Title IX At Marist

Report An Incident


Introduction To Title IX

Marist actively seeks to foster a campus environment of inclusion that is free from discriminatory and biased behaviors. The College is committed to preventing, responding to, and rectifying any incidents of gender-based or sexual misconduct.

The Title IX Office is the on-campus administrative body that handles incidents of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault, dating/relationship violence, domestic violence) and gender-based discrimination. This website reflects changes to the federal Title IX law that went into effect as of July 2022.

Read Marist’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy >

Read Marist's Student Bill of Rights >

Stages of the Title IX proccess >

Final Title IX Classroom Impact >

Parenting or Pregnant? Title IX Protects You from Discrimination >

New York State’s Enough is Enough law provides for a uniform sexual assault policy to protect the state’s college students. The law requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy, and expanded access to law enforcement to ensure the safety of all students. The law also calls for colleges to conduct and share the results of sexual assault campus climate surveys every two years.

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Image of Title IX coordinator Christina Daniele.

Kelly Yough, Director of Equity and Title IX Coordinator, serves as the Title IX Coordinator for the overall campus compliance for Marist College. In this role, she monitors and maintains overall compliance with College policies and procedures in preventing, addressing, and remediating all forms of sex/gender-based discrimination and harassment. Additionally, Ms. Yough works with the Title IX Investigators, to investigate and respond to each complaint and monitor incidents to ensure remediation and continued compliance. The Title IX Coordinator also identifies and addresses any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. The Title IX staff play an integral role in carrying out the institution's commitment to providing a positive learning, teaching, and working environment for the entire community.

Office Location: Student Center 1203
Phone: (845) 575-2210

Bill Meyer, Title IX Investigator
Eliza Benfer, Title IX Out Reach Coordinator


Image of the Marist campus with text overlayed that reads Reporting an Incident.

Marist encourages reporting incidents as this helps the College to identify issues and potential problems so that policies can be enacted to create a better campus culture for everyone.


There are two types of reports. Anyone can report any type of incident (violations of the Code of Student Conduct, bias, etc.) using the College’s form; these reports can be anonymous.

A formal complaint is another type of report that is made specifically to the Title IX Office. Reports made to the Title IX Office may or may not result in an investigation. Changes to the Title IX law that took effect in August 2020 have changed the definition of what types of incidents are within the scope of Title IX.

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Title IX, the landmark gender equity law, banned discrimination on the basis of sex in education and created a whole new playing field for female athletes. As the nation prepared to mark the 50th anniversary of this transformative legislation, Marist College’s Center for Sports Communication and the Marist Poll previously gathered prominent female athletes and sports journalists to reflect on their careers, and how Title IX paved the way for their professional journey. Together with one of the architects of Title IX, A Celebration of Women in Sports explored the evolution of females in the sports industry and addressed the question, “Does more still need to be done?”

Marist has a wide array of resources for seeking help and assistance with issues of sexual misconduct, bias, and gender discrimination. It’s important to know that different people on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality.

There are two types of resources: Confidential and Non-Confidential

Confidential resources are not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to College officials. An individual who speaks to someone in a confidential professional role must understand that, if the individual wants to maintain confidentiality, the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into particular incidents or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged respondent.

Confidential resources may assist individuals in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as survivor advocacy, academic support or accommodations, disability, health and mental health services, changes in residence halls, and adjustments to working and course schedules in coordination with the Title IX Coordinator.

At Marist, the following are confidential resources:

- Health Services
- Counseling Services
- Ordained Clergy

Non-confidential resources include all other Marist employees. All employees (faculty and staff outside of the categories noted above) are required to share disclosures of policy violations to the Title IX Office.

Confidential Resources
Counseling Services, Midrise 113, 845-575-3314,
Health Services, Student Center 352, 845-575-3270,
Department of Spiritual Life and Service, Byrne House, 845-575-3000 (x2275),
Family Services (off-campus), 845-452-1110 (x3083)

- Center for Victim Safety & Support (24/7, off-campus crisis hotline)

Center for Victim Safety & Support Brochure

- Domestic Violence, 845-485-5550

- Rape Crisis and Crime Victims, 845-452-7272

Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital (off campus), 845-431-8220
Vassar Brothers Medical Center (off campus), 845-431-5680

Non-Confidential Resources

Title IX Office, Student Center 1203, 845-575-3799

- The Title IX Office responds to all reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. The office offers both formal and informal resolutions.

