Students share responsibility with the faculty and administration for establishing and maintaining standards of behavior that enhance learning and growth for the entire community. Students are expected to become familiar with the content of the Student Handbook and review the Student Conduct Code, available online for Russell Sage and Sage College of Albany, as well as in the Dean of Students offices on both campuses. The handbooks for each College contain additional information regarding student life, extracurricular activities, and academic policies.
Religious Policy Statement
The Sage Colleges recognize the value of participation in and observance of religious obligations and practices by individual students. No student will be penalized because a religious observance prevents participation in any course requirement. An opportunity will be provided for each student to make any requirement missed for an absence due to religious observance. A student who intends to be absent from classes for a religious observance must notify each instructor in advance and make arrangements to cover missed course materials and to complete the course requirement(s) missed. The College reserves the right to confirm the existence of the observance through an interfaith calendar.
Policies on Alcohol and Other Drugs
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require each educational institution, as a condition of receiving funds or any form of financial assistance under any federal program, to certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs by students and employees.
The Sage Colleges Alcohol and other Drug Prevention Program is designed to:
- Promote student adherence to applicable federal and state laws;
- Stress safety, responsibility, and individual accountability for those who choose to drink alcohol;
- Provide an environment free of coercion for those who choose not to drink;
- Promote an environment that is incompatible with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and in which healthy, low-risk behaviors are emphasized;
- Provide information and education for all members of the college community; and
- Provide counseling and/or referrals to students with substance abuse concerns.
In compliance with these standards, the College must disseminate its Alcohol and other Drug Policies in writing to all students and employees, on a yearly basis. The College will also conduct a biennial review of its program to determine its effectiveness, implement needed changes, and ensure that disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
Each member of the community is responsible for contributing actively to and sustaining a healthy campus environment. Community members are expected to be law-abiding, knowledgeable and thoughtful about decisions regarding alcohol consumption. The College provides information about alcohol use and abuse and urges all community members to become informed consumers or non-consumers.
The College encourages those with concerns about their own or others’ possible difficulties with alcohol and/or drugs to seek confidential and private assistance on or off campus. Such assistance is available through the Wellness Center, the Residence Life or Dean of Students Office for each College, or the Human Resources Office.
Alcohol, Drugs, and the Law
Laws relating to alcohol and drugs exist at all levels of government. As a general rule, federal and state laws prohibit the manufacture, sale, use or possession of illegal drugs, also known as controlled substances. State and local laws are used to regulate behavior related to alcohol. The primary laws regulating behavior related to controlled substances are Title 21 of the U.S. Code and the New York Penal Law. Both prohibit the manufacture, sale, use or possession of controlled substances. Both laws also provide penalties for violation of their provisions. Penalties vary in severity, according to many factors such as:
- whether a drug is sold or possessed
- specific drug sold or possessed
- quantity of drug sold or possessed
- age of the person to whom a drug is sold
- location where a drug is sold
- criminal history of the accused
Those penalties may include any of the following or combinations of the following:
- community service
- asset forfeiture
Both laws classify crimes as either felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are those crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. Misdemeanors are those crimes that are punishable by less than one year in jail. The New York Penal Law has a third classification, called violations, which are not considered to be crimes and which are punishable by no more than 15 days in jail and fines of no more than $100.
New York State Law
Offenses against the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Law are violations and generally punishable by fines of no more than $100, and/or imprisonment of no more than 15 days. Some offenses carry more severe penalties for repeat offenders and some allow the imposition of a community service requirement/and/or an alcohol education program.
Sec. 65 provides that no person shall sell, deliver or give away, or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered, or given any alcoholic beverages to any person, actually or apparently, under the age of 21 years; any visibly intoxicated person; or any habitual drunkard known to be such to the person authorized to dispense any alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 65-a prohibits the misrepresentation of age of a person under the age of 21 for the purpose of inducing the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 65-b prohibits the purchase or attempted purchase of alcoholic beverages through fraudulent means by a person under the age of 21.
Sec. 65-c prohibits the possession with intent to consume of an alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of 21.
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Offenses against the Vehicle and Traffic Law may be violations, misdemeanors or felonies, depending generally on the blood alcohol content of the offender or previous convictions. Penalties may include fines, probation, imprisonment, community service, loss of driving privileges and alcohol awareness programs. Be aware that loss of driving privileges may occur prior to a finding of guilt. Also, be aware that automobile crashes that involve an intoxicated operator causing injury or death may result in assault or homicide charges against the operator.
Sec. 1192 prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while:
- the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol,
- the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by drugs, or
- the driver is intoxicated, per se, as determined by a chemical analysis of the blood, breath, urine or saliva measuring the BAC to be more than .08 of one per centum by weight.
Sec. 1192-a prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a person under 21 years of age after having consumed alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 1227 prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the possession of an open container containing an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle.
Public Health Law
The New York State Public Health Law regulates behavior considered to be harmful in many areas, such as communicable diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking and drugs. Specifically, Article 3300, also known as the New York State Controlled Substance Act, prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of the same drugs as prohibited by the Penal Law. Additional prohibitions of the Public Health Law include:
Sec. 3304.2 prohibits possession of a New York State prescription except as lawfully written by a physician, etc.
Sec. 3345 prohibits the possession of a prescription drug outside the container in which it was originally dispensed.
Sec. 3380 prohibits the use, possession or sale of hazardous inhalants such as glue, cement, gasoline or nitrite compound for the purpose of causing intoxication, inebriation, excitement, etc.
Sec. 3381 prohibits the possession or sale of a hypodermic needle or syringe except pursuant to a lawful prescription.
Sec. 3382 prohibits the growing of a plant of the genus cannabis, or the failure to destroy such a growing plant on one’s property.
Sec. 3383 prohibits the manufacture, sale or possession of any substance that appears, either by markings or packaging, to be a controlled substance that, in fact, is not a controlled substance.
Sec. 3397 prohibits persons from obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance, a prescription for a controlled substance or an official prescription form by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge.
Most crimes involving the unlawful possession and distribution of drugs are defined under the New York Penal Law, which contains exhaustive lists of various controlled substances, specific types of offenses, and sanctions ranging from a fine or not more than $100 to imprisonment for life.
Sec. 120.05.5, assault in the second degree, prohibits the administration to another, without his consent, of a drug, substance or preparation capable of causing stupor, unconsciousness or other physical impairment or injury.
Sec. 130.00.6 provides that administration of a narcotic or intoxicating substance to another, without their consent, that causes them to become mentally incapacitated, renders the administrator guilty of rape, sodomy or sexual abuse upon the requisite sexual activity. In more simple terms, sexual conduct following the unwitting consumption of so called “date rape” drugs or “spiked” drinks makes those who administered the drug guilty of rape, sodomy or sexual abuse.
