Federal and state laws require that institutions of higher learning in New York State provide students with information regarding health, safety, rights of privacy, affirmative action policy, academic policies, financial aid information and policies related to students with disabilities. This Student Handbook is a compilation of policies and other information pertinent to your educational experience at the SUNY College of Optometry.
The SUNY College of Optometry and the State University of New York reserve the right to change programs, policies and requirements published in this handbook. As changes occur, supplemental material or announcements will be made to inform students.
Pursuant to SUNY policy, the College is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment and access to services, programs and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic.
The College’s policy is in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and harassment. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and the New York State Human Rights Law. These laws prohibit discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and other laws, regulations and policies prohibiting discrimination may be directed to: Title IX Coordinator, Mr. Doug Schading; (212) 938-5882 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiries may also be directed to:
The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights,
32 Old Slip 26th Floor,
New York, NY 10005-2500;
Phone: (646) 428-3800
With full deliberation I freely and solemnly pledge that: I will practice the art and science of optometry faithfully and conscientiously, and to the fullest scope of my competence. I will uphold and honorably promote by example and action the highest standards, ethics and ideals of my chosen profession and the honor of the degree, Doctor of Optometry, which has been granted me.
I WILL provide professional care for those who seek my services, with concern, with compassion and with due regard for their human rights and dignity.
I WILL place the treatment of those who seek my care above personal gain and strive to see that none shall lack for proper care.
I WILL hold as privileged and inviolable all information entrusted to me in confidence by my patients.
I WILL advise my patients fully and honestly of all which may serve to restore, maintain or enhance their vision and general health.
I WILL strive continuously to broaden my knowledge and skills so that my patients may benefit from all new and efficacious means to enhance the care of human vision.
I WILL share information cordially and unselfishly with my fellow optometrists and other professionals for the benefit of patients and the advancement of human knowledge and welfare. I will do my utmost to serve my community, my country and humankind as a citizen as well as an optometrist.
I HEREBY commit myself to be steadfast in the performance of this my solemn oath and obligation.
(The Optometric Oath was standardized and adopted by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) in 1986 as a means of encouraging professional ethical behavior.)
This oath is taken by all graduates of the SUNY College of Optometry during their commencement. It is, therefore, incumbent upon each student at the College to exhibit these same qualities and attributes, while matriculating at our institution. Honesty, integrity, professionalism, compassion, unselfishness, competence, decency and a concern for the rights and dignity of all students, faculty, staff and patients will be expected and demanded of students advancing through our curriculum.
This “Student Code of Ethics” was established by the students of the SUNY College of Optometry in 1999 as a way to share a mutual understanding and responsibility for conduct befitting a student of optometry. The intent of this code is to establish the highest standards of ethical conduct for our student body. The student by signing this code will agree to adhere to its principles and demonstrate the professional and ethical qualities that are expected of a student in a health professional program.
It shall be the Ideal, the Resolve and the Duty of Professional Optometric Students:
TO TREAT fellow students, faculty, patients and staff with the respect and dignity that is the right of every human being;
TO HONOR AND ADHERE to the qualities of honesty and integrity as they interact in the classroom, the clinic and in daily routine;
TO KEEP the visual welfare of the patient uppermost at all times;
TO PROMOTE in every possible way, as a group and individually, better care of the visual needs of humankind;
TO ENHANCE continuously their educational and technical proficiency to the end that their patients shall receive the benefits of all acknowledged improvements in visual care;
TO ADVISE the patient whenever consultation or referral seems advisable;
TO HOLD in professional confidence all information concerning a patient and to use such data only for the benefit of the patient;
TO CONDUCT themselves as exemplary citizens;
TO ACT in a fashion that is consistent with the ethics and ideals of a learned profession;
TO PROMOTE and maintain cordial and unselfish relationships with fellow students, faculty, staff and members of their own profession and other professions for the exchange of information to the advantage of humankind;
TO UPHOLD professionalism as has been defined and revered as the standard for all health practitioners.
Formal complaints that are not academic in nature are addressed in the SUNY College of Optometry’s “Formal Complaint Procedure for Students,” below.
In most instances, grievances or issues of concern that students have at the College are addressed informally, often with the assistance of the vice president for student affairs and international programs or another college faculty or staff member. However, a formal complaint may be initiated by any student.
- A formal complaint must be in writing, dated, signed by the complainant and addressed to the vice president for student affairs and international programs. (Please note that only written, dated and signed submissions will be processed as formal complaints; verbal and electronic submissions will not be processed.)
- The vice president for student affairs and international programs has the authority to forward those complaints with merit. If the complaint is against the vice president for student affairs and international programs, the formal complaint can be made to the president of the College.
- Upon receipt, the vice president for student affairs and international programs will forward the complaint to an appropriate College authority, usually another vice president, who has the authority to address the complaint. In certain situations, the vice president for student affairs and international programs may be deemed the appropriate authority to address a particular formal complaint.
- An acknowledgement of the complaint will be sent in writing by the appropriate College authority to the complainant (and a copy will be sent to the vice president for student affairs and international programs) within 10 business days of the date the written complaint is received by the vice president for student affairs and international programs.
- The appropriate College authority will provide a written response to the complainant (and a copy will be sent to the vice president for student affairs and international programs) within 20 business days of the date the written complaint is received by the vice president for student affairs and international programs.
- The complainant has the right to redirect the complaint to the vice president for student affairs and international programs for further action if he or she is not satisfied with the initial response from the appropriate College authority.
Every effort will be made to resolve the complaint in a confidential manner and as expeditiously as possible, however, complete confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed. In the process of handling complaints, certain information may be distributed to appropriate administrators, respondents and/or witnesses in order to investigate, institute remedial actions or to informally resolve the complaint.
Note: Due to the nature of the allegations being brought forth in certain instances, the vice president for student affairs and international programs may determine that certain complaints constitute alleged violations of the “Student Code of Ethics” (as outlined in this Student Handbook.) To resolve these cases, the College’s Judicial Committee may be called upon to conduct interviews, collect statements and possibly conduct hearings. These are not legal proceedings.
Records of Formal Complaints:
Records of formal complaints will be kept for a minimum of five years by the vice president for student affairs and international programs. For each formal complaint received, the following information will be logged and maintained as part of the College’s formal complaint log:
- The date the formal complaint was submitted to the vice president for student affairs and international programs;
- The nature of the formal complaint;
- Copies of the acknowledgment and response (recorded by date) provided to the student from the appropriate College authority and the steps taken by the College to resolve the formal complaint;
- The College’s final decision regarding the formal complaint, including any referral to outside agencies;
- Any other external actions initiated by the student to resolve the formal complaint, if known to the College (such as a lawsuit, EEOC investigation, etc.)
The primary purpose of this document, the Student Conduct Code (also referred to as the Code), is to articulate the values of the SUNY College of Optometry community and to outline behaviors in which students are prohibited from conducting.
