2.8 Safety and Health Policies

2.8.4 Hate Crimes

2.8.4 Hate Crimes

Article 485 of the New York State Penal Law highlights that the legislature finds and determines that “criminal acts involving violence, intimidation, and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice have become more prevalent in New York State in recent years”.

Whether you have the potential of being the victim of a hate crime or of giving support to someone who has been a victim, the College is committed to educating all students about procedures for reporting offenses, the laws, and penalties related to them, available resources, and steps to prevent discriminatory behavior within the Ithaca College community.

2.8.4.1 Definition of Hate Crimes

As written in article 485 of the New York State Penal Law, hate crimes are defined as those crimes where “victims are intentionally selected, in whole or in part, because of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation. Hate crimes do more than threaten the safety and welfare of all citizens. They inflict on victims incalculable physical and emotional damage and tear at the very fabric of free society. Crimes motivated by invidious hatred toward particular groups not only harm individual victims but send a powerful message of intolerance and discrimination to all members of the group to which the victim belongs. Hate crimes can and do intimidate and disrupt entire communities and vitiate the civility that is essential to healthy democratic processes. In a democratic society, citizens cannot be required to approve of the beliefs and practices of others, but must never commit criminal acts on account of them.”

According to article 485 of the New York State Penal Law, the premise behind hate crime legislation is that “laws must be strengthened to provide clear recognition of the gravity of hate crimes and the compelling importance of preventing their recurrence. Accordingly, the legislature finds and declares that hate crimes should be prosecuted and punished with appropriate severity.” It should be noted that with bias as a motivating factor in the commission of a crime, the associated penalty would be greater.


2.8.4.2 Reporting Hate Crimes

It is important to remember that the reporting of hate crimes provides the College and the community with the opportunity to identify the person responsible and address the factors that might prevent such an occurrence in the future. Ithaca College provides medical, psychological, investigative, and other support services to assist victims of hate crimes in dealing with the inevitable repercussions of such a traumatic event. In addition, the victim may receive assistance in changing his or her on-campus living and academic situations after an alleged hate crime incident, if such changes are reasonable and available. The College also provides for the use of a "safe room," if available, for short periods of time whenever a victim needs or wishes to be relocated immediately from the residence hall room.

Pursuing Judicial and/or Criminal Action -- In addition to seeking medical assistance and emotional support, you have the right to choose to pursue criminal action and, in the case of an on-campus incident, to provide the College with information to pursue judicial action. The decision to pursue judicial action in no way restricts you from also filing criminal charges, and vice versa.

On-Campus Incidents (Office of Public Safety) – The Office of Public Safety (274-3333) investigates reported hate crimes that occur on the Ithaca College campus. The Office of Public Safety will discuss with you your rights, options and the procedures involved in pursuing criminal charges. Incidents that are classified as felonies are usually investigated jointly by the Office of Public Safety, the Tompkins County Sheriff's Department, and the Tompkins County District Attorney's Office.

Alleged violations of the Ithaca College Student Conduct Code will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs (274-3375). This office will take judicial action against any student involved in an act that threatens the safety and welfare of another individual. Judicial action is pursued according to the procedures outlined in the student conduct code.

The possible sanctions that can be imposed as a result of determination of responsibility in a case of a hate crime follow the same range of sanctions available for any policy violation at Ithaca College. The College reserves the right to summarily remove a student from College housing or from the College campus pending a judicial hearing when such action is necessary to ensure the protection and welfare of the College community.

Off-Campus Incidents -- Incidents that occur off the Ithaca College campus are investigated by the agency with jurisdiction. All support services listed in this section are available to you regardless of where the incident took place. The Office of Public Safety can help you in identifying the appropriate investigative agency or agencies and in contacting them.

All investigations, regardless of the location of the incident, are conducted in cooperation with other support efforts such as counseling and medical services. Criminal prosecution of incidents that occur on campus or elsewhere in Tompkins County is coordinated and conducted by the Tompkins County District Attorney's Office.

If you would like to discuss your options regarding medical care or psychological care, you can contact the Hammond Health Center (274-3177) or the Counseling Center (274-3136). You will be advised of your options, and the services of the Crime Victims’ Services program at Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca (381-7038). Whether or not you want to pursue legal action, immediate psychological support is available through the Counseling Center, and your medical needs can be attended to at the Health Center. Contacting these offices in no way commits you to a course of action. You will remain in charge of decisions about your care.

Counseling Center -- The Counseling Center (274-3136) is located on the ground floor of the Hammond Health Center and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For emergencies that cannot wait until the next business day, a counselor is on call in the evenings and on weekends when the College is in session. The counselor on call can be reached by calling the Office of Public Safety (274-3333) or the Health Center (274-3177); the only information you need to give is your first name and a telephone number. You will receive immediate, confidential counseling and support. The counselor can assist you in coping with the effects of the hate crime incident.

J. David Hammond Center for Student Health Services -- The clinical staff at the Hammond Health Center is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. while classes are in session and can coordinate your confidential medical evaluation.

