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Federal and State Regulations

I. Political Activity and College Facilities

From time to time, students and faculty, either individually or in organized groups, engage in political activities which might be interpreted as being for the purpose of influencing legislation or as participating in political campaigns on behalf of candidates for public office. It is vitally important that Vassar College as an institution, as distinguished from its students, faculty, and staff, not be involved in any of these activities. It is especially important from the standpoint of protecting its tax-exempt status that the college not provide financial support to political activities either through money, services, facilities (including computing facilities such as electronic mail servers and the college’s Internet connection), or otherwise. The procedures described below do not apply to the normal activities of either individuals or organized groups (such as various student clubs) which either are part of the normal educational process or are a traditional part of extracurricular nonpolitical activities.

Under federal law, a tax-exempt educational institution such as Vassar College is subject to strict restrictions against providing services or facilities to activities carried on for the purpose of influencing legislation. The limitations are especially severe when the activities are on behalf of any candidate for public office. These limitations are contained in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 18 USCA Sec. 610, and the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, Public Law No. 92-225. At present, it seems clear that if an individual or organization is engaged in influencing legislation or participating in a political campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office and pays for whatever use they make of Vassar’s services or facilities, no violation of the federal statutes will be involved. In general, it is preferable to avoid use of college facilities and services for political activities. However, it is recognized that in the case of telephones and duplicating services, it may be more convenient to work something out with the college for use of such facilities than to make other arrangements. This has been done and may continue to be done so long as the college is reimbursed for the cost of such use.

The comptroller will assign an account number to each individual or organization using college facilities and services, to which account charges will be made. This account number will be assigned in the case of any organized group as soon as it provides satisfactory evidence of its financial responsibility and the names of the individuals who are authorized to approve charges to the account for payment if the organization fails to meet its financial obligations to the college. Except in unusual circumstances, no more than two such individuals should be authorized to approve for any organized group. In the case of an individual who is an employee of the college, an account number may be assigned simply on receipt of assurance from the individual that he or she will be personally responsible for payment of the charges.

Supplies, Duplicating Services: Supplies, duplicating services, special set-ups, etc., ordered from the college, may be charged to an individual or to an organization’s account number with the approval of a duly authorized representative of that organization.

Postal Service: Each politically active organization may use the Mail Room facilities on the campus for outgoing mail. Use of intra-campus, unstamped mail, however, is not permitted, nor is the use of Vassar College departmental post office boxes.

There is no requirement that any individual organization use college services or facilities. Anyone is wholly free to arrange with local suppliers for services and in fact is encouraged to do so, because extraordinary or prolonged use of facilities, particularly by nonmembers of the college community, even with reimbursement, might jeopardize the college.

II. Federal and New York State Laws Regarding Drug and Alcohol Violations

In compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 [the “Drug-Free Workplace Act”] and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 [the “Drug-Free Schools Act”].

Both federal and New York State law makes it a criminal offense to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or simply possess a controlled substance, including marijuana. 21 U.S.C. § 801, et. seq.; New York State Penal Law §§ 220 and §§ 221; New York State Public Health Law, § 3306.

Federal penalties for the illegal possession, use, sale, or delivery of controlled substances depends on the quantity of the drug and the type of drug. Drugs are categorized according to Schedules, which depend on the drug’s known or potential medical value, its potential for physical or psychological dependence, and its risk, if any, to public health. Schedule I drugs carry the most severe penalty, and Schedule V drugs carry the least severe penalty. The Federal Controlled Substances Act provides penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment and fines of up to $25,000 for unlawful distribution of or possession of with intent to distribute narcotics. For unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a person is subject to one year of imprisonment and fines up to $5,000. Any person who unlawfully distributes a controlled substance to a person under 21 years of age may be punished by up to twice the term of imprisonment and fine otherwise authorized by law. Federal trafficking penalties for first offense Schedule I and II drugs range from a minimum of five years to a maximum of life in prison and a fine of $1 million for an individual or $10 million if not an individual. Penalties for first offense trafficking Schedule III and IV drugs range up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for an individual or $1 million if not an individual. Federal penalties for first offense trafficking marijuana range up to a maximum of life in prison and up to $4 million fine for an individual or $10 million if not an individual, depending on the quantity of marijuana.