As a result of complaint cases, the College, through designated committees appointed by the president, will assure that steps are taken to prevent the reoccurrence of similar complaints. To the extent possible the root cause of the complaint will be identified, policies and procedures will be reexamined and, when appropriate, changed to remedy the occurrence of complaints of similar nature.
The Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code, which follows this Code, outlines the procedures used by the College to enforce the Code.
(a) Campus Community Values
The College is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community will, ideally, choose actions that contribute to this end. Optometry students, and graduate students in Vision Science, are expected to be ethical citizens and to enact responsible behaviors that reflect well upon the College and the professions of optometry and vision science.
SUNY College of Optometry has articulated its community values as Excellence; Leadership; Inquiry: Innovation; Service to Diverse Communities, and Professionalism
Grounded in the community value of Professionalism, the following ethical guidelines have served as time-honored expectations for the behavior by SUNY College of Optometry students:
- To exhibit the behaviors of a health care professional at all times;
- To treat fellow students, faculty, patients, and staff with the respect and dignity that is the right of every human being;
- To put the needs of others before one’s own, in the classroom, laboratory, clinic, and community;
- To honor and adhere to the qualities of honesty and integrity as they interact in the classroom, laboratory, clinic, and community;
- To respect the College’s resources and physical property as assets, shared by the community, to achieve the institutional mission;
- To hold in professional privacy or confidence all information concerning a patient and to use such data only for the benefit of the patient;
- To conduct themselves as exemplary citizens and always represent the College and the profession in a manner consistent with the ethics and ideals of a learned profession; and
- To promote and maintain honest and unselfish relationships with fellow students, faculty, professional colleagues, and patients.
(b) Grounds for Student Discipline
This section of the document outlines particular acts that are forbidden under this Student Conduct Code.
Note: The Student Conduct Code and the accompanying Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code differentiate between non-academic misconduct and academic misconduct. Prohibited behaviors in each of the two general categories are handled differently.
Student behavior that is not consistent with the Code is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, impose appropriate consequences. The following are the grounds upon which student discipline can be based:
(1) Dishonesty, including:
(A) Academic Misconduct: Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic misconduct that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage. These include, but are not limited to, engaging in any action that undermines equity in student assessment and reduces the objectivity of evaluation of student work; appropriating an exam or exam materials without authorization; missing an exam in order to gain an advantage; engaging in collusion with other students or gaining unauthorized assistance on take-home examinations or other assignments; and withholding, removing, or destroying materials needed by other students. Note: Cases of alleged academic misconduct may be handled by the instructor of record of the course, clinic, or lab, under the advisement and with the approval of the department chair and the student’s consent. Cases handled within an academic department shall not result in the accused student receiving a sanction more severe than failing the respective assignment or the entire course, clinic, or laboratory in which the conduct allegedly occurred. This is outlined further in Section (e) of Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code.
(B) Furnishing false information to a College official, faculty member, or campus office
(C) Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a College document, key, or identification instrument, including patient records
(D) Misrepresenting one’s self to be an authorized agent of the College or one of its auxiliaries
(2) Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of College property
(3) Willful, material and substantial disruption or obstruction of a College related activity
(4) Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the College, or infringes on the rights of members of the College community
(5) Willful, material and substantial obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to campus property or an off-campus College related activity
(6) Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a College related activity, or directed toward a member of the College community
(7) Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the College community, including physical abuse, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.
(8) Hazing, or conspiracy to haze
Note: By law, SUNY provides a description of hazing that is governed by this Code. Hazing is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation, or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution. The term “hazing” does not include customary College sanctioned events. Neither the expressed or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident, is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.
(9) Illegal use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and College regulations) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs
(10) Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and College regulations), or public intoxication while on campus or at a College related activity
(11) Theft of property or services from the College community, or misappropriation of College resources
(12) Unauthorized destruction, or damage to College property or other property in the College community
(13) Possession or misuse of firearms or guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals (without the prior authorization of the campus president) on campus or at a College related activity
(14) Unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of any academic materials (including presentations and handwritten notes) to individuals outside the College community or for a commercial purpose
(15) Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including:
(A) Unauthorized entry into a computer or file, for any purpose
(B) Unauthorized transfer of a file
(C) Use of another user’s identification or password
(D) Use of computing facilities, campus network, or other resources to interfere with the work of another member of the College community
(E) Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages
(F) Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal College operations
(G) Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws
(H) Violation of a campus computer use policy
(16) Violation of any published College policy, rule, regulation or presidential order
(17) Failure to comply with directions of, or interference with, any College official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties
(18) Any act chargeable as a violation of a federal, state, or local law that poses a substantial threat to the safety or well-being of members of the College community, to property within the College community or poses a significant threat of disruption or interference with College operations
(19) Obstructing this Code or the Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code, by engagement of any of the following:
(A) Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student discipline matter
(B) Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding
(C) Engagement in any student discipline proceeding in bad faith
(D) Attempting to discourage another from participating in the reporting, investigation, or resolution of any student discipline matter
(E) Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student discipline matter
(F) Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student discipline matter
(G) Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student discipline proceeding
(H) Retaliation against an individual participating in the procedures
(20) Encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to conduct any act that might subject him or her to discipline
(21) Violation of any other written policies and/or procedures, which have been authorized and disseminated to students, of the College, the University Eye Center (UEC), and/or an affiliated site of the College or of the UEC.
(c) Interim Suspension Policy
The health and safety of the College community is of the utmost importance. When an student (who has not been formally charged or who has been formally charged with a misconduct violation) presents a continuing threat to the health and safety of the College community, the College may suspend the student immediately and for an indefinite period of time necessary to attain and review medical or psychological evaluation or pending the outcome of a conduct process, at the discretion of the vice president for student affairs and international programs (VPSAIP).
SUNY College of Optometry’s Interim Suspension Policy may be applied at any time and the application of this policy may supersede the application of other College policies and procedures. A respondent may request a prompt review of the interim suspension by contacting the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) and may submit evidence in support of that request. The process to be followed, and the acceptable grounds for appealing an interim suspension, is outlined in the Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code document.
(d) Procedures for Enforcing This Code
The SUNY Board of Trustees, as per Section 6450 of the New York Education Law, requires that each SUNY campus, under the direction of the campus president, adopt procedures to ensure students are afforded appropriate notice and an opportunity to be heard, informally or formally, before the College imposes any sanction for a violation of the Student Conduct Code.
(e) Application of this Code
Sanctions for the conduct listed in the Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code (this document follows the Code) can be imposed on enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from the College while a disciplinary matter is pending. Conduct that threatens the safety or security of the campus community, or substantially disrupts the functions or operation of the College is within the jurisdiction of this Code regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus. Nothing in this Code may conflict with Section 6450 of the New York Education Law; no action can be taken against students based on behaviors protected by the First Amendment. Free speech is a right of each student; however, time, place, and manner requirements for the utterance of speech is also dictated by the College.
