New York State Penal Law and the College Disciplinary Processes

A Plain Language Explanation of Distinctions Between the New York State Penal Law and the College Disciplinary Processes

The following chart was developed by SUNY to help explain to reporting individuals and other members of the campus community the difference between the criminal process and college disciplinary process.  There are significant differences between the two systems because they have different, important goals. In the criminal justice system, prosecutors pursue cases when they believe there is sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an individual has committed a criminal act. A person who is convicted of a crime will face criminal penalties, such as incarceration, probation, or the imposition of a fine. The college disciplinary process seeks to determine whether an individual has violated college policy. In this process, a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is used to determine responsibility. A person who is found to have violated college policy may be suspended, expelled or otherwise restricted from full participation in the college community.

This chart is intended to help explain these differences in a plain language, summary way.  Full, specific details on FIT’s disciplinary procedures and additional resources and rights are available in the College’s Sexual Misconduct Response policy.

For more information on the New York Penal Law, please visit New York Penal Law Definitions.