Other Civil Rights Offenses, When the Act is Based upon the Status of a Protected Class

    • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in a protected class
    • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in a protected class
    • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class
    • Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the College community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the hazing policy) on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class; hazing is also illegal under New York law and prohibited by College policy
    • Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class
    • Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class (this includes romantic relationships, dating, domestic[i] and/or relationship violence)[ii]
    • Stalking[iii], defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class that is unwelcome and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear[iv]
    • Any other College rules, when a violation is motivated by the actual or perceived membership of the victim in a protected class may be pursued using this policy and process. 

Sanctions for the above-listed “Other Civil Rights Behaviors” behaviors range from reprimand up through and including expulsion (students) or termination of employment.


[i] The state of New York defines domestic violence as a pattern of coercive tactics, which can include 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.  This definition is applicable to criminal prosecutions for domestic violence in New York, but may differ from the definition used on campus to address policy violations.

[ii] Examples:

  • Employee A has been in an intimate relationship with Employee B for over a year; Employee A punches Employee B in the face during an argument (Dating Violence).
  • Student A has been in an intimate relationship with Student B for over a year; Students A & B live together. During an argument, Student A shoves Student B to the ground (Domestic Violence).

[iii] The state definition of stalking is applicable to criminal prosecutions for stalking in New York, but may differ from the definition used on campus to address policy violations.  NY Stalking law: 

Penal Code § 120.45. Stalking in the fourth degree. 1999.

A person is guilty of stalking in the fourth degree when he or she 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:

  1. is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted; or
  2. causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of following, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct; or
  3. is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business or career is threatened, where such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at such person's place of employment or business, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct.

Stalking in the fourth degree is a class B misdemeanor.

Penal Code § 120.50. Stalking in the third degree. 1999.
A person is guilty of stalking in the third degree when he or she:

  1. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree in violation of section 120.45 of this article against three or more persons, in three or more separate transactions, for which the actor has not been previously convicted; or
  2. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree in violation of section 120.45 of this article against any person, and has previously been convicted, within the preceding ten years of a specified predicate crime, as defined in subdivision five of section 120.40 of this article, and the victim of such specified predicate crime is the victim, or an immediate family member of the victim, of the present offense; or
  3. With intent to harass, annoy or alarm a specific person, intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at such person which is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear physical injury or serious physical injury, the commission of a sex offense against, or the kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment or death of such person or a member of such person's immediate family; or
  4. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previously been convicted within the preceding ten years of stalking in the fourth degree.

Stalking in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.



NY CLS Penal § 120.55. Stalking in the second degree. 1999. Amended 2003.

A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he or she:

  1. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission of such offense: (i) displays, or possesses and threatens the use of, a firearm, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, slingshot, [fig 1] slungshot, shirken, "Kung Fu Star", dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, dangerous instrument, deadly instrument or deadly weapon; or (ii) displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or
  2. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree in violation of subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article against any person, and has previously been convicted, within the preceding five years, of a specified predicate crime as defined in subdivision five of section 120.40 of this article, and the victim of such specified predicate crime is the victim, or an immediate family member of the victim, of the present offense; or
  3. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previously been convicted of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision four of section 120.50 of this article against any person; or
  4. Being twenty-one years of age or older, repeatedly follows a person under the age of fourteen or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place such person who is under the age of fourteen in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death [fig 1] ; or
  5. (Added, L 2003) Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree, as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 of this article, against ten or more persons, in ten or more separate transactions, for which the actor has not been previously convicted.

Stalking in the second degree is a class E felony.



Penal Code § 120.60. Stalking in the first degree. 1999. Amended 2000.

A person is guilty of stalking in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision three of section 120.50 or stalking in the second degree as defined in section 120.55 of this article and, in the course and furtherance thereof, he or she:

  1. intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to the victim of such crime; or
  2. commits a class A misdemeanor defined in article one hundred thirty of this chapter, or a class E felony defined in section 130.25, 130.40 or 130.85 of this chapter, or a class D felony defined in section 130.30 or 130.45 of this chapter.

Stalking in the first degree is a class D felony.

[iv] Examples

  • Employee A recently ended an intimate relationship with Employee B. For the past three weeks, B has been sending A 100 text messages per day and waits by A’s car at the end of each day to beg and plead with her to take him back. When she refuses, he loses control, makes threatening gestures, and tells her she will regret this.  Employee A indicates she is fearful of what B might do to her (Stalking).
  • Mark is a student on campus who has always been fascinated by women who dye their hair.  One day, he notices MaryLou, whose hair is dyed a very bright purple.  He follows her home to see where she lives, and begins to track her history, actions and movements online.  His fascination increases to the point where he follows her frequently on campus, takes pictures of her without her permission, and spies through her window at night with a long-range camera lens.  He wants to have her beautiful purple hair for his own, so that he can stroke it whenever he wants.
edit