This document, Procedures for Enforcing the Student Conduct Code (also referred to herein, as Procedures), is used by the College to identify, prevent, investigate, and resolve alleged violations by students of the Student Conduct Code (also referred to as Code). The Procedures are internal to the College and are intended to be non-adversarial and educational in their design and application.
The following words and definitions are to be used in relation to procedures, herein:
(1) “Complainant” shall mean an individual who alleges a formal complaint against a student in violation ofthe standards of student conduct.
(2) “College” and “Institution” shall mean the SUNY College of Optometry and all of its programs and affiliated program sites.
(3)“Faculty Member” or “Professor” or “Instructor” or “Adjunct” or “Guest Lecturer” shall mean any person hired, or otherwise retained, by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered to be a member of the faculty. The individual responsible for assigning final grades for an academic course in referred to as the “Instructor of Record”.
(4) “Preponderance of the Evidence” shall mean a measure of proof that a reasonable person would accept as “more likely than not” that a fact is true or an incident occurred. The preponderance of the evidence is the standard of proof during a student conduct hearing to determine the hearing outcome.
(5) “Respondent” or “accused student” shall mean the student accused of violating the standards for student conduct.
(6) “Student” shall mean any person who is taking or auditing courses at the College, or is matriculating in any College program.
(7) “Working Days” shall mean regular working days: Monday to Friday, excluding official College holidays and College Closures.
(b) Administrative Roles
All administrative officials acting to resolve alleged violations of student conduct shall receive appropriate training and be apprised of applicable state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX); Clery Act, VAWA, and FERPA.
Note: For matters related to alleged violations of Title IX, the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure and Process will be followed to resolve such cases, in accordance with its respective time lines, administrative roles, and procedures.
College officials shall act in the various administrative roles to intake, process, investigate, and resolve complaints from members of the College community regarding a student’s alleged violation(s) of the Code or any alleged obstructions to the Procedures used to ensure fairness and impartiality in adjudicating student conduct cases.
The various administrative roles for adjudicating violations of the Student Conduct Code are described below:
(1) Student conduct officer (SCO) is a member of the College administration whose responsibilities are to perform duties as prescribed in the Procedures and has been appointed by the President. The primary student conduct officer shall be the vice president for student affairs and international programs (VPSAIP). In his absence, or if he finds in necessary to recuse himself from a particular case, the senior director of financial aid will serve as the SCO.
(2) Hearing officers: Hearing officers shall consist of the faculty members and students who serve on the College judicial committee, as prescribed by college faculty. Hearing officers shall be free of any conflicts of interest that have the potential to influence the hearing officer’s decisions or conduct and that may impact the resolution of the complaint.
The College judicial committee shall preside over the hearing, weigh the evidence, decide the outcome, and reach consensus on disciplinary sanctions to be imposed against the respondent.
Note: More information about the format of a formal hearing is located in Section (8) of this Procedures document.
The Standard Operating Procedure for Conducting a Formal Hearing, adopted by the College judicial committee, 1) provides a detailed outline of the hearing process; describes the composition of the judicial committee and the term length of its members; and provides the format that the hearing officers use to write their final report.
The judicial committee’s final decisions shall be reported to the VPAA and copied to the VPSAIP.
(3) Title IX coordinator: The Title IX coordinator at SUNY College of Optometry is the director of human resources. In his absence, or if he finds in necessary to recuse himself from a particular case, the assistant director of human resources will serve as the Title IX coordinator.
The Title IX coordinator, has been appointed by the College president to coordinate compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (also referred to, herein, as Title IX) and to ensure compliance with corresponding laws and acts (listed in the note below) that pertain to alleged violations of discrimination and/or retaliation based on gender, and include sex discrimination, sexual harassment,sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking behaviors.
Note: These laws and acts include the following: The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (which amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crimes Statistics Act); (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)) (VAWA); and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act provision, Campus SaVE Act.
The SUNY Optometry Sexual Violence Response Policy and Procedure and the SUNY College of Optometry Students’ Bill of Rights, also located in the Student Handbook, provide detailed information about the rights of complainants who report the types of violations listed under Section (3) of the Procedures.
(4) University Police Department: The University Police Department shall be consulted when appropriate at the discretion of the SCO to protect the health and safety of the College community and when required by law. College officials will cooperate with University Police and outside police investigators as necessary or as required by law.
(c) General Provisions
(1) Advisors: Complainants and respondents have the right to seek advice from an advisor (attorney, clergy, parent, faculty member, or whomever they choose). One advisor, upon request, may be present during hearing, but may not represent or speak on behalf of the respondent or complainant. Should a respondent or complainant request an advisor to be present at a hearing, a written notice indicating the advisor’s name, relationship to the respondent or complainant and contact information must be submitted to the SCO at least 10 working days prior to the hearing. Failure or inability of an advisor to be present at a hearing will not delay the hearing or preclude the hearing from proceeding. Advisors must be approved by the SCO. During the hearing, advisors may be asked to leave a hearing by the hearing officer(s) if the advisor is deemed to disrupt or interfere with the hearing process.
(2) Confidentiality: Information provided to College officials during this process shall be considered private and will only be shared with other College officials and the University Police Department on a “need to know” basis. The College officials will make all attempts to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality; however, College officials must weigh the request for confidentiality with concern for the health and safety of the College community and its members. Confidentiality in all cases, therefore, cannot be ensured.
Note: Distinctions between privacy and confidentiality are provided in the SUNY College of Optometry Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence, located in the Student Handbook.
(3) Retaliation/Intimidation/Harassment: Retaliation, intimidation, or harassment against any complainant, witness or individual involved with the Procedures is strictly prohibited. Attempts to retaliate, intimidate, or harass through verbal, written, or physical means may result in disciplinary action.
(4) Conduct Violations and Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Use Violations: The health and safety of every student at the College is of utmost importance. The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence (including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault) occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct.
The College strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith, or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to the College or to law enforcement will not be subjected to the College’s Student Conduct Code process for violations of alcohol and/or drug use, behaviors occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault.
(5) Parallel Jurisdiction:
Student Conduct Code proceedings are independent from court or other administrative proceedings. Discipline may be instituted against a student also charged in civil or criminal courts based on the same facts that constitute the alleged violation of the Code. The College may proceed before, simultaneously with, or after any judicial or other administrative proceedings, except in cases involving discrimination, harassment or retaliation (including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking). In such cases, the College shall proceed without delay pursuant to SUNY policies, as well as to state and federal policies.
A College community member may file a complaint against a student whom he or she believes is in violation of the Code. Complaints must be filed according to the requirements set forth in this section.
The student conduct officer (SCO) will not pursue non-written complaints except as required by state and federal law or as deemed appropriate by the SCO and other College officials to protect the health and safety of the College community members.
