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Title IX Grievance Procedure

Students and employees of the College are encouraged to bring any concerns regarding known or suspected instances of sexual harassment or discrimination to the attention of the College's Title IX Coordinator. Please find below an overview of Title IX and the College’s formal grievance procedure for allegations of sexual harassment pursuant to Title IX.

The procedures below were developed under the 2020 Title IX regulations and are in effect until 11:59 p.m., July 31, 2024. As of Aug. 1, 2024, the updated 2024 Title IX regulations and related grievance procedures will be active. The College will follow the appropriate grievance procedures that were in effect at the time of the reported incident(s).

Title IX and Formal Complaint Grievance Procedure


Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits any educational entity that receives federal financial assistance from discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Title IX is one of several laws that govern sexual harassment. If more than one policy applies, SUNY Orange will follow the procedure that is most stringent and provide multiple determinations as appropriated under SUNY Policy and the New York State Education Law.

This policy is solely limited to sexual harassment or discrimination under Title IX pursuant to the 2020 Title IX Regulations. SUNY Orange will modify these regulations pursuant any amendments made by the United States Department of Education.


SUNY Orange does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, and is required by Title IX and its regulations not to discriminate in such a manner. This extends to admission and employment.

Inquiries about the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinators listed below or to the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Education, or both.

SUNY Orange has appointed the following Title IX Coordinators to coordinate its efforts to comply with the requirements with Title IX:

Iris Martinez-Davis, Title IX Coordinator (Employees)
Associate Vice President Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer
Orange Hall, Middletown, NY 10940(845) 341-4662

Madeline Torres-Diaz, Title IX Deputy Coordinator (Students)
AVP for Student Engagement & Completion
Shepard Student Center
(845) 341-4407

SUNY Orange must notify applicants for admission and employment, employees, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with the College that any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information above for the Title IX Coordinator(s), or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such reports may be made at any time by using the contact information above.

SUNY Orange will prominently display the contact information for the Title IX Coordinators on its website and in each handbook or catalog that it makes available to potential applicants for admission and employment, employees, and unions/professional agreements.

SUNY Orange shall not treat applicants or employees differently on the basis of sex, except as permitted by Title IX.

Key Definitions

Actual Knowledge: Notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to a recipient’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the recipient who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the College.

Complainant: An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

“Educational Program or Activity”: Locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, including any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College. The alleged misconduct must occur in the United States of America.

Formal Complaint: A document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the College. A “document filed by a complainant” is a document or electronic submission that contains the complainant’s signature or otherwise indicates that the individual is filing a formal complaint.

Respondent: An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e. quid pro quo);
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity; or
  3. Sexual assault as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

Supportive Measures: Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the recipient’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modification of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus and other similar measures. The College shall maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.

Grievance Procedure

Upon actual knowledge as defined above, the College will not be deliberately indifferent in its response to any complaint of sexual harassment.

Upon actual knowledge of an allegation of sexual harassment, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly meet with the (alleged) complainant to (1) offer supportive measures; (2) review the College’s grievance procedure; and (3) explain how to file a Formal Title IX Complaint. If the (alleged) complainant decides not to file a Formal Title IX Complaint the College shall address the behavior under its Code of Conduct and any other applicable policy/procedure.

Formal Title IX Complaint—Grievance Procedure

If a Formal Title IX Complaint is filed, the College is committed to:

  • Treating both the complainant and the respondent equitably;
  • Requiring an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence—including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence—and provide that credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness;
  • Requiring the individuals designated in all aspects of the process (Coordinator, Investigator, Decision Maker, Appeals Decision Maker, or Informal Resolution Facilitator) are free from a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent;
  • Requiring all individuals designated in all aspects of the process (Coordinator, Investigator, Decision Maker, Appeals, Decision Maker, or Informal Resolution Facilitator) receive training on the definition of sexual harassment, the scope of the College’s education program or activity, how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment on the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias, relevance (for Investigator and Decision Maker), technology for live hearings, and when questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.;
  • Presuming that the respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
  • Including reasonably prompt timeframes for the conclusion of the grievance process. Delays require good cause and written notification to all parties. Good cause may include absence of a party, a party’s advisor or witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or to accommodate a disability.
  • Describing the range of possible disciplinary sanctions and remedies that may be implemented.
  • Following a preponderance of the evidence standard.
  • Providing basses for the complainant or respondent to appeal.
  • Avoiding reliance or required release of information that is privileged, unless the person holding such privilege waives the privilege.