Sec. 170.05, forgery in the third degree, prohibits the making, completing or altering of a written instrument with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another. This section can be used to charge a person who alters a driver ’s license or other official form of identification for the purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 170.20, criminal possession of a forged instrument, prohibits the possession of a written instrument as described above, regardless of who made, completed or altered it.
The Sage Colleges Alcohol and Drug Regulations
The Sage Colleges abide by federal and state laws prohibiting the possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs or narcotics and will not interfere with the legal prosecution of any member of the College community who violates these laws.
- In compliance with New York State law, students at The Sage Colleges under the age of 21 may not purchase, nor possess with the intent to consume, alcoholic beverages.
- Alcoholic beverages may not be sold to anyone on either Sage campus unless it is under the license of a college approved vendor or caterer.
- Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in public areas.
- On- and off-campus events sponsored by student organizations must receive prior approval of the Dean of Students and comply with party regulations (see Party Regulations in the Student Handbook).
- In the Albany Residence Hall, the use or possession of alcohol by any resident or guest, regardless of age, is prohibited.
- On the Troy campus, students who are under 21 years of age may not consume alcohol in their residence hall rooms.
- Kegs or bulk containers are not permitted in the residence halls.
- Students who violate these regulations are subject to disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Student Conduct Code.
- Possession, sale or use of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, or being present where illegal drugs are being used, is prohibited on the Sage campuses.
- Individuals possessing illegal drugs or any drug paraphernalia, using illegal drugs or present where illegal drugs are being used will be subject to confiscation and review by the appropriate college administrator.
- The odor of marijuana in student rooms, corridors, lounges, or public areas is sufficient evidence to warrant investigation by a staff member and imposition of sanctions.
Any student judged guilty of illegal drug use on College property will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, which may involve suspension or dismissal. This action will be taken independently of any action that might be taken by municipal, state, or federal agencies.
The Sage Colleges will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees who violate the aforementioned standards of conduct. Among the sanctions which may be imposed on students are: warning, fine, parental notification, mandated alcohol/drug assessment, alcohol education, probation, community service, suspension, expulsion, or referral for prosecution. Among the sanctions which may be imposed on employees are: verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension with or without pay, termination or referral for prosecution.
Students and employees should be aware of the health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence, child abuse, and rape. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants to the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects described.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage of vital organs such as the brain and the liver.
Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other individuals of developing problems with alcohol.
Drugs interfere with the brain’s ability to take in, sort and synthesize information. They distort perception, which can lead users to harm themselves or others. Drug use also affects sensation and impairs memory. In addition to these general effects, specific health risks including substance dependence and death are associated with particular categories of controlled substances.
Campus and Community Resources for Help
Students and employees of The Sage Colleges who have concerns about alcohol and/or drugs for themselves or others, can contact any number of resources on campus and in the community for confidential help.
- Troy Campus, Kellas Hall (518) 244-2261
- Albany Campus, Kahl Campus Center (518) 292-1917
The Sage Colleges Alcohol and other Drug Education Coordinator
- Troy Wellness Center, Kellas Hall (518) 244-2261
- Provides assessments and interventions, short-term counseling, referrals, consultations, educational programs, literature, and peer education.
All alcohol and/or drug related services are free and strictly confidential.
Employee Services (Employee Assistance Program)
- Provides free, confidential, professional assistance to any Sage employee and/or family member.
Community/Self Help Resources
||518 area code
|Albany Citizens Council on Alcoholism and Other Chemical Dependencies
|Hope House, Albany
|St. Peters Addiction & Recovery Center, Albany
|Conifer Park, Troy
|Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center, Troy
|Rensselaer County Substance Abuse Services, Troy
|Alcoholism Council of Schenectady
The Sage Colleges are dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable and productive living and work environment for our faculty, staff, administrators and students and a healthy, comfortable and safe environment for our visitors.
Due to the acknowledged health hazards arising from tobacco products, including exposure to secondhand smoke, it shall be the policy of the Sage Colleges to provide a tobacco-free environment for all employees, students and visitors beginning January 1, 2012. This policy covers tobacco of any kind, including the use of smokeless or “spit” tobacco and applies to all employees, students and visitors of the Sage Colleges.
- The use of tobacco or tobacco products is prohibited in or on any Sage College facility or property, owned or leased, at any time.
- The use of tobacco or tobacco products is prohibited in any Sage College vehicle at any time.
- The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.
- The use of tobacco advertisements are prohibited in Sage sponsored publications.
In keeping with Sage’s commitment to protect and promote the health of its employees, students, visitors and other campus constituencies, and the public in general it is Sage’s policy to provide a tobacco-free environment in all institute facilities and outdoor areas in full conformance with applicable status including the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (Public Health Law Article 13-E).
“Tobacco” and “tobacco products” - includes tobacco of any kind, including the use of smokeless tobacco, “spit” tobacco, electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any other smoking material or device.
Institute facilities/property - any campus building, owned or leased, including but not limited to: private offices, lounges, dining areas, recreational facilities, all college owned, leased or rented vehicles, and any personally owned, leased or rented vehicles parked on Sage property.
Campus - Any college outdoor area that is open to access by the public or campus community, including but not limited to parking lots, sidewalks, athletic fields, lawn areas and any institute facility entrance or egress.
Albany Campus - The area within the borders of New Scotland Avenue on the North, Academy Road on the West, the fence separating Sage and Parsons on the South, and the tree line adjacent to the parking lot on the East. Also included is the Armory Building and surrounding property.
Troy Campus - The outdoor areas within the borders of Congress Street on the North, First Street on the West, Division Street on the South and Second Street on the East, as well as the following properties: 17-33 Congress Street (1 Park Place), 46 First Street, 30 Congress Street, 51-107 First Street, 86-90 First Street, 74 First Street, 92 First Street, 96-102 First Street, 111 Second Street, 100 River Street, 10 Division Street, 12 Division Street, 14 Division Street, 111 First Street, 113 First Street, 115 First Street, 117 First Street, 68 River Street, 1-7 Gale Place, 133 First Street, 63-65 First Street, 101 Liberty Street, 51 Congress Street, 45-59 Congress Street, 53-55 Congress Street, Franklin Street, 61 Ferry Street, 113 Second Street, 35-37 Division Street, 106 Second Street, 127 Third Street, 159 Third Street, 140 Second Street.
Neff Center - The properties of 1017 Fifth Avenue, 1010 Fifth Avenue, 1008 Fifth Avenue, 100 Fifth Avenue.
Enforcement of Sage Tobacco Free Policy
1. Enforcement of the Sage Colleges Tobacco Free policy shall be the responsibility of the entire Sage community. Students, faculty, staff and administrators are expected to fairly, politely and firmly engage in peer enforcement, and when required, report violations of the policy to supervisors. Enforcement of the policy shall be in a manner of “progressive discipline.”
2. For the purpose of this policy, “supervisors” shall mean: (i) appropriate Dean of Students for students; (ii) immediate supervisor for staff and administrators; (iii) department chair or academic Dean for faculty members.
