Title IX and Diversity
Title IX and Diversity
Mount Saint Mary College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender, age, national and ethnic origin, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic or classification protected by federal, state, or local law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs, and other school administered programs.
In keeping with the college's Catholic Dominican traditions and Judeo-Christian values, we are committed to maintaining a college community in which all are treated with respect and dignity.
Mount Saint Mary College is committed to providing a living and learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, including violence of any kind. We encourage anyone who has information regarding an incident of sexual assault or another crime to report it to the office of Security and Safety at 845-569-3200, or to contact the Title IX Coordinator, Matthew Byrne, at TitleIXCoordinator@msmc.edu or 845-569-3597, or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Caridi, at Melissa.Caridi@msmc.edu or 845-569-3229, or using by using this complaint form. This form can also be used to file an anonymous complaint.
What is Title IX?
In 1972, Congress enacted amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 which included a section called Title IX-Prohibition of Sex Discrimination. The pertinent text of Title IX is “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”
In essence, Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sex. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence.
Matthew Byrne, Executive Director of Risk Management, is the Title IX Coordinator. He can be contacted at TitleIXCoordinator@msmc.edu, 845-569-3597, or by visiting his office in Garden Apartments 1 (main campus), Room 205.
Melissa Caridi, Assistant Director of Human Resources, is the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. She can be contacted at Melissa.Caridi@msmc.edu, 845-569-3229, or by visiting her office at 45 Elmwood Place (behind the College Courts).
The Title IX coordinator is responsible for overseeing the College’s response to Title IX reports and complaints, and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints. The Title IX Coordinator also:
- Answers questions and provides guidance on Title IX matters including compliance and related College policies.
- Acts as a resource for all members of the College community.
- Assists with training students and employees.
- Assists with the investigation and adjudication of complaints.
Affirmative consent is defined as a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop. Past consent does not imply future consent and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. The initiator has the sole responsibility to confirm consent. Coercion, force, intimidation, or threat of harm invalidates consent. An individual of minority age cannot give consent.
The College 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. The College strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to College officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith who discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the College’s 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.
Confidentiality means that the person you tell something to will not tell anyone else without your permission. Privacy means the person will only share the information you tell them with others at the College who have a need-to-know.
Confidential resources on campus are Counseling Services, including the Director of Disability Services, Campus Ministry, and Health Services. Contact information for on and off-campus resources, both confidential and private, can be found here.
If you are the victim of sexual assault or another crime, contact Security & Safety at 845-569-3200. The College has designated the following employees as “Officials With Authority” to take corrective action to redress sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. To make a complaint, you may contact the Title IX Coordinator (Matthew Byrne, TitleIXCoordinator@msmc.edu, 845-569-3597), the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Melissa Caridi, Melissa.Caridi@msmc.edu, 845-569-3229). Matthew Byrne's office is located at 319 Powell Ave., 1st floor. Melissa Caridi's office is located at 45 Elmwood Place (behind the College Courts) or the Interim Director of Student Conduct, (Amy Weit, Amy.Weit@msmc.edu, 845-569-3652). Amy Weit’s office is located in Hudson Hall. You can also submit a complaint using this complaint form. This form can also be used to file an anonymous complaint. See this flowchart for more details.
The College is mindful of the effects of sexual discrimination on complainants, particularly with reports of sexual assault. Requests not to initiate an investigation will be weighed against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of its community.
The College’s Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Grievance Policy is designed to help the College protect the safety, rights, and dignity of all students, faculty, administrators, staff, and visitors. It contains the Students’ Bill of Rights, provides definitions for different aspects of interpersonal and sexual violence, defines affirmative consent and the College’s amnesty policy, details the grievance procedure, and provides important additional information.
The College’s student handbook and employee handbook reinforce the Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Grievance Policy and provide guidance on proper behavior by students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Resources and Help
Mount Saint Mary College is committed to the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, administrators, and visitors, and we strive for an environment that is free of all forms of sexual discrimination. However, if you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault or discrimination, we want to help. Resources are available both on and off-campus. Our policies allow for both an informal and formal grievance procedure, depending on the circumstances.
Resources are available both on and off-campus. You may choose whatever resource(s) you feel most comfortable with. For available resources, please see this list of Resources for Victims of Sexual Misconduct.
Campus Experiences Survey
Results of the campus climate survey.