Safety Resources & Prevention Services
Below are some common sense tips for how to avoid or stop harassing, annoying, or potentially dangerous situations.
On- & Off-Campus Resources — Personal Health & Safety
Important phone numbers
- University Police: 518-564-2022
- Emergency: 911
- Office of Director of Student Conduct: 518-564-3882
- Student Health Center: 518-564-2187
- Counseling & Psychological Resource Center: 518-564-3086
- Angell Center Desk: 518-564-2121
- Maintenance & Operations: 518-564-5010
- Hazing Hotline: 518-564-5555
- City of Plattsburgh Police Department: 518-563-3411
Health & Wellness Related
- Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital: 518-561-2000
- Sexual Assault Services/ Help Line: 877-212-2323
- Clinton County Suicide Hotline: 866-577-3836
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 518-563-6904
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 518-561-8444
- County Mental Health Association: 518-566-0100
- Poison Control: 800-336-6997
- Hazing Hotline: 518-564-5555
Title IX OfficerTitle IX coordinator: 518-564-3281
Personal Safety Tips
- If you would like your student information and phone number unlisted, file a request for confidentiality with the registrar’s office. This will place a warning next to your name that instructs college personnel not to give out your information.
- Report alarming phone calls to University Police.
- Avoid intoxicated persons. If you see a bad situation, alert University Police.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, stalking is generally defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. As many as 1-in-4 women and 1-in-13 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime and most often the stalker is someone the victim knows — an acquaintance, a relative, or a current or former intimate partner. Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person work for another, yet victims can take steps to increase their safety
What to Do
- Call University Police to report it.
- Walk in well-lit, well-traveled areas.
- Trust your instincts. Victims of stalking often feel pressured by friends or family to downplay the stalker’s behavior, but stalking poses a real threat of harm. Your safety is paramount.
- Call University Police if you feel you are in any immediate danger.
- Keep a record or log of each contact with the stalker. Be sure to also document any police reports.
- Stalkers often use technology to contact their victims. Save all e-mails, text messages, photos, and postings on social networking sites as evidence of the stalking behavior.
- Get connected with a local victim advocate to talk through your options
- If you suspect that others have your residence hall entry code or room combination, request that it be changed at residence life.
- If you suspect that a car is following you when you are on foot do an “about face”, walk in the other direction and go to the nearest public phone and call 911.
- If you suspect you are being followed by someone on foot, cross the street walking in the opposite direction and call 911.
- If while driving you suspect you are being followed by another vehicle, call 911 and drive directly to the closest police station and honk your horn until an officer comes out to help.
- Don’t share your residence hall entry code or room combination with anyone.
- Don’t admit strangers to the residence hall, even if they look plausible. Send them to University Police or phone University Police to assist them.
- Report any suspicious persons or activity to University Police.
- Keep your room locked both when you are home or away.
- Use the door viewer to identify callers before allowing entry.
- Keep cash, credit cards, and Personal Identification Numbers secure.
- Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request, whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
- Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. Hang up on robocalls. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Don’t pay up front for a promise.
- If you drink, drink responsibly.
- Keep your door locked when you are at home and away. Intruders can easily enter when you are in the backyard, etc.
- Keep curtains closed at night.
- Place alarm stickers on your windows and doors.
- Get a dog, or at least a dog dish. Leave the dish out on the porch where potential burglars can see it.
- Be certain your smoke alarms are operational and replace the batteries once a year. Test the alarms at least once a month.
- Keep a fully charged fire extinguisher accessible.
- Do not leave cooking food unattended.
- Smoking is the leading cause of death from fire. Smokers falling asleep with a lit cigarette is a common cause.
- Make sure there are multiple means of getting out in case of fire. Do not store property where it can block a fire exit. Do not block window openings.
- Make an escape plan in advance and test it. Ask yourself, “Where can I get out if a fire starts ___________?”
- Be sure fire escapes are operational and accessible. Report any deficiencies to the City of Plattsburgh building inspectors office at 518-563-7707.
Your Personal Property
- Keep cash, credit cards, personal billing number and personal identification numbers secure.
- Keep your car locked and valuables out of sight.
- Use book bag lockers at the dining halls.
Interpersonal Violence & Hate Crimes
Laws and resources you should know about.
You are encouraged to report to University Police any sexual assault, dating/partner violence, stalking and/or hate crimes or incident. University Police will investigate your complaint and help you move forward with criminal charges and/or the college judicial process.