3. Any student or employee of the Sage Colleges who observes or otherwise suspects that another person is using tobacco products on any property or in any vehicle owned or leased by Sage shall promptly, firmly and politely advise that person of the tobacco free policy. If the person is a member of the Sage community and refuses to comply, the offending person’s supervisor should be immediately notified.
4. If the offending person is not a member of the Sage community and refuses to comply, Public Safety should be notified to escort person off campus.
5. Any student or employee of the Sage Colleges who observes or otherwise suspects that another person is using tobacco products on any property or in any vehicle owned or leased by Sage and who has been advised of the policy for a previous violation, shall immediately notify the supervisor of the offending party.
6. Upon notification of a supervisor, the supervisor shall arrange a meeting with the offending person. During the meeting, the supervisor shall: (i) reiterate the Sage Tobacco Free policy; (ii) discuss the reasons for the policy; (iii) discuss the benefits of the policy; (iv) discuss strategies for assisting the employee in complying with the policy; (v) discuss the resources available for smoking cessation; (vi) reprimand the offender for violation of the policy.
7. Upon notification of a supervisor of a subsequent violation of the policy by the same offender, the supervisor shall prepare a written reprimand (3 copies) for the offender that contains items 1, 4 and 5 as above, and further advises the offender that future violations of the policy will result in serious disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment or expulsion from studies at Sage. Any subsequent disciplinary action would be determined according to the appropriate student/employee/faculty handbook or union contract. The supervisor shall have the offender sign and return one copy of the reprimand, retain one copy for self and forward the third copy to Human Resources.
8. Subsequent violations of the policy by the same person shall result in a level of discipline that: (i) convinces the offending party to comply with the Tobacco Free policy; and, (ii) demonstrates to the Sage community the importance of compliance with the Tobacco Free policy.
*Anyone organizing an event that brings outsiders to campus is responsible for communicating this policy to its attendees. Visitors to campus in violation of the policy will be informed of the policy and if they refuse to comply will be removed from campus.*
As we work towards our goal of keeping our campuses free of tobacco-litter, please be respectful of the surrounding communities and private properties located in proximity of our campuses.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Policy on Non-Discrimination and Harassment
In compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, the Sage Colleges does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender characteristics and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, actual or perceived national origin, actual or perceived gender identity, marital status, military or veteran status, physical or mental disability, status as a victim of sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking, genetic predisposition and carrier status, previous convictions as specified by law, or any other characteristics protected by applicable law (the “Protected Characteristics”), in any aspect of its admissions or financial aid programs, educational programs and related activities, or with respect to employment and advancement in employment. The Sage Colleges is committed to providing a work and learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment by anyone based on an individual’s Protected Characteristics or because the individual has engaged in activity protected by federal or state laws prohibiting discrimination.
Matters Covered Under These Procedures
Matters covered under these procedures in the employment relationship include, but are not limited to, recruitment, hiring, job assignment, compensation, promotion, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training. Matters covered in the academic setting include, but are not limited to, admission, housing, allocation of financial aid, use of college facilities, and the assignment of grades.
The Title IX Coordinator, Dishpaul Dhuga, has been designated by Sage to coordinate its efforts to comply with applicable nondiscrimination laws and regulations for students and employees, including investigations of sex-based discrimination claims and claims of sexual harassment. The Director of Disability Services, Katherine Norman, is the individual designated by Sage to coordinate its efforts to comply with reasonable accommodation obligations toward qualified individuals with disabilities. Questions or concerns regarding reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities should be directed to the Section 504 compliance officer, Katherine Norman at 518-292-8624 (Albany, 3rd floor of SCA Library) or 518-244-2208 (Troy, Hart Hall). Questions or concerns regarding the scope and application of the Sage Colleges Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedure for Students and Employees should be directed to Title IX Coordinator Dishpaul Dhuga.
What is Prohibited Harassment?
Prohibited harassment is a form of discrimination. In general, it can consist of words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, or physical acts of violence based on the protected characteristics of an employee or student, which alters the work or educational environment of that employee or student. While the most well-known type of prohibited harassment is sexual harassment, applicable laws and/or this policy also prohibit harassment based on an individual’s race, color, gender identity, characteristics and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition and carrier status, or previous convictions or arrests as specified by law. Retaliatory harassment resulting from the fact an individual has engaged in protected activity (i.e., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in a statutory complaint process) is also prohibited. This prohibition applies to anyone on the Sage Colleges campuses. The Sage Colleges are committed to preventing and correcting all such harassment, not just harassment which is severe or pervasive enough to provide the basis for a claim under federal or state law.
Sexual harassment may involve the exploitation of an unequal power relationship (for example, between employee and supervisor or between a student and teacher), or may occur between student peers or employees of equal rank. At the Sage Colleges, sexual harassment also constitutes unprofessional conduct which compromises the Colleges’ commitment to the pursuit of learning. The Sage Colleges will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.
Harassment on the basis of sex is discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the New York Human Rights Law. Illegal sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome: sexual advances; flirtation; propositions; verbal remarks of a sexual nature (whether directed to an individual or a group); vulgar language; sexually explicit, offensive or gender-based jokes and comments; sexual or gender-based comments about an individual or an individual’s appearance; sexually suggestive visual displays such as cartoons, posters or calendars; physical contact or physical assault. Sexual harassment is not limited by the gender of either party. Nor is it limited to supervisor-subordinate or teacher-student relationships.
Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature violates the law when it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment, and/or where acceptance or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances is the basis for making an academic or a personnel decision. However, this policy prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, regardless of whether the harassment may give rise to a legal claim.
Other Types of Harassment
Prohibited harassment on the basis of race, color, gender identity, characteristics and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status, domestic violence victim status, genetic predisposition and carrier status, previous convictions or arrests as specified by law, or any other protected basis, includes behavior similar to sexual harassment, such as verbal conduct (including threats, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs), visual conduct (including derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures), or physical conduct (including assault, unwanted touching, or blocking normal movement). The Sage Colleges will not tolerate any such harassment.
Each student and employee of the Sage Colleges has an obligation to report discrimination and prohibited harassment to an appropriate College official. Any student who believes he or she is the victim of discrimination or prohibited harassment should report it to the Compliance Officer with whom he or she feels most comfortable. The identities of these individuals are provided below. If for some reason you do not feel comfortable reporting discrimination or prohibited harassment to one of those individuals, you may also report it to any senior officer.
All students and employees of the Sage Colleges are responsible for keeping our environment free from discrimination or prohibited harassment. For that reason, if you observe or otherwise learn of conduct which may constitute discrimination or prohibited harassment, even if you are not the victim of that conduct, you must report the conduct to any Compliance Officer.
Investigation of Complaints
When the College becomes aware that discrimination or prohibited harassment may exist, it is obligated by law to take prompt and appropriate action. Failure to do so is considered a violation of the Sage Colleges Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Policy & Procedure.