A. Definition of Controlled Substance Schedules

The drugs and other substances that are considered controlled substances under the CSA are divided into five schedules. A listing of the substances and their schedules is found in the DEA regulations, 21 C.F.R. Sections 1308.11 through 1308.15. A controlled substance is placed in its respective schedule based on whether it has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and its relative abuse potential and likelihood of causing dependence. Some examples of controlled substances in each schedule are outlined below.

NOTE: Drugs listed in schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and, therefore, may not be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in schedules II-V have some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.

Schedule I Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. Some examples of substances listed in schedule I are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“ecstasy”).

Schedule II Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Examples of single entity schedule II narcotics include morphine and opium. Other schedule II narcotic substances and their common name-brand products include: hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze® or Duragesic®).

Examples of schedule II stimulants include: amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®). Other schedule II substances include: cocaine, amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

Schedule III Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a potential for abuse less than substances in schedules I or II and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Examples of schedule III narcotics include combination products containing less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin®) and products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine®). Also included are buprenorphine products (Suboxone® and Subutex®) used to treat opioid addiction.

Examples of schedule III non-narcotics include benzphetamine (Didrex®), phendimetrazine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids such as oxandrolone (Oxandrin®).

Schedule IV Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a low potential for abuse relative to substances in schedule III. An example of a schedule IV narcotic is propoxyphene (Darvon® and Darvocet-N 100®).

Other schedule IV substances include: alprazolam (Xanax®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam (Versed®), temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®).

Schedule V Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a low potential for abuse relative to substances listed in schedule IV and consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. These are generally used for antitussive, antidiarrheal, and analgesic purposes.

Examples include cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC® and Phenergan with Codeine®).

B. Violations and Penalties

The State of New York has established sanctions for the possession, use, and sale of controlled substances that are consistent with federal penalties. Specific criminal sanctions are delineated in the New York State Penal Laws, and the seriousness of the drug offense and penalty imposed upon conviction depends on the individual drug and the amount held or sold, as well as the holder’s intent (personal use, distribution, or sale). Below are some additional and important New York State laws regarding the unlawful use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs:

New York State Vehicle Traffic Law § 1192 Driving While Ability Impaired (BAC .05-.07): up to a $300 $500 fine for 1st offense, up to 15 days in prison, 90-day license suspension; 2nd offense: $500 $750 fine, up to 30 days in prison, minimum 6-month license revocation; 3rd offense (misdemeanor) $750 $1,500 fine, up to 180 days in prison, minimum 6-month license revocation. Driving While Intoxicated (BAC .08 or more): up to a $500 $1,000 fine for first offense, up to 1 year in prison, minimum 6-month license revocation. Felony Driving While Intoxicated (Second DWI conviction within 10 years): up to a $1,000 $5,000 fine for second offense, up to 4 years in prison, minimum 1 year license revocation; 3rd offense: $2,000 $10,000 fine, Class D Felony, up to 7 years in prison, minimum 1-year license revocation.

New York State Penal Law § 260.20(2) Furnishing alcohol to persons under age 21; any visibly intoxicated person; or to any habitually intoxicated person known as such to the person authorized to dispense any alcoholic beverages: punishable by a fine and imprisonment up to 1 year.

New York State Penal Law, § 260.21(3) Selling tobacco products to any person under the age of eighteen is a class B misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment of up to three months.

New York State Penal Law § 240.40 Appearing in public under the influence of narcotics or a drug other than alcohol to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity is a violation, punishable by a fine and imprisonment up to 15 days.

III. Copyright and Fair Use

A. Fair Use

It is the policy of the college to comply with the Copyright Law of the United States of America, as found in Title 17 of the United States Code, guiding itself by the Fair Use provisions, sometimes referred to as the Four Factors. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

The nature of the copyrighted work;

The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;

The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The college is also committed to assisting members of the Vassar community in interpreting legal requirements in order to assure the widest possible legal access to knowledge in keeping with Vassar’s mission: the advancement of learning through instruction in the liberal arts, free intellectual inquiry, and independent research.

B. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) seeks to reform United States Copyright Laws in order to deal appropriately with issues created by the emergence of digital media. This law, along with other federal laws and Vassar College policy, prohibit the distribution of copyrighted materials without the permission of the owner. The sharing of copyrighted materials through electronic means (i.e., file-sharing programs such as Kazaa) is considered a violation of these regulations.

