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The Marist Community

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the information I share about sexual assault be kept confidential?

CONFIDENTIAL: Communications with some individuals are considered confidential. This means that any information shared by the reporting party with a specific individual will not be used against them in the Title IX process. 

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Generally, confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons/offices on campus:

  • Counseling Service
  • Health Services
  • Ordained Clergy

Office Campus Resources

  • Personal Attorney
  • Victim Advocate
  • Family Services

PRIVATE: Marist is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct. The College will safeguard the identities of the students who seek help or who report sexual misconduct. That is, College employees will seek to keep the information private.

A College employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities. As is the case with any educational institution, the College must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

If my report of sexual misconduct involves alcohol use, will I be punished?

While the College does not condone violations of its policies, reporting incidents of sexual misconduct is import. Thus, the College will not pursue disciplinary action against any person for possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs when that possession or consumption is revealed in the course of a good faith report of sexual misconduct or other good faith statements made in connection with an investigation.

What options do I have for reporting sexual misconduct?

In addition to supporting individual students affected by sexual misconduct, the College takes all incidents seriously and has a responsibility to address misconduct. When sexual misconduct involves criminal behavior, students are strongly encouraged to report the situation to law enforcement. The College will assist the student in notifying local law enforcement if the student so requests. An incident can be reported even if the student has not decided whether to take legal action. Nonetheless, students are always free to report and are encouraged to share instances of such behavior with the Title IX Coordinator, Safety & Security, Dean of Students, and Office of Student Conduct regardless of whether or not they choose to press formal criminal charges with law enforcement.

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the student with a complaint or a witness may have concern that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or other prohibited conduct were involved. Again, the College will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student with a complaint or a witness for their improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct.

The College can take action only if the College is made aware of the behavior. If a College administrator becomes aware of a complaint or other violation of this policy, the administrator should bring the information to the Title IX Coordinator so that concerns are heard and services can be offered to the reporting party.

The College strongly encourages prompt reporting of complaints and information rather than risking any student's well being. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal charges with the College, the College may ultimately be unable to adequately investigate if too much time has passed or if the accused student has graduated. Factors that could negatively impact the College's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence (e.g., prompt medical examinations are critical to preserving the physical evidence of sexual assault), the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.

The College strongly encourages students to report concerns to either or both of the following offices:

  • For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies, or if criminal behavior is involved, students are encouraged to contact the Police by telephone at
    • 845-485-3666 (Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department)
    • 845-451-4000 (City of Poughkeepsie Police Department)

Contacting the Police does not mean you must pursue charges.  The Police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options.

  • To seek assistance and support, or to report misconduct, contact the Title IX Coordinator (845-575-3799)
    • In all situations, the College's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.
    • Student Affairs staff members are available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any College investigation or adjudication process. This staff member is not an "advocate" as that term is used  nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process. Rather, the staff member serves as an "advisor," a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed. 
    • For complaints against other students, faculty, or staff the Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure will govern the process.
    • In situations where a responding party faces both a disciplinary complaint and a criminal charge, the College reserves the right to move forward with an investigative and adjudication process at the same time the criminal process is proceeding.

What are the benefits of reporting a sexual assault to the police?

Contacting the Police does not mean you must pursue charges. The Police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options. The Police can also advise you on safety planning techniques.

For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies students are encouraged to contact the Police by telephone at

  • 845-485-3666 (Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department)
  • 845-451-4000 (City of Poughkeepsie Police Department)

What if I’m an employee at the College and I have become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct?

For Employees: Suggested Steps If You Learn Someone Has Been Sexually Assaulted

As a member of the Marist College community, you may be called upon to provide support to a victim of sexual assault and to refer this person to professional resources. These steps are designed to help you best support and inform someone of the resources available to assist with the person’s physical and emotional needs.

Although we all want to help, please remember that counseling and investigating must be performed by trained professionals employed by the campus to perform those roles.  Please do not engage in investigating, analyzing, counseling or other activities. You are a bridge to connect the student with the appropriate person, who will provide the reporting party with options for support, accommodations and accountability.  We also encourage you to provide the student with immediate information about Health and Counseling Services on campus, which offers confidential service during working hours. A counselor is available 24/7 for crisis. If you are trying to contact the counselor on-call, please contact Safety & Security (845-471-1822, Donnelly 201) and provide a phone number for the counselor to contact you at.

Do your best to ensure that the student knows that you are a mandated reporter before they disclose an incident that you must report.

When necessary, interrupt students to inform them of your role. You might say, “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I want you to be informed about your choices regarding what you tell and to whom this information is reported. There are a number of situations where I am required to report what you tell me to the campus Title IX Coordinator. I’m happy to talk with you, but if you’d like to first explore options for confidential counseling support, accommodations and accountability with someone who can keep your information confidential, here’s a list of numbers you can call.”