- Student Conduct, Rotunda 386, 845-575-3514
- Safety & Security, Donnelly 201, 845-471-1822,
- Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department (24/7 off-campus): (Emergency) 911, (Non-Emergency) 845-485-3666

Q: Will the information I share about sexual assault be kept confidential?

A: Confidentiality depends upon whom a victim chooses to speak with about the incident. Members of the Marist community have two types of resources available to them: Confidential and Non-Confidential.

Confidential Resources. Communications with some individuals are considered confidential. This means that any information shared by the reporting party with a specific individual will not be used against them in the Title IX process.

Students should always confirm whether confidentiality applies to the communication. Confidentiality applies when a student seeks services from the following persons/offices on campus:

- Counseling Service
- Health Services
- Ordained Clergy

Off-campus confidential resources include:

- Victim Advocate
- Family Services
- Personal Attorney

Non-Confidential Resources. A College employee cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but the individual can guarantee privacy. College employees—except as noted above—are required to share disclosures of policy violations to the Title IX Office. Information is disclosed only to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their responsibilities.

As is the case with any educational institution, the College must balance the needs of the individual student with its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of the community at large. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

Q: If my report of sexual misconduct involves alcohol use, will I be punished?

A: While the College does not condone violations of its policies, reporting incidents of sexual misconduct is import. Thus, the College will not pursue disciplinary action against any person for possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs when that possession or consumption is revealed in the course of a good faith report of sexual misconduct or other good faith statements made in connection with an investigation.

Q: What options do I have for reporting sexual misconduct?

A: Marist is committed to creating an environment that encourages students to come forward if they have experienced any form of sexual misconduct.

There are two types of reports. Anyone can report an incident using the College’s form; these reports can be anonymous. A formal complaint is another type of report that is made specifically to the Title IX Office. Reports made to the Title IX Office may or may not result in an investigation. Changes to the Title IX law that took effect in August 2020 have changed the definition of what types of incidents are within the scope of Title IX. Read more about those changes here.

In addition to supporting individual students affected by sexual misconduct, the College takes all incidents seriously and has a responsibility to address misconduct. When sexual misconduct involves criminal behavior, students are strongly encouraged to report the situation to law enforcement. The College will assist the student in notifying local law enforcement if the student so requests. An incident can be reported even if the student has not decided whether to take legal action. Nonetheless, students are always free to report and are encouraged to share instances of such behavior with the Title IX Coordinator, Safety & Security, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Office of Student Conduct regardless of whether or not they choose to press formal criminal charges with law enforcement.

Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of, or share information about, sexual misconduct as soon as possible. This is true even if the student with a complaint or a witness may have concern that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or other prohibited conduct were involved. Again, the College will not pursue disciplinary violations against a student with a complaint or a witness for their improper use of alcohol or drugs if the student is making a good faith report of sexual misconduct.

The College can take action only if the College is made aware of the behavior. If a College administrator becomes aware of a complaint or other violation of this policy, the administrator should bring the information to the Title IX Coordinator so that concerns are heard and services can be offered to the reporting party.

Q: Is there a time limit to make a report or file a formal complaint? What offices should be contacted?

The College strongly encourages prompt reporting of complaints and information rather than risking any student's well-being. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal charges with the College, the College may ultimately be unable to adequately investigate if too much time has passed or if the accused student has graduated. Factors that could negatively impact the College's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence (e.g., prompt medical examinations are critical to preserving the physical evidence of sexual assault), the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.

The College strongly encourages students to report concerns to either or both of the following offices:

- For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies, or if criminal behavior is involved, students are encouraged to contact the Police by telephone at:

- 845-485-3666 (Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department)

- 845-451-4000 (City of Poughkeepsie Police Department)

Contacting the police does not mean you must pursue charges. The police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options.

- To seek assistance and support, or to report misconduct, contact the Title IX Coordinator (845-575-2210)

- In all situations, the College's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.

- Student Affairs staff members are available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any College investigation or adjudication process. This staff member is not an "advocate" as that term is used nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process. Rather, the staff member serves as an "advisor," a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed.