The DMCA requires that the college designate a copyright compliance officer to investigate alleged violations of copyright by members of the Vassar community. The copyright compliance officer at Vassar is the dean of the faculty, who will be notified by any party accusing a member of the Vassar College community of copyright infringement. Should the copyright compliance officer be notified of possible violation by a bona fide copyright holder, or their authorized representative, the following procedure will be executed: The copyright compliance officer (1) will determine whether the accused individual is in violation of copyright; (2) will order that the individual cease and desist in distributing the copyrighted material; and (3) will order that the copyrighted files be removed from the computer.

Vassar College is rigorous in its compliance with the DMCA, and suggests that members of the Vassar College community familiarize themselves with the law. Those who violate the law do so at their own risk, and face whatever civil or criminal action may be taken against them, as well as sanctions by the appropriate college body.

IV. Summary of Federal and New York State Laws Regarding Sexual Offenses

The following summary provides information about sexual offenses recognized under New York State Penal Law and Federal definitions when required. Individuals who are victims of any sexual offense are urged to report it to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department and/or the District Attorney’s Office.

A. New York State Penal Law

Sexual Misconduct (NYS § 130.20) occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse, and/or oral or anal sexual conduct with another person without the latter’s consent. (NYS Class A Misdemeanor)

Forcible Touching (NYS § 130.52) occurs when a person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire. For the purposes of this policy, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing, or pinching. (NYS Class A Misdemeanor)

Sexual Abuse (NYS § 130.55/.60/.65) occurs when a person has sexual contact with another person without the latter’s consent. The level of offense is elevated by the use of forcible compulsion, or when the latter person is incapable of consent by reason of physical helplessness, or when the latter person is less than fourteen years old. (NYS Class B, A, Misdemeanor(s), Class D Felony)

Aggravated Sexual Abuse (NYS § 130.65-A/.66/.67/.70) occurs when a person inserts a finger or foreign object in the vagina, urethra, penis, or rectum of a person who is incapable of consent. The level of offense is elevated by the use of forcible compulsion, when the latter person is incapable of consent by reason of physical helplessness, mental disability or incapacitation, or when the person is less than eleven years old. The level of offense is elevated when the insertion causes physical injury to the latter person. (NYS Class E, D, C, B Felony)

Rape (NYS § 130.25/.30/.35) occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent. The level of offense is elevated by the use of forcible compulsion, when the latter person is incapable of consent by reason of physical helplessness, mental disability or incapacitation, or when the latter person is less than seventeen years old.

Criminal Sexual Act (NYS § 130.40/.45/.50) occurs when a person engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person who is incapable of consent. The level of offense is elevated by the use of forcible compulsion, or when the latter person is incapable of consent by reason of physical helplessness, mental disability or incapacitation, or when the latter person is less than seventeen years old. (NYS Class E, D, B Felony)

Facilitated Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance (NYS § 130.90) occurs when (1) a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance/ compound or any substance that requires a prescription to obtain, and administers such substance to another person without such person’s consent and with the intent to commit against such person conduct constituting a felony as defined under the sex offenses described in the NYS Penal Law (Part 2; Title H; Article 130), and (2) thereafter commits or attempts to commit such conduct constituting a felony as defined under the NYS Penal Law (Part 2; Title H; Article 130). (NYS Class D Felony)

Predatory Sexual Assault (NYS § 130.95) occurs when a person commits the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined, and (1) in the course of the commission of the crime or the immediate flight therefrom, he or she causes serious physical injury to the victim of such crime, or uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or (2) the person has engaged in similar conduct as described above against one or more additional persons; or (3) the person has previously been subjected to a conviction for a felony defined in NYS § 130 of New York State Penal Law (NYS Class A-II Felony)

B. Federal Definitions

Sexual Activity shall have the same meaning as “sexual act” and “sexual contact” as provided in 18 U.S.C. 2246(2) and 18 U.S.C. 2246(3).

The term “sexual act” means: (A) contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; (B) contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; (C) the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or (D) the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

The term “sexual contact” means the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities such as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. (Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice).

Rape is defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. (Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting).

V. Clery Act

The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542) requires colleges to publish statistics on certain types of crimes that occur on college grounds and are reported to the Security Department or designated campus administration. Crimes confidentially reported to other college offices may not necessarily be reflected in these statistics. Further, the statistics for certain types of crimes, such as sexual offenses, may not be a true reflection of their occurrence due to underreporting. For campus crime statistics, consult the U.S. Department of Education’s website (http://ope.ed.gov/security/index.aspx), the Vassar Safety and Security website (http://security.vassar.edu/), or call the director of security at (845) 437-5201