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Campus Safety

Vassar College

Hate crimes can instill fear across entire communities and undermine the principles that our college operates on. Information contained on this site is meant to help our community understand hate crime laws, Vassar’s hate crime statistics, mechanisms in place for reporting hate crimes, and available resources.

New York State Penal Law

Per New York State Penal Law  Hate Crimes Act of 200 Article § 485.05 (3): A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified criminal offense and either intentionally commits the act or intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct. More information can be found in section 485.05 of the NY State Penal Law.

Vassar New York State Penal Law Hate Crime Reports for 2023

During the calendar year 2023 one (1) on campus NY State Penal Law hate crime based on religion was reported.

Clery Act Reporting

In addition to the above and as required by Title 20 of the U.S. Code Section 1092(f), also known as Clery Act, Vassar College is reporting on Clery Act Hate Crimes that have occurred on campus for the past three years. Annual reporting of hate crimes that occur on campus can be found in the annual Vassar College Security and Fire Safety Report.  A link to the 2023 Security and Fire Safety Report (PDF) can be found below. The statistics in this report are representative of the Clery Act Federal Hate Crime definitions, also found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

US Department of Education Crime Statistics

Another source for reviewing Vassar’s campus crime statistics is the US Department of Education Campus Safety and Security website.  Entering the Clery crime statistics into this website is mandated by Title 20 of the U.S. Code Section 1092(f) for all colleges who receive federal funding (i.e. financial aid).  This information can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.  This tool would be especially useful for determining multiple colleges and universities Clery crime statistics.

Reporting a Hate Crime

We encourage any campus community member who experiences or witnesses a Hate Crime to report the incident immediately by contacting the Vassar College Campus Safety Office at (845) 437-7333, the local police at (845) 485-3666, the Vassar College EOAA Office at (845) 437-7924, or by filing a Bias/Hate Incident report form.

Hate Crime Penalties and College Sanctions

Criminal penalties of hate-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. Offenders who are Vassar College students, faculty or staff will also be subject to campus disciplinary procedures where sanctions including expulsion or dismissal from employment are possible.

Counseling Services

Students, faculty and staff who are affected by hate crimes and bias incidents can avail themselves of counseling and support from the campus by contacting Vassar College Counseling Services at (845) 437-5700 or in person at Metcalf House. After-hours counseling services are available through an on-call service that can be reached by calling Campus Safety and asking for the counselor on-call.

Bias Incident

Generally, bias-related acts are characterized by some expression of hate or bias against a particular group, or towards an individual because of their membership (or perceived membership) in that group.  Bias incidents may range from acts considered to be offensive to actions that cause harm. Although bias-related acts sometimes constitute discrimination (as defined under the College’s nondiscrimination policy), or hate crimes (as defined by federal, state, or local law), not all bias incidents rise to the level of discrimination or a hate crime.  Bias acts may be verbal, written, or contained in an image, or physical in nature. These behaviors often contribute to creating an unsafe or unwelcoming environment for individuals and social identity groups. Report a Bias incident here.

Evidence Preservation

All evidence should be documented and preserved for investigatory purposes. While no single fact may be conclusive in identifying a hate crime or bias incident, a pattern of evidence can be significant.  Such evidence includes but is not limited to the following: oral or written comments/drawings/markings/symbols (ex. Graffiti, social media postings, text and other communications, etc.), the property targeted is a place of worship or assembly area for a specific identity group, the targeted person is perceived to be from a different group than the offender, objects or items taken or left behind are of significance to a specific group, the victim was engaged in activities promoting a specific identity group, past incidents of the same nature have occurred in the same location, and/or the incident coincides with a holiday or event significant to the offender’s affiliation or the victim’s.