- For complaints against other students, faculty, or staff the Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy and procedure will govern the process.

- In situations where a responding party faces both a disciplinary complaint and a criminal charge, the College reserves the right to move forward with an investigative and adjudication process at the same time the criminal process is proceeding.

Q: What happens after I file a report? Will the Title IX Office communicate with me?

A: Once the Title IX Office receives a report, a staff member will reach out to the Complainant (the person who has been victimized) and offer resources and options available on campus and in the community. Individuals are not obligated to communicate with the Title IX Office. If a report results in an investigation, both the Complainant and Respondent will be provided with written notice of the initiation of each major stage of the investigative process. This includes, but is not limited to, a notice of investigation, informing parties when investigators are meeting with the other party, when interviews have concluded, and when a preliminary report is completed.

Q: I understand the Title IX law has changed. What if my formal complaint is dismissed?

A: Changes to Title IX took effect in August 2020. If it is determined that a report does not fall within the narrow definition of a Title IX incident, it will be dismissed. However, that does not preclude the College from taking necessary action based on its own discrimination, sexual harassment, and conduct policies.

Q: What are the benefits of reporting a sexual assault to the police?

A: Contacting the Police does not mean you must pursue charges. The Police can advise you of your options and can also preserve evidence while you consider your options. The Police can also advise you on safety planning techniques.
For emergencies, contact 911. For non-emergencies students are encouraged to contact the Police by telephone at:

- 845-485-3666 (Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department)
- 845-451-4000 (City of Poughkeepsie Police Department)

Q: I’m an employee at the College and I have become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct. What should I do?

A: As a member of the Marist College community, you may be called upon to provide support to a victim of sexual assault and to refer this person to professional resources. These steps are designed to help you best support and inform someone of the resources available to assist with the person’s physical and emotional needs.

Although we all want to help, please remember that counseling and investigating must be performed by trained professionals employed by the campus to perform those roles. Please do not engage in investigating, analyzing, counseling or other activities. You are a bridge to connect the student with the appropriate person, who will provide the reporting party with options for support, accommodations and accountability. We also encourage you to provide the student with immediate information about Health and Counseling Services on campus, which offers confidential service during working hours. A counselor is available 24/7 for crisis. If you are trying to contact the counselor on-call, please contact Safety & Security (845-471-1822, Donnelly 201) and provide a phone number for the counselor to contact you.

Do your best to ensure that the student knows that you are a mandated reporter before they disclose an incident that you must report.

When necessary, interrupt students to inform them of your role. You might say, “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I want you to be informed about your choices regarding what you tell and to whom this information is reported. There are a number of situations where I am required to report what you tell me to the campus Title IX Coordinator. I’m happy to talk with you, but if you’d like to first explore options for confidential counseling support, accommodations and accountability with someone who can keep your information confidential, here’s a list of numbers you can call.”

Some things to remember about your conversation with this person:

- Recognize that it can be an enormous step for someone to talk with another person about a sexual assault and that this person has placed trust in you by revealing the experience. That being said, remember that you are not a counselor, an investigator, or a state-certified victim advocate. Acknowledge the boundaries on your relationship with this person while helping her or him access the resources and assistance that can offer the best support and care.
- Given the trust the person has placed in you, please respect the person’s privacy. Do not share the person’s experience with others except for the Title IX Coordinator, as explained below.

- Believe the person, support the person’s choices, and refer the person to the appropriate resources listed below. Very few people lie about sexual assault or rape. In fact, there is severe under-reporting of these crimes. Consider how difficult it is to recount, and by extension, often re-live trauma by talking about an experience of sexual violence. Your ability to listen and respond in nonjudgmental ways can help to change the culture of silence that exists around sexualized violence.

- You can assure the person that no records or reports of sexual assault are kept in the victim’s permanent academic or personnel records.

- Finally, in addition to the resources available to the person, there are also resources available to you as an employee. If you feel you need to talk to someone about the impact of this situation for yourself personally, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program.

- Let the person know they can contact Family Services (845) 452-1110 (non-emergency scheduling); 845-452-7272 (24/7 Hotline); or visit at 29 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY to speak with a confidential, state-certified victim advocate who is trained to work specifically with victims of sexual assault. The advocate can explain all of the options available to the person and also support the person through any of the next steps, which may include counseling, medical, disciplinary processes, and/or law enforcement notification. If possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call.

