Title IX

Title IX

The SUNY College of Optometry prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, pregnancy, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction, and all other protected categories under federal and state laws in the administration of any of its policies, programs, activities or employment.

Retaliation against a student, employee or any witness who reports discrimination and/or participates in any College investigation is prohibited. Retaliation is also prohibited against any individual who files a discrimination complaint or participates in a complaint investigation in any manner. Any substantiated act of retaliation may result in sanctions or other disciplinary action as provided by College Policy, including the Student Conduct Code, Sexual Violence Response Policy, or Title IX Grievance Policy, and/or the disciplinary procedures contained within any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Title IX Grievance Policy

Title IX Coordinator
Guerda Fils
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
212-938-5883
gfils@sunyopt.edu

Title IX Grievance Policy
What is Title IX?
Title IX provides federal civil rights that prohibit sex discrimination in education programs and activities including, but not limited to:

  • Admissions
  • Financial aid
  • Housing facilities
  • Courses, academic research and other educational activities
  • Career guidance, counseling or other education support services
  • Athletics — scholastic, intercollegiate, club or intramural
  • Employment, training for employment or advancement in employment

The protections of Title IX extend to sexual harassment and sexual assault or violence that impairs or interferes with access to equitable educational and employment opportunities. Title IX is applicable to all members of the campus community, individuals doing business with the campus, those utilizing campus facilities, those who engage in volunteer activities or work activities in connection with or for SUNY Optometry. Each school must designate a Title IX administrator to review, update and implement current Title IX policies, to coordinate appropriate training and resources, and ensure effective and timely responses to complaints of sexual violence, misconduct, discrimination or harassment. The Title IX Coordinator or designated deputy coordinator will work with you to gather information on your complaint and provide some resources that may be helpful to you. There are certain immediate steps we can take to help you feel safer, and you may change your mind about participating in this process at any time. Cases are considered individually and prompt review is based on a preponderance of the evidence. If you choose to move forward, the Title IX Coordinator will work with appropriate offices to ensure that the complainant, respondents and witnesses are treated equitably and that respectful and timely communication occurs.

What Should I Report?
The College is committed to ensuring a community that is safe for all who study, work and visit here. We understand that this can be difficult to discuss, but notification to one of the many campus resources is critical to fulfilling our commitment to you. SUNY Optometry encourages individuals to report sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and/or stalking in accordance with Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and NYS Education Law 129B.

Title IX protects students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression or not conforming to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity. Sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, misconduct or violence can take many forms, including any sexual contact that lacks mutual consent, or domestic or dating violence. Sexual harassment may take the form of stalking or the distribution, the display or discussing of any written, graphic, visual or auditory material that is sexual in nature and has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidation or interfering with a person or person’s ability to study or work. It would constitute a violation of College policy, New York State and/or federal law and should be reported immediately. Retaliation against anyone who reports in good faith or participates in the investigative process is prohibited.

Also see SUNY Sexual Assault and Violence Response Resources (click here)

Where can I report an incident?
Contact the Title IX Coordinator or call 212-938-5883

Contact University Police Department or call 212-938-5555

Student Conduct Coordinator or call 212-938-5508

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SUNY Sexual Assault and Violence Response Website

Campus Climate Survey

2019 Sexual Violence Prevention Climate Survey Results:

Consistent with New York State Education Law 129-B and policies of The State University of New York, SUNY College of Optometry participated in the 2019 University-wide Biennial SUNY Uniform Campus Climate Survey (03/25 – 04/22/2019). The Survey gathered information about student and employee experience with sexual and interpersonal violence and knowledge of policies and resources.

88 students and 121 employees completed the survey, for response rates of 22% and 30%, respectively.

In the survey, NO student reported that they were subjected to sexual assault in the prior year. 24% of female students and no male student reported that they were subject to sexual harassment in the prior year. For this survey, included as Sexual Harassment are such acts as: (1) experiencing unwanted sexual comments, sexual slurs, or demeaning jokes; (2) being aware of someone viewing your sexual activity or nakedness without consent, or taking explicit pictures or recordings without your consent; and (3) having received unwanted sexually suggestive digital communications, either words or images or both, including emails, texts, social media communications, or in letters or other written communications. In the survey, 88% of students are aware of the college policies and procedures regarding sexual assault, 83% of students indicated familiarity with affirmative consent, 74% percent indicated that they knew where to report, and 20% could identify the Title IX Coordinator.

SUNY College of Optometry, working with SUNY and community colleagues (including students, faculty, and, staff), will use these data to improve response to violence, develop prevention programs, and will continue to study the issue.

The next Climate Survey will be administered in the Spring Semester of 2021. More information about the Survey is available at suny.edu.

Title IX Informal Resolution Policy

SUNY College of Optometry uses the training materials on this website to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process pursuant to its Title IX Grievance Policy.