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  Sep 23, 2018
 
 
    
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Campus Policies


 

Student Handbook

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. • https://www.sage.edu/student-life/student-handbook/

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:

  1. Promote student adherence to applicable federal and state laws;
  2. Stress safety, responsibility, and individual accountability for those who choose to drink alcohol;
  3. Provide an environment free of coercion for those who choose not to drink;
  4. Promote an environment that is incompatible with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and in which healthy, low-risk behaviors are emphasized;
  5. Provide information and education for all members of the college community; and
  6. 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:

  • imprisonment
  • fine
  • probation
  • 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.

Penal Law

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 parphernalia, 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.

Disciplinary Sanctions

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.

Health Risks

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.

On Campus

Wellness Centers

  • 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.

Off Campus

Employee Services (Employee Assistance Program), 1-800-252-4555

  • 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 518 434-8083
Equinox, Albany 518 434-6135
Hope House, Albany 518 427-8207
St. Peters Addiction & Recovery Center, Albany 518 458-8888
Conifer Park, Troy 518 274-5143
Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center, Tro 518 272-3918
Rensselaer County Substance Abuse Services, Troy 518 270-2800
Alcoholism Council of Schenectady 518 346-4436
Alcoholics Anonymous 518 463-0906
Narcotics Anonymous 800-559-9503
Al-Anon/Adult Children 518 477-4476

Tobacco-Free Policy

The Sage Colleges is 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.

Policy

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.

  1. The use of tobacco or tobacco products is prohibited in or on any Sage College facility or property, owned or leased, at any time.
  2. The use of tobacco or tobacco products is prohibited in any Sage College vehicle at any time.
  3. The sale of tobacco products on campus is prohibited.
  4. The use of tobacco advertisements are prohibited in Sage College sponsored publications.

In keeping with Sage’s commitment to protect and promote the health of its employees, students, visitors, other campus constituencies, and the public in general, Sage policy is 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).

Definitions

“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 and 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 lots 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, 45-49 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, 1000 Fifth Avenue.

Enforcement of TSC 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 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 in 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 immediate supervisor of the offending party 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 contacted to escort the offending person off campus.

5.  Any student or employee of the Sage Colleges who observes or otherwise suspects that another person is using tobacco or 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, and (vi) reprimand the offender for the policy violation.

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 tha tcontains 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 this policy will be informed of the policy and if they refuse to comply will be removed from campus.*

As we work towards the goal of keeping the Sage 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 (“Sage”) 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 a 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.  Sage 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 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/EEO Specialist has been designated by Sage to coordinate its efforts to comply with applicable nondiscrimination laws and regulations. Questions or concerns regarding the scope and application of Sage Discrimination and Harassment Policy & Procedure For Students and Employees (the “Policy”) should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, Dishpaul S. Dhuga, J.D., 518-244-4809, [email protected]

Katherine Norman, Director of Disability Services, is the individual designated by Sage to coordinate its efforts to comply with reasonable accommodation obligations towards qualified individuals with disabilities. Questions or concerns regarding reasonable accommodation of individuals with disabilities should be directed to Sage Section 504 Compliance Officer, Katherine Norman, Director of Disability Services, Third Floor of the Albany Library and Hart Hall, Sage 518-292-8624, 518-244-2208.

What Is Prohibited Harassment?

Prohibited harassment is a form of discrimination. In general, it can consist of spoken, written, and/or electronically transmitted words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, or physical 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 any of the Protected Characteristics. In addition, retaliatory harassment resulting from an individual’s protected activity (i.e., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in a statutory complaint process) is also prohibited. This prohibition applies to anyone on Sage campuses. Harassment of students who are working or studying outside the campus proper is prohibited as well. Sage is 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

Sage is committed to maintaining a campus free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unlawful and may subject Sage to liability.  Any possible sexual harassment will be investigated whenever Sage receives a complaint or otherwise knows of possible sexual harassment occurring. Those who engage in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.

Under federal and state law, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

  • Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or enrollment,
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment, even if the complaining individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment.

However, this Policy prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, regardless of whether the harassment may give rise to a legal claim.  A single incident of inappropriate sexual behavior may be enough to rise to the level of sexual harassment, depending on the severity of such incident.

Prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to the following:

Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:

  • Rape, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these assaults; and
  • Intentional or unintentional physical conduct which is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body, or poking another employees’ body.

Unwanted sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as:

  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities;
  • Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience;
  • Spoken, written, and/or electronically transmitted verbal remarks of a sexual nature (whether directed to an individual or a group);
  • Sexually explicit, offensive, or sex-based jokes and comments; and
  • Sexual or gender-based comments about an individual or an individual’s appearance.

Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as:

  • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually demeaning, pornographic.