The Crime Victims’ Services Program – Ithaca College uses the services offered by the Crime Victims’ Service Program at Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca. The program provides seminars and workshops about crime victim services and prevention. The program also provides supportive counseling, advocacy, accompaniment, and information and referral. The Crime Victims’ Services Program also provides supportive counseling, advocacy, accompaniment, information and referral, support groups, and long-term therapy. The program’s services are provided by professional staff, trained volunteers, clinical interns, and clinical consultants. A Crime Victim’s Services advocate will help you understand the nature of a law enforcement investigation and explain the medical and counseling resources from which you can choose. He or she will also accompany you through whatever process you select. In addition, an advocate can help you file a claim with the Crime Victims Board of New York State, which provides compensation to eligible victims of crime. If you report that you have been the victim of a hate crime, Ithaca College staff will explain the Crime Victims’ Services program to you and assist you in using its service, if you so choose. This assistance from the Crime Victims’ Service program can be in addition to the medical, psychological, and public safety services already provided to victims by Ithaca College. All Crime Victims’ Services are confidential and free of charge. Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca’s Crime Victims’ Services can be reached at 607-381-7038 24-hours a day.


2.8.4.3 Preventing Discriminatory Behavior

Ithaca College offers the following recommendations to help prevent discriminatory behavior within the campus community:

  1. Intervene to let others know that you will not tolerate ethnic jokes, racial or religious slurs, or any other action that demeans any person or group.
  2. Celebrate your own cultural and religious heritage.
  3. Educate yourself about the rich cultural diversity in our community.
  4. Be a model of language and behavior that are non-biased and inclusive of all persons, regardless of who they are.
  5. Participate in culturally diverse programs offered within the campus community.
  6. Be proactive in your home, at work, and in your community to combat all discriminatory behavior.
  7. Have open discussions on controversial subject matters as they relate to the various forms of bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination that exist in society.

Join clubs or organizations to become better informed and to help reduce discriminatory behavior.


2.8.4.4 New York State Laws Pertaining to Hate Crimes

The New York State Penal Law on hate crimes reads as follows:

§485.05 Hate crimes.

1. A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense and either:

(a) intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be 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, or

(b) intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense 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.

2. Proof of race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of the defendant, the victim or of both the defendant and the victim does not, by itself, constitute legally sufficient evidence satisfying the people’s burden under paragraph (a) or (b) of subdivision one of this section.

3. A "specified offense" is an offense defined by any of the following provisions of this chapter: section 120.00 (assault in the third degree); section 120.05 (assault in the second degree); section 120.10 (assault in the first degree); section 120.12 (aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old); section 120.13 (menacing in the first degree); section 120.14 (menacing in the second degree); section 120.15 (menacing in the third degree); section 120.20 (reckless endangerment in the second degree); section 120.25 (reckless endangerment in the first degree); subdivision one of section 125.15 (manslaughter in the second degree); subdivision one, two or four of section 125.20 (manslaughter in the first degree); section 125.25 (murder in the second degree); section 120.45 (stalking in the fourth degree); section 120.50 (stalking in the third degree); section 120.55 (stalking in the second degree); section 120.60 (stalking in the first degree); subdivision one of section 130.35 (rape in the first degree); subdivision one of section 130.50 (criminal sexual act in the first degree); subdivision one of section 130.65 (sexual abuse in the first degree); paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 130.67 (aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree); paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 130.70 (aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree); section 135.05 (unlawful imprisonment in the second degree); section 135.10 (unlawful imprisonment in the first degree); section 135.20 (kidnapping in the second degree); section 135.25 (kidnapping in the first degree); section 135.60 (coercion in the second degree); section 135.65 (coercion in the first degree); section 140.10 (criminal trespass in the third degree); section 140.15 (criminal trespass in the second degree); section 140.17 (criminal trespass in the first degree); section 140.20 (burglary in the third degree); section 140.25 (burglary in the second degree); section 140.30 (burglary in the first degree); section 145.00 (criminal mischief in the fourth degree); section 145.05 (criminal mischief in the third degree); section 145.10 (criminal mischief in the second degree); section 145.12 (criminal mischief in the first degree); section 150.05 (arson in the fourth degree); section 150.10 (arson in the third degree); section 150.15 (arson in the second degree); section 150.20 (arson in the first degree); section 155.25 (petit larceny); section 155.30 (grand larceny in the fourth degree); section 155.35 (grand larceny in the third degree); section 155.40 (grand larceny in the second degree); section 155.42 (grand larceny in the first degree); section 160.05 (robbery in the third degree); section 160.10 (robbery in the second degree); section 160.15 (robbery in the first degree); section 240.25 (harassment in the first degree); subdivision one, two or four of section 240.30 (aggravated harassment in the second degree); or any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

4. For purposes of this section:
(a) the term "age" means sixty years old or more;
(b) the term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.


§485.10 Sentencing.

1. When a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article, and the specified offense is a violent felony offense, as defined in section 70.02 of this chapter, the hate crime shall be deemed a violent felony offense.

2. When a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article and the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article and the specified offense is a class B felony:

(a) the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence must be at least six years if the defendant is sentenced pursuant to section 70.00 of this chapter;

(b) the term of the determinate sentence must be at least eight years if the defendant is sentenced pursuant to section 70.02 of this chapter;

(c) the term of the determinate sentence must be at least twelve years if the defendant is sentenced pursuant to section 70.04 of this chapter;

(d) the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence must be at least four years if the defendant is sentenced pursuant to section 70.05 of this chapter; and

(e) the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence or the term of the determinate sentence must be at least ten years if the defendant is sentenced pursuant to section 70.06 of this chapter.

4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article and the specified offense is a class A-1 felony, the minimum period of the indeterminate sentence shall be not less than twenty years.

Last Updated: January 10, 2013