Once a complaint of discrimination or prohibited harassment has been made either in writing or orally, or observed discrimination or harassment has been reported, the Title IX Coordinator will make an initial assessment regarding the validity of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for investigations of all types of student and staff discrimination and harassment, including sex-based discrimination claims and claims of sexual harassment. Unless the complaint is determined to be invalid (e.g., erroneous information, mistaken identity, etc.), the Title IX Coordinator will promptly conduct a complete, thorough and impartial investigation.
If the Director of Human Resources, Vice President of Student Life, or his or her designee is involved in the alleged discrimination or harassment or otherwise unable to conduct the investigation, the President will be responsible for designating a Compliance Officer to conduct the investigation. If it would be inappropriate for the Director of Human Resources, Vice President of Student Life, or President to designate a Compliance Officer to conduct the investigation, then the Chair of the Board of Trustees will so designate.
While the investigation is being conducted, interim measures will be available to end or limit contact between the complainant or accuser and the accused. Interim measures may include: support services (victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, health/mental health services, legal assistance); changing work assignments and situations (for employees); changing living arrangements, course schedules, assignments or test schedules (for students); providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security; and providing an escort. No complainant or accuser is required to take advantage of these interim measures.
The time necessary to complete an investigation will vary depending upon the facts of a particular case. In most cases, investigations will be completed within seven to ten business days of receipt of a complaint. After completing the investigation, both the complaint and the individual alleged to have engaged in discrimination and/or harassment will be informed of the conclusions reached by the investigator.
The Sage Colleges will, to the extent possible, maintain confidentiality with respect to complaints of discrimination and prohibited harassment. However, there is no such thing as an unofficial complaint of discrimination or harassment. Once the College or its supervisors become aware of a complaint, the College is required by law to take action consistent with this policy. These actions may require disclosure of the allegations to the extent necessary to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.
If the investigation reveals that discrimination and/or prohibited harassment did occur, the College will take all appropriate measures necessary to end the discrimination and/or harassment, prevent future discrimination and harassment, and correct any personnel or academic decisions made which are related to the discrimination/harassment.
Prohibition of Retaliation
The Sage Colleges will not permit retaliation of any kindagainst anyone who opposes a discriminatory action, makes a good faith complaint about discrimination and/or harassment, or furnishes information or participates in any manner in an investigation of such a complaint. Retaliation includes any conduct, whether or not workplace or employment related, directed at someone because he or she made a complaint of discrimination or participated in such an investigation, which might deter a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of harassment or discrimination.
Retaliation is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Any student or employee who feels as though someone has subjected him or her to retaliation as a result of a complaint or participation into the investigation of a complaint should contact a Compliance Officer immediately.
The Sage Colleges takes complaints of discrimination, prohibited harassment, and retaliation with the greatest seriousness. For that reason, any individual who is found to have engaged in conduct which violates this policy will be subject to discipline. That discipline may take a variety of forms, depending upon the circumstances of a particular case, and may include termination of employment for faculty and staff. For students, discipline may include dismissal from the Sage Colleges.
Engaging in discrimination, prohibited harassment, or retaliation may also lead to civil and/or criminal action under state or federal law. Any employee who, in violation of the College’s policy, engages in discrimination, prohibited harassment or retaliation, is acting outside the scope of his or her employment and may be personally liable for such actions and their consequences. In the event legal proceedings are commenced against such an employee, the College will not provide legal, financial or other assistance.
In addition to Trish Cellemme, the Designated Campus Compliance Officer, the Sage Colleges has appointed certain individuals as Compliance Officers. The Compliance Officers are responsible for receiving complaints of discrimination and harassment and for assisting in the resolution of those complaints. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for investigation of all types of student and staff discrimination and harassment, including sex-based discrimination claims and claims of sexual harassment. In addition, Compliance Officers are responsible for being proactive in creating an atmosphere which will inhibit discrimination or harassment. Complaints of harassment and/or discrimination should be directed to the following persons:
- Vice President for Student Life, Kahl Campus Center, 292-1710 (Trish Cellemme)
- Dean, Sage College of Albany, Kahl Campus Center, 292-1704 (Jean Dahlgren)
- Dean, Russell Sage College, Vanderheyden Hall, 244-2466 (Deborah Lawrence)
- Dean of Students, Sage College of Albany, Kahl Campus Center, 292-1753 (Sharon Murray)
- Dean of Students, Russell Sage College, McKinstry Student Center, 244-2207 (Stacy Gonzalez)
If for some reason you are not comfortable directing your complaint to the individual(s) designated below, make your complaint to any senior officer.
Policy on Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking
The Sage Colleges strictly prohibits any acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. In the event that a sexual assault, act of stalking, dating violence, or domestic violence does occur, The Sage Colleges takes the matter very seriously.
The term “sexual assault” means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.
Under New York law, “sexual assault” includes any and all “sexual offenses” defined in New York State Penal Code Article 130. These offenses include sexual misconduct, rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching, and aggravated sexual contact, and involve actions such as rape (forced intercourse), sodomy (forced anal intercourse), oral copulation (forced oral-genital contact), and sexual battery (the unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal). Students and employees are encouraged to review the full definitions and elements of these offenses, which can be found in New York State Penal Law §§ 130.00 to 130.96.
Lack of Consent
Under New York State law, a sexual offense occurs when certain sexual acts are perpetrated against a victim without his or her consent. “Lack of consent” is defined in New York State’s Penal Law as occurring in the following circumstances:
- forcible compulsion
- incapacity to consent
- (in the case of sexual abuse or forcible touching) any circumstances in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor’s conduct, or
- (in the case of rape, third degree criminal sexual acts, and forcible compulsion) circumstances under which, at the time of the act of intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct, the victim clearly expressed that he or she did not consent to engage in such act, and a reasonable person in the actor’s situation would have understood such person’s words and acts as an expression of lack of consent to such act under all the circumstances.
Forcible compulsion includes actual physical force, the threat of physical force, expressed or implied, that puts the victim in fear of being physically harmed or of another person being physically harmed, and/or the threat to kidnap the victim or a third person.
A person may lack capacity to consent where he or she is:
- physically helpless (because the victim is unconscious or because of a physical disability that makes one unable to physically or verbally communicate lack of consent)
- temporarily incapable of understanding or controlling his or her conduct because a drug or other intoxicating substance (e.g. alcohol); or
- suffering from a mental illness or a condition that renders them incapable of understanding the nature of their conduct, or
- less than 17 years old.
Please see New York State Penal Law § 130.05 for a more complete definition of “lack of consent” under New York State law.
Relationship Violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors that serve to exercise control and power in an intimate relationship. The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and/or emotional in nature. Intimate partner abuse can occur in relationships of the same or different genders; between current or former intimate partners who have dated, lived together, or been married. Relationship Violence includes both domestic violence and dating violence.