You may also report to the Office of Student Conduct & Judicial Affairs. However, in this case you will not have the benefit of a police investigation. The Office of Student Conduct & Judicial Affairs can be reached at 518-564-3282. Where there is probable cause to believe the college’s regulations prohibiting sexual assault, dating/partner violence, stalking and/or hate crimes have been violated; the college will pursue strong judicial sanctions. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension or dismissal from the college.
The college will make every effort to be responsive and sensitive to the victims of these serious crimes. Protection of the victim and prevention of retaliation or continued incidents or crimes is the college’s priority. When the victim and the accused live in the same residence hall, an immediate hearing with the Office of Student Conduct & Judicial Affairs will be held to determine the need for modifying the living arrangements. Assistance for any other personal or academic concerns will be reviewed and options provided.
During the judicial process, the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
The victim also has the right to:
- Make a “victim impact statement” and to suggest an appropriate penalty if the accused is found in violation of the regulation.
- Be informed immediately of the outcome of the hearing.
- Remain present during the entire proceeding. If the victim has been sexually assaulted on campus:
- As established in state criminal codes, be assured that his/her irrelevant past sexual history will not be discussed during the hearing.
The rights of the accused during the judicial process are described in the Student Conduct Manual, Section IV. STUDENT RIGHTS WHEN CHARGED WITH A VIOLATION.
Victims have the right to pursue adjudication of crimes that occur on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus through criminal courts and/or through the college’s internal judicial process (see Student Conduct Manual). University Police are trained to assist with prosecution in both systems.
Alcohol is the number one rape drug. Other drugs increase the risk of sexual assault when slipped into a drink, i.e. Rohypnol, Ketamine, and GHB. These drugs are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. The effects happen within 15 to 30 minutes and can last for hours. Effects can include dizziness, feeling intoxicated, sleepiness and amnesia like symptoms.
Some precautions that can help you reduce the risk from these drugs:
- Only drink from un-opened containers or drinks you’ve seen poured.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Avoid group drinks like punch bowls.
If you feel really tired or really drunk, you may be feeling the effects of a drug. Tell a friend and go the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) Emergency Center for immediate medical assistance and drug screening. These drugs can metabolize within the body in a short period of time and may be undetectable if too much time has elapsed.
Partner Violence Information
Partner violence happens everywhere to women and men of all ages, income levels, and backgrounds. Research has found that:
- Partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15–44 in the United States.
- Most abusers are male, and most victims of partner violence are female. However, partner violence also occurs in same-sex relationships, and women can be abusers too.
- Women ages 16–24 are the most likely to experience partner violence.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Partner Violence
If you are experiencing partner violence, the following actions can help make you safer:
- If you are in immediate danger and are able, call 911.
- Consider leaving the relationship. Abuse usually gets worse, and you deserve to be safe.
- Talk to someone you trust such as clergy, other family members, social workers, your doctor or good friends about what is going on. University Police can help too.
- Keep a crisis line phone number on hand in the event you have to leave in a hurry. Keep a fully charged cell phone on you at all times so you’ll be able to make emergency calls.
- Establish a secret emergency phrase or word that will tell friends and family to call the police
- Leave an “emergency kit” with someone you trust such as a friend or another family member. The kit should include money, important telephone numbers, important papers, and other items you would need in the event you would have to leave in a hurry.
Partner Violence Red Flags
While these can be useful, each situation is different and there is no foolproof way to predict or recognize abuse. Trust your instincts.
- Quick Involvement — Abusive relationships are often intense and quick to form.
- Jealousy and Isolation — Abusive partners often begin the cycle of abuse by isolating their partner from friends, family, and anyone else who might challenge their abusive behavior.
- Anger and Violence — Abusive partners often show explosive anger or violent behavior before directing it at their partner.
- Unpredictable Behavior — Abusive partners may switch moods quickly. This is one way to establish control over a fearful partner.
- Belief in Personal Superiority/Sexist Thinking — For example, many abusive men in heterosexual relationships believe that men should control women, that women should be kept “in their place,” etc.
- Abusive Behavior — Once a relationship has been established, abusers gradually introduce a range of abusive actions, such as hitting, kicking, slapping, pushing, embarrassing their partner, intimidating their partner and forcing their partner to do things they don’t want to. These behaviors can escalate into threatening to harm family/friends/pets, isolating their partner and blaming their partner for the abuse. Abuse tends to become more extreme and violent over time.
Remember: No one deserves to be abused. Perpetrators are responsible for their own actions. Survivors are never to blame.
Helping A Friend
Someone in an abusive relationship may have a very tough time leaving. By being a good friend and offering your support, you can make it a little easier. Help your friend recognize the abuse. Tell your friend you are worried about them. Help them find counseling and other resources. See page two and/or page eight of this booklet for appropriate resources — these agencies can help with safety planning.
