Student Advocacy

Student Advocacy

In addition to working with students who are involved in the student conduct process, the Office of Community Standards collaborates with other campus departments to advocate for students on a variety of issues. Some of the offices are listed below.

The advocacy programs/processes are described in each tab above.

Other offices we work with include:

Right to have an Advisor

Students who have been notified of an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct will be assigned a time for an administrative hearing. At this hearing the student will hear the details of the charges and have the opportunity to provide their perspective of the incident in question.

One of the rights of all students going through this process is to have an advisor, of their choice, present with them through any part of the conduct process. The advisor may be a friend, parent, attorney, campus organization advisor, etc. Many students choose not to have any advisor with them, however, it is important to know this is an option.

The following set of expectations apply to advisors who attend meetings/hearings with students:

  1. The advisor may be anyone the student chooses as long as the person is not involved in the case.
  2. The student must present their own case. The advisor may not represent or speak for the student.
  3. The advisor may offer advice to the student by whispering or through written notes.
  4. The student or advisor may ask questions regarding hearing process and procedures.
  5. The advisor may not communicate in any way with others who are involved in the case (such as witnesses, hearing officer/board members, accused or reporting student(s) not being advised by you).
  6. In order to protect the confidentiality of the conduct process, the advisor should not discuss the case with others aside from the student whom are advising.
  7. An advisor who fails to follow these expectations may be asked to leave a conduct meeting or hearing.

Medical Amnesty

Medical Amnesty Policy (What is expected of you?):

You may be eligible for medical amnesty if you receive emergency medical assistance related to your consumption of alcohol or other drugs (whether transported to the hospital or not), or if you seek assistance on behalf of another student from staff or UPD.

After the incident, you will receive a letter which outlines the timeline and tasks you must complete in order to receive amnesty.

Tasks that could be required of you:

  • Risk assessment plan
  • Educational initiatives administered by the counseling center
  • Pay for online education module

Amnesty can only be received once

If you violate other university policies outside of the Alcohol and/or Drug policies (i.e. fake ID), you will have a separate hearing.

Policy for Alcohol and/or Drug Use Amnesty in Sexual & Interpersonal Violence

  • The health and safety of every student at the State University of New York and its State-operated and community colleges is of utmost importance. SUNY Oneonta recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. SUNY Oneonta strongly encourages students to report incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to SUNY Oneonta officials or law enforcement will not be subject to SUNY Oneonta code of conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

Bias Acts Response Team (BART)

A bias act is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group based on the social identity categories of national origin, ethnicity, race, age, religion, gender, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, color, creed, marital status or any combination of these characteristics. The perpetrators may be known or unknown and the act may be verbal, written or physical and occur on the SUNY Oneonta campus or within an area that affects the campus community. Activity protected by the First Amendment will not constitute bias acts.

The Office of Human Resources, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Office of Community Standards, and the University Police Department may all provide assistance to anyone who believes they have been the victim of a hate crime or bias act.

Reports of bias acts are reviewed by the Bias Acts Response Team, which oversees the responses to individuals and/or communities who have been affected by bias acts. Responses may include investigation and adjudication, as appropriate, by University Police Department, the Office of Community Standards, and/or the Affirmative Action Office. Other kinds of responses (e.g., passive or active programming about bias acts, facilitated meetings among those who have perpetrated bias acts and those who have been targeted, etc.) are arranged on a case-by-case basis. Persons or communities who have been targeted will be contacted by a member of the team to discuss possible responses and options for investigation and adjudication.

Victims of hate crime or bias acts can avail themselves of counseling and support services from the campus by contacting the Counseling Center at 607-436-3368.

Anyone who is the victim or witness of a bias act is encouraged to report the incident using the Bias Act Reporting Form.

Mediation Opportunities

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where multiple parties work together to identify underlying reasons for conflict, then collaborate to find a solution to the problem or disagreement.

The discussion is facilitated by one or more neutral mediators will ensure the meeting is conducted in a manner that is conducive to working toward a resolution.

What types of disputes are appropriate for mediation? The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of situations and disputes that may be appropriate for mediation:

  • Roommate disagreements and other residence hall matters
  • Noise complaints
  • Possessions borrowed and not returned, or returned but not in its original state
  • Harassment
  • Students feuding in class over joint projects
  • Relationship issues
  • Stolen or mishandled property
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Misunderstanding and miscommunication
  • Lifestyle differences
  • Student groups disputes (either internally or between groups)

Silent Witness

The silent witness form is provided for anyone who would like to anonymously report any incident. These reports go directly to University Police. There is no electronic trail for reports submitted via this form, and it cannot be tracked back to the individual who submitted it. Be sure to include enough information in the report so the University Police department can adequately look into the incident.


Community Standards
119 Netzer Admin. Building
Phone 607.436.3353
Fax 607.436.2283

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