A written paper complaint (email complaint is insufficient) must be filed with the SCO and include:
A. The name of the student in alleged violation of Student Conduct Code
B. The name of the person making the complaint
C. The nature of the complaint and the alleged violation of the Code
D. Details of the complaint, including the dates and times that the alleged violations occurred (dates and times are critical)
E. Signature of the complainant
F. Date when the complaint is filed
A complaint shall be filed within 90 working days of the alleged Student Conduct Code violation to ensure proper fact finding and investigation. Failure to file a complaint within the 90 working days may result in termination of any further processing of the complaint at the discretion of the SCO The timeline to file a written complaint for Title IX violations is 180 days from the date of the alleged.
Note: Complaints of Title IX violations filed after the 180-day period will be tracked and investigated to the extent possible consistent with the College Title IX obligations, including the Title IX coordinator’s duties to identify patterns and address systemic issues.
The SCO will investigate complaints within 30 working days and decide whether to dispose of the complaint, charge a student(s) with the alleged Code violation, and/or impose interim actions to include but not limited to: 1) interim suspension of the alleged student; 2) revoked right of the student from being physically present at the College; 3) issuance of no contact orders with the complainant or other College community members; or 4) other interim remedies to protect the health and safety of the College community and its members.
(3) Appeal of Interim Suspension
A respondent may request a prompt review of the interim suspension by contacting the vice president for academic Affairs (VPAA), and may submit evidence in support of that request.
A respondent suspended on an interim basis shall be given the opportunity to promptly appear personally before the VPAA in order to discuss the following issues only:
A. The reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct, including the matter of his or her identity; and
B. Whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student in the College building, or in the University Eye Center (UEC), or on the premises of a College affiliate location, poses a substantial and immediate threat to College community
(4) Notice of Investigation
Within 10 working days of receiving the complaint, the student conduct officer (SCO) will notify, in writing, the student(s) in alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code that an investigation is underway or will be initiated against him/her.
(5) Notice of Conclusion of Investigation/Potential Charge
Notice will be provided to the student(s) in alleged violation of the Code and the complainant within 10 working days of the conclusion of the investigation by the SCO, stating whether the student(s) will be charged with an alleged violation of the Code or whether the complaint was disposed. A student who will be charged with an alleged violation shall receive a written letter with the following information:
A. The student’s name
B. The specific sections of the Code or Procedures that were alleged to be violated
C. The allegation details that were reported and discovered during the investigation to support the violation
D. Range of possible sanctions to be imposed
E. Notice of the right to be accompanied by an advisor to the hearing
F. Date, time, and location of the scheduled conference or hearing
(6) Notice to Witnesses
Witnesses will be given notice within 10 working days of the conclusion of the investigation asking for their cooperation and appearance at the scheduled conference or hearing.
(7) Informal Resolution
As an educational institution, SUNY College of Optometry contends that students charged with alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code, under normal circumstances, can learn from the disciplinary process and correct their misbehaviors. Accordingly, and at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer (SCO) and with the formal written consent of the respondent, a written complaint may be mediated and resolved by the SCO in lieu of a formal adjudicated hearing by official informal resolution.
A. However, if at any point, prior to resolution of the case, the SCO deems the evidence against the respondent to be so egregious that removing the accused student from the community may be necessary (via suspension or expulsion), the SCO shall terminate the informal hearing process and prepare the case for a formal hearing before the College judicial committee.
B. Upon written consent for an informal resolution, a student waives his or her right to a formal adjudicated hearing; moreover, informal resolutions are final and cannot be appealed.
C. Informal resolution cannot be used to resolve a case of alleged misconduct if prohibited by law under Title IX, VAWA, or other state or federal statutes, or when the alleged misconduct violation is severe enough to warrant possible sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the College (as stated in part A of this section)
D. In cases of alleged academic misconduct, the SCO will confer with the respective department chair before exercising his discretion in the disposition of the case.
Note: Cases of alleged academic misconduct that occur within the context of a particular course, clinic, or lab may be resolved by the faculty member. This is outlined in Section (e) of the Procedures.
A hearing is the formal adjudicating mechanism to resolve an allegation of misconduct by a student. The hearing, intended to be educational in nature, is more prescribed than the informal resolution process and is subject to appeal.
The College judicial committee shall preside over the hearing, weigh the evidence, decide the outcome and reach consensus on disciplinary sanctions to be imposed against the respondent.
Hearings will be closed except to the SCO, the respondent, the complainant (which may be the College) and his or her advisor and witnesses during their testimony. At the discretion of the SCO or the judicial board chair, a UPD officer may be present during the hearing.
The hearing will be recorded or transcribed. Recording will be the property of the College and not distributed except as required by law. No other recordings will be permitted.
Accommodations will be made, at the discretion of the SCO, in consultation with the hearing officers, to allow witnesses to videoconference their testimony.
The student conduct officer will present the evidence discovered during the investigation process that includes, but is not limited to, calling witnesses and reading statements by witnesses who are not present at the hearing.
The respondent will have an opportunity to ask questions of witnesses and, later, present his or her own arguments and evidence.
Evidence will be weighed by the preponderance of the evidence standard to determine the outcome of the hearing.
Legal rules of evidence are not applicable during the hearing. Hearing officers may ask follow up questions or follow up with new lines of questioning.
If a respondent fails to appear, the hearing will proceed without the respondent.
Note: The Standard Operating Procedure for Conducting a Formal Hearing, adopted by the College judicial committee 1) provides a detailed outline of the hearing process; 2) describes the composition of the judicial committee and the term length of its members; and 3) outlines key sections of the written decision report that is written by the judicial committee.
The judicial committee shall issue a written decision report to the VPAA and issue a copy to the VPAIP(SCO), within 30 working days after the hearing. The report shall include the rationale for the decision along with any sanctions to be imposed against the respondent. Suspension from the College and/or expulsion from the College for academic misconduct may be placed on the student’s transcript, at the discretion of the judicial committee.
(10) Notice of Decision to the Respondent
The Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) shall review the written decision report and send notification, within 10 working days of receiving it from the judicial committee, via certified mail, to the respondent’s address on file with the college registrar.
(11) Case Appeals
The respondent may seek an appeal within 15 working days of delivery of the written decision via certified mail. The appeal must be in writing and submitted to the VPAA who will consider granting an appeal in his/her discretion based on the following:
A. New compelling evidence not discovered prior to the hearing
B. The decision was not supported by the evidence
C. Other compelling reason presented by the respondent seeking the appeal
Note: Refer to SUNY Optometry Sexual Violence Response Policy and Procedure and to the SUNY College of Optometry Students’ Bill of Rights for appeal procedures related to cases involving sexual assault,domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Both documents are located in the Student Handbook and provide detailed information about the rights of complainants who report alleged violations of sexual and interpersonal violence.
