
  • Case managers can help students have conversations with family members about their situation.
  • A case manager can NOT provide legal advice or serve as a lawyer for a student, however they can offer resources regarding legal support.
  • Case managers can connect students with mental health resources, academic support, and on- and off-campus resources.
  • Case managers can assist students in communicating with faculty.
  • Case managers can assist students as they develop their opening statements, closing statements, and questions, if a case goes to a Student Conduct hearing.
  • Case managers can assist students in the process of negotiating their Student Conduct Administrative Agreement.
  • Case managers can help students share their thoughts and concerns. However, a case manager can not speak for a student.
  • Case managers can help students if they need to find alternative housing.
  • Case manager can explain No Contact Orders and the expectations related to them.
  • Case managers can help review Student Conduct materials.
  • Case managers can serve as an advisor for a student during a Student Conduct hearing, they can NOT serve as an advisor during a Title IX grievance process.

What to Expect When Working with the CARE Team 

Step 1: Often respondents get connected with the CARE Team through Student Conduct. Other times responding students will come directly to the CARE Team to set up an appointment. 

Step 2: During the appointment students can expect that the case manager will begin with information about their role and that of the CARE Team. Case managers will offer an overview of their reporting obligations, and the difference between private and confidential. 

Reminders: 

  • Students can share as much or as little information as they would like.
  • Students do not need to be going through the Student Conduct or criminal process to get support through the CARE Team.
  • The CARE Team is not an adjudicating body.

Step 3: Once a student is informed about the reporting obligations of the case manager, the case manager often goes over the different options and resources that a student has available to them. The CARE Team often walks students through different processes.

Some common options offered: 

  • Referrals to confidential resources such as UCC
  • Help communicating with faculty
  • An overview of the Student Conduct or the Title IX grievance process and the different types of reports that can be made
  • Exploration of the Code of Student Conduct 
  • Explaining what a No Contact Order means 

Step 4: Depending on what a student is looking for; a case manager can help with next steps. This could be attending future meetings with them, helping with emails to faculty, and referral information regarding additional resources. In addition, the case manager works with the student regarding what kind of support they are looking for, this could be email check ins, phone calls, or in person meetings, depending on the needs of the student. 

Resources 

Confidential vs. Private resources 
Private resources*
Obligated to report known names and facts to the Title IX coordinator. The University may take action.

*Even Binghamton University offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary for the Title IX coordinator to investigate and/or seek a resolution.

Confidential resources 
Information remains with the student and the source. Source is not obligated to report to Title IX coordinator or anyone else unless there is imminent concern for safety. Confidential resources are noted by italics. 

General Resources 

●       University Ombudsman: https://www.binghamton.edu/offices/ombudsman/index.html

●       Title IX Coordinator: 607-777-2486

●       CARE Team: 607-777-2804

●       Residential Life: 607-777-2321

●       Dean of Students Office (DOS): 607-777-2804

●       New York State University Police: 607-777-2393 (non-emergency)

●       Office of Student Conduct: 607-777-6210

Academic Supports: 

●      University Tutoring Services:  https://www.binghamton.edu/clt/tutoring-services/index.html

●      Student Transition and Success:  https://www.binghamton.edu/offices/success/index.html

 Legal Help:

●      Legal Clinic: https://www.binghamton.edu/occ/legal.html

●      NY Bar Association: https://nysba.org/

Mental Health Support:

●      University Counseling Center (UCC): https://www.binghamton.edu/counseling/

○       Urgent same day appointments are offered everyday Monday through Friday from 1 to 4pm 

○       After hours students can all 607-777-2772 and press 2 to speak with a counselor 

○       Finding an off-campus Mental Health Provider: https://www.binghamton.edu/counseling/services/treatment-coordination.html

●      National Sucide Hotline 1- 800-273-8255

●      Binghamton General Hospital Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program 607-762-2302

●      Decker Student Health Services Center: 607-777-2221

●      Binghamton University Interfaith Council (BUIC): 607-777-3470

●      Employee Assistance Program: 607-777-6650

●      Trevor Lifeline Project (LGBTIQ) 24/7 help line: 1-866-488-7386

Off campus Housing Options: 

●      Off-Campus College – Housing: https://www.binghamton.edu/occ/housing/

●      Hotels: https://www.hotels.com/hotels-near-me

Accused Student’s Rights 

Accused students have a number of rights and protections. A case manager can help a student learn about those rights. Below are policies that outline rights and protections provided to responding students. 