- Domestic Violence: felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or New York family violence laws, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under New York domestic or family violence laws.
- Dating Violence: violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of a social relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statement, with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim to fear for her or his safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. A more detailed definition can be found in New York State Penal Law §§ 120.45 to 120.60. Generally, stalking is a pattern of behavior that can include:
- Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, flowers
- Harassing the victim through the internet, including social networking websites
- Repeated, unwanted and intrusive phone calls, e-mails or text messages,especially after being clearly informed to stop
- Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property
- Following, monitoring, surveillance of victim and/or victim’s family, friends, co-workers
- Abusing or killing a pet or other animal
- Crossing jurisdictions/borders to stalk/commit offenses
Procedure for Responding to an Incident of Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and/or Stalking
If you believe you are the victim of any of the offenses described above, you should follow the following procedures:
- Get yourself to a safe place. UHA Public Safety and the Albany or Troy Police Department can help you do this. Officers of those agencies are trained to respond to the needs of a victim of sexual assault. They can also make you aware of support and advocacy services and advise you about reporting procedures and requirements.
- Obtain medical attention. For your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged. Further, being examined as soon as possible is important in the case of sexual assault. The hospital will arrange for a specific medical examination at no charge. We encourage you to do so at a facility that uses SANE, or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Albany Medical Center, Memorial Hospital, and Samaritan Hospital are SANE facilities. Remember that this medical treatment may also provide the opportunity for the collection and documentation of evidence, should you decide to pursue the incident and offender through the legal system. Public Safety and the Albany or Troy Police Department may assist you in this effort as well.
- Preserve Evidence. We encourage you to take steps to preserve any and all evidence when a domestic violence, dating violence, or sexual assault incident occurs, as this evidence may be necessary to prove that the offense took place and/or to obtain a protective order. Be aware that the location of the offense, your clothing, and your person may be considered a “crime scene,” and as such, a source of evidence. The location of the incident should be safe guarded and the victim should avoid washing, douching, using the toilet or changing clothes prior to a medical/legal exam.
- Report the incident. The Sage Colleges encourages (but does not require) victims of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking to report the incident to one or more of the following resources:
- First, you may report it to the Police Department for the sole purpose of documentation. You may also report it to the Police Department so that they may investigate the matter and identify an offender. You have the further option of pursuing the case through the criminal justice system, where you will be assisted by the District Attorney’s office, the Police Department and the support and advocacy services of your choice. If you want or need assistance in notifying the Police Department, you should contact the Office of Public Safety who will assist you in doing so.
- Second, you may report it to UHA Public Safety. This may trigger the judicial process of The Sage Colleges, which may result in the removal of the offender from the campus. It also assists The Sage Colleges in complying with Federal requirements for reporting offenses occurring on campus. You may report incidents of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking anonymously to UHA Public Safety, preserving your privacy and only reporting the particulars of the incident.
- Third, you may also report the incident to a Compliance Officer (identified below) or any senior officer of The Sage Colleges. Be aware that certain Sage college officials with significant responsibility for student and employee activities may be required by law to disclose the occurrence of the event. However, if they disclose the incident, you may request that your name be kept confidential. If you make a report to Sage that you have been a victim of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, you will be provided with a written explanation of your rights and options, whether the incident occurred on or off-campus.
- In addition to, or in lieu of, reporting an incident to one or more of the above, you may make a confidential report to any on campus mental health counselor, pastoral counselor, social worker, psychologist, nurse-practitioner, or other person with a professional license or who is supervised by such a person. This includes, but is not limited to, professional employees and support staff at the Wellness Center. These employees are exempt from any requirement to further disclose your report to them, unless you want and ask them to do so.
The Sage Colleges encourage the victims of sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking to report the incident, in any of the manners described above. However, again, victims are not required to report the offense to, or to seek assistance from The Sage Colleges, law enforcement, or campus authorities.
- Reporting an incident does not:
- obligate the victim to prosecute;
- subject the victim to inappropriate scrutiny or judgment by the person receiving the report.
- Reporting the incident does:
- ensure that a victim of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking receives necessary medical testing and treatment;
- provide the opportunity for collection of evidence critical to a prosecution, which cannot be obtained later;
- ensure that the victim has knowledge of and access to professional, confidential counseling from a counselor specifically trained in the areas of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking.
Potentially Seek a Court Order. Victims of relationship violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking may have a right to obtain a court order to protect themselves from the perpetrators. The Sage Colleges will comply with any and all orders of protection, no contact orders, restraining orders, and similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribunal court, to the extent required by law.
The Sage Colleges is dedicated to protecting victim confidentiality. Sage will take all necessary steps to ensure that personally-identifiable information about the victim will not be made public.
The investigation and resolution conducted by The Sage Colleges are maintained confidentially. Information is shared internally between administrators who need to know, but a tight circle is kept. Where information must be shared to permit the investigation to move forward, the person bringing the accusation will be informed. Privacy of the records specific to the investigation is maintained in accordance with New York State law and, with respect to student records, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) statute. Any public release of information to comply with the timely warning provisions of the Jeanne Clery Act (Clery Act) will not release the names of victims or information that could easily lead to a victim’s identification.
Options for Victims Following an Incident of Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and/or Stalking
- Changes to Housing, Work Assignments, Etc.
Upon receipt of a report of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and/or domestic violence, The Sage Colleges will offer assistance to victims in the form of opportunities for academic accommodations, changes in housing for the victim, changes in working situations, and other assistance as may be appropriate and available (such as no contact orders, campus escorts, transportation assistance, targeted interventions, etc.). No victim is required to take advantage of these services and resources, but The Sage Colleges provides them in the hope of offering help and support.
- On and Off-Campus Support Services
The Sage Colleges recommends that victims seek the assistance of trained professionals in the aftermath of an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking, and will assist victims to receive this assistance.
The Sage Colleges’ Wellness Center is a provider of helpful services for victims, including exit counseling, health, mental health, and other related services. The Wellness Center can be located and/or contacted as follows:
Kellas Hall, lower level
Troy, New York 12180
Phone: (518) 244-2261, Fax: (518) 244-2262
Kahl Campus Center, lower level
140 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, New York 12208
(518) 292-1917, Fax: (518) 292-1918
There are also many helpful service providers in the Albany and Troy Communities that may be able to provide these and other helpful services (such as legal assistance and victim advocacy), including the following:
Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures in Cases of Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking
When The Sage Colleges receives a report of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking by or against an employee or student, it will take prompt and appropriate action. The Director of Human Resources (for employees) or the Vice President for Student Life (for students) will make an initial assessment regarding the validity of the report.
