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How Are Bias-related Offenses Handled?

Under the New York State Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2000, a bias-related crime is committed when a person commits a specified offense1 such as murder, assault, kidnapping, arson, vandalism, 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. The new law helps reinforce the message that hate crimes will not be tolerated. This law also helps ensure that college students are informed about bias crimes and RIT policies and procedures to address these offenses.

Circumstances of reported bias-related incidents at RIT include verbal and written harassment directed against an individual. Public Safety vigorously and thoroughly investigates these offenses. Each case involving student misconduct is forwarded to Student Conduct and Mediation Services for adjudication. Victims are routinely encouraged to request the Monroe County Sheriffs' Office to pursue criminal charges in local courts, and the Institute fully cooperates with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus. Sanctions against perpetrators may include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation, suspension, termination or employment, criminal prosecution, and civil prosecution. In all cases, the medical and psychological needs of the victim are the top priority, and professionally trained RIT Counselors are available 24/7 for anyone who has been victimized. The RIT Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the August Center and appointments can be made by calling 475-2261/475-6897-TTY.

Each year, RIT community members are advised about security policies and procedures in RIT's Safety and Security Report. Included in the report is information on how to report a crime, available safety awareness programs, RIT drug and alcohol polices, and reported campus crime statistics. Reported offenses are also published weekly in Reporter magazine and Crime Alerts are distributed regularly throughout campus when serious offenses are reported. The Safety and Security report is available on Public Safety's website.

1: Specified offenses are listed in the NYS Penal Law; section 485.05 Hate Crimes