- Let the person know there are other resources in addition to the advocate. Again, if possible, offer the person the use of your phone and a private space to make the call, or offer to walk with the person to any of the on-campus offices.

- Medical Services: the person may want to seek confidential medical attention to care for her or himself or to preserve evidence of the assault in the event criminal charges might be contemplated later. In New York, these exams are free.

- Confidential medical care only

- Mid Hudson Regional Hospital 845-483-5000
- Vassar Brothers Medical Center 845-454-8500
- Planned Parenthood (845) 471-1540

- Preservation of evidence through forensic exam:

- Mid-Hudson Medical Center
- Vassar Brothers Medical Center

- Counseling Services: the person may want to speak with a professional counselor in a confidential setting.

- Student Counseling Services (for students) 845-575-3314
- Employee Assistance Program (for employees-HR) 845-575-3349

- Law Enforcement: the person may wish to contact law enforcement even if the person has not decided whether to pursue criminal charges. Police can advise the person of options, help preserve evidence while the victim considers those options, and assist in safety planning and consideration. Contacting law enforcement does not mean the person must pursue criminal charges.

- Safety & Security: 845-471-1822
- Town of Poughkeepsie Police: 845-485-3666
- City of Poughkeepsie Police: 845-451-4000

- Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Office (845-575-3515): a student can speak with the staff for any of the following matters:

- Assistance with classes or housing
- Information about interim steps to protect the student or campus
- Information about the student conduct process
- Additional services or resources on campus or in the community

- Let the person know that you need to disclose the assault to the Title IX Coordinator for purposes of complying with the Clery Act (a federal law requiring that campuses report and track crime statistics). Report as much about the assault as you can (date, location). To notify the Title IX Coordinator please see the contact information on the left hand side of this page.
- Let the person know about the Title IX & Sexual Misconduct webpage -- consider showing the person the web page in your office and printing off a copy. The webpage has many resources and other helpful information for a person who has experienced a sexual assault.
- Let the person know you believe and support them, and that you hope they will take some steps to help and care for themselves.

Do let the victim know that you care, using a calm and compassionate tone.

Do say something like, “I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.”

Don’t overly express your own feelings about what happened to them.

Don’t say, “It’s outrageous that you’ve had to experience this!”

Do acknowledge your non-verbal expressions, when appropriate: If a strong emotion flickers across your face as you listen, e.g., if you know that anger passed over your face, do acknowledge it.

Do say (in a calm voice) something like, “If you saw anger on my face I just want you to know that I wasn’t angry at you; I felt anger at the fact that someone would choose to harm you.”

Don’t define their experience for them.

Don’t say, “Well, it sounds to me like you were raped!”

Do use the words the victim uses to describe their experience. If they say rape, don’t interrogate them about what they mean. If they say “taken advantage of” or “violated” use those words, or other general terms such as “harm.” Do validate that what happened to them was not ok. Do say something like, “I am so sorry that person harmed you.”

- Remember: None of us have the magic words that will support victims in all contexts. Even from the best of intentions we might say something hurtful. If you see that what you said caused the victim to become upset, acknowledge this. You might say something like, “I think what I said just made this harder for you.”

If a Student discloses committing an act of violence:
Call the Title IX Coordinator to let them know that you have reason to believe a student has committed an act of violence. Do not let the student know you are reporting this, as this could interfere with the investigation and/or could result in retaliation.

After fulfilling your obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator, keep the student’s information private:

If the topic of a student victim’s performance or success in the major comes up in department meetings, provide the minimum information you can in order to support the student.
Do say: They are in the midst of a significant crisis.
Don’t say: Since they were raped they have been struggling in my class.

- Remember: If you need to talk about the impact on you of hearing about a student’s trauma, please call the Employee Assistance Program (for employees-HR) 845-575-3349 for support, rather than speaking to colleagues. Those employees who do not have a legitimate reason to know about the incident should not be told, in order to protect the privacy of the victim.

Q: Why am I encouraged to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President of Student Affairs Office?