Notice of Allegations

When a formal complaint is filed, the College will notify in writing all known parties regarding (1) the grievance procedure, (2) the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting sexual harassment, and (3) sufficient details and time to prepare for any response and/or initial interview. Sufficient details include known parties, date, time, location, and the alleged conduct.

The written notice will include a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process. In addition, the written notice will include that each party has the right to an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. The advisor may inspect and review evidence. Furthermore, the written notice will remind the parties that they are prohibited from knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If new allegations develop during the investigation that will be investigated by the College, the College will provide written notification of such new allegations. Similarly, if appropriate, the College may consolidate formal complaints. Written notification would be required.

Title IX Team

When a Formal Complaint is received the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the President of the College, shall assemble a trained team to address the Formal Complaint. The team shall be composed of the Coordinator, Investigator, Decision Maker, Informal Resolution Facilitator, and Appeals Decision Maker.

Emergency Removal

The Title IX Coordinator shall be able to recommend immediate removal in emergency situations under the College’s normal procedures for both employees, students, or other individuals who pose an immediate threat to the community.

Dismissal of a Complaint

The College must investigate the allegations in a Formal Complaint. The College is required under Title IX to dismiss a Formal Complaint that (1) would not constitute sexual harassment as defined above; (2) did not occur in the United States; or (3) did not occur in the College’s education program or activity.

The College may dismiss a Formal Complaint, if at any time during the investigation or hearing: (1) the complainant through written notification to the Title IX Coordinator wants to withdraw the complaint; (2) the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the College; or (3) specific circumstances prevent the College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint and allegations.

The College will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the reason(s) why simultaneously to both parties.

Investigation of a Formal Complaint

The College has the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility. The Investigator is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that the College has voluntary, written consent to use treatment records obtained in the investigation;
  • Providing an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence;
  • Not restricting the ability of either party to discuss the allegation to gather and present relevant evidence;
  • Providing the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any grievance proceeding, including but not limited to the advisor of their choice in any meeting or grievance proceeding;
  • Providing written notice to a party of the date, time, location, participants, and any purpose of interviews or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare;
  • Providing both parties an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint, including the evidence the College does not intend to rely on in reaching a determination of responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source. This shall be referred to as the preliminary investigation report. Each party shall have the opportunity to meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation.
    • The Investigator shall send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or hard copy. The parties must have at least 10 days to submit a written response, which the investigator will consider prior to completion of the investigative report. The College shall make all such evidence subject to the parties inspection and review available at any hearing to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross examination.
    • The Investigator shall then have at least 10 days to create a final investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence. The final investigative report shall not reach a determination. It shall be issued at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.

Determination Phase (Hearing)

The College shall provide a live hearing. At the hearing the decision maker must permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and any witness all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. The cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally. If a party does not have an advisor, the College must supply one.

At the request of either party, the College shall provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Decision Maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions. Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. The Decision Maker will determine whether a question is relevant prior to the party or witness answering the question. If a question is determined to be not relevant, the Decision Maker shall explain why the question is to be excluded as non-relevant. Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complaint, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and offered to prove consent. The College shall create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review.

Determination of Responsibility

The Decision Maker, who cannot be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator or the Investigator, must issue a written determination regarding responsibility. To reach this determination, the College shall apply a preponderance of the evidence standard. The written determination must include:

  • The allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any and all notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather evidence, and the hearing;
  • Findings of fact to support the determination;
  • Conclusions regarding the College’s Code of Student Conduct or Employee Conduct to the facts;
  • A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided by the College to the Complainant; and
  • That either party shall have 10 days to appeal the determination of responsibility.

The Decision Maker, through the Title IX Coordinator, shall provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously. The determination of responsibility becomes final either on the date the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.