Unless the report is determined to be invalid (e.g. erroneous information, mistaken identity, etc.), the Director of Human Resources (for employees) or the Vice President for Student Life (for students) will designate a Compliance Officer or other trained investigator to promptly conduct a fair, complete, thorough, and impartial investigation. A list of potential Compliance Officers follows below. For most employee reports, however, the Director of Human Resources will conduct the investigation. Each of the Compliance Officers, and any other designated investigator, receives annual training on issues related to sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
If the Director of Human Resources or Vice President for Student Life is implicated in the report, the President will be responsible for designating a Compliance Officer or other trained investigator to conduct the investigation. If it would be inappropriate for the Director of Human Resources, Vice President for Student Life, or President to designate a Compliance Officer or other trained investigator to conduct the investigation, then the Chair of the Board of Trustees will make this designation.
While the investigation is being conducted, appropriate intermediate steps to end or limit contact between the victim and the accused may be taken.
The standard of evidence used to evaluate a report of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking by or against an employee or student is a “preponderance of the evidence.” Under this standard, a determination must be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student or employee violated the Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy.
In investigating the complaint, the designated Compliance Officer or other trained investigator shall:
- Meet with the appropriate individuals and review all appropriate records that bear on the case.
- Provide the accuser and the accused with copies of the Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policies & Procedures For Students and Employees.
- Discuss the allegations in the complaint with the accuser and accused at separate meetings, and provide the accuser and accused with equal opportunities to identify witnesses and present evidence supporting their respective positions at these meetings.
- Provide the accuser and the accused with the same opportunities for a support person or advisor of their choice throughout the process, including any meeting, conference, hearing or other procedural action. An attorney for either the accuser or the accused, however, may be present but may not have a speaking role during such meeting, conference, hearing, or other procedural action.
- Attempt, where appropriate, to resolve the complaint by exploring and suggesting possible solutions to the problem with all involved parties, provided, however, that the victim will not be required to participate in mediation with the accused.
- (If the preceding step does not resolve the problem), make and transmit a preponderance of the evidence determination in the matter of the allegation of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking to the accused, accuser, and, if the accused is an employee, the senior officer for the unit in which the accused is employed (or the President if the accused is a senior officer), or, if the accused is a student, the Vice President for Student Life.
The time necessary to complete an investigation will vary depending upon the facts of a particular case. In most cases, investigations will be completed within seven to ten business days of receipt of a report.
The Compliance Officer or other trained investigator who conducted the investigation shall prepare written findings of fact and recommendations, with respect to appropriate disciplinary actions, if any, and/or other appropriate remedial measures.
Following the Investigation
Once the investigation is complete, the parties will be informed, in writing, of the outcome, including the finding, the sanctions (if any) and the rationale therefor. Delivery of this outcome will not be delayed to either party, and should occur as nearly simultaneously as possible, without unnecessarily bringing those in conflict into close proximity to each other.
All parties will be informed of their potential rights to exercise a request for a hearing and/or appeal, where applicable, under the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, Contract, and/or collective bargaining agreement with The Sage Colleges. Should any change in outcome occur prior to finalization, all parties will be timely informed in writing, and will be notified when the results of the resolution process become final.
If the investigation reveals that sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking did occur, the College will take all appropriate measures necessary to end such conduct, prevent any such future conduct, and correct any personnel or academic decisions made which are related to the prohibited conduct.
The Sage Colleges takes incidents of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking with the greatest seriousness. For that reason, if, following the investigation, the Compliance Officer or other trained investigator concludes that it is more likely than not that the accused student or employee violated the Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policies & Procedures For Students and Employees, Sage will pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels. That discipline may take a variety of forms, depending upon the circumstances of a particular case. The full range of student disciplinary penalties is set forth in the Student Code of Conduct. Employee disciplinary penalties are set forth in the Employee Handbook and/or in any applicable collective bargaining agreement with The Sage Colleges.
Engaging in sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking may also lead to civil and/or criminal action under the New York State Penal Law. Any employee who, in violation of the College’s policy, engages in domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking, is acting outside the scope of his or her employment and may be personally liable for such actions and their consequences. In the event legal proceedings are commenced against such an employee, the College may decline to provide legal, financial or other assistance.
Prohibition of Retaliation
It is a violation of federal law and this policy for any employee or student to retaliate against any student or employee who reports in good faith an incident of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, or furnishes information or participates in any manner in an investigation of such a report. Retaliation includes any conduct directed at someone because he or she made a report of sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, or participated in such an investigation, which might deter a reasonable student or employee from making or supporting such a report.
Retaliation is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Any individual found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment and/or dismissal from The Sage Colleges.
Any employee or student who feels as though someone has subjected him or her to retaliation as a result of a report or participation into the investigation of a report should contact a Compliance Officer (identified below) or other senior officer immediately.
The Sage Colleges has appointed certain individuals as Compliance Officers. The Compliance Officers are responsible for assisting in the resolution of reports of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. In addition, Compliance Officers are responsible for being proactive in creating an atmosphere which will inhibit sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. A list of these individuals is set forth below:
Reports by Administrators and Hourly Staff
Currently: Susan Beatty
518-244-2339 | [email protected]
Vice President for Student Life
Currently: Patricia Cellemme
Kahl Campus Center 145
518-292-1724 | [email protected]
Vice President for Finance/Treasurer
Currently: Rick Barthelmas
518-244-4617 | [email protected]
Director of Human Resources
Currently: Laura D’Agostino
518-244-6857 | [email protected]
Vice President for Administration & Planning
Currently: Deirdre Zarrillo
518-292-1790 | [email protected]
Reports by Faculty
Currently: Susan Beatty
518-244-2339 | [email protected]
Vice President for Finance /Treasurer
Currently: Rick Barthelmas
518-244-4617 | [email protected]
Director of Human Resources
Currently: Laura D’Agostino
518-244-6857 | [email protected]
Dean, Russell Sage College
Currently: Deborah Lawrence
518-244-2466 | [email protected]
Vice President for Administration and Planning
Currently: Deirdre Zarrillo
Kahl Campus Center
518-292-1790 | [email protected]
Dean, Sage College of Albany
Currently: Jean Dahlgren
Kahl Campus Center
518-292-1704 | [email protected]
Reports by Students
Vice President for Student Life
Currently: Patricia Cellemme
Kahl Campus Center 145
518-292-1724 | [email protected]
Dean, Russell Sage College
Currently: Deborah Lawrence
518-244-2466 | [email protected]
Dean, Sage College of Albany
Currently: Jean Dahlgren
Kahl Campus Center
518-292-8625 | [email protected]
Dean of Students
Currently: Sharon Murray
Shea Learning Center
518-244-6866 | [email protected]
Dean of Students
Currently: Stacy Gonzalez
518-244-4557 | [email protected]
Education for Students and Employees
It is the policy of The Sage Colleges to offer programming to prevent relationship violence, sexual assault (including stranger and known offender assaults), and stalking each year. Educational programs are offered to raise awareness for all incoming students and employees, and are conducted during new student and new employee orientation.
These programs and others offered throughout the year include:
- the New York definitions of relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking, and consent in reference to sexual activity
- safe and positive options for bystander intervention an individual may take to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk that another person will be the victim of one of the relationship violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking
- information on risk reduction, how to recognize warning signals of abusive behavior, and
- other information to prevent violence, promote safety and reduce perpetration.