Some things to remember about your conversation with this person:

Share the following information:

  • Recognize that it can be an enormous step for someone to talk with another person about a sexual assault and that this person has placed trust in you by revealing the experience. That being said, remember that you are not a counselor, an investigator, or a state-certified victim advocate. Acknowledge the boundaries on your relationship with this person while helping her or him access the resources and assistance that can offer the best support and care.
  • Given the trust the person has placed in you, please respect the person’s privacy. Do not share the person’s experience with others except for the Title IX Coordinator, as explained below.
  • Believe the person, support the person’s choices, and refer the person to the appropriate resources listed below. Very few people lie about sexual assault or rape. In fact, there is severe under-reporting of these crimes. Consider how difficult it is to recount, and by extension, often re-live trauma by talking about an experience of sexual violence. Your ability to listen and respond in nonjudgmental ways can help to change the culture of silence that exists around sexualized violence.
  • You can assure the person that no records or reports of sexual assault are kept in the victim’s permanent academic or personnel records.
  • Finally, in addition to the resources available to the person, there are also resources available to you as an employee. If you feel you need to talk to someone about the impact of this situation for yourself personally, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program.
  1. Let the person know they can contact Family Services (845) 452-1110 (non-emergency scheduling); 845-452-7272 (24/7 Hotline); or visit at 29 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY to speak with a confidential, state-certified victim advocate who is trained to work specifically with victims of sexual assault. The advocate can explain all of the options available to the person and also support the person through any of the next steps, which may include counseling, medical, disciplinary processes, and/or law enforcement notification. If possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call.
  2. Let the person know there are other resources in addition to the advocate. Again, if possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call, or offer to walk with the person to any of the on-campus offices.
    1. Medical Services: the person may want to seek confidential medical attention to care for her or himself or to preserve evidence of the assault in the event criminal charges might be contemplated later. In New York, these exams are free.
      1. Confidential medical care only
        1. Mid Hudson Regional Hospital 845-483-5000
        2. Vassar Brothers Medical Center 845-454-8500
        3. Planned Parenthood (845) 471-1540
      2. Preservation of evidence through forensic exam:
    1. Mid-Hudson Medical Center
      1. Vassar Brothers Medical Center
    2. Counseling Services: the person may want to speak with a professional counselor in a confidential setting.
      1. Student Counseling Services (for students) 845-575-3314
      2. Employee Assistance Program (for employees-HR) 845-575-3349
    3. Law Enforcement: the person may wish to contact law enforcement even if the person has not decided whether to pursue criminal charges. Police can advise the person of options, help preserve evidence while the victim considers those options, and assist in safety planning and consideration. Contacting law enforcement does not mean the person must pursue criminal charges.
      1. Safety & Security 845-575-2282
      2. Town of Poughkeepsie Police 845-485-3666
      3. City of Poughkepsie Police 845-451-4000
    4. Vice President/Dean of Students Office (845-575-3515): a student can speak with the staff for any of the following matters:
      1. Assistance with classes or housing
      2. Information about interim steps to protect the student or campus
      3. Information about the student conduct process
      4. Additional services or resources on campus or in the community
  3. Let the person know that you need to disclose the assault to the Title IX Coordinator for purposes of complying with the Clery Act (a federal law requiring that campuses report and track crime statistics). Report as much about the assault as you can (date, location). To notify the Title IX Coordinator please see the contact information on the left hand side of this page.
  4. Let the person know about the Title IX & Sexual Misconduct webpage -- consider showing the person the web page in your office and printing off a copy. The webpage has many resources and other helpful information for a person who has experienced a sexual assault.
  5. Let the person know you believe and support them, and that you hope they will take some steps to help and care for themselves.

Do let the victim know that you care, using a calm and compassionate tone.

Do say something like, “I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.”

Don’t overly express your own feelings about what happened to them.

Don’t say, “It’s outrageous that you’ve had to experience this!”

Do acknowledge your non-verbal expressions, when appropriate: If a strong emotion flickers across your face as you listen, e.g., if you know that anger passed over your face, do acknowledge it.

Do say (in a calm voice) something like, “If you saw anger on my face I just want you to know that I wasn’t angry at you; I felt anger at the fact that someone would choose to harm you.”

Don’t define their experience for them.

Don’t say, “Well, it sounds to me like you were raped!”

Do use the words the victim uses to describe their experience. If they say rape, don’t interrogate them about what they mean. If they say “taken advantage of” or “violated” use those words, or other general terms such as “harm.” Do validate that what happened to them was not ok. Do say something like, “I am so sorry that person harmed you.”