The College offers both the respondent and the complainant equally the opportunity to appeal the determination of responsibility, and from a dismissal (required or permissive) of a formal complaint or any allegation therein based on the following:

  • A procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and
  • The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, Decision Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

If an appeal is filed with the Title IX Coordinator within 10 days of the determination of responsibility, the Appeals Decision Maker shall:

  • Notify the other party in writing that an appeal has been filed and that the both parties share have equal procedural rights;
  • The Appeal Decision Maker shall not be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, or Decision Maker;
  • The Appeal Decision Maker shall provide both parties with a reasonable, equitable opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome;
  • The Appeal Decision Maker shall not re-investigate the matter. The Appeal Decision Maker will review the final investigative report, the written determination of responsibility, review the hearing transcript/recording and the submissions of the parties on appeal;
  • The Appeal Decision Maker shall issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rational for the result;
  • The written decision shall be provided to the parties simultaneously.

Potential Penalties

If the Respondent is found responsible for the allegations in violation of Title IX, sanctions may include:

  • No contact order;
  • Mandatory Educational Training/Counseling;
  • Loss of privileges;
  • Probation;
  • Suspension for a period of one to four semesters; or
  • Expulsion from the College;
  • For employees: no contact order, mandatory educational training/counseling; loss of privileges; probation; a letter of reprimand, fine/suspension, demotion, or termination from employment.

Informal Resolution

Informal resolution may be available to the parties under certain conditions. An informal resolution process may be utilized any time prior to a determination of responsibility is reached. Both parties must provide voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process. Either party may, prior to agreeing to a resolution, withdraw from the informal resolution process. Informal resolution is not available for instances involving allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.

Informal resolution shall not be required or made a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right, waiver of the right to investigation and adjudication.

When an informal resolution process is utilized the College shall inform the parties of any consequences resulting from participation in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or shared.


The College must maintain for a period of seven years the following records:

  1. Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any recording or transcript, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, and any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity;
  2. Any appeal and the result;
  3. Any informal resolution and the result, if any; and
  4. All materials to train the Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision-Makers, and any other person who facilitates an informal resolution process. Such training materials shall be publicly available on the College’s website.

In addition, the College shall maintain a log of supportive measures taken in response to a report of or formal complaint of sexual harassment. In addition, the log should include documentation to demonstrate that the College was not and did not respond in a manner that was deliberately indifferent.

Advisor Code of Decorum

The role of the Advisor is to provide support for their party, not to represent their Party.

During an interview:

  • The Advisor is not permitted to answer for the Party or ask a question of the The Advisor may not speak for the Party.
  • The Party or the Advisor, may ask for a break when there is not an open question for the Party to
  • The Advisor may not send messages (verbal, non-verbal, electronic, etc.) to the Party during the
  • The Advisor and/or the Party may not record the interview in any way

In regards to the Investigation Report:

  • Preliminary Investigative Report: The Advisor will receive a copy of the preliminary investigation report, and may, with the consent of the Party, assist the Party in drafting a response regarding relevancy of evidence in the report to the Investigator.

The Advisor will receive a copy of the Final Investigative Report.

If a party does not have an Advisor, the College shall provide one during the live hearing. The Advisor, not the party, will have the opportunity to ask questions of witnesses and the other party as part of cross examination.

Throughout the grievance procedure, Advisors are expected to:

  1. Be civil and not engage in behavior that violates collegial standards, such as talking over someone, yelling, interrupting, using in appropriate language, intimidating a participant in any phase of the Title IX grievance process, taking an aggressive stance towards someone (i.e., shaking a fist or standing too close to someone’s face), or any other behavior that is deemed disruptive;
  2. Keep confidential the information shared during investigations, meetings, and the adjudication process;
  3. Not have an active role during any meetings, interviews, or the adjudication phase, unless specifically detailed above;
  4. The College, upon confirmation from the Party, will copy the advisor on communications, as long as the contact information is provided to the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator;
  5. A Party may use a different Advisor at various stages in the The College will work to reasonably accommodate the Advisors’ schedules, but will not unnecessarily delay the process due to the Advisors’ conflicts on more than two occasions;
  6. This is a College Title IX grievance procedure and the process will follow College protocols. The College’s rules and regulations for visitors on College property applies. A meeting/investigation may be rescheduled or continued without the Advisor, if the Advisor’s presence is disruptive, obstructive, or otherwise interferes with the College’s reasonable handling of the matter.;
  7. The College prohibits retaliation against any individual filing a complaint or participating in the investigation of the complaint. An Advisor is subject to this retaliation prohibition. An Advisor may not retaliate against any person participating in this process. To report possible retaliation, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.