A type of sexual harassment known as “quid pro quo” harassment occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job or academic benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, grading, scheduling, continued enrollment or employment, or any other terms conditions or privileges of enrollment or employment.  To avoid the potential for quid pro quo sexual harassment, it is the policy of Sage that no sexual relationship should exist between supervisor (or evaluator) and subordinate, including between student workers and their supervisors, or between teachers and students.  If a sexual relationship develops in such a situation, the supervisory authority and/or responsibility for grading, evaluation, etc. should be promptly transferred to another individual.

Sexual harassment is neither limited by the gender of either party, nor limited to supervisor-subordinate or teacher-student relationships. Sexual harassment can occur between male and female students and employees, or between persons of the same sex. Sexual harassment that occurs because the victim is transgender is also unlawful.

Other Types of Harassment

Prohibited harassment on the basis of a Protected Characteristic, or any other protected basis, includes behavior similar to sexual harassment, such as: (1) verbal, written, and/or electronically transmitted conduct, including threats, epithets, derogatory comments, or slurs; (2) visual conduct, including derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, drawings, or gestures; and (3) physical conduct, including assault, unwanted touching, or blocking normal movement. Sage will not tolerate any such harassment.

Prohibition of Retaliation

It is a violation of federal and state law and this policy for any employee or student to retaliate against any student or employee for engaging in any protected activity under the Violence Against Women Act, the Clery Act, Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, the New York Human Rights Law, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, the ADEA, and other federal and state civil rights laws. 

Unlawful retaliation can be any action, more than trivial, that would have the effect of dissuading a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of harassment or any other practices forbidden by the Law. Actionable retaliation by an employer can occur after the individual is no longer employed by that employer. This can include giving an unwarranted negative reference for a former employee.

This includes retaliating against a student or employee who opposes a discriminatory practice, makes a good faith complaint about harassment and/or discrimination, or furnishes information or participates in any manner in an investigation of such a complaint. 

Retaliation includes any conduct directed at someone because he or she engaged in such protected activity, which might deter a reasonable student or employee from making or supporting a charge of harassment or discrimination.  Protected activity can include any of the following:

• filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, either internally with Sage, or with any anti-discrimination agency,
• testifying or assisting in a proceeding or investigation involving discrimination or harassment,
• opposing discrimination or harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or manager of discrimination or harassment,
• complaining that another student or employee has been discriminated against or harassed,
• encouraging another student or employee to report discrimination or harassment, and
• requesting an accommodation for a disability or a religious practice.

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 Sage.

Any employee or student who becomes aware of retaliation against a student or employee should contact the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist or other senior officer immediately.

Confidentiality

Sage 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 Sage or its supervisors become aware of a complaint, Sage is required by law to take action consistent with this policy.[1]  These actions may require disclosure of the allegations to the extent necessary to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.

Complaint, Investigation, and Disciplinary Procedure for Employees and Students

Reporting Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment

Any employee or student who believes he or she is the victim of prohibited discrimination or harassment should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist. If, for some reason, an employee or student does not feel comfortable reporting discrimination or prohibited harassment to the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, he or she may also report it to any senior officer of Sage.

When an employee or student files a report with the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, he or she will be given a written complaint form to complete.  A sample copy of this form is provided below.  The Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist will also provide the accuser and the accused with copies of this Policy for review. 

However, even if an employee or student victim chooses not to file a complaint with Sage, if Sage knows, or reasonably should know, about a suspected incident of discrimination or harassment, Sage will promptly investigate to determine what occurred and then take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.

All employees of Sage are responsible for keeping Sage’s environment free from discrimination or prohibited harassment.  For that reason, if an employee observes or otherwise learns of conduct which may constitute discrimination or prohibited harassment, the employee must report the conduct to the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, even if the employee is not the victim of that conduct.

In addition to filing a complaint with Sage, an employee or student who believes he or she is the victim of discrimination or harassment may file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). Complaints may be filed to OCR by:

• Mail or Facsimile: Complainants may mail or send a complaint by facsimile a letter to:
Jacquelyn Pitta
U.S. Department of Education
Financial Square
32 Old Slip, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10005
Telephone: 646-428-3906 | Fax: 646-428-3904

• E-mail: Complainants may file a complaint to the following e-mail address: [email protected].

• Online: Complainants may file a complaint with OCR using OCR’s electronic complaint form at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html. 

Investigation of Complaints

When Sage 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 this Policy.

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/EEO Specialist will make an initial assessment regarding the validity of the complaint.  Unless the complaint is determined to be invalid (e.g. erroneous information, mistaken identity, etc.), the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, or his or her designee (who must be trained in discrimination and harassment, and this Policy), will promptly conduct a complete, thorough, and impartial investigation.

If the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist or his or her adequately trained designee is involved in the alleged discrimination or harassment, the President will be responsible for choosing an adequately trained designee to conduct the investigation. If it would be inappropriate for the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist or President to choose an adequately trained designee to conduct the investigation, then the Chair of the Board of Trustees will make this designation. 

