SUNY's Mandatory Child Sexual Abuse Reporting & Prevention Policy
SUNY Mandatory Child Sexual Abuse Reporting & Prevention Policy
Background: On December 17, 2012, the State University of New York Board of Trustees adopted a new policy to mandate the reporting of incidents of child sexual abuse on University property and at University-sponsored events, and to take steps to prevent such incidents. The SUNY policy goes above and beyond all reporting requirements currently mandated by New York State law.
The purpose of this new policy is to further protect minors who are present on SUNY campuses or participating in SUNY-sponsored activities by ensuring that what should be a moral obligation also becomes a legal obligation. The policy should be enforced as any other conduct rules on campus. All members of the University community have a role to play in preventing sexual abuse of children and providing University Police with relevant information about the victim and assailant so that law enforcement consequences will be triggered. It is a violation of the policy for a member of the University community to attempt to handle a case of sexual abuse “in house,” within a department, residence hall, or athletic team, for example. All reports must be brought to the attention of University Police for further investigation and handling as a criminal matter. Importantly, the Board has stressed that there shall be no retaliation or retribution against anyone based on making a report under this policy.
With the new policy, the Board directs all SUNY campuses to adopt local procedures to:
Campus Compliance with New Policy
Campus: Each state-operated campus must adopt local procedures which implement this policy. This will require amendments to campus student conduct codes and appropriate notifications to students, employees and volunteers. Campuses must also train members of their communities on these new reporting obligations and to ensure that vendors and others using University property also have procedures in place to protect minors.
Individuals: Members of the campus community must make a report to the applicable University Police Department (UPD) when they either witness or have reasonable case to suspect that child sexual abuse has occurred.
Police: Along with initiating its standard investigatory procedures and notifications to other campus offices (such as Human Resources or Student Affairs), UPD, in turn, must notify the SUNY Commissioner of University Police, Dr. Bruce McBride, of the receipt of such a report.
Notice on Confidentiality:
The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials or the SUNY Compliance Administrator. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.
Policy on Mandatory Reporting and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Any employee or student of or volunteer for the State University of New
York who witnesses or has reasonable cause to suspect any sexual abuse of a child occurring on State University property or while off campus during official State University business or University-sponsored events shall have an affirmative obligation to report such conduct to the relevant University Police Department immediately. Such report should include the names of the victim and assailant (if known), other identifying information about the victim and assailant, the location of the activity, and the nature of the activity. Upon receiving such a report, the applicable University Police Department shall promptly notify the Commissioner of University Police at SUNY System Administration who shall report such incidents to the Chancellor for periodic reporting to the Board of Trustees. In addition, to aid in the prevention of crimes against children on property of the State University of New York and/or during official State University business at events sponsored by the State University of New York, relevant employees
should be trained on the identification of such crimes and proper notification requirements. Vendors, licensees or others who are given permission to come onto campus or to use University facilities for events or activities that will include
participation of children shall ensure that they have in place procedures for training, implementation of applicable pre-employment screening requirements
and reporting of child sexual abuse. For purposes of this policy, the applicable definitions of child sexual abuse are those used in the NYS Penal Law in Articles 130 and 263 and Section 260.10 and “child” is defined as an individual under the age of 17.