Sanctions imposed at the conclusion of an initial hearing may not be increased or made more severe, butmay only be lowered or made less severe, at the conclusion of an appeal.
The respondent has no further right to appeal. However, the College president, in his review of a case, may choose to reopen it for a second level of appeal for the same three reasons listed under Section 11 of the Procedures.
(e) Cases of Alleged Academic Misconduct Resolved at the Department Level
(1) Cases Submitted Directly to SCO. Written charges of alleged academic misconduct that occur within the context of a particular course, clinic, or laboratory may be brought by a complainant directly to the Student Conduct Officer (SCO), who will initiate the student conduct process, as outlined in Section (d) of these Procedures to resolve alleged violations by students of the Student Conduct Code. In cases of alleged academic misconduct, the SCO will confer with the respective department chair before exercising his discretion in the disposition of the case.
(2) Cases Handled within Academic Department. Cases of alleged academic misconduct may be handled by the instructor or record of the course, clinic, or lab, under the advisement and with the approval of the department chair, but only with the written consent of the student. Cases handled within an academic department shall not result in the accused student receiving a sanction more severe than failing the respective assignment or the entire course, clinic, or laboratory in which the conduct allegedly occurred.
A. The Student Conduct Code and these Procedures afford the accused student with due process rights, including the right to an investigation, the right to an informal or formal review of the evidence, the right of appeal, and right to appropriate notifications. When the respondent accepts responsibility for academic misconduct at the department level, and/or sanctions for the alleged academic misconduct to be imposed by the department, the student waives his or her right to any further adjudication of the case and will not be granted an appeal.
B. Alleged misconduct reviewed by the instructor of record and the department chair that is deemed to be so egregious that the misconduct cannot be resolved by the sanctions available to the department (failure of the respective assignment or the entire course, clinic or laboratory) shall be submitted promptly to the SCO. The SCO will review the evidence and prepare the case for a formal hearing.
C. If the accused student does not consent to adjudication at the department level, or if he or she does not consent to the sanctions to be imposed at the department level, the instructor or record or the department chair may submit the complaint to the SCO as outlined in Section (d) 1 of these Procedures.
(4) Once a resolution between the accused student and instructor or record is reached and approved by the department chair, the department chair shall write a Letter of Academic Misconduct Resolution, which includes the following information:
A. Name of the student respondent
B. Date the letter is written and signed
C. Name of the faculty member who alleged that academic misconduct occurred
D. Name and section number of the course or lab
E. Description of the alleged academic misconduct (as written in Section 1.1.A. of the Code), including the dates and times that the alleged misconduct occurred
F. Brief description of the evidence weighed to determine that misconduct occurred
G. Sanctions imposed by the academic department and accepted by the student
H. Statement of student’s waiver of rights to further adjudication of the case, including waiver of appeal
I. Signatures of the department chair, the faculty member, and the student respondent.
The Code and Procedures, together, provide the College with a mechanism to consider an accused student’s entire set of circumstances, including whether the reported instance of academic misconduct is part of a pattern of misconduct. Accordingly:
(5) After a resolution between the accused student and the instructor of record is reached and approved by the department chair, the department chair shall promptly send the original Letter of Academic Misconduct Resolution to the Office of the VPAA, and send copies to the SCO, to the respondent, and to the instructor of record.
(6) When the Letter Academic Misconduct Resolution is received by the Student Conduct Officer, the respondent shall be placed on disciplinary probation, as defined in Section (f) of the Procedures with the condition that any further violation of the Student Conduct Code or the Procedures will likely result in more severe disciplinary sanctions.
(f) Possible Sanctions
The following sanctions, as well as others that are not listed here, may be imposed for violation of the Student Conduct Code:
Academic Departmental Sanctions. Alleged student conduct violations that are handled by an academic department result in sanctions that include failure of a respective assignment, or failure of the entire course, clinic or laboratory, but do not include suspension or expulsion from the College.
Educational and Remedial Sanctions. Assignments, such as work, research, essays, service to the College or the community, training, counseling, or other remedies intended to discourage a repeat of the misconduct or as deemed appropriate based upon the nature of the violation.
Restitution. Compensation for loss, damages or injury. This may include appropriate service and/or monetary material replacement.
Loss of Financial Aid. Scholarships, loans, grants, fellowships, and any other types of state financial aid given or guaranteed for the purposes of academic assistance can be conditioned, limited, cancelled or denied.
Denial of Access to Campus or Persons. A designated period of time during which the student is not permitted: (i) on College property or specified areas of Campus or (ii) to have contact (physical or otherwise) with the complainant, witnesses or other specified persons.
Disciplinary Probation. A designated period of time during which privileges of continuing in student status are conditioned upon future behavior. Conditions may include the potential loss of specified privileges to which a current student would otherwise be entitled, or the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any College policy during the probationary period. Disciplinary probation shall be tracked by the student conduct officer.
Suspension. Temporary separation of the student from active student status or student status.
Expulsion. Permanent separation of the student from student status from the College. Expulsion shall be entered on the student’s transcript permanently without exception; this requirement shall not be waived in connection with a settlement agreement.
Multiple Sanctions. More than one sanction may be imposed for a single violation.
The University Eye Center is licensed as an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center regulated by the New York State Hospital Code in accordance with Public Health Law 2803. Below is a summary of regulations pertinent to your role as a student-provider of health care services at the University Eye Center:
- In accordance with New York State Department of Health regulation an annual health status assessment must be provided by all staff (including students) to assure freedom from a health impairment, which is of potential risk to patients. The assessment must include documentation of a Tuberculosis status by PPD (Mantoux skin test) or other means annually and a health status assessment.
- Services must be provided without regard to age, race, color, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, sex, national origin or sponsor.
- A method for promptly handling patient complaints must be followed. (Note: All written patient complaints should be forwarded to your respective clinical supervisor.)
- Prompt follow-up action must be taken for patients with abnormal test results or physical findings.
- Cases of suspected child abuse or maltreatment must be identified, assessed, reported and referred; victims of domestic violence must be identified and treated.
- Patients must be granted access to their health care records in accordance with the provisions of Section 18 of the Public Health Law. (Note: Under no circumstances is staff to provide copies of any portion of a health care record directly to a patient or qualified person.)
- Participation is required in the University Eye Center’s quality assurance activities at the request of your clinical supervisor.
- Report any occurrences that disrupt the provision of patient care services or cause harm to patients or staff, equipment malfunctions during treatment or diagnosis or patient transfers to a hospital.
THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HEREIN IS ONLY REPRESENTATIVE OF THOSE REGULATIONS IMPOSED ON OUR FACULTY PURSUANT TO THE NEWYORK STATE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE EXHAUSTIVE. PLEASE DIRECT ANY QUESTIONS TO CLINICAL ADMINISTRATION.
