Handling of Domestic Violence

Updated September 28, 2021

The University at Buffalo takes very seriously its obligations and its commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for our students and other members of the university community.  

UB is committed to ensuring that all members of our community can work and learn in a safe environment.  UB provides support, assistance and redress for victims of stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence and domestic violence.

For many years, UB has had prevention and awareness programs, policies and practices in place to address reports of domestic violence, and we have adjusted them over time to make them more effective and assure that they comport with applicable laws, regulations and agency guidance.

UB’s Police Department and conduct offices receive extensive training in order to ensure that they conduct investigations into domestic violence claims in a manner that is fair, impartial, and trauma-informed.   These full-time employees are versed in the administrative processes, policies, laws, and regulatory requirements in the handling of domestic violence cases.  UB offers assistance and support to people experiencing domestic violence regardless of whether they wish to pursue a police report or conduct charges.  Any member of the UB community may consult confidentially with a campus-based Crisis Services Advocate, who can provide assistance and support with options both on campus and in the criminal justice system.  Students may receive assistance from UB Counseling Services, and employees may consult confidentially with the Employee Assistance Program.  These resources are available even if the person who has harmed them has no affiliation with UB.

Importantly, the university can assist employees or students experiencing domestic violence with developing a plan to keep them safe on campus. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, advising co-workers and others of a situation on a need-to-know basis and with permission of the student or employee, establishing procedures for alerting UPD, temporarily relocating the victim to a secure area, providing options for voluntary transfer or permanent relocation to a new work site or housing, providing an escort for entry to and exit from campus buildings, permitting a change of schedule and assignment of a parking space, responding to telephone, fax, email, or mail harassment, keeping a photograph of the abuser or a copy of any existing court orders of protection (OP) in a confidential on-site location, and assisting in obtaining a persona non grata letter, subject to legal requirements and UB policy. Employees may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with collective bargaining agreements, statutes, and regulations in certain situations, including if they have threatened, harassed, or abused an intimate partner using university resources such as work time, workplace telephones, fax machines, mail, email, or other means.

Mandatory arrest is required for all cases of domestic violence that are reported to University Police.  In cases where a UB student is accused of domestic violence or dating violence, alleged offenders are placed on temporary suspension until an initial suspension hearing is held by Student Conduct and Advocacy to determine access to campus while the administrative process is applied.  During a suspension, a student is prohibited from coming on campus, attending classes, and from participating in any University related activities or events – including participation in athletic activities, practices or competitions. 

The full administrative student conduct process generally takes up to 4 weeks and is dependent upon scheduling and availability of those involved (e.g. victims, witnesses, alleged offenders).    During the administrative process, the university may impose emergency removals, orders of protection, other campus restrictions, and/or make victim accommodations.  The administrative process may result in outcomes that include, but are not limited to, community service, counseling, probation, long-term suspension, dismissal/expulsion.

The UB Administrative process for students and student athletes are the same, with the exception that athletes are also subject to the Athletic Ethics Committee, which may place additional sanctions on student athletes. In cases where a student is not suspended, the Athletics Ethics Committee may still impose sanctions on Student Athletes that limit or exclude their participation in athletic activities and events.