Focus on Education
5:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

SUNY reaches agreement to improve its sexual assault policy

SUNY has agreed to make improvements to obeying Title IX when dealing with sexual assaults. That agreement was reached last November according to an Albany report. Last week, in WBFO's Focus on Education report, we reviewed the University at Buffalo's policy that already follows many federal recommendations. 

This past spring a federal probe revealed 55-college campuses violating Title IX, including SUNY Binghamton.  Federal investigators have deemed some of the SUNY campuses as quote a "sexually hostile environment."  SUNY is working aggressively to make sure it educates new students and calls on other students to assist if they see an act occurring on campus. 

Last week we spoke with UB’s Sharon Nolan Weiss,  director of the University's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  She also serves as coordinator of Title IX at the University.  Weiss noted that SUNY has been addressing issues that have occurred at other campuses.

"SUNY Counsel's Office has been really very good in terms of creating a Title IX list serve and a compliance list serve, and providing information to campuses," said Nolan Weiss. "There has been a much more robust effort."

UB's South Campus in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

UB has its student own "code of conduct" and its discrimination and harassment policy. 

"How are we making sure that we're doing everything that we can do and should do in order to make sure we handle these cases fairly, in a way that supports the victims and is also fair to people who are accused," said Nolan Weiss. 

It also enforces mandatory Haven training, for all incoming freshman and transfer students.. That talks about sexual assault, relationships, consent, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence and also bystander intervention," said Nolan Weiss.

UB believes it has promoted as a "very transparent" policy.  Other SUNY Schools including Fredonia say told the Capital, an Albany publication, it is working on a "survivors checklist".  SUNY Cortland created a program called "Speak Up, Speak Out.