The Sage Colleges’ current primary prevention and awareness programs include the following:
- RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Training for Women
- Title IX training - including training on roles as mandated reporters
- Mentors in Violence Prevention Training
- Training on how to appropriately respond to victims of sexual assault
- In Her Shoes- domestic violence empathy exercise
- Active Bystander training
- Healthy Relationship trainings
- Take Back the Night
- One Billion Rising
Sexual Offender Registry
The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act enacted in 2000 went into effect October 28, 2002. The law requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders required to register in a State to provide notice, as required under state law, of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student. The New York State sex offender registry may be accessed at www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/index.htm.
In addition, the City of Albany maintains a sex offender registry that may be accessed by “Entities of Vulnerable Population.” The University Heights Association’s Office of Public Safety (which provides Public Safety services for Sage College of Albany) has been declared such an entity and the registry may be accessed through the Director of Public Safety
Memoranda of Understanding
The Sage Colleges will propose and endeavor to execute memoranda of understanding in partnership with:
- a local rape crisis center, to further provide victim advocacy and support services to victims of sexual violence; and
- local law enforcement authorities, regarding the protocols and procedures for referring allegations of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking, sharing information and conducting contemporaneous investigations regarding such allegations.
The Sage Colleges will conduct an annual anonymous survey of student and employees to examine the prevalence and incidence of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, and to assess the perceptions of the campus climate. Participation in such climate survey shall be voluntary but is encouraged.
Services for Students with Disabilities
The Sage Colleges is committed to providing equal educational opportunity and full participation for students with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. A student seeking academic adjustments under the Americans with Disabilities Act must register and provide documentation by a licensed professional to the Director of Disabilities Services. Any student in need of classroom assistance or modification under the Americans with Disabilities Act must inform the instructor of the needed adjustment by first obtaining the necessary accommodation letters from the Director of Disabilities Services in order for reasonable accommodations to be provided. It is recommended that students do so at the onset of classes as reasonable prior notice needs to be given. The Director of Disabilities Services can be contacted in Troy/Hart Hall at 65 First Street Troy NY 12180 (518) 244-2272 or in Albany/3r floor Library at 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany NY 12208 (518) 292-1793.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that: “No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of…disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Colleges and universities receiving federal financial assistance must not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students. Students with documented disabilities may request modifications, accommodations, or auxiliary aids, which will enable them to participate in and benefit from all postsecondary educational programs and activities.
The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 is the civil rights guarantee for persons with disabilities in the United States. It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 extends civil rights protections for people with disabilities to employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government and telecommunication relay services.
The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 upholds and extends the standards for compliance set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to employment practices, communications, and all policies, procedures, and practices that impact on the treatment of students with disabilities. Employment issues for all institutions are covered under Title I. For all activities, public institutions are covered under Title II; private institutions are covered under Title III.
The Accommodation Process
Any student with a documented disability is eligible to receive reasonable accommodations. The purpose of accommodations or modifications is to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may exist because of an individual’s disability. The law does not require the College to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular program or degree. Rather, the College is mandated to modify existing requirements on a case by case basis in order to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of their disability. Students wanting to access such services must identify themselves and provide appropriate verification of their disability to the Director of Disabilities Services. Eligibility for reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be determined on an individual basis.
Appropriate documentation will assist the student and the College in determining reasonable accommodations as stipulated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008, and other pertinent state and federal regulations.
Students requesting accommodations must meet with the Director of Disabilities Services and present appropriate documentation prior to receiving services. Documentation must be submitted by a qualified practitioner. This documentation must be a comprehensive assessment including recommendations for accommodations. Students must present evidence of a clinical interview by a qualified professional, their complete medical and educational history, evidence of a diagnosis that substantially limits one or more of the major life functions, and recommended reasonable accommodations.
It is the responsibility of the student requesting accommodations to do so and present documentation in a timely manner, suggested prior to the beginning of each academic semester.
To access services, students must refer themselves to the Director of Disabilities Services and provide adequate documentation from a licensed professional to the Disabilities Services Office. Since the purpose of the documentation is to assist the student and the College in determining reasonable accommodations (e.g., extended test time, reduced course load, auxiliary aids, etc.), these guidelines must be followed to assure that the diagnostic evaluation report is appropriate for verifying accommodation needs. Specific procedures need to be followed in order to obtain reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments and /or auxiliary aids, any deviation from the process may slow down the process or accommodations may not be granted.
Students must meet with the Director of Disabilities Services with documentation from a licensed professional to request services. Accommodation letters will be developed at this time.
Students must meet with the faculty member to review the accommodation letters and discuss accommodations. It is best to do this review after class or to set up an appointment with the faculty member. The student decides whether to disclose his/her disability to the professor or whether to share any pertinent information with them. Students are not required to identify their disability, although this information is often helpful to the professor. The student may want to explain how his/her disability may affect coursework in general; again this is not required. After the review of the accommodation letter, the faculty member and student both sign the accommodation letter.
Students should then review the accommodations. For testing accommodations, it is important to check in again with the professor at least one week before the exam date as a reminder and to be sure both parties have the same understanding of what is to occur. Meeting with the professor throughout the semester is necessary to discuss your accommodation needs.
If a disagreement arises concerning specific accommodation requests, a student should immediately inform the Director of Disabilities Services. If there is a conflict with the Director of Disabilities Services, then the Associate Vice President for Student Life may be notified to assist in the resolution process.
Academic requirements must be modified, on a case by case basis, to afford qualified disabilities students and applicants an equal education opportunity. For example, modification may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements. However, academic requirements that the recipient can demonstrate are essential will not be regarded as discriminatory. A recipient may not impose upon qualified disability persons rules that have the effect of limiting their participation in the recipient’s education program or activity; for example, prohibiting tape recorders in classrooms or guide dogs in campus buildings. Qualified disability persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills must be provided auxiliary aids, such as taped texts, interpreters, readers, and classroom equipment adapted for persons with manual impairments. Recipients can usually meet this obligation by assisting students to obtain auxiliary aids through existing resources, such as state vocation rehabilitation agencies and private charitable organizations. In those circumstances where the recipient institution must provide the educational auxiliary aid, the institution has flexibility in choosing the effective methods by which the aids will be supplied. So long as no disabled person is excluded from a program because of the lack of an appropriate aid, the recipient need not have all available aids on hand at all times.
Procedures for Requesting Academic Adjustments
A student who wishes to request academic adjustments under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should do so by writing to the Director of Disabilities Services. The Sage Colleges reserves the right to require medical, psychological, neurological, or psychoeducational verification of the disability causing the student to seek adjustments of academic conditions. Notification of any request for academic accommodations should be sent to the Director of Disabilities Services immediately. The Director will notify the faculty member(s) of the request; discuss options, if any, to meet the request; agree on the acceptable adjustments; and notify the student seeking the accommodations within 10 working days. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Dean of the College will be notified for a meeting with all parties. The Director of Disabilities Services shall file a final report of the discussion and resolutions no later than five working days after the agreement with all parties has been reached.
