All members of the FIT community have the responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately with any child visiting the FIT campus or participating in college-related programs and activities. This policy further requires any member of the FIT community who interacts with, supervises, chaperones, or otherwise oversees children in programs or activities at the college or sponsored by the college, to immediately report incidents or suspicion of sexual abuse of children under the age of 17. The policy insures that reporters should not be subject to retaliation.
Although most students on FIT’s campus or enrolled in its programs are 17 years of age or older, there are children under 17 years of age present at FIT throughout the year. FIT has a responsibility to protect those children who are entrusted to our care or are visiting our campus. This policy is intended to make clear that protecting children from sexual abuse on our campus or while participating in off-campus college-sponsored programs and activities, is the responsibility of the entire community but especially those who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee children, whether such persons are administrators, faculty, staff, students, volunteers, consultants or independent contractors. The policy does not modify the special obligations and privileges of the college’s “mandated reporters,” who are required by New York State law to report cases of suspected child abuse (including sexual abuse) and maltreatment as defined in the law. They include physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and mental health professionals, among others.
Covered Activity: any activity or program sponsored or approved by the college, including an activity conducted by an affiliated organization, vendor, licensee or permittee so approved, occurring on or off campus.
Covered Person: any person who interacts with, supervises, chaperones or otherwise oversees children participating in a covered activity and who is:
- An employee of the college or college-affiliated organization,
- A college student,
- A volunteer of the college or college-affiliated organization, or
- A vendor, licensee, permittee or other person, who is given permission to come onto campus or to use college facilities for covered activities or programs and their employees, agents or volunteers
Responsible College Official: the employee of the college, designated by the college, who has primary responsibility for a covered activity.
College-affiliated Organization: the FIT Board of Trustees, the Fashion Institute of Technology Foundation, the Alumni Association of F.I.T., Inc., the F.I.T. Student-Faculty Corporation and the F.I.T. Student Housing Corporation.
Child: An individual under the age of 17 years.
Sexual Abuse: any sexual activity with a child and/or encouraging or promoting sexual performance by a child. For purposes of this policy the applicable definitions are those used in the New York State Penal Law in Articles 130 and 263 and Section 260.10. These include sexual misconduct, rape, criminal sex acts, forcible touching, persistent sexual abuse, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, course of sexual conduct against a child, facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance, sexually motivated felony, and predatory sexual assault against a child. New York State Penal Law defines sexual performance by a child to include any behavior which results in touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a child for the purpose of sexual gratification of the child and/or adult, including touching by the child and/or adult with or without clothing.
A covered person shall not:
- Be alone with a child, unless the covered person is a parent, relative, or guardian of the child, in a bathroom, locker room, shower, or sleeping area;
- Engage in any form of sexual abuse of a child;
- Engage in the use, possession, distribution, or misuse of alcohol or illegal drugs, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during covered activities;
- Enable, facilitate, or fail to address a child’s use of alcohol or illegal/non-prescribed drugs;
- Contact a child through private communication or college-owned equipment or devices, not limited to calls, text messaging, electronic media, including social media, for the purposes of enticing sexual conduct, or not pertaining to college matters;
- Offer or make a gift to a child for the purpose of enticing sexual conduct;
- Release a child from a covered activity without a written authorization from the child’s parent or guardian;
- Date or become romantically involved with a child;
- Use the internet or other media to view or download sexually oriented or explicit materials on college property or in the presence of a child in a covered activity; and
- Any other conduct that could be deemed harmful to a child and of a sexual nature.
Enforcement: Any covered person who willfully fails to report an incident of suspected or witnessed sexual abuse of a child will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Non-retaliation: Retaliation against a person acting in good faith, and without malice, in accordance with this policy, who reports an incident or suspicion of child sexual abuse is prohibited. The college will review complaints or retaliation against a person who reports child sexual abuse or cooperates in the investigation of an alleged incident of child sexual abuse. Persons found to have retaliated in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Reports that are knowingly false, made with malicious intent, or with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation made, are not good faith reports, are prohibited by this policy, and may subject the violator to disciplinary action.
Third Party Use of College Facilities: Third-party organizations that wish to operate programs or activities involving children on campus must be aware of, and comply with, the college’s Mandatory Child Sexual Abuse Reporting and Prevention Policy.
Background Checks: As part of the process for hiring new employees, FIT requires new hires to complete a background check.
A covered person shall:
- Take all reasonable measures to prevent sexual abuse of a child, including immediately removing a child from a dangerous situation;
- Report immediately suspected or witnessed sexual abuse of a child to FIT Security, and provide the report in writing as required by FIT Security. Reports can also be made to any vice president, the General Counsel, or any dean, department director, department chairperson or coordinator. Any senior administrator, dean, department director, department chairperson or coordinator, or any other person with supervisory responsibility who receives reports of sexual abuse of a child, must similarly report it to FIT Security immediately, and provide the report in writing as required by FIT Security;
- Complete all required training developed pursuant to this policy
A responsible college official shall:
- Confirm that the requirements of this policy have been communicated to covered persons prior to the commencement of a covered activity;
- Immediately report allegations of sexual abuse of a child to FIT Security, and provide the report in writing as required by FIT Security for each allegation of sexual abuse of the child;
- Notify and coordinate with appropriate campus offices to ensure that allegations of suspected or witnessed sexual abuse are investigated and addressed appropriately;
- Confirm that required training on this policy has occurred prior to the commencement of a covered activity or program for all covered persons who are employees, volunteers, students or agents of the college or a college-affiliated organization;
- Confirm that all covered persons have read this policy prior to commencement of a covered activity or program.
FIT INVESTIGATION AND DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
When a report of sexual violence is made, the victim and the alleged perpetrator will be accorded the same rights throughout an investigation and disciplinary proceedings with respect to having the assistance or support of an advocate, access to evidence, presentation of witnesses, other evidence, arguments, appeal, and being informed of the outcome of the proceedings.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
D-Building, Lower Level, Room DC35
210 West 27th Street
National Domestic Violence Hotline
800 799-SAFE (7233)
NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline
In NYC: 800 621-HOPE (4673)
Or dial 311
Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
Affirmative Action Officer and Acting Director of Compliance (Title IX designee)
Office of Planning, Assessment, and Compliance
Assistant Vice President for Administration
Office of the Assistant Vice President for Administration
Assistant Vice President/Dean of Students
Enrollment Management and Student Success
Director of Employee and Labor Relations
Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
Director of Campus Security
Office of Campus Security