Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

Updated September 23, 2019

The University at Buffalo is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students and other members of the university community

For many years, UB has had prevention, response and awareness programs, policies and practices in place to address complaints of sexual harassment and sexual 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.

In addition, UB has a well-trained student conduct office and a well-trained police department with extensive experience in conducting trauma-informed investigations and hearings.

New York State "Enough is Enough" legislation and SUNY Policies on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response

In 2013, SUNY campuses entered into an agreement with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education to ensure compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and improve the response by SUNY and its state-operated campuses to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

In December 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that SUNY has adopted a uniform sexual assault prevention and response policy for SUNY campuses. The SUNY-wide policy addresses sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Pursuant to a SUNY Board of Trustees Resolution, a Working Group of SUNY system and campus representatives, plus outside advocates, developed the policy, which is among the most comprehensive in the nation. 

UB's vice president for University Life and Services and the UB associate counsel served on the SUNY Working Group that developed the policy. UB's Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence is the basis for the SUNY policy on Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence.  The Students’ Bill of Rights, incorporated in the SUNY policy and now mandatory across New York State, was also based on a policy developed at UB.

On July 7, 2015, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Enough is Enough” legislation extending the preventive policy and protections adopted by SUNY campuses to all university campuses statewide.  According to Sharon Nolan-Weiss, director of UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Title IX coordinator, most of the actions and recommendations outlined in the new SUNY policies and Enough is Enough legislation were already in place at UB.  UB is fully in compliance with the "Enough is Enough" legislation.

Requirements of SUNY Policies on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response

While not part of the SUNY policies, UB has also developed Guidance for Faculty and Staff, which informs UB employees how to handle a situation where a student discloses a sexual assault to them.