Procedures for Grievances Alleging Discrimination Based on Disability
Any member of The Sage Colleges community, including faculty, administrators, staff, and students, who has any grievance in relation to the law or any acts prohibited by the law may file a written complaint within 30 working days of the occurrence of the alleged action. The complaint should be filed with the Director of Disabilities Services as the person designated to coordinate the efforts of the College to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the law. The written complaint should explain:
- who was discriminated against;
- in what way;
- by whom;
- when the discrimination took place;
- who can be contacted for further information;
- the name, address, and telephone number of the complainant; and
- as much background information as possible about the alleged discriminatory act.
These are suggestions, not requirements. Within five working days, the Director of Disabilities Services shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and assign an individual to investigate the complaint. The individual investigating the complaint shall submit a written report to the Director with a copy to the complainant within 10 working days from the date assigned. The complainant shall have 10 working days from receipt of the investigation report to contact the Director to support or refute information contained in the investigation report. The Director of Disabilities Services will review the report and related material, and submit a written recommendation to the College President within five working days after the time period given the complainant to respond. A copy of this recommendation shall be sent to the complainant and the investigator. The President, as chief executive officer of the institution, shall make disposition of the complaint or refer it for the established grievance procedures of The Sage Colleges.
Anyone who believes there has been an act of discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of Section 504 against any person or group in a program receiving financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, may file a written complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within 180 days of the alleged discrimination (unless the time for filing is extended for good cause by the regional civil rights director), and send it to the regional office that serves the state in which the discrimination allegedly occurred:
Office for Civil Rights, New York Office
U.S. Department of Education
75 Park Place, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10007-2146 (212) 637-6466
FAX# (212) 264-3803; TDD (212) 637-0478
For more information about Disabilities Services please visit the Sage website www.sage.edu/studentlife/disabilities_services.
Student Right to Know, Privacy and Records Policies
Student Right to Know Law
The Sage Colleges will provide information regarding graduation and persistence rates, in accordance with provision of the federal Student Right to Know Law. The information is available from the Office of the Registrar. In addition, The Sage Colleges publishes required information under the Campus Security Act in a safety and security brochure and posts the information on the Office of Public Safety web page.
Privacy and Confidentiality
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment), passed in 1974, regulates the procedures for handling student records. According to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Act was designed to ensure that students and parents (in cases where the student is considered a dependent) would have specific educational records made accessible for reasons of inspection and correction and to restrict the release of most records, so as not to violate their privacy and confidentiality when student consent is lacking.
According to the Act, the following records are not accessible:
- financial records of a student’s parents;
- confidential letters of recommendation received prior to January 1, 1975;
- confidential letters of recommendation for which the student has signed a waiver of access; and
- records created and maintained by a professional for the sole purpose of treating the student (i.e., records kept by a college physician, psychiatrist, or counselor). The student may choose a qualified professional to review these records.
Access to Directory and Records Information
The College is permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) to make directory information about students available to the public. Directory information includes: the student’s name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (for members of athletic teams), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency attended.
If a student would prefer that this information not be made public, the student may inform the College of this at any point during his or her academic career. Forms to withhold this information from the public are available at the Registrar’s Office or online.
The following student records are available for inspection at the specified locations:
|Transcript of grades*
||Academic warning, probation and suspension lists*
||Transfer credit records
||General student records
|Student Services/Financial Aid
||Financial Aid files
|Student Life/Residence Life Offices
||Parking/traffic violations lists*
|Academic Support Center
* The entire content will not be released, only the data directly related to the individual requesting access.
Procedures for Review of Records
The Act specifies that a college official has 45 days to respond to a student’s request to view their records. The Sage Colleges will initially respond to a request by setting up an appointment with the student within the 45 day period. Ideally, the student will be able to access the records within a couple of weeks.
All records must be reviewed in the presence of a College official. The student may be asked to show proper identification to the college official and sign a permit form. Students may request a copy of their records in most cases, but the College is entitled to charge for copies. Copies cannot be made of records when a “hold” status exists or when the names of other students or information related to other students are involved (i.e., restricted records such as a grade list).
Inspection and Correction of Records
If a student wishes to challenge any part of a record, it may be done informally by addressing the issue with the administrator in charge of the record in question. If an agreement cannot be reached, the student should request a hearing with the Dean of the College. If the student still believes that his or her rights are being violated after following the above procedure, an investigation can be requested by the Review Board of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202. An investigation could lead to a hearing.
Access to Records by Another Party
Each individual record will include the names of those persons not employed by the College who request or obtain access to a student record. The legitimate interest of the person making the request will also be recorded. The College permits third parties to gain access to students’ records when requests come from:
- a person designated by the student with the student’s written consent;
- an accrediting agency doing a college evaluation;
- certain federal or state agencies;
- officials of other schools in which a student seeks acceptance or intends to enroll when the student requests that the information be released; or
- other faculty members, administrators, or staff members who either seek access for a legitimate educational reason or who are required to handle the records as part of their official duties at the College.
Student records, except for the permanent transcript and certification of completion required for state licensure in some academic programs, are kept for a period of seven years from the date of graduation or last attendance. The permanent transcript is maintained “forever” in the Office of the Registrar. The certification of completion, if required for licensure, is maintained in the academic program office.
Campus Crime Statistics
Crime statistics for The Sage Colleges are avaiable on the Office of Public Safety website on Sage.edu.
The Albany Computer Center is located in the Library. The Albany campus has wifi access in all buildings and features specialized labs:
- A classroom equipped for AutoCad and digital imaging in Froman Hall
- An Apple-based digital imaging lab in the Art & Design Building
The Troy Computer Centers are located in Shea Learning Center and Education Building basement. The Education Building houses three Windows-based computer classrooms. The Education building’s computer classrooms will also serve as an open lab when classes are not in session. Individuals using these computers may be asked to relocate if there is a class about to start.
A Sage ID is required to use the computer centers.
Through SageNet - the computer network of The Sage Colleges - students, faculty and staff can access networked software, e-mail, the Internet, and library resources.
Upon enrolling at Sage, all students are issued a SageNet account, which povides access to:
- Disk storage space on SageNet, electronic media at the Sage Libraries, and access to Sage computers;
- Sage Mail email account (Gmail), is the official college information distribution and communication system;
- Moodle account, which is the online course management tool for all of the College’s courses.
- SageAdvisor acount, which is the online interface for student and employee activities such as online registration, paying registration fees, financial aid, viewing grades and schedules, and other official academic and advising activities. Your SageNet ID and password grants you access to this system.
If you have trouble with any of your College user IDs or passwords, contact the Help Desk at (518) 244-4777 or [email protected].