Mandatory Student Immunizations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella
All SUNY College of Optometry students will be required to provide proof of adequate immunization against measles, mumps and rubella as a condition of enrollment at the College. The mandatory health policy was instituted to comply with New York State Public Health Law 2165, which was passed in June 1989, requiring full-time students attending colleges and universities in New York State to demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps and rubella. Proof of immunity consists of a certificate of immunizations signed by a physician or health care provider which documents measles, mumps and rubella immunity. The certificate must specify the type of vaccine and the dates (month, day, year) of administration or the date of disease diagnosis, if any, or the date of serologic testing and results, if any. A student health record from a previously attended school, which properly documents the immunization history previously described, is acceptable as proof of immunity.
Requirements for registration and attendance include completion of the SUNY College of Optometry Student Health Form containing the following information:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Tuberculin test (within one year)
- If tuberculin test is positive, a chest x-ray recording the results, date and place of the examination isrequired.
- Proof of two doses of measles vaccine, and one dose each of mumps vaccine and rubella vaccine orserological evidence of antibodies.
- The Hepatitis B vaccine (three shots) is strongly recommended but not required. You are, however,required to notify the College if you have received the vaccine, if you will be receiving the vaccine or if you do not wish to receive the vaccine.
If a student does not comply or does not present acceptable evidence of compliance, the College must refuse to allow the student to continue in attendance.
Information about Hepatitis B and the Vaccine (Recombinant)
All students should be aware of the signs and preventability of Hepatitis B. Since medical history and examination cannot reliably identify all patients infected with Hepatitis B (HBV) or other blood-transmissible pathogens, barrier safeguards should be used by all individuals that provide care to patients at the University Eye Center.
Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis) is a disease that is more common in hospital workers than it is in the general population. Those at the highest risk are those whose jobs may result in direct contact with blood, such as patient care workers in emergency rooms and dialysis units, as well as technicians in blood banks and coagulation laboratories.
Though optometric student interns are not in this “highest risk” category, they are entering into a profession in which direct patient contact is necessary. This will be true as you rotate through the various clinics at the University Eye Center and various satellite facilities. Since there is always the possibility of infection, no matter how slight, and because this particular disease has received considerable public health attention, the College wishes to make you aware of the options available, should you wish to avail yourself to them. Most individuals who get Hepatitis B have either no symptoms or only a mild illness. Many, however, will be sick enough to be temporarily disabled and a few will have severe life-threatening illness. In addition, some people who recover from the attack will become carriers of the virus (a condition in which they may infect others) and some will develop chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.
In the trials of the Hepatitis B vaccine, it was given to several thousand individuals. The major side effects were mild soreness at the injection site and slight fever. Rash, nausea, joint pain and fatigue were rarely reported. Reactions were seen no more frequently than when a placebo (an injection that did not contain vaccine) was given. However, it is possible that unanticipated side effects may appear that were not seen when the vaccine was under study. These side effects may be unimportant or serious, but there is a very real danger that without vaccination, a substantial number of people will develop Hepatitis B and some have serious complications from that disease.
For effective immunity, a total of three injections are needed (two primary injections and one booster). The first two injections are given one month apart and the booster is given six months after the first injection. More than 95 out of 100 people who receive all three injections will become immune to Hepatitis B. Experience indicates that the immunity lasts at least five years and may be lifelong, though it is too early to be sure. Those who do not respond to the vaccine will be susceptible to Hepatitis B.
If you are allergic to yeast, you may not receive the vaccine. Also, if you have a low grade virus (i.e. aches, fatigues, etc.), it is better to wait until your symptoms pass before getting the vaccine. If you are pregnant or a nursing mother you may not wish to get the vaccine because Pregnancy Category C Animal Reproduction studies have not been conducted and it is not known whether the vaccine is excreted in human milk. It is recommended that you consult with your physician for more information about this disease and the vaccine.
The SUNY College of Optometry respects the rights of individuals to observe their religious beliefs. Faculty, staff or students will be excused from classes and UEC clinics for religious observances in accordance with New York State Education Law, Article 5 Section 224-a.
Excused absence from clinic for religious observances requires advance notice to the appropriate UEC Service Chief at the beginning of the term to facilitate coverage and rescheduling. For academic courses, faculty must notify their Department Chair and students must notify the Instructor of Record at the beginning of the term so that examinations and other assignments will not be scheduled on religious holidays if possible. Students are always responsible for any missed material, requirements, labs or clinics and must ensure that any missed examinations or assignments are excused and made up. Faculty and Service Chiefs must make reasonable and equitable accommodations to students when assignments are made up. Faculty must take vacation leave for missed days.
New York State Education Law, Article 5
Section 224-a. Students unable because of religious beliefs to register or attend classes on certain days.
- No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
- Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
- It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
- If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o’clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or make up classes, examinations, study or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.
- In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.
- Any student, who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.
- 6-a. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.
- As used in this section, the term “institution of higher education” shall mean any institution of higher education, recognized and approved by the regents of the university of the state of New York, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree or diploma. Such term shall not include any institution which is operated, supervised or controlled by a church or by a religious or denominational organization whose educational programs are principally designed for the purpose of training ministers or other religious functionaries or for the purpose of propagating religious doctrines. As used in this section, the term “religious belief” shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 of the United States Code.
The service and consumption of alcoholic beverages at SUNY College of Optometry are governed by the New York State Alcohol Beverage Control law and other laws of the State of New York. Based on such laws,policy is as follows:
- Alcoholic beverages may not be brought into the College’s building unless formal, written approval is obtained in advance from the vice president for student affairs and international programs
- No person shall be served alcoholic beverages on campus to consume on campus or elsewhere:
- If that person is, or appears to be, under the age of 21;
- If that person is, or seems to be, intoxicated or is known to the server to be a problem drinker.
- The individual group or groups sponsoring an event at which alcoholic beverages are served (the sponsor) shall be responsible to make sure that all New York State laws and regulations and all SUNY College of Optometry rules and regulations regarding the sale, use, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages are observed at such an event. This responsibility shall include, without being limited to, the following:
- Items in this policy as stated above;
- Instruction by the sponsor to the person or persons actually serving alcoholic beverages at the event that they shall not serve or sell alcoholic beverages to any person who is or appears to be intoxicated, who is known by the server to be a problem drinker or who is or appears to be under the legal drinking age.
This policy is applicable to all events at which alcoholic beverages are served at the SUNY College of Optometry. In addition, specific policies, procedures and regulations governing particular facilities or populations will be developed by the persons or offices authorized to do so, in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs and International Programs or Human Resources.
The SUNY College of Optometry is committed to the development and maintenance of a drug-free environment. In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the College will not tolerate the abuse of alcohol or the unlawful possession, distribution and use of controlled substances and alcohol on the SUNY Optometry campus.
