Bias Related Harassment Policy

North Country Community College supports a community in which differences enrich the educational climate. We care about each and every single student that becomes a part of our community. North Country Community College promotes equality within our community by respecting one another and encouraging a community of tolerance.

COLLEGE NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

We embrace and encourage the celebration of differences and affirm the rights of individuals guaranteed by state and federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. We reject all manifestations of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, self-identified sex, gender identity or expression, status of being transgender, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, carrier status, military or U.S. veteran status, domestic violence victim status, prior criminal conviction, socioeconomic status, or any other differences among people which have been excuses for misunderstandings, divisiveness, or hatred. When such rights are infringed upon by violence, threats, or unlawful harassment, the College will follow due process and use every necessary resource to decisively identify perpetrators for administrative action, civil action, and/or criminal prosecution.

As a community, we will not tolerate any bias related crimes involving any of our employees or students. North Country Community College will apprehend and prosecute persons responsible for bias related crimes committed against any member of our community. Aggravated harassment and assault are two examples of criminal acts which can be motivated by bias against individuals based on their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation. We encourage anyone who witnesses or is a victim of such crimes to come forward and seek justice. Acceptance, safety, peace and equality are what we stand for and you are asked to support this mission as well.

What is a bias-related hate crime?

Hate Crimes Act 2000 (Title Y, Chapter 107, Article 485, New York State Penal Code) Under New York State law, a hate crime is committed when a person commits a "specified offense," such as murder, assault, kidnapping, arson, or other crimes against an individual because of his or her race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation.

A bias related crime is an act or a threatened or attempted act by any person or group of persons against the person or property of another individual or group which in any way constitutes an expression of hostility toward the victim because of his/her race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or ethnicity. This includes, but is not limited to: threatening phone calls, hate mail, physical assaults, vandalism, cross burning, or destruction of religious symbols, and fire bombings.

Have you been a victim of or witnessed a bias related crime?

If you have experienced or observed any one of these situations described below, you may have been part of an incident that qualifies as a bias-related crime. A bias-related crime victim has a number of options that can be explored with our staff ranging from counseling, to anonymous reporting to pursuing formal action. Many bias-related behaviors may also qualify as a hate crime.

  • Someone might have used a derogatory word that disrespected your gender.
  • Someone might have written something on the wall, desk or door that made you feel uncomfortable about your religion.
  • Someone sent you an email that made you feel unwelcome based on your sexual orientation.
  • Someone physically harmed you because you looked different than them.
  • Someone made fun of your background because you were born in a foreign country.
  • Someone touched you in a way that made you feel ashamed of your body.

EXAMPLES OF BIAS RELATED CRIMES

  • Words, symbols, or acts, which are or may be offensive to an identifiable group used by the perpetrator. Ex. Burning cross, swastika, derogatory words or slurs directed at a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, or gender.
  • Written words, slurs or graffiti on walls, boards, buildings, desks, posters, and emails directed at a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, or gender.
  • The victim and the perpetrator are members of different race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, or gender.
  • The victim or victim's group has been subjected to past incidents of a similar nature.
  • There has been tension or hostility between the victim's group and another particular race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, or gender.
  • When multiple incidents occur at the same time, and all victims of the same particular race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, or gender.
  • The perpetrator responsible has a true understanding of the impact of the crime/incident on the victim or other group members.
  • The crime/incident indicates possible involvement by an organized hate group.

Criminal Penalties and Campus Disciplinary Sanctions

Bias-related crimes are deemed a violent felony offense and conviction of a hate crime can lead to penalties ranging from a misdemeanor and a class E felony. In addition to criminal charges, students charged disciplinarily (see the Student Code of Conduct) and if found responsible will be sanctioned accordingly. Please note that the severity of such an infraction is serious and could warrant a sanction of suspension or expulsion from North Country Community College.

We know that the responsibility for bias-related crimes, as true for other acts of violence, rest squarely on the criminal. North Country Community College is dedicated to your safety and will vehemently pursue those who are criminally responsible for acts of misconduct, especially those acts of biasrelated violence (and any other form of violence). Students need to understand that they are responsible for their individual and group conduct. North Country Community College expects members of its community to exercise not only safe habits, but self-control and civil respect for the dignity of others.

Reporting Bias-Related Crime & Harassment

You can report any act of violence to any staff member at North Country Community College. Staff and faculty are required to immediately report any act of violence and any other crimes reported to them directly to our Title IX Coordinator at 518-891-2915 ext. 1209. You can also speak with the College Diversity Office & Dean of Student Life at 518-891-2815 ext. 1205 in a private setting and explore your options at that time. Additionally, individuals can file an incident report with an anonymous reporting option at www.nccc.edu/campus-safety. Click on Incident Report Form. Even, anonymous reporting helps North Country Community College collect valuable information and may help in any investigation current or in the future.

Incidents reported to the Title IX Coordinator or the Office of Student Life will be treated with the utmost degree of privacy. Alleged incidents of bias-related crimes will result in an investigation and local law enforcement agencies assist where appropriate in the presentation of a case before the courts. Local police agencies also has full access to other government agencies (such as the Department of Human Rights and the State Police) in the completion of an investigation and in the rendering of criminal charges.

Students may also seek support and assistance by initiating a conversation with their academic advisor, faculty, residence life staff, human resource specialist, and support staff in any office about any concern or incident regarding a bias-related crime or bias-related harassment. North Country Community College also refers students who have been a victim of a crime, bias-related or otherwise to off-campus counseling services agencies. Students who are victims of bias-related crimes (and any other acts of violence) and students charged with a bias-related crime can also receive support throughout any investigation or criminal process.

Local Law Enforcement Reporting Options

  • Saranac Lake Police Department, 518-891-4422 or 518-891-4428
  • Malone Police Department, 518-483-2424
  • Ticonderoga Police Department, 518-585-3456

Timely Warning Notification

In the event of an incident, the Dean of Life and Student Life (or designee) will publish information to the campus that contains information intended to sensitize the campus community to the nature of any current concern. The privacy of the individual(s) involved is pre-eminent, but in most cases sufficient detail is included that provides the campus community with valuable information to decrease the likelihood of further occurrence. A campus policy precludes the use of orange paper for other than emergency notifications such as incidents of sexual\assaults and bias-related crimes.

Concerns of Personal Safety

In addition, if at any time following an incident, the victim feels his/her personal safety is at risk; he/she should immediately contact the Dean of Student Life who will complete an assessment of the risk and render a decision that is appropriate to the situation. For example, if the victim is concerned about any type of retaliation from the perpetrator or their acquaintances, the College can impose a “no contact” condition between all parties involved. If someone violates the “no contact” (i.e., tries to contact the victim through friends), they will be charged disciplinarily and can be subject to immediate dismissal from the College.

Informing Campus Community on Security Procedures

North Country Community College notifies students of security concerns in a number of ways. Most importantly, in a pro-active manner, students are reminded during orientation, the residential check-in process, and periodically during the semester of the importance of good choices and personal security as they go about their daily lives. Additionally, (1) flyers are posted reminding students of areas of concern are produced and distributed across the campus, (2) the importance of locking doors and securing personal possessions is widely addressed; students and employees are instructed to secure any door that is found unlocked, (3) students are reminded of the importance of exercising good judgment in the selection of activities in which they engage and individuals with whom they affiliate. (4) students and parents are encouraged to investigate and ask questions about campus crime statistics which are maintained by the Dean of Student Life.