A: The staff can assist a student in filing formal complaints or, if the student does not want to file a formal complaint, the staff can work with the student to address concerns over housing, class assignments or schedules, leaves of absence, withdrawal or other academic concerns. The office staff can also assist the student in notifying local law enforcement, if the student so requests.

The College will make student services staff member available to a student with a complaint if the student would like assistance throughout any College investigation or adjudication process. This staff member serves as a point of contact to answer questions and explain processes, join the student in meetings, and make sure the student's expressed needs are being addressed. This staff member is not an "advocate" (as described in the policy and procedures) nor is that staff person a representative who will speak on behalf of the student in any investigatory or adjudication process. Rather, this staff member can serve as an advisor.

In all situations, the College's goal is to treat the student who reports misconduct with sensitivity and fairness, while also ensuring the accused individual receives due process if any disciplinary action is to be imposed.

The College may take immediate interim actions to protect the safety of the community, to enable students with complaints and witnesses to continue studies, and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. These actions may include:

Interim Measures:

- Interim suspension of the responding party
- No-contact notices
- Modifying class or work schedules
- Making alternate housing arrangements
- Addressing other academic concerns (e.g., absences, assignments, grades, leaves of absence, withdrawal)

Q: Does it make a difference if the sexual misconduct occurs on or off campus?

A: No. According to the College's policy and procedures, under the grievance section it is defined that sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as those terms are described below.

On-Campus Violations: The campus includes the geographic confines of the College, including its land, institutional roads and buildings, its leased premises, common areas at leased premises, the property, facilities and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the College, such as the Student Union or College housing. College housing includes all types of College residence housing such as halls and apartments. Unrecognized housing includes fraternity and sorority chapter dwellings.

Off-Campus Violations: Students should be aware that off campus violations that affect a clear and distinct interest of the College are subject to disciplinary action. As examples, sexual misconduct and harassment are within the College's interests when the behavior:

- Involves conduct directed at or by a College student, employee, or other member of the College community (e.g., private house party, outside employment);
- Occurs during College-sponsored events (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, College-related travel, student recruitment activities, internships and service learning experiences);
- Occurs during the events of organizations affiliated with the College, including the events of student organizations;
- Occurs during a Study Abroad Program or other international travel; or
- Poses a disruption or threat to the College community.

Q: Why should I seek medical attention when I haven't decided whether I want to report the assault to the police or the College?

A: Seeking medical attention can help you in many ways. First, seeking medical attention can help you take care of your own health by checking for injuries, treating those injuries, and addressing the possibility of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.

Second, a forensic medical exam can preserve evidence of the assault. This is important even if you are currently undecided about your next steps because you may later decide to pursue criminal charges or College disciplinary charges - that evidence can help in both situations. A medical exam is not, however, required before pursuing criminal or College disciplinary charges.

In Dutchess County, New York, initial medical exams are free for a person who has been sexually assaulted.

Q: Where can I find information about safety and crime statistics for the College?

A: The purpose of the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report is to provide our faculty, staff, students, and visitors with campus security and safety information in order that their experiences at Marist College may be safe and enjoyable. It has been prepared by the Marist College Safety & Security Department and anyone with questions pertaining to this report, or any security-related issue or concern, should contact the Director of Safety & Security at (845) 471-1822.

This report is filed as required by the federal “Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act,” (hereafter referred to as the Campus Safety Act) which was last amended in 1998. The report also includes reporting requirements mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. Collectively, the laws require that Marist College prepare and publish both an Annual Security Report and an Annual Fire Safety Report. Marist incorporates both reports into one main report called the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report. The laws are designed to provide individuals with a better understanding of campus security and safety issues so that they may make informed decisions. Marist has taken a proactive approach to campus security and safety, is in full compliance with all laws applicable to campus safety, and is pleased to prepare, publish and distribute this report to all current students and employees. This report is also available to any applicant for enrollment or employment at Marist College.

Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey

Marist has conducted three Sexual Assault Campus Climate surveys in order to learn more about:
  • Students’ perceptions of the College’s climate on unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault.
  • Students’ perceptions of how the College addresses and responds to sexual assault.
  • Whether and how often students have experienced unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.
We realize that we can only begin real improvement when we receive candid feedback. The last survey was conducted in November 2022. Key findings are available here.