It is the position of SUNY Optometry that the abuse of alcohol and/or the illegal possession or use of other drugs adversely affects the College community’s pursuit of its educational and patient care goals.
Furthermore, as a state-supported institution, it is the responsibility of the College to uphold both state and federal laws.
Compliance with the College Policy on Drug and Alcohol Abuse shall be a condition of attendance at the SUNY College of Optometry.
Any student convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in or on property owned or controlled by the SUNY College of Optometry is required to give a signed, written notice of the conviction to the chief of University Police within five calendar days following the conviction.
Students who violate the policy may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the College code of conduct. Possible disciplinary action includes probation or dismissal from the College. Further, violators may be required, as a condition of continued attendance at the SUNY College of Optometry, to participate in an approved drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.
The SUNY College of Optometry will notify the appropriate federal agency, when applicable, within 10 days of notice of a student conviction. In addition to College sanctions, violators may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal and state laws which specify fines or imprisonment for conviction of drug related offenses. Where appropriate or necessary, the College will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies.
Federal penalties and sanctions for the illegal possession of a controlled substance are detailed in the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 811, 844, 853.)
For the first conviction, imprisonment may be imposed up to a year and fines issued of at least $1,000. There are special sentencing provisions for the possession of crack cocaine that mandate at least five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
New York State Penal Law Article 220 set criminal penalties for possession or sale of controlled substances considered harmful or subject to abuse. The seriousness of the offense and penalty imposed upon conviction depend upon the individual drug and amount held or sold. Marijuana is placed in Article 221 and is dealt with separately in the Penal Law, as a result of the Marijuana Reform Act of 1977.
Section 220.44 makes criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near educational facility grounds a Class B felony.
220.45 makes criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument a Class A misdemeanor.
220.46 makes criminal injection of another person with a narcotic drug—with consent of that person, a Class E felony.
220.50 bans possession or sale of drug paraphernalia; deals with things that dilute drugs, like dextrose or mannite; and gelatin capsules, plastic envelopes, etc., considered commercial preparation materials, a Class A felony.
220.60 makes criminal possession of certain “precursors” of controlled substances used in their preparation or manufacture, but not the drugs themselves, a Class E felony (for example, ergot or diethylamide).
220.65 makes criminal sale of a prescription for controlled substance a Class C Felony. It is important to be aware that under the Penal Law, a gift of drugs, including marijuana, is treated as a sale.
220.70 makes criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material with the intent to unlawfully produce, prepare or manufacture methamphetamine a class A misdemeanor.
The amendments to Article 5 section 65-b and 65-c of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (Chapters 225, 586 and 592 of the Laws of 1989) provide:
Effective January 1, 1990, persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing any alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume the beverage. Exceptions are provided for the consumption in an institutional setting and in cases where the alcoholic beverage is provided by a parent or guardian.
Violators are subject to a fine of up to $50 per offense but are not subject to arrest. Alcoholic beverages involved in the alleged violations of this law may be seized by authorized law enforcement officials including University Police officers. Disposal and destruction of the seized alcoholic beverages are also authorized but cannot be carried out until three days after the initial appearance date, unless otherwise ordered by a court. Effective November 1, 1989, persons under the age of 21 who present falsified or fraudulently altered proof of age for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages are guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of up to $100 and a community service requirement of up to 30 hours. In addition, the court may order completion of an alcohol awareness program established pursuant to section 19.25 of the mental hygiene law.
Effective October 19, 1989, a person under the age of 21 who presents an altered New York State drivers license for the purpose of illegally purchasing an alcoholic beverage may be subject to a suspension of that driver’s license for up to 90 days and may also be required to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a restricted use driver’s license following the suspension.
For more information visit: http://ypdcrime.com/abc/article5.htm
SUNY State College of Optometry Tobacco-Free Policy
This tobacco-free policy has been developed to comply with the requirements of federal, state, city, and SUNY’s initiative towards healthy living and a healthier NY. In addition, the policy is developed to promote a healthy, productive, respectful, safe, and sustainable environment and to protect all members of the College Community, including visitors and University Eye Center (UEC) patients, from secondhand smoke – an established cause of cancer and respiratory disease.
Smoking and the use of tobacco products is prohibited within the building and outside the building within the property line on sidewalks both at the 42nd and 43rd street sides of the building. In addition, as we focus on a tobacco-free environment any product that looks like a cigarette (including electronic cigarettes) or is used to inhale, smoke, chew tobacco is included in this campus ban. No Smoking/Tobacco signs have been visibly posted at all points of entry into the College and prominent locations within the building.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, visitors, contractors, volunteers, and UEC patients. The effective date is June 1, 2015. The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of smokers and nonsmokers. All students, faculty, and staff collectively share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy. Copies of this policy shall be distributed to all faculty, staff, and students.
Any person who violates this policy may be subject to corrective action through established College procedure for handling work-related misconduct or Student Code of Conduct violations.
Smoking Cessation Opportunities:
The College encourages all smoking members of the College Community to quit smoking. Smoking cessation information is available from the New York Smokers’ Quit Line at 1-866-NY QUITS (1-866-697-8487), New York City 311, and or Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership (646-619 6694).
Any questions with regards to this smoke-free policy should be directed to the Environmental Health & Safety Office at 212 938 5581 or Committee on Health, Safety, & Energy Conservation at 212 938 5578.
- “Electronic Smoking Device” means any product containing or delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that can be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the product. The term includes any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen, or under any other product name or descriptor.
- “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.
- “Tobacco Product” means any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, blunts, clove cigarettes, or any other preparation of tobacco; and any product or formulation of matter containing biologically active amounts of nicotine that is manufactured, sold, offered for sale, or otherwise distributed with the expectation that the product or matter will be introduced into the human body by inhalation; but does not include any cessation product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating.
If the College is (or will be) impacted by severe weather conditions, or in the event of a major emergency that poses an ongoing or continuous threat to the College community, information will be disseminated in the following manner:
- The College Website - http://www.sunyopt.edu
- Recorded message on the College’s main telephone number: 212-938-4000
- First Class Electronic Mail News Alerts
- SUNY Alert Emergency Mass Notification System
- Local news media: WCBS radio: www.wcbssnow.com/closings/orgs
On Campus Emergencies
The University Police should always be notified first for any on-campus emergencies in order to facilitate a proper and prompt response. Moreover, many situations are able to be resolved by University Police officers.
Dial 5555 for any emergencies, suspicious behavior, accidents, injuries or campus safety issues to contact theUniversity Police.