No Contact Order 

What is a No Contact Order?

 A “No Contact Order” (NCO) may be issued if deemed appropriate by the University or at the request of the claimant when the accused is a student.  Often NCOs are issued by the Office of Student Conduct, Residential Life, or the Dean of Students Office.  A No Contact Order will be issued to prevent a student from contacting another student. However, a No Contact Order will only be granted for students who have interpersonal conflicts raising concern that physical or psychological harm may result from further contact. The University official will consider all available facts and known circumstances before issuing a No Contact Order. 

 No Contact Orders prohibit all forms of communication between designated students including direct and indirect contact, written and electronic communication (social media, email, text, chat, etc.) or communication through a third party. Other actions prohibited by a No Contact Order include but are not limited to: stalking the other person(s), following the other person(s) and any other behaviors that would make a reasonable person feel uncomfortable or threatened. 

No Contact Orders apply on and off campus, and are in place while all parties are students at Binghamton University. No Contact Orders are University specific and police departments and other municipalities would not acknowledge or enforce this Order off campus. Violations in locations off campus need to be reported to University Police or the Office of Student Conduct.

A No Contact Order is not a court-issued Order of Protection. 

If you are concerned about your personal safety and feel that an Order of Protection is needed, please contact the Binghamton University Police Department or the local police.

    1. Definition:  When the accused is a student, the claimant/reporting individual may request to have the University issue a “No Contact Order,” meaning that continuing to contact the protected individual is a violation of University policy subject to additional conduct charges.

Common Questions Related to NCO

  1. Who can request a No Contact Order?
    1. Binghamton University community members (faculty, staff, students) may request a No Contact Order when a student’s behavior exhibits a threat to health or wellbeing.
  2. What offices issue No Contact Orders?
    1. Residential Life, Dean of Students Office, and the Office of Student Conduct.
  3. Am I allowed to be in common areas with the person named in the No Contact Order?
    1. The letter will describe what you can and cannot do in terms of restrictions from buildings, communities, dining facilities, etc.
  4. What do I do if we happen to be in the same place together? Do I have to leave or can we just ignore each other?
    1. The letter you received outlines your responsibilities in the event that you see the person(s) named in public or on public transportation.
    2. The best course of action is to use good judgement and not engage with the other person(s) in addition to removing yourself from their proximity.
    3. If you are in the same class or club with the other person make sure to check your letter for additional details. If there are no other expectations stated in the letter both parties can attend shared classes and meetings but should not interact in any way.
  5. What happens if someone breaks the No Contact Order?
    1. Breaking a No Contact Order is a significant violation of the Code of Student Conduct  and can result in conduct charges. Sanctions for violating a No Contact Order may include suspension or expulsion.
    2. The University Police Department may use a violation of a No Contact Order as evidence to substantiate criminal charges.
  6. How can a No Contact Order be withdrawn? If I withdraw a No Contact Order, can it be resubmitted at a later date?
    1. A No Contact Order cannot be withdrawn by just one party. It will only be withdrawn  if both parties agree to remove the order. To initiate this process, students should contact the author of the No Contact Letter or a designee. No Contact Letters that are withdrawn can be re-issued at a later date if necessary.
  7. Will this appear on my student record?
    1. No. If other actions that cause or result in a No Contact Order are part of a conduct case, the outcomes of that case may be on a student’s record.
  8. What does University Police have to do with this?
    1. The University Police Department is always available to take reports and address safety concerns. Students can initiate requests for No Contact Orders with University Police who will forward the request to the respective campus officials.
    2. In some instances, the University Police Department may issue a verbal warning to a student not to contact another student.
    3. University Police may take a report or ask students to relocate when responding to a violation of a No Contact Order when a party violates the Order.
  9. What behaviors could violate a No Contact Order?
    1. Direct contact with other person(s) including electronic communication (social media, email, text, chat, etc.)
    2. Indirect contact with other person(s) via 3rd party including electronic communication (social media, email, text, chat, etc.)
    3. Following the other person(s)
    4. Stalking the other person(s)
    5. All behaviors outlined in the No Contact Order and any other behaviors that would make a reasonable person feel uncomfortable or threatened.
  10. Do I need to carry a copy of the No Contact Order on me at all times?
    1. Students do not need to carry a physical copy of their letter, although we suggest they  have access to and be able to produce the No Contact letter as needed. Students are responsible for understanding and complying with the directives of the No Contact letter.
  11. What if the other party has some of my personal belongings?
    1. Students are encouraged to connect with University Police to explore options.