  • Remember: None of us have the magic words that will support victims in all contexts. Even from the best of intentions we might say something hurtful. If you see that what you said caused the victim to become upset, acknowledge this. You might say something like, “I think what I said just made this harder for you.”

If a Student discloses committing an act of violence:

Call the Title IX Coordinator to let them know that you have reason to believe a student has committed an act of violence. Do not let the student know you are reporting this, as this could interfere with the investigation and/or could result in retaliation.

After fulfilling your obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator, keep the student’s information private:

If the topic of a student victim’s performance or success in the major comes up in department meetings, provide the minimum information you can in order to support the student.

Do say: They are in the midst of a significant crisis.

Don’t say: Since they were raped they have been struggling in my class.

  • Remember: If you need to talk about the impact on you of hearing about a student’s trauma, please call the Employee Assistance Program (for employees-HR) 845-575-3349 for support, rather than speaking to colleagues. Those employees who do not have a legitimate reason to know about the incident should not be told, in order to protect the privacy of the victim.

Why am I encouraged to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President/Dean of Students Office?

The staff can assist a student in filing formal complaints or, if the student does not want to file a formal complaint, the staff can work with the student to address concerns over housing, class assignments or schedules, leaves of absence, withdrawal or other academic concerns. The office staff can also assist the student in notifying local law enforcement, if the student so requests.

The College will make student services staff member available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any College investigation or adjudication process. This staff member serves as a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed. This staff member is not an "advocate" (as described in the policy and procedures) nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process. Rather, this staff member can serve as an advisor. 

In all situations, the College's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.

The College may take immediate interim actions to protect the safety of the community, to enable students with complaints and witnesses to continue studies, and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. These actions may include:

Interim Measures:

  • Interim suspension of the responding party
  • No-contact notices
  • Modifying class or work schedules
  • Making alternate housing arrangements
  • Addressing other academic concerns (e.g., absences, assignments, grades, leaves of absence, withdrawal)

Does it make a difference if the sexual misconduct occurs on or off campus?

No. According to the College's policy and procedures, under the grievance section it is defined that sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as those terms are described below.

On-Campus Violations: The campus includes the geographic confines of the College, including its land, institutional roads and buildings, its leased premises, common areas at leased premises, the property, facilities and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the College, such as the Student Union or College housing. College housing includes all types of College residence housing such as halls and apartments.  Unrecognized housing includes fraternity and sorority chapter dwellings.

Off-Campus Violations: Students should be aware that off campus violations that affect a clear and distinct interest of the College are subject to disciplinary action. As examples, sexual misconduct and harassment are within the College's interests when the behavior:

  • Involves conduct directed at or by a College student, employee, or other member of the College community (e.g., private house party, outside employment);
  • Occurs during College-sponsored events (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, College-related travel, student recruitment activities, internships and service learning experiences);
  • Occurs during the events of organizations affiliated with the College, including the events of student organizations;
  • Occurs during a Study Abroad Program or other international travel; or
  • Poses a disruption or threat to the College community.

Why should I seek medical attention when I haven't decided whether I want to report the assault to the police or the College?

Seeking medical attention can help you in many ways. First, seeking medical attention can help you take care of your own health by checking for injuries, treating those injuries, and addressing the possibility of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.

Second, a forensic medical exam can preserve evidence of the assault. This is important even if you are currently undecided about your next steps because you may later decide to pursue criminal charges or College disciplinary charges - that evidence can help in both situations. A medical exam is not, however, required before pursuing criminal or College disciplinary charges.

In Dutchess County, New York, initial medical exams are free for a person who has been sexually assaulted.

Where can I find information about safety  and crime statistics?

The purpose of the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report is to provide our faculty, staff, students, and visitors with campus security and safety information in order that their experiences at Marist College may be safe and enjoyable. It has been prepared by the Marist College Safety & Security Department and anyone with questions pertaining to this report, or any security-related issue or concern, should contact the Director of Safety & Security at (845) 471-1822.

This report is filed as required by the federal “Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act,” (hereafter referred to as the Campus Safety Act) which was last amended in 1998. The report also includes reporting requirements mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. Collectively, the laws require that Marist College prepare and publish both an Annual Security Report and an Annual Fire Safety Report. Marist incorporates both reports into one main report called the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report. The laws are designed to provide individuals with a better understanding of campus security and safety issues so that they may make informed decisions. Marist has taken a pro-active approach to campus security and safety, is in full compliance with all laws applicable to campus safety, and is pleased to prepare, publish and distribute this report to all current students and employees. This report is also available to any applicant for enrollment or employment at Marist College.