For non-emergencies, dial 5566
Off Campus Emergencies
Accident - New York City Police 911
Injury & Medical - NYC Emergency Medical Services 911
Crime in progress - NYPD 911
Rape or Sexual Assault - Report Hotline (212) 267-7273
Crime Victim - Victim Services (212) 577-7700
Crime Victim - Claims (718) 923-4325
Terrorism - Tips Hotline 1-888-NYC-SAFE 1-866-SAFE-NYS
Campus Safety Information
Campus crime statistics for the past three years can be found on the College’s website here:
http://www.sunyopt.edu/offices/university_police/crime_report. All members of the College community are urged to report criminal incidents, emergencies and suspicious activities to the University Police Department. The College’s emergency number is 5555. Incidents can be reported as follows:
- When you dial x555, a University Police Officer will immediately respond to investigate and act upon the emergency that you report. Once the emergency has been stabilized, the officer will take a statement from the person reporting as part of an official University Police “Service and Regulatory Report.” This report will then be kept on file.
- Incidents can also be reported in person to an officer at the University Police desk located on the first floor. A University Police Officer will immediately respond to apprehend the perpetrators, if a crime has been committed. A “Crime Incident Report” will be completed for all criminal offenses. In some instances, depending on the severity of the crime, the New York City Police Midtown Precinct South will be called for assistance.
Security and Access to the SUNY College of Optometry
There are two entrances into the College, one from 42nd Street and one from 43rd Street. Both entrances are secured by University Police personnel. The main entrance is on 42nd Street. The 43rd Street entrance closes at 7pm on weeknights and throughout the weekend. All students, faculty and staff are issued identification cards that must be shown when entering the building and worn on their outermost garment. Visitors are checked against the expected guest list for the day. The desk officer then issues a visitor’s pass after a visitor is cleared. Patient’s access into the college is limited to the clinical floors only. Patients are issued colorcoded passes, which differentiate them from other visitors to the building.
The college is open as follows:
Monday - Friday, from 7:00am – 10:00pm
Saturday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sundays (only during academic session), 10:00am – 6:00pm
The College is closed on all New York State holidays
SUNY University Police Officer Status and Responsibilities:
SUNY University Police Officers are responsible for enforcing applicable city, state and federal laws as well as SUNY policies and College regulations. In order to do so, University Police Officers have full police officer status and have undergone required basic training for police officers through standards set by the Municipal Police Training Council and the State University of New York. Officers have been trained as first responders to both medical and non-medical emergencies, conflict resolution and undergo continuous training to upgrade their skills.
A University Police Officer has the power to make an arrest on the College’s premises up to the perimeter of the building. If an individual is arrested at the College, the NYPD Midtown Precinct South will be contacted for assistance to transport the arrested individual to be fingerprinted and photographed at the precinct. A “Crime Incident Report” will be filled out at the College and forwarded to the appropriate authorities. Communication is made to students and employees on how to handle and report crimes through the offices of Student Affairs and International Programs, Human Resources and the University Police.
The SUNY College of Optometry maintains a memorandum of understanding with the NYPD regarding mutual assistance and cooperation with investigation and enforcement of laws. Criminal activities that occur off campus should be reported to the NYPD precinct with jurisdiction in the local area.
The memorandum of understanding with the NYPD details mutual cooperation with each institution during incidents of missing persons and violent felony crimes. Areas of cooperation include investigations, information sharing and reporting. Firearms and dangerous weapons of any type are not permitted on campus. It is a violation of State law and College policy to intentionally use, possess or sell firearms or any dangerous weapon on campus.
Sensitive and/or Personal Crimes:
An annual awareness talk on prevention of crimes, importance of support services and assistance to victims of sexual assault and other personal crimes is presented by the University Police.
Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
The College’s emergency Response Plan is available on the University Police website: http://www.sunyopt.edu/offices/university_police/emergency_response
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.
Sexual Harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, as clarified by the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988. Sexual harassment takes many forms, from constant joking to physical assault. It includes sexually oriented verbal kidding or abuse, including derogatory or dehumanizing gender references, such as whistling, catcalls or sexual remarks or jokes. It may be subtle overt pressure for sexual activity; physical contact such as patting, pinching or constant brushing against another’s body.
Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.
Hostile environment is unwelcoming and demeaning behavior that creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment, or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance. For Title IX purposes, the conduct must be sufficiently serious that it adversely affects (denies or limits) a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program based on sex.
Pursuant to SUNY policy, the College is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment and access to services, programs and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status or criminal conviction. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the College community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law, or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic.
The College’s policy is in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and harassment. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and the New York State Human Rights Law. These laws prohibit discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and other laws, regulations and policies prohibiting discrimination may be directed to Title IX Coordinator
Mr. Doug Schading, director of human resources and affirmative action
Phone: (212) 938-5882
Inquiries may also be directed to the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights
32 Old Slip 26th Floor,
New York, NY 10005-2500
Phone: (646) 428-3800
Sexual Assault, Rape, Stalking and Domestic Violence
New York State statutes define sexual assault in various degrees. Sexual assault, of any kind is a crime. Sexual assault is any actual or attempted nonconsensual sexual activity including but not limited to, forcible anal or oral sex, attempted intercourse, sexual touching, exhibitionism by a person(s) known or unknown to the victim.
Rape is the act of sexual intercourse with a person against one’s will and consent, whether their will is overcome by force or fear resulting from the threat of force, or by drugs administered without consent, or when they are unconscious, intoxicated or otherwise physically unable to communicate willingness. Be aware that having sex with someone who is unable to give consent by being mentally incapacitated or unconscious (passed out) is rape. If you are a victim of a rape or sexual assault, seek medical attention immediately. It is also suggested that you do not: bathe or douche, change clothing, comb your hair, or brush your teeth or disturb the area in which the crime occurred. These actions destroy physical evidence that may be necessary to apprehend or convict the attacker.
Stalking occurs when a person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or reasonably should know that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable fear of harm to the health, safety or property of such person, a members of such person’s family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted.
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive tactics which includes physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim. Intimate partner includes: persons legally married to one another; persons formerly married to one another; persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons are married or lived together at any time; couples who live together or persons who are dating or who have dated in the past, including same sex couples.
For more information about the College’s Domestic Violence Policy and Prevention Procedures, please visit: http://www.sunyopt.edu/offices/human_resources/policies_and_procedures
SUNY Optometry Sexual Violence Response Policy and Procedures
Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence
SUNY College of Optometry Sexual Violence Victim/Survivor Bill of Rights
Registered Sex Offenders
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) maintains a sex offender registry. DCJS will notify University Police if and when a registered sex offender enrolls at or becomes employed by the SUNY College of Optometry. Any member of the College community interested in obtaining this information should inquire at the University Police information desk. The DCJS’ Sex Offender Registry Subdirectory is available for public view at: http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/search_index.htm
Important Phone Numbers
Sex Crimes Report Hotline - 212-267-7273
Crime Victim’s Hotline - 646-610-RAPE
Crisis Counseling and Referral Hotline - 212-532-2400
Safe Horizon - 212-227-3000
NYS Crime Victims Board - 800-247-8035