Don’t threaten to break off your friendship. This will only isolate your friend further, and make it harder for them to leave. Get professional help. Ask a counselor for the best ways to help your friend.
Sexual Assault & The Law
Sexual contact with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is a crime. This includes intoxicated persons.
Sexual assault is non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature.
Sexual assault is prohibited by campus regulation and by New York State penal law. New York State Law contains the following legal provisions defining the crimes related to sexual assault:
Section 130.20 — Sexual Misconduct. This offense includes sexual intercourse without consent and deviate sexual intercourse without consent. The penalty for violation of this section could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 1 year.
Section 130.25/.30/.35 — Rape. This series of offenses includes sexual intercourse with a person incapable of consent because of the use of forcible compulsion or because the person is incapable of consent due to being mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. This series of offenses further includes sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent. The penalties for violation of these sections could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 25 years.
Section 130.40/.45/.50 — Criminal Sexual Act. This series of offenses includes oral or anal sexual conduct with a person incapable of consent because of the use of forcible compulsion or because the person is incapable of consent due to being mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. This series of offenses further includes oral or anal sexual conduct with a person under the age of consent. The penalties for violation of these sections could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 25 years.
Section 130.52 — Forcible Touching. This offense involves the forcible touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire. Forcible touching includes the squeezing, grabbing, or pinching of such other person’s sexual or other intimate parts. The penalty for violation of this section could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 1 year.
Section 130.53 — Persistent Sexual Abuse. This offense involves the commission of a sexual offense after having previously been convicted two or more times of the commission of certain sexual offenses within the previous ten years.
Section 130.55/.60/.65 — Sexual Abuse. This series of offenses includes sexual contact with a person by forcible compulsion, or with a person who is incapable of consent due being physically helpless, or due to the person being under the age of consent. The penalties for violation of these sections could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 7 years.
Section 130.65-a/.66/.67/.70 — Aggravated Sexual Abuse. This series of offenses occurs when a person inserts a finger or a foreign object in the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum of another person by forcible compulsion, when the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, or when the other person is under the age of consent. The level of this offense is enhanced if the insertion of a finger or foreign object causes injury to the other person. The penalties for the violation of these sections could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 25 years.
Section 130.90 — Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. This offense includes knowingly and unlawfully possessing a controlled substance or any preparation, compound, mixture or substance that requires a prescription to obtain and administers such substance to another person without such person’s consent. The penalties for the violation of this section could result in imprisonment for a period of up to 7 years.
It is important to note that the laws of New York State and SUNY Plattsburgh’s regulations operate independent of one another and that they do not substitute for each other. SUNY Plattsburgh may pursue enforcement of its own rules whether or not legal proceedings are initiated. The college makes no attempt to shield its members from the law.
Sex Offender Registry
If registered sex offenders are employed at the college or enrolled as a student at the college, information regarding these sex offenders will be made available to the public, according to the sex offender registry guidelines. The public should contact a University Police supervisor at (518) 564-2022 or in person at University Police located in the Health Center Building during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to request sex offender information.
Bias-related Incidents & Hate Crimes
Hate crimes, also called bias crimes or bias-related crimes, are criminal activity motivated by the perpetrator’s bias or attitude against an individual victim or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics, such as their race, color, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The federal Hate/Bias Crime Reporting Act was passed in 1990 and the New York State Hate Crimes Act was passed in 2000 (Penal Law Article 485).
Penalties for bias-related crimes are very serious and range from fines to imprisonment for lengthy periods, depending on the nature of the underlying criminal offense, the use of violence or previous convictions of the offender. Perpetrators who are students will also be subject to campus judicial process where sanctions including dismissal are possible.
In addition to preventing and prosecuting hate/bias crimes, University Police also assists in addressing bias-related activities that may not rise to the level of a crime. These activities, referred to as bias incidents and defined by the university as acts of physical abuse, harassment, threats or intimidation directed at a member or group within the Plattsburgh State campus community based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability may be addressed through the SUNY Plattsburgh Affirmative Action Officer and/or the University Police. Perpetrators who are students will also be subject to the campus judicial process where sanctions including dismissal are possible.
Please note: Harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex is a violation of the la. (Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the New York State Human Rights Law) and will not be tolerated at SUNY Plattsburgh. Civil liability related to sexual harassment may include “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature including the establishment of a hostile work or school environment.” Information and assistance regarding formal and informal complaint procedures for sexual harassment and sex discrimination are available through the SUNY Plattsburgh Title IX coordinator at 518-564-3281.