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 and 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, but Sage provides them in an effort to offer help and support.  Such interim measures can be requested by a complainant or accuser, by contacting the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist. Sage will protect the confidentiality of accommodations or protective measures provided to a complainant or accuser, to the extent that doing so will not impair Sage’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures.

The standard of evidence used to evaluate a report of sexual harassment or discrimination 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 this Policy. 

In investigating the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, or designee, shall:

  1. Meet with the appropriate individuals and review all appropriate records that bear on the case.
  2. 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.
  3. Provide the accuser and the accused with the same opportunities for a non-attorney support person or non-attorney advisor of their choice throughout the process, including any meeting, conference, hearing or other procedural action.
  4. Attempt, where appropriate, to resolve the complaint by exploring and suggesting possible solutions to the problem with all involved parties, provided, however, that the complainant or accuser will not be required to participate in mediation with the accused.
  5. (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 discrimination/harassment 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 complaint. 

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 appeal, where applicable, under the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, Contract, and/or collective bargaining agreement with Sage. 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 discrimination and/or prohibited harassment did occur, Sage will take all appropriate remedial 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. Remedies may include, but are not limited to, continuing or commencing any of the above-listed “interim measures.” These remedies are separate from, and in addition to, any interim measures that may have been provided prior to the conclusion of the investigation.  Such measures can be requested by a complainant or accuser, by contacting the Director of Human Resources (for employees) or the Vice President of Student Life (for students).

Discipline

Sage takes complaints of discrimination and prohibited harassment with the greatest seriousness. For that reason, if, following the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist or other trained investigator concludes that it is more likely than not that the accused student or employee violated this Policy, Sage will pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels.

Internal disciplinary proceedings for cases of harassment and discrimination are fair and impartial, include timely notice of meetings and timely and equal access to information and evidence that will be used, and are conducted by unbiased decision makers who have no conflict of interest.  The proceedings are completed within a reasonably prompt, designated timeframe.  Further information regarding internal disciplinary proceedings for students can be found in the Student Code of Conduct.  Further information regarding internal disciplinary proceedings for employees can be found in the Employee Handbook and/or in any applicable collective bargaining agreement with Sage.

Following any internal disciplinary proceeding for cases of harassment and discrimination, the complainant or accuser and accused will be provided with simultaneous written notice of the result of the proceeding, including any sanctions imposed that relate directly to the complainant or accuser, and the rationale for the result and complainant or accuser-related sanctions.

Discipline for incidents of discrimination and harassment may take a variety of forms, depending upon the circumstances of a particular case. Among the disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed on students are the following:  verbal warning, written reprimand, probation, restrictions, suspension and expulsion.  Among the disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed on employees are:  verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension without pay, and termination.  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 Sage. 

All parties will be simultaneously informed of their potential rights to exercise a request for an appeal of the disciplinary determination, where applicable, under the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, Contract, and/or collective bargaining agreement with Sage. 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.

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 this 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, Sage may decline to provide legal, financial or other assistance.

[1] College employees who learn of alleged discrimination or prohibited harassment as a result of privileged communications with a student (e.g., through a counseling relationship) are exempted from this requirement.

Sexual Offense Policies & Procedures For Students and Employees

The Sage Colleges’ Sexual Offense Policies & Procedures For Students and Employees document is available in its entirety in PDF format. For any questions, please contact Title IX Coordinator/EEO Specialist, Dishpaul S. Dhuga, J.D., at 518-244-4809 or [email protected]

 • https://www.sage.edu/student-life/title-ix/policies-procedures/

  • Definitions
  • Prohibited Acts
  • Non-discrimination
  • Procedure for Responding to a Sexual Offense
  • Policy for Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty for Students
  • Immediate Consequences Following a Report of a Sexual Offense
  • Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures for Sexual Offense Cases
  • Notation on Student Transcripts for Crimes of Violence
  • Prohibition of Retaliation
  • Education and Training for Students and Employees
  • Public Awareness and Advocacy Events
  • Sexual Offender Registry
  • Memoranda of Understanding
  • Climate Surveys
  • Annual Reporting

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
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.

Accommodations

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.

Accommodation Disagreements

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 Adjustments

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 psycho educational 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

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.

Records Inspection

The following student records are available for inspection at the specified locations:

Student Services Transcript of grades*
  Grade lists*
  Academic warning, probation and suspension lists*
  Transfer credit records
  Degree information
  General student records
Student Life/Residence Life Judicial records
Offices Parking/traffic violations lists*
   
Dean’s Office Dean’s List
   
Academic Support Center HEOP records

* 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 available on the Public Safety webpage: https://www.sage.edu/about/public-safety/crime-statistics/.