Student Conduct Process vs. Title IX Grievance Process 

Why are there two different processes? 

  • Following the new guidance released by the Department of Education for Title IX that went into effect on August 14, 2020 cases related to sexual violence began to be processed through two processes. With the changes in guidance, cases based on details such as the act that was alleged to have happened, the location of the event, and other factors are used to determine if the case will go through the Title IX Grievance process or Student Conduct process based on federal criteria.
  • A case might not meet the federal criteria for Title IX but could still be considered as a possible violation of the Code of Student Conduct and would then be processed through the Student Conduct process.
  • Just because a case is being investigated by the Office of Student Conduct does not mean that it will automatically be a Student Conduct Process. The Office of Student Conduct adjudicates both types of cases. 

Do I get to pick which process is used? 

  • No, due to the fact that there is set federal criteria regarding what meets the definition of Title IX, students do not get to pick which process they wish to use for their case. 

How is it decided which process a case uses? 

  • The details of each report are reviewed by Title IX and Office of Student Conduct staff to determine which process is most appropriate based on federal criteria. Some of the factors include:
    • Location of incident(s)
    • Act(s) involved in the allegation
    • Who was involved (relationship of reporting individual to the institution) 

Tips Related to Preparing for A Student Conduct Hearing 

Although not required, students are strongly encouraged to prepare for a Student Conduct hearing with the assistance of an advisor of their choosing. It can be helpful to someone to talk out ideas with. These tips are suggestions and not requirements. The CARE Team can NOT provide legal advice of any kind. 

If the student has questions about the hearing process it is best for that student to speak with the Office of Student Conduct. The OSC can go over the expectations of the hearing in detail and answer questions, which is often done in the pre-hearing meeting with a student. 

During the hearing students have three main opportunities to speak. They include the opening statements, questions, and closing statements. Outside of these opportunities students should not interject comments. If a student has a question related to the process they can request the chance to speak with the hearing board advisor. Based on the process (Student Conduct process or Title IX grievance process) the format of these elements of the hearing might look different. 

Prior to the hearing the hearing board will receive the full packet of information provided by the complainant, respondent, witnesses (if applicable) and investigator. Many students prepare statements, notes, and/or questions before the hearing and read them during the hearing. 

Opening Statement: 

The opening statement is the opportunity for a complainant and a respondent to each address the hearing board. 

Some of the ways that students use their opening statements include: 

  • Reminding the hearing board of the key facts of the case
  • Sharing information regarding why the charges are not fitting
  • Share additional information not already in the packet 

Questions you may want to answer in the opening statement

  • What are the important aspects of my experience that I want to explain in my own words?
  • Why are these charges not appropriate?
  • Why is it more likely than not that a violation of the code did not happen? 

Questions:

This is the closest the parties get to directly communicating with each other, however parties are not able to directly question each other. In addition to the other parties involved, the students have the chance to ask witnesses (if applicable) and the investigators questions.

Questions can be helpful when addressing inconsistencies in statements, offer more information about someone's understanding of an event, and clarify comments made. 

Closing Statement: 

The closing statement is the last chance for the parties to speak to the hearing board before a decision is made about responsibility. 

Some of the ways that students use their closing statements include: 

  • Reminding the hearing board of the key facts of the case
  • If there were comments made in the hearing by the complainant you can address them during the closing statement 

Questions you may want to answer in the closing statement:

  • When the hearing board goes into their decision making session, what do I want them to remember?
  • Was there anything I wish I addressed in my opening statement?
  • Is there any additional information I think should be included?
  • How did my behavior not violate the Code of Student Conduct? 

Sanctions: 

If a respondent is found responsible for some or all of the charges the hearing board will ask each of the parties involved about suggestions on sanctions. At this point in the hearing emotions can be running high. It is helpful to plan out what sanctions you would be willing to accept beforehand. Remember this will be the last chance for you to share your thoughts before the hearing board decides on sanctions. Saying “I should not get any sanctions because I am not responsible” is often a missed opportunity. You do not have to agree with the hearing board’s decision to find you responsible to offer suggestions on sanctions.

Important Don’ts: 

  • Do not use personal attacks.
  • The respondent’s past conduct record can not be discussed unless the respondent is found responsible and the hearing transitions into sanctioning.
  • Additional accusation(s) related to sexual violence not connected to case the being heard can not be shared.
  • Parties can’t be asked about past sexual experiences not related to the case being heard.
  • Advisors can not deliver opening or closing statements on a student’s behalf.
  • Rephrasing the same question and asking it over and over again.
  • Avoid telling the hearing board what to do (i.e. “you must find me not responsible”). 

Definitions 

Affirmative Consent

a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

  • Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
  • Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation maybe caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants may be incapacitated, and therefore unable to consent.
  • Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm.
  • When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

Claimant 

Means the person, victim or survivor against whom the alleged violation was committed.

Complainant 

Any individual who has reported being or is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute covered sexual harassment as defined under the Title IX Grievance Policy

Confidential 

Information remains with the student and the source. Source is not obligated to report to Title IX Coordinator or anyone else unless there is imminent concern for safety.

  • Person/office will not disclose what you tell them to anyone else at the University or outside it (unless there is imminent concern for safety). On campus, these resources include health and counseling services and the University Ombudsman. Off campus, these resources typically include healthcare and mental health providers.

Dating Violence

Any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the type and length of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. People may be in a romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; however, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between individuals in a business or social context shall constitute a romantic or intimate relationship. This definition does not include acts covered under domestic violence.

Domestic Violence 

Any felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person sharing a child with the victim, by a person cohabitating with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Formal complaint 

a document including an electronic submission that’s filed by a complainant with a signature or other indication that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging sexual harassment against a respondent about conduct within Binghamton University to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment

Harassment 

Intentionally annoying another person:

  • by following that person in or about a public place or by engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that place a person in reasonable fear of physical injury;
  • by engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person and that serve no legitimate purpose;
  • by communicating or causing a communication to be initiated with a person, by any means, electronic or otherwise, that conveys a threat to cause physical harm to a person or their property; and/or
  • when intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person subjects that person to physical contact or threatens to do the same because of a belief or perception about that person’s race, color, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, national origin and/or ancestry

Students found responsible for harassment that is targeted at a person or group based on factors such as perceived race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristic, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, maybe subject to more severe sanctions.

Hearing Board Chair 

The person designated by the director of the Office of Student Conduct to preside over a Student Conduct Board hearing.

No Contact Order 

a written directive prohibiting contact with a protected individual, directly, through a third party and/or via electronic means. The written directive is mutual and applies both on and off campus.

Notice of Allegation

is a formal notice used in the Title IX Grievance process that provides basic information regarding what a student is accused of doing and must be issued before an accused student can be interviewed in a Title IX Grievance process. 

Preponderance of the evidence 

the standard of proof used in all cases that asks whether it is “more likely than not” that the violation occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the respondent should be found responsible.

Private

Obligated to report known names and facts to Title IX Coordinator. The University may take action.

Person/office is required to disclose what you tell them to the Title IX Coordinator. These resources typically include on-campus offices such as University Police, Case Management, the Dean of Students and most other University employees.

Rape 

The penetration, no m atter how slight, of the vagina, or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the affirmative consent of the victim.

Respondent 

any student accused of violating this Code o f Student Conduct.

  • Respondent - any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that constitute covered sexual harassment as defined under the Title IX Grievance Policy

Retaliation 

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

Sanction 

a requirement or status that is imposed as a result of either accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating the Code o f Student Conduct.

Sexual Act 

contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva or the mouth and the anus; the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Sexual assault 

a physical sexual act or acts com mitted against another person without affirmative consent. Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes w hat is commonly known as “rape” (including w hat is commonly called “date rape” and “acquaintance rape”), fondling, statutory rape and incest. For statutory rape, the age of consent is 17 years old in New York state.

Sexual contact 

The intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Sexual harassment 

Unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature and sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, the University’s educational program and/or activities. Sexual harassment maybe based on power differentials (quid pro quo harassment), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.

Sexual violence 

Physical sexual acts or sexual contact perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual coercion.

Stalking 

Engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Student Conduct Board

A group of persons authorized by the director of the Office of Student Conduct to determine whether a student has violated the Code o f Student Conduct and to recommend sanctions that may be imposed when a rule violation has been committed. Student Conduct hearing boards are comprised of three members. Level I boards are comprised of students. Level two boards are comprised of faculty, staff and students.

Student Conduct Hearing 

The meeting the student will have with a University official or judicial body as a result of being documented in an incident involving alleged policy violations. 

Title IX 

“No person in the United States shall be discriminated against on the basis of sex from